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Feb 28,2015

Throughout this month the 'Voice' is the Level 87 Book Club, with not just one writer, but many, sharing their bookish thoughts. Today's writer is Mary, who is 17 and studies at Suzanne Cory High School.

So a few months ago I’m pretty sure that I, a self-confessed voracious reader, hit an all-time reading low: I went and googled “how to get out of a reading rut”  (exact phrasing). Alas, the internet is a strange place, and so instead of google coming up with a bunch of useful, or at least relevant, articles I was faced with things like “how to avoid a winter workout rut” and “10 tips to avoid relationship ruts”... hmm so not exactly what I was looking for (also what makes a workout rut specific to winter??).

Anyways, my recent reading “rut” or “slump” arrived unannounced and without invitation, as they always tend to. I mean at first I didn’t even notice it. I thought that I was simply busy with class and homework, but a few weeks in and I started to feel kind of strange; as cheesy as it sounds, like an element was out of whack. At this point I confronted the issue, and attempted to use google to solve it (unsuccessfully).

Not to fear! I’m happy to be able to say that with the continued support of the Level 87 Book Club, and a few things that I’ve learnt, I’ve managed to successfully overcome my horrible rut. Now, dear reader, I do so hope that you don’t find yourself in a position similar to mine. But, just in case, I’ve compiled a list of four points to help you get out of it:

1. Change up the genre/style/length.
Sometimes you’ve been reading too much of a similar thing, and need “a change of scenery” as one may say. Sure you’re probably keen on a particular type of book, be it science fiction, classics or epic fantasy sagas, but maybe try something fresh, something you wouldn’t normally see yourself reading.

2. Re-read a favourite.
During my rut I ended up going back to one of the first series’ that I called my “favourite”: The Chronicles of Narnia. There’s something so comfortable and homey about re-reading a favourite, it reminds me of why I love reading in the first place.

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3. Check out the library.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but it’s still relevant as heck.

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Feb 26,2015

Throughout this month the 'Voice' is the Level 87 Book Club, with not just one writer, but many, sharing their bookish thoughts. Today's writer is Yohanna, who is 15 and lives by the mantra  'Voldemort is Love, Voldemort is Life. Also Books, that too.'

I think we can all agree that reading is a fundamental part of living; it’s just as important as breathing, if not more so. Yet, one thing I have personally discovered is that there is no such thing as just a reader. There is not one individual who simply, just, reads books. Instead, readers are put into numerous different categories, depending on what they read, how they read and the way they treat their books.

Now, most readers will fall into one of five categories. It is possible, yet very rare, for you to be a hybrid - kind of like a weird werewolf who sucks blood.

The categories go like so:

OCBBW

The OCBBW, or the Obsessive Compulsive Busy Book Worm is your typical overachiever. Due to their hectic schedule of studying, work, athletics, art and sleeping, it’s quite difficult for them to be able to have time to sit down, chill, and read a book. (Which in my opinion is ridiculous, how do they survive without reading?) They’re the type who will plan what they’re going to read, and have already either planned when they're going to to buy the book, or have already bought it and have it sitting on their bookshelf, waiting til they find the time to read it.


MUAOTPBW

The MUAOTPBW, or more commonly known as the ‘Messy Unorganized All Over The Place Book Worm’, is quite a rare type of reader. They are incredibly easy to identify - they have bought over ten bookmarks in their life, yet have lost them all in books so they have to resort to flapping the pages and making dog-ears in our precious books. Their room looks like a library that's forgetten the Dewey Decimal System, and it is incredibly common for them to be reading numerous books at once.

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Feb 20,2015

Three reasons to read Julie 's Side Effects May Vary:

File 287181. Yes, it's another 'cancer book'. But hold your horses before sneezing *JohnGreenCopyCat*. Alice has leukemia and used this diagnosis as an opportunity to get even with everyone who had wronged her. Except...she's now in remission and she'll have to deal with the consequences.

2. Like Hannah in Jay Asher's 13 Reasons Why, Alice is a divisive protagonist. In processing the certainty of her death, she cuts ties everywhere. She's going to die...until she isn't. And she's going to have to start learning to live again.

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Feb 18,2015

If you're looking for a decadent visual feast, look no further than the new Cinderella.

This tale has been rebooted for movie screens and starts Australia's own Cate Blanchett as the devilish step-mother. Her line reading of 'wake up' will go down in the history books - she'll have us all cheering for the villain.

But does the world need another fairytale retold?

Cinderella can be found in cinemas from the 26th of March.

