reading for fun

I am lucky that I have the luxury of enjoying books to my delight.  However, there are times when I am overloaded with elements of life – work, school, and family take precedence over reading for leisure.  This is one of those times.  Along with working a full-time job, I am taking two evening courses.  I am out of practice when it comes to studying.  Reading a novel, I am great at; reading a textbook is another story.  I take pride in the skill that I have to break down what I read to retain the importance of the content.  This process will take me longer than it would to read a Dean Koontz thriller but I know that it is beneficial for me in the long run.  As these courses come to close end, I have read and reread the chapters of my textbooks countless of times and had numerous cups of tea to help keep me awake.  I am looking forward to the end when my reward will be the latest thriller by Linda Howard and a nice fruity tea from Teavana.  Click below links for details on book (author) and tea.

Linda Howard

tv

Teavana

 

high tea

I have a group of friends with whom I go to high tea with.  This is a ritual that came about when the first one of us got married and had her bridal shower at a high tea café.  After that, we chose every occasion to take place at the next best tea shop.  I enjoy the delicacy of the finger foods as well as the classy presentation of the tea service.  It brings the entire experience of tea drinking to a whole new level.  Vancouver has an abundance of tea salons that offer a full Afternoon tea to an assortment of lunch menus with tea accompanying.  I am lucky to have tried more than a handful of these locations and am very excited that the list is long and we have plenty of locations to choose from.  The best part about these tea shops is that they offer tea for sale, which I tak full advantage of.  After a fulfilling meal with unlimited tea, I head home to the best digestive aid of all – a book.

See below for links to my favorite high tea places.

Anna’s top three High Tea places in Vancover:

Secret Garden Tea Company

Neverland Tea Salon

Patisserie Fur Elise

borrowing books

The library is one of my favorite places in the world.  I started going there at a young age when my parents thought it was the only place that five kids could (quietly) run free and (hopefully) learn something.  My little brother went directly to the comics, my eldest sister found a table to study at, my two other sisters would search out the latest magazines for the latest trends while I went from aisle to aisle absorbing as many titles and authors as I could.  We were allowed to take two books out each.  I savored those two books religiously until the due date – until our next trip to the library.  Today, I visit the library at least once a week.  I am lucky that there is a library in my work neighborhood, one on my route home from work, and one right up the street from where I live.  I have made lifelong friends with libraries and I will continue to go for as long as I could.  They don’t allow open beverages in the library so I can’t enjoy my tea while browsing for books.  It is still a great feeling to leave with my very own selection of borrowed books.  Click on the link to below to see list of Vancouver Public Library.

vpl

Vancouver Public Library

setting the mood

I love a good Romance novel.  The more dramatic and romantic the story, the better!  This guilty pleasure might have something to do with what a boring life I live. This week I have submersed myself into the latest book in Bronwen Evan’s Disgraced Lords series – A Night of Forever.  I have been an avid fan of this series because it involves strong lead characters with mystery and suspense and of course a happy ending!  I tend to read books in a series because I love the connection and history that the characters have with one another.  There is something cool about a new storyline and when a reference is made of a place or character from a previous book, the familiarity is comforting.  The stories that are intertwined make it all the more interesting.  I would enjoy with this book a cup of tea from TWG.  It is called Amour de The, “a sensual Darjeeling tea blended with delicate rose blossoms and leaves of pure gold.” Pretty appropriate for the romantic mood, don’t you think?  See links below for both tea and book details.

                                                    Amour de The                               Bronwen Evans

used books

I have been a book worm my entire life.  In Kindergarten, I could not get enough of the Little Golden books.  I eventually graduated to the Baby Sitter’s Club series and Sweet Valley Twins series – I had to have them all.  Now, my tastes range from the latest thriller to the hottest romance novels.  I’ll throw in a book of poetry and a classic when I am in the mood.  Borrowing from the library is good and well but it is not the same as owning your own copy of a classic or best-seller.  It’s too bad that I only have so much space in my apartment for my collection of books.  If I could be, I would be surrounded by books, books, and books!  Once in a while, I would make a pile of books to donate and books to keep.  It is with a touch of sadness that I could part with any book but it is the only way that I could make room for more.  I donate to any book drive or to the nearest Salvation Army.  Along with having limited space, I also have limited funds to supplement my reading addiction.  I never buy new – used is the only way to go.  One of my favorite used book joints in Vancouver is the Book Warehouse on West Broadway.  There is a great selection of used books in good condition and the price is a fraction of what the brand new version would retail. Of course, where there is a book store, you can believe there is a tea shop within distance.  With my arm full of books from the Book Warehouse, I am heading across the street to the Pekoe Tea Lounge for a cup of creamy Earl Grey.  Clink on the links below for details on book (store) and tea (shop).

Pekoe Tea Lounge                               Book Warehouse

spark joy – by Marie Kondo

The first weekend of spring has arrived!  The weather forecast calls for a mix of sun and rain but that has no bearing on my plans which is to declutter and organize!  I have in my hands Spark Joy by Marie Kondo.  This book is not quite a sequel to Marie Kondo’s first best-seller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up ­­– it is more of an extension of her practice of decluttering and organizing.  Spark Joy is a more in-depth account of the KonMari Method of tidying and it’s filled with illustrations to help the reader visually appreciate the process.  I have finished half of this book and it has filled me with the determination to start tidying up today.  My cup of tea for the day is Kale Matcha which I found at David’s Tea.  This sharp blend is rich and delicious and will give me just the energizing boost I need to start (and hopefully finish) this task.  There is just nothing better than to approach a daunting chore fully armed with inspirational words and revitalizing sustenance.

Click on the links below for more details on both book and tea.

                                          Spark Joy                                           Kale Matcha