I caught a cold. Thankfully, it’s Friday, and I have plans to meet with a friend after school today. Also, I don’t have to teach any classes because the students have tests and a ceremony of some sort. Japanese people REALLY like ceremonies, just in case you didn’t know.

Next week, we have Tuesday off, so I am going to a party at a friend’s house to celebrate the new Tegomass album and tour. She got me tickets to see them in April, so we need to start planning details.

Last night I went home and thought about just being lazy, and I was, for a while. But after I took a shower, the mess in my apartment just got to me. Something about being clean myself made me want to have a clean room. So I straightened up and did some laundry and vacuumed. It felt so good, and then I had a clean room to read in.

I must say, my Kindle Paperwhite is the best thing ever. I love that thing. You don’t know how anti-e-reader I was until I got that. I have an iPad I could read on with the Kindle app, but the screen would glare and that thing is heavy and NOT made for reading.

But my Paperwhite is better than a book in some ways. It’s new, so it smells amazing, and most of the reason I love books is because I can reach my nose down and sniff them. I wonder how long I will have this new Kindle smell… I hope it lasts for a while. The light on it makes it perfect for reading in bed, and I don’t have to reach up to turn the lights off when I’m done. The screen is a touch screen, and it just has a great feel to it. It almost has that rough paper feel that pages have. I love how light it is, and I bought a pretty case that I can take off when I am at home so that it’s just me and the device.

The best thing, though, is that I can instantly have books in English at my fingertips. Since I live in Japan, the first few months before I found an English section in a bookstore, I was pretty miserable. I hated not being able to just walk into a book store and feel inspired by the words around me. But I feel a bit more satiated now that I know a) I can buy almost anything I want on my Kindle and b) I won’t have to pay for as much shipping when I take my stuff back to America.

Right now I am reading The Book Thief. I really like it so far. The way the narrator explains things is both humorous and dark, so it feels cozy whenever I sit down to read it.

I think I want to make my reading goal of 2014 to read 50 books. I have read three so far: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Ender’s Game, and Hidamari no Kanojo. I need to read about a book a week, and I am slightly behind, so after The Book Thief, I want to read something short afterwards to catch up. I hate feeling behind. I thought about re-reading Animal Farm because it’s less than 100 pages and I don’t think I finished it in high school. I also hated it in high school but now I know I will appreciate it more.

I am going to Nagasaki on Sunday for the Chinese New Year Lantern Festival! I get to go with two of my teachers. Both of them sit next to me, so I think it will be a good trip to get to know them better and make memories. A trip to a new land is just what I need to feel better and more relaxed. I am also really good at reading in the car.

Every now and then I get excited about a new or past project. I am usually bad about finishing things. I need to finish editing my novel, for example, but I am taking a break for a little bit. Now that I know I am going to delay my graduate classes, I have more time to get the edits done, and I don’t want to rush it.

I am also learning Mandarin (Traditional) in order to go to Taiwan this summer, so yesterday instead of reading like I planned, I looked up vocabulary and practiced writing them. Chinese characters are so much easier when you already know them for Japanese. Even when I don’t know the reading for something in Mandarin, I usually already know the general meaning.

I hope to actually do my book haul and Tegomasu Album review soon. Maybe once my head stops throbbing.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Add me on Goodreads and tell me the books you are reading. Anyone else have a reading goal?

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