Hi! Okay, if I’m going to be honest, I am terrible at talking about myself and I kind of have a love hate relationship with it. It’s always an easier situation when I have someone who is asking me questions because then it’s easier for me to follow from point a to point b. However, I’m going to give this my best shot and I hope in the end you’ll learn a thing or two about me.
My name is Ashley, which is a name I have grown to love but hated when I was younger because it was so common. I’m in my twenties, starting to edge into the later half of them but I don’t like to think about it too much. I work as a teacher in a small town on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. I teach high school English and I love it a lot. Teaching is my unexpected love, and I’m so desperately glad that I found it. I’m sure I’ll talk about it in the future so I won’t go on about it all too much now.
I’ve always been a reader. I can’t remember a time when reading wasn’t one of the great loves of my life. I remember taking out two Nancy Drew books from the library in my elementary school each week and then reading them sneakily under my desk. I remember falling in love with Harry Potter. I remember reading the Royal Diaries books and falling in love with history as well. Books and reading have been a guiding force in my life for as long as I can remember, and I don’t see them going away any time soon.
I will admit to a lapse in my reading. When I did my first undergrad degree, I stopped reading as much. I wouldn’t say that I fell out of love with reading, but it was a bit of a separation. I think I could have found time to read if I really wanted to, but I was being a bit of a bad student and lapsing on my school readings and I felt that if I wasn’t doing all of the readings for my classes then I should probably not read for fun. I’d come back during the holidays and beg books for their forgiveness. They always took me back willingly and forgave me more easily for being gone than my cat did.
Lately I have gotten more into reading than ever before. When I got into my teaching program, I was living farther away from campus than ever before. I had to take the bus to get to campus and so I started to use that time to read. My Kobo got a lot of good usage over that year and when I finished my degree, moved back home, and began to bus to work I continued to read on my ride. I discovered GoodReads and BookTube and all of these wonderful bookish communities and became even more and more entrenched. So when Kari suggested we start a bookish blog, I couldn’t say no. Partly because I loved the idea of having another venue to talk about books and partly because I have no will power. On the whole, it’s just because I really love to talk about books.
I like to say that I’m an equal opportunity reader, but if I’m being honest that’s not completely true. I love to read but I can be quite picky. I’ve always been pretty firmly planted in the YA category, but please keep in mind that I’m categorically bad at categorizing. I love fantasy, sci-fi, dystopian, magical realism, thrillers, contemporary, and so many more. However, I’m not really interested in the super typical teen drama book and I don’t like smut books or those overly long and boring adult books. I wish I could give some hard and fast rules for the path to my reader’s heart, but I can’t because I’m also very much a mood reader. I have to follow my heart.
Maybe it will help if I say a little bit about the books I have loved a lot. The Harry Potter books were formative for me. I loved them from when I first got my hands on them and though they were always gifts for me and my brother, I always read them first because I was (and still am) a fast reader. It’s a long lasting love, the one I feel for Harry Potter, because even now I know that Hogwarts is always there to welcome me home. I’ve also loved the two worlds that Tamora Pierce created. I think I discovered the Tortall books out of order in my local library when I was younger, probably late elementary school age, and since that time I have read and re-read the books. The wonderful, strong, diverse major female characters showed me how a woman could be and that there wasn’t just one way. I’ve read all of her books from Tortall and Emelan (most multiple times). Recently I read The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw and was amazed. I can be compulsive about my reading and have a difficult time stopping, but this book I just devoured it; I loved it so much. I am the type of person who has a terrible time choosing a favourite book because that’s like picking my favourite child but if you were to ask me at the moment what my favourite book is, I would definitely answer with this one. I’ve read a lot of really fantastic books lately.
Outside of reading, I’m an avid consumer of media. I love watching Netflix (recently finished binging through Grey’s Anatomy), and going to see movies. I have a lot of shows that I follow, but I can be really terrible at keeping up with them as I go. I love How to Get Away with Murder, Riverdale, Shadowhunters, Grey’s Anatomy, Green Arrow (I’m way behind), This is Us, and probably too many more than that even. I like to play video games, but very casually. My typical poisons are The Sims, Pokemon, varying different Mario ones, and a little bit of Zelda.
I feel like that’s a very shallow overview of who I am as a person, but it’s hard to dive in deep and to tell strangers my deepest thoughts and desires. So maybe you’ll get to know me a little bit over the course of this blog, but you won’t get to know everything in this single post. Of course, who’s to say that you even want to know about me? So stick around and we can talk about books, which will always be way more interesting than I am. 🙂