Category Archives: Personal Development

Paperback Vs Hardback VS Kindle: Which Would You Choose?




Have you been faced with the dilemma of choosing between paperback and hardback when deciding to buy for yourself or as a gift? I’m an avid book reader who can’t find enough time to read. I try to devour words on paper or kindle during my commute to work and on weekends. I have about 15 minutes of train wait and a 40 minute commute every weekday morning to enjoy this moment of bliss. This is when I take time to read. On Friday after teaching, I’d look forward to going to a cafe just to snatch at least half an hour of reading time while sipping hot mocha. That is my moment of peace and that space is sacred. It is a luxury. 


At times I feel I live for moments to be with my characters and the setting and get involved in the plot. If I were to read non-fiction which I regularly alternate between fiction, I am totally absorbed in the words, ideas and new pieces of information that I hang on to in a way that I can ponder throughout the day. I usually share my readings on Instagram – emmiethyst. I share my love for books, crystals, nature, interesting places, architecture, food and other things of interest. I’m not a narcissist, so you won’t find photos of me there. 

Anyway, to get back to the topic, I was recently confronted with choosing between hardback and paperback. I had a long list of books I wanted to purchase but eventually decided on 3 books: two hardbacks and one paperback. Here’s why:

1) I buy paperback fiction written by my favourite authors

I stick to this rule of buying paperback fiction only written by my favourite writers. I adore fiction by Daphne Du Murier, Ernest Hemingway, Maeve Binchy,  Jhumpa Lahiri, Paulo Coelho, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Laura Esquivel and Isabel Allende. Rule of thumb for me is to buy paperback from these authors so I can keep them for sentimental value after reading them. I can read these books again and again when I feel so inclined in the future. 

2) I buy fiction by other authors on kindle

I buy fiction on kindle by authors other than my favourite ones listed above. This is because books on kindle are cheaper, at an average of AU$10 a copy. They are also read just once and buying them digitally means they don’t collect dust and save storage space. They are also convenient to carry around.  

3) I buy non-fiction paperback in general

I have always bought non-fiction books on paperback. At times I buy them on kindle if there are newly arrived and too expensive. I find that it’s worth buying paperback non-fiction as these are the books I constantly refer to when I need to find inspiration or a new idea or a relevant quote in my writing. 

4) I buy non-fiction hardcover if I really want them quick and get a bargain

Of late, I’ve bought newly published hardcover non-fiction books as they are reasonably priced and the difference in cost is slight when compared to the kindle version. Why didn’t I wait for the paperback ones to be published? Apparently, I can’t wait to own them and when I can get a good discount, I will jump on the opportunity. 

These are hardback books  I recently purchased:

Silence in the age of noise

silence in the age of noise


The gist of this book is to find pockets of silence and destress during a commute or walking through nature. It talks about learning to listen and reflect.  

 Ikigai – The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life


This book is about how having a strong sense of ikigai—the place where passion, mission, vocation, and profession intersect—means that each day is infused with meaning. It’s the reason we get up in the morning. It’s also the reason many Japanese never really retire. I guess I’m curious to find out. 

I am looking out for the novel ‘Go, Went, Gone’ by Genny Erpenbeck that tells the tale of Richard, a retired classics professor who lives in Berlin. His wife has died, and he lives a routine existence until one day he spies some African refugees staging a hunger strike in Alexanderplatz. Curiosity turns to compassion and an inner transformation, as he visits their shelter, interviews them, and becomes embroiled in their harrowing fates. This book is available on hardcover now, so I’m waiting for the paperback version or mayl get it on kindle since it is a fiction. 

Another book I’m looking out for in paperback is ‘