How I Make Time For Reading…

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Hello fellow bookworms! It’s Sunday, which means it’s discussion time. This is when I write to think more deeply about books, why we read, and why literature is so important in our lives. To be quite honest with you, I felt my previous discussion topics for this month wasn’t really exciting me to write, so I’m just winging it for now until I find my feet. I’m back at uni, and being in my final year means I’m already drowning in work, so I thought today’s post should be something I’m thinking about a lot lately… how am I going to find time to read? People often say ‘how to you find the time to read that many books?’, but I don’t find time, I make time. I AM THE CREATOR OF TIME! Honestly though, if you want to be reading 50+ books in a year, you have to make time to sit and read, and not just read as a last resort. Here are some of the ways I make time in my busy schedule for the all important literature in my life…

Read During Breakfast

I know a lot of people don’t eat breakfast, but I wake up hungry, so eating is one of the first things I do in the morning. While I’m having my morning toast and cup of tea, I like to immerse myself in a book. I wake up slightly earlier than I need to, so I can make sure I have plenty of time to do this, even if it’s just a few pages. Some people I’ve spoken to don’t like reading and eating because they get crumbs in their book, but I have become skilled at avoiding this. Practice makes perfect (I’ve learnt this after staining several books with Marmite!) It’s also great for when you’re home alone and don’t really have anything else to do during meal times (I used to read whilst eating lunch and dinner as well when I was living away from home).

Read in the Bath

I tend to only bath once a week now (and before you say it, yes, I do shower every day, I don’t just wash once a week!) but it provides great time for reading! What else are you going to do sitting in a bath? If I’m really into a book, and don’t really have a lot else going on, I can allow myself 40 mins to 1 hour just chilling in the water with a novel. Doing this once a week is great for some alone time as well, and time away from any work/school worries you may have. Grab some nice bath oils or take a trip to Lush for a bath bomb, and immerse yourself in bubbles and a really good book!

Be Early

I leave for uni in the morning at 7:30AM, and arrive between 8:30 and 8:45, depending on traffic. My classes don’t start until 10AM, but if I don’t get there early, I can wave goodbye to any chance of getting a parking space! This is perfect for me though, because it means I can either go to the library to get some work done, or spend and hour and a half sitting in my car catching up on some reading. Pack a pillow and spread out on the back seat, cherish the peacefulness of your vehicle, and get reading! This is the same being early for anything. If I’m early for work, I can chill in the staff room with my book, or meeting a friend, there will always be time for a few pages if they’re running late!

AudioBooks

A few months ago, this heading would never have made an appearance in a post like this, but I have recently come to the conclusion that audiobooks are remarkable things. I found I could never really concentrate on them if I was doing something else, and this is still partly true. However, walking to work takes about half an hour (perfect for a chapter or two), and as I said earlier, it takes me a good hour, if not longer, to drive to uni. That’s an extra 2 hours of ‘reading’ a day that I’m getting through, without having to pick up a book! Some people don’t count it towards actual reading, and I never used to, but it’s pretty much exactly the same, instead of reading the words, your listening to someone else read them for you. It’s just like to listening to your own voice reading them in your head… kind of! I know my way to uni like the back of my hand now, so apart from concentrating on traffic and what’s going on on the road, I can still pay attention to the story playing through my radio. It’s also much more preferable to listening to music I’ve heard several thousand times over (apart from Hamilton, no one gets sick of listening to Hamilton!)

Read in the Evening

Dedicate your day to working. Get all of your school work done during the day, and commit to as little or as much time as you want, so then, when it comes to the evening, you don’t feel guilty about snuggling down in bed early with your current read. Don’t laugh at me, but most days, I can be in bed by 8PM, which gives me a good 2 hours before I have to think about going to sleep. I know that I’ve worked my socks off during the day, and this is my treat at the end of it!