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Feb 11,2015

It's hard to avoid labels in high school, but being called 'the DUFF' (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) is one insult Bianca won't take quietly...

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Feb 09,2015

Throughout this month the 'Voice' is the Level 87 Book Club, with not just one writer, but many, sharing their bookish thoughts. Today's writer is Korik, who is 15 and attends school at Footscray City College. 

Hello readers! I'm Korik and I’m your average 15 year old geeky guy - a fan of Star Trek, RPGs and a frequent dungeon master in the game Dungeons and Dragons. I enjoy the cheesy never-ending fables that come with fantasy series as well as the far-flung concepts present in good sci-fi novels.

I’m the biggest nerd you could ever meet.

 

3 ways to get the best book-time

Have you ever been on the train or bus, brain numbingly bored? Most people take out their phones and stare blankly into their screens playing candy crush or checking their Facebook messages (I guess we all do it sometimes). And then there’s you, the bookworm with a paperback glued to your face in your effort to read. At first you are able to immerse yourself in the battles of Middle Earth or in the halls of Hogwarts but in the middle of the adventure your mind slips. You hear the coughing of a sickly baby, the bleeps and bloops of the flappy bird game the guy next you is playing, and the echoing conversations of your fellow passengers. You try to read against it but you’re playing tug of war with an elephant. Before you know it, you miss your bus stop and worst of all you’ve left Frodo hanging at the steps of Mount Doom.

There are many little things that can kill a good reading experience. 

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While not everyone has the luxury of a warm velvet couch by a cosy fireplace in your secret lunar hideout, here are some tips to help you get most out of your reading time:

1) Read and walk with caution.

This may be a no-brainer to many but read-walking can be very dangerous. Along with the hazard of bumping into people, you may trip and drop your precious book or kindle, at best on the dry grass and at worst in a puddle of smouldering lava.

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Feb 04,2015

Ready to take in the most horrifying falling dream ever?

Take in the magnificence that is the new Insurgent teaser trailer. Shailene Woodley never looked more fierce.

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Feb 02,2015

Throughout this month the 'Voice' is the Level 87 Book Club, with not just one writer, but many, sharing their bookish thoughts. Today's writer is Darvey, who is 15 and attends school at the Gilmore College for Girls. You may remember her from her amazing quiz.

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Picture this: you’re almost finished with the book you’re currently reading. Tension is building up as your favourite character is about to do the unspeakable. Someone calls out to you, but you can’t put the book down. Your eyes devour every word and the scene is being painted in front of you. Your favourite character takes their sudden last breath before closing their eyes forever.
…No. This can’t be happening…
No….
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Unfortunately, authors love to play with our hearts. They have the power to control their characters' fates. They’re just being gods to them.

So Rick Riordan overpowers the Greek and Roman gods? Yes he does.

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Jan 28,2015

The comic adaptations just keep on keepin' on! The latest trailer to tingle my eyeballs is Fantastic Four, where a group of young scientists achieve superhuman abilities after a teleportation experiment goes awry:

It's got Divergent's Miles Teller, as well as Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell as the Fantastic Four.

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Jan 19,2015

Throughout January and February the 'Voice' is the Level 87 Book Club, with not just one writer, but eight, sharing their bookish thoughts. Today's writer is Jillianne, a 15 year old student from St Aloysius College in Victoria.

Hello fellow readers, my name is Jillianne. I'm a pretty normal high school student besides being short for my age - friendly, social, and the occasional loud-laugher. Nothing special, however I'm definitely not the person you should bother when I'm in a bad mood.

Reading is one of my main hobbies and I usually do it as a pastime (if I'm not playing video games or listening to podcasts) since I'm usually very busy. My favourite book genres are fantasy and romance, I just get more consumed by a book that involves love or magic, or both. So basically, I'm your average teenage girl from the 21st century.

 

Second chance reads? 

Some people may not be aware of it, but as readers we tend to criticise authors' writing techniques based only on one of their books. When we don't particularly enjoy one of their books sometimes we don't give their other pieces a chance. There are some readers who do not judge quite as quickly as others might. I, however, am not usually one of them.

I normally tend to ignore or turn down a book that is written by an author whose previous book wasn't quite to my liking. I think I do this because usually every time I read a book, I always have certain expectations or estimations of what will end up happening, and so since the author's book (the one I previously disliked) wasn't up to my expectations, I don't think it's worth my time to read another one of their pieces that might possibly end up being another disappointment. And no one likes being disappointed.

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But seriously, how do you trust an author again after being let down once already?

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