The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who’ll get me a book I ain’t read.Abraham Lincoln
As I write this I am filled with so much joy seeing how many book exchange events our book club has done since 2018. Our latest annual Valentine book exchange is the sixth event already. The best part for me is how my book club friends also send a lot of treats for my son, now officially our youngest honorary member. I do hope you all are ready for a lot of cute unboxing photos today. Since I was on a blogging slump last December I wasn’t really able to share what I got from our Christmas book exchange. So I’d also love to talk about that first before we go to our “main event”.
Bookish Secret Santa 2020
Sweet girl Gianne (IG @giang.reads) was my Secret Santa last year. In our book club, we normally submit a wish list of the titles we want, ideally more than one so that it will still be a surprise when we open our gift, plus whatever else we may want to receive. For example, for me I always mention needing more stationery and journaling stuff.
I’m so happy to finally get My Neighbor Totoro. Most of my friends know that I’m a huge Studio Ghibli fan and this novelization has been on my wish list since forever. This book mail came with a lot of washi tapes, note pads, stickers and art from local artists. One item that turned out to be really special is the bookmark stencil. I have since then collected more stencil sets and they have been super helpful to me when creating journal spreads.
Valentine Book Exchange 2021
For our Valentine book exchange we decided to have a color theme: it is up to us whether we want to receive items of our favorite color or any other color we prefer. Of course I chose pink! The person who picked me, the gorgeous Jaed (IG @wanderlustbibliophile) surprised me with more than pink items. I guess all of my friends know I LOVE florals, and the stickers she gifted me are from some of my favorite local artists: Kara Leonardia and Peregrina.
The book, A Gentleman in Moscow has been on my book exchange wish list since 2019 and I don’t know why it hasn’t been picked by my friends for me earlier. But I’m super happy to have it on my shelves now. I always say that there are not that many people who are confident enough to give me books, so it’s fun to have a group of friends that is always willing to fulfill my wish list. When I look back at how we first met and connected through the internet, I don’t think I’d have believed our friendship will only get stronger as the years go by– even survive a pandemic. But I guess that’s just one of the many magical effects of books!
My Forever Valentine
Of course I couldn’t end this without sharing my very own Valentine. The thing I miss the most pre-pandemic is how my husband and I would go out on random dates, just the two of us food tripping, café hopping and discovering books together in our favorite bookstore. We stay mostly at home now, and only went out once or twice the past year. I don’t mind the “self-quarantine.” I’m fortunate enough to be locked down with my partner and best friend.
For this year’s Valentine, I got him The Drifting Classroom: Perfect Edition, Vol. 1. I have been hunting a copy of this since last December, and though I failed at Christmas, it came at the perfect time for love month. For this year’s V-day we ordered all of our favorite comfort foods, and (as always) shared our love for each other and for horror manga ❤