So all in all, let’s break down how much potential reading time I have in my day, as well as keeping up with uni work (not counting the bath, I’m not lucky enough to have the luxury of time every day!):

Breakfast- 30 mins

Being Early- 1 hour

Car Journey- 2 hours

Evening- 2 hours

So even with my packed schedule, I can still have a good 5 and half hours of reading in the day. I’m not saying I get that every day, because life gets in the way sometimes, and I’m sure I’m not the first to admit I get addicted to YouTube from time to time, or have TV binges once in a while, but this is a good aim for me to have, and of course, weekends sometimes open up the possibility to get more reading done!

I hope you have found this post somewhat insightful, and maybe thought about some new ways you can incorporate more reading time into your day. Would love to know if you have any extra tips for me on how you fit reading into your daily routine; let me know in the comments below!

Until next time…

Jade 🙂

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Harry Potter & the Cursed Child: The Play (SPOILER FREE REVIEW)

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Hello fellow bookworms! I was lucky enough to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on this Sunday just gone, and it was absolutely fantastic! I’d been planning for a while to do a review of the play once I’d seen it, and how it compares to reading the script, so here I am and that’s what I’ll be doing in today’s post. This will be spoiler free, so you don’t have to worry about seeing anything you don’t want to, I will be ‘keeping the secrets’!

How is the play different from reading the script?

When I first read the script, I read it in one sitting, and while I followed the story, I didn’t really absorb as much information as I should have done, and I just remembered it being a little bit wacky for a Harry Potter story. I was excited to see the play, but a little bit wary as to how I would feel about the eighth story afterwards. I must say that seeing the play really brought the script to life, and there was so much more behind the characters than you get from reading it. With a book, there is life behind a character with the depth of description, but with a scrip, it is harder to convey this in writing, and rely on seeing the play to see how the characters really should be acting. The story made so much more sense seeing it on the stage, and seemed less out-of-this-world. I can’t quite place my finger on why…

The actors

I saw the second West End cast, with Jamie Glover as Harry Potter, Tom Mackley as Albus, Samuel Blenkin as Scorpius, and Thomas Aldridge and Rakie Ayola as Ron and Hermione, and I must say this cast was magnificent! In terms of my favourites, Scorpius was a completely transformed character for me! I liked his character when reading the script, but there was so much life and depth behind his character on stage it added that hilarity that the play needed. Snape as well, while a fairly minor character in the play, I just thought was so accurate to Snape from the original books and movies. Moaning Myrtle also deserves an honourable mention, because I honestly thought it was the same actress straight out the movies it was so accurate!

The choreography

I was not expecting so much movement throughout the performance. I thought is very clever how stage hands were not hidden, but were wizards and witches in robes, which just added to the already magical atmosphere. There were sections of extravagant movement to set the scene, with cloaks swishing and the synchronicity was perfect! This was possibly one of my favourite elements in the performance, because it was just that additional something that made the performance really special!

The special effects

We were all wondering ‘how are they going to do magic on stage’? The special effects, while it was easy to predict what was being done, made the magic feel magical. Of course, wires were used for floating, even though they were barely visible, and pyrotechnics were cleverly positioned to represent a spell bursting from the tip of a wand. The scene in the lake at the end of Part 1 was done particularly well, with the illusion of swimming executed perfectly by the actors, with the help of set design and lighting. The lighting was well placed throughout the play, with sections of dark stage to aid the illusion of floating while the focus was brought to the front of the action.

Well there’s not much more I can say really without spoiling it apart from ‘GO AND SEE THE CURSED CHILD’! Even if you weren’t mad on the script I definite recommend it if you get the chance because you get so much more out of the play! Let me know if you’ve seen it and what your thoughts were, or your opinions on reading the script!

Until next time…

Jade 🙂

Armchair Reading… Furniture in Bookish Spaces

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… a sneak peak into where we acquire our books and what makes us keep going back!

Hello fellow bookworms! It’s Sunday, which means it’s discussion time. This is when I write to think more deeply about books, why we read, and why literature is so important in our lives. This month, I will be trying to dig deeper into why we choose to buy our books from certain places, and what, besides the books(!) makes us keep going back. Today’s post will look at how furniture is used in full-price and second-hand bookstores and libraries, and why it might make a difference as to whether we visit again…

Waterstones

I’m using Waterstones as my representative for full-price bookstores because it is the one I am the most familiar with, but you can always imagine this as your local Barnes and Noble, or local independent bookstore. When I walk into Waterstones, besides being awed by the number of books available to me, I also see the comfort of a squishy armchair or sofa. This is great (because we can all agree that book shopping can hard work and heavy lifting!) as it allows customers to relax and makes for a more comfortable and homely atmosphere. Also, a lot of Waterstones shops have the addition of a cafe, so, after making a purchase, or if you’ve bought your own book along with you, you can sit back and enjoy your book with a nice cup of tea, while still being surrounded by all of those wonderful books. It it also a great chance to socialise with other book lovers (and perfect for book club meetings)!

Second-hand Bookstores

If you go to a charity shop in hope of a book bargain, you may see a lack of seating. It is, like many second-hand stores, just like a regular shop. You wouldn’t expect many places to have somewhere you can just sit down and have a cuppa, like Waterstones. Just like thrift stores dedicated to books, it is unusual to find places with adequate seating, because they are usually s crammed with books! This can be a good thing, because come on, loads of books, but after you’ve spent hours upon hours rooting through the jumble, there’s no where to have a perch! It comes across as a less relaxed style of shopping, and a more hectic, bargain hunting process. You’ve come to find cheap books, not to spend hours at your leisure browsing the beautiful bookshelves. Of course, I’m not saying that this applies to every second-hand bookstore, but this is just my experience with them. And don’t get me wrong, I do love a good rummage through the old stacks!

The Library

And finally, the place we all adored as young bookworms, and still have a fondness for today (because, hello, free books)! The library is not there to attract book buyers, but rather a relaxed browser who can be set to spend the whole day there (I have lost count of how many times I have spent the entire day in the library). And the reason this can be the case is because of the furniture and why it is there. The library offers a wide range of books, fiction and non fiction alike. They are free for you to browse at will and take home for a few weeks with the presentation of your library card. However, sometimes it’s nice to not have to take books home. With beanbags for the children, chairs for the adults, and desks for the students, anyone can set themselves up for a day at the library. As long as I have everything I need, I am more than happy to sit and work while surrounded by books!

So there you have it, an examination of furniture is bookish places. I bet you’ve never really thought about it much, but here it is in writing, and you may think of it every time you visit the bookstore or the library from now on. I’d love to know what you thought about this post, and if you think the soft furnishings of your local bookstore impact your decision to go back (besides the books, of course!) Also, if you’ve come across any second-hand bookstores with an ample amount of armchairs, I’d love to hear about them!

Until next time…

Jade 🙂

Where on Earth Did You Get All Those Books?

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… a sneak peak into where we acquire our books and what makes us keep going back!

Hello fellow bookworms! It’s Sunday, which means it’s discussion time. This is when I write to think more deeply about books, why we read, and why literature is so important in our lives. Here we are again, at the beginning of a new month, bringing you a new topic for my September discussions. For the next few weeks, I will be trying to dig deeper into why we choose to buy our books from certain places, and what, besides the books(!) makes us keep going back. Today’s post will look at the four main places I, and many others, tend to acquire books, and the pros and cons for each!

‘Full-Priced’ Bookstores

So I’m talking about your local Waterstones or Barnes and Noble, but also the indie bookstores that are scattered about as well.

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Pros

  • Staff that know what they are talking about
  • Books perfectly organised into categories
  • Gorgeous smell of new books!
  • Almost always have the book you are looking for

Cons

  • Full-priced books are expensive
  • You will probably be tempted into buying one anyway
  • The bigger ones you can easily spend hours in and lose track of time
  • They’re just so damn expensive

Second-hand Bookstores

I love a good second hand store, especially the ones that are entirely dedicated to books, but also the ones that give back and raise money for charity! However, there are some issues…

Pros

  • Your purchase tends to go to a good cause
  • You can usually donate books you unhaul as well as buying them
  • Books are cheaper
  • You can come across some gems and hidden treasures sometimes!
  • Old book smell!

Cons

  • The books aren’t brand new (usually)
  • There isn’t a wide selection, it’s just what’s been donated
  • It’s less organised and you have to really rummage sometimes
  • Can be crammed and packed-full, making it difficult to move

Online Stores

Amazon, Book Depository, the websites we love and know our way around too well, the ones that are bookmarked on our browsers! Online is such a convenient way to shop without having to leave the house (big hooray for introverts like me!)

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Pros

  • Books are usually cheaper than the recommended retail price
  • They are still brand new, despite being cheaper
  • There seems to be an endless supply
  • You don’t have to leave the house
  • Finding a book is easier than ever!
  • You can eBooks and Audiobooks if that’s your thing

Cons

  • No book smell at all!
  • You have to wait for the book to be delivered (even with Amazon Prime, the wait can be excruciating!)
  • No staff to talk about books
  • It’s easy to get carried away with online shopping…

The Library

Ah yes, the library! The place where books of all shapes, sizes and genres, are free! I can’t think of anything better than a free book (or 5…)

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Pros

  • You don’t have to pay for the books
  • Depending on the size of the library, there is a wide range to choose from
  • Organised so well it makes me want to marry the Dewey Decimal System!
  • Librarians are so helpful
  • You can access more than just books (many libraries now offer online audiobook and eBook services, as well as DVDs and CDs)

Cons

  • You can only borrow books for a limited amount of time
  • LATE FEES!
  • Your local library might be small and not have everything you want 😦

So that’s it for the start of this month’s bookish discussion! Please feel free to add to my pros and cons list as you wish, there are probably plenty that I have missed! Next week I’ll be talking about how furniture is used in the 3 physical stores mentioned here and why it might tempt you back again and again…

Until next time…

Jade 🙂

August’s Literary Quotes… Discussing Quotes in Literature

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Hello fellow bookworms! It’s Sunday, which means it’s discussion time. This is when I write to think more deeply about books, why we read, and why literature is so important in our lives.
Throughout August, I will be talking about quotations in literature, focusing on why they are so important to us as readers, and what we can do to make the most of these small snippets of literature in our everyday lives. Today’s post is the final instalment in this collection talking about literary quotes, and I will be discussing some quotes I’ve found throughout my August reading, and why they jumped out at me in particular.

“…the distance between stories and real life did not yet seem so great.” – Hollow City

When I was younger, this quote was a lot more true than I feel it is now with children. I felt so connected to stories and believed in fiction a lot more than children these days. Children of this generation are too connected to the real world online and through social media that they forget stories exist; they forget there are so many other alternate universes they can visit in literature. I think it’s so important to establish your own personal distance between reality and stories, and to have a balance between them. After all, stories are used to escape the world we live in.

“Strange, I thought, how you can be living your dreams and your nightmares at the very same time.” – Hollow City

Similar to reading books to escape, you could be struggling in reality, but living the life you wish for whilst reading a book. It’s important to realise that it is possible to be happy and have things to look forward to, as well as be a little bit sad, anxious or worried about things currently happening, or anything in the future. A balance needs to be found between these two emotions, otherwise everything gets a little bit overwhelming! I think this quote sums this feeling up quite nicely.

“Laughing doesn’t make bad things worse any more than crying makes them better…” – Hollow City

This is more of a personally reassuring quote p, as it reminds me it’s okay to feel happy in bad times, and that crying really won’t fix anything, and can sometimes make things feel worse than they are. If crying won’t do any good, then why not laugh instead, because no harm can be done through happiness!

“I am Tessa Grey, and I believe in the importance of stories.” – The Whitechapel Fiend (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #3)

I chose this quote because I believe it to be the most true out of all of these. Stories should be seen as important by everyone in their own way, as they allow us to stretch our imaginations. There are so many lessons to be learned in stories that can be applied to everyday life, but they also supply us with a means of escapism, which is also incredibly important for a lot of people. There aren’t many of us who can stand reality 24/7!

“…you wish to be alone with literature all the time.” – Nothing But Shadows (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #4)

I loved this when I read it, because it made me think about being alone with literature like being with a person to keep you company. You’re never truly alone when you’re reading, and the idea of being able to ‘be with literature’ all the time sounds like a world I want to be living in!

What do you think of the quotes I can across in my reading this month? Have you come across any good quotes whilst reading recently? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time…

Jade 🙂

A Few Favourites…Discussing Quotes in Literature

 

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Hello fellow bookworms! It’s Sunday, which means it’s discussion time. This is when I write to think more deeply about books, why we read, and why literature is so important in our lives.

Throughout August, I will be talking about quotations in literature, focusing on why they are so important to us as readers, and what we can do to make the most of these small snippets of literature in our everyday lives. Today’s post will be focused on some of my favourite quotes in literature and why they stand out to me so much, referring to what I've been discussing over the past couple of weeks.

"Before I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing."

 

To Kill A Mockingbird

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If anyone asks me, this is my favourite quote from all literature I've read. Ever! From the moment I read it for the first time, it took my breath away, I was so struck by such a beautifully written quote. The last part of the quote really embodies what I love about reading. Books and reading are part of and a natural part of what I do. Without books, I don't know where I would be. However, I wouldn't go as far as to say I've never loved to read, but you get the gist!

"To really be a nerd, she'd decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one."

 

Fangirl

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I feel like this quote isn't talking about stereotypical of nerds collectively, but book nerds in particular. A lot of people read to escape, so it's key to prefer the worlds you're reading about to feel the true effects of escapism. Another reason I love this quote is because it reminds me I fictional worlds I can go to if I'm not keen of reality at times. I have another quote in a bit which has a similar affect.

"My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations."

 

The Fault in Our Stars

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As a creative person, this quote is very important to me. I often have a brain full of whirring thoughts and ideas I can't quite put together, and this helps me to realise that the feeling is quite normal. It's also really nice to think of thoughts as stars, far away from being physically tangible, but still a spark of an idea in the darkness, especially when those thoughts are few and far between, as they often can be.

"Whether you come back page by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home."

 

J.K. Rowling

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This quote isn't necessarily from literature, but it is an important quote for me, I couldn't not include it! Like the Fangirl quote, it reminds me I have a second home and, if I'm not really enjoying reality, I have somewhere else to go. I can visit Hogwarts whenever I feel the need to. As readers, I think we are all very grateful to authors to have such an incredible world to escape to and be welcomed into.

"One must always be careful of books, and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us."

 

Clockwork Angel

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This final quote proves that books really do have a lot of influence over what we do, how we act, and how we conduct ourselves in society. I don't know about you, but I often take on small traits from characters I love in a book (*cough* Hermione Granger *cough*). We can sometimes underestimate the immense power that words have over us, and how much they can affect us emotionally. Book appear to just be words of a page, but they can be so much more (scientifically proven when we sob over fictional character's deaths!)

I'd love to know what your favourite quotes from book are, and why you love them so much!

Until next time…

Jade 🙂

P.S I have hand cut paper bookmarks with the first two quotes on available in my Etsy shop!

What’s Comin’ Will Come… Discussing Quotations in Literature

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Hello fellow bookworms! It’s Sunday, which means it’s discussion time. This is when I write to think more deeply about books, why we read, and why literature is so important in our lives.

Throughout August, I will be talking about quotations in literature, focusing on why they are so important to us as readers, and what we can do to make the most of these small snippets of literature in our everyday lives. Today’s post will be focused on my favourite quote from a book series that the majority of the bookworm population have read, enjoyed and will cherish forever… Harry Potter!

Hang on, what did I talk about last week?

So last Sunday I talked about why quotes from literature are so important to us, and how they differ from generally inspiring quotes, as well as how quotes stand out to us when we’re reading, and how we keep track of our favourite quotes. This week, I wanted to share with you one of my favourite quotes from literature, and what it means to me, and explain how we can use our favourite quotes in everyday life.

Who doesn’t love a bit of Harry Potter?!

I thought it would be a good idea to apply what I discussed last week to one of my all time favourite quotes from the Harry Potter series, and explain why it is my favourite quote. This quote is…

What’s comin’ will come, an’ we’ll meet it when it does.

– Hagrid, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Who said it?

Hagrid is known in the Potter books for being slightly dopey, but a very lovable character, but when Voldemort returns, it’s almost like he feels a wave of responsibility for certain things. Of course, he is the keeper of keys for the castle, but he feels an overwhelming sense of protection, towards the trio in particular, but also an urge to guard the castle even more than before with evil in the midst once again. This quote is more than reassurance for Harry, Ron and Hermione, but also for himself, to know that he is a strong and powerful faculty member of Hogwarts who will do whatever he can to protect the students.

The meaning behind the quote

It’s quite a self-explanatory quote- whatever happens in the future is going to happen. We can do as much as possible to change it, but most is inevitable, and we just have to deal with it when whatever ‘it’ is finally arrives.

I have seen quotes similar to this, worded slightly differently, before, and anyone can take inspiration and meaning from them, but what I love about being able to draw meaning from a book that means so much to me, is it’s context. General inspirational quotes you find on Pinterest are great (don’t get me wrong, I have a board or two with a collection of them), but what they lack is the context behind them. Literary quotes have several layers of context, such as who says the quote, and what is happening at the time. The context behind this quote is the fact that Voldemort has just returned to power, which means Hogwarts is in an extremely vulnerable position, as are all students and staff within it. With the risk of battle right around the corner, this quote is perfectly placed towards the end of Goblet of Fire, to provide the characters and us as readers, a sense of reassurance that, even though we know what’s coming, all we can do is prepare as best we can and tackle the problem with heads held high.

Why does this quote mean so much to me?

There are an abundance of quotes throughout the Harry Potter series that speak to people in different ways; it is well renowned for quotes that readers live by. The story itself is full of important life lessons and morals, but it’s this quote in particular that really speaks to me for many reasons. I often (by often, I mean constantly) worry about the future. I want to have the ability to see what’s coming, so I can change it by acting accordingly in the present. I use this quote as a mantra, telling myself that I can only do so much to change the future, and what cannot be changed is going to happen, whether I like it not. I use the second part of the quote to prepare myself, and to make sure I’m ready to ‘meet it when it does’ eventually come my way.

Similar literary quotes

While this quote is my favourite from Harry Potter, I have found other quotes that speak to me in very similar ways. One of those is from Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (which is kind of coincidental…), when Newt Scamander says…

My philosophy is worrying means you suffer twice.

– Newt Scamander, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

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and another one from The Fault In Our Stars…

Nothing to be gained by worrying between now and then. And yet I still worried.

– Hazel Grace, The Fault In Our Stars

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The reason I wanted to talk about Hagrid’s quote instead of these two though, is because you have to read a bit deeper into it to find the meaning. Newt’s and Hazel’s quotes both state worry in the text, whereas Hagrid’s doesn’t, and you have to search around to find the worry within the text, because it is so well contained. This, again, is down to the context. Hagrid doesn’t want to come across worried to the students, therefore he contains his worry in a more positive way. This is what I really like about this quote; while it embodies a feeling of worry, it is displayed in a slightly happier light.

So that’s my favourite quote from the entire Harry Potter series, I hope you enjoyed reading about my (extensive) reasoning why I like this particular quote, and if you read this far without getting a bit bored (I’m sorry, I rambled!), I would love to know what your favourite Harry Potter quote is and why you chose it!

Until next time…

Jade 🙂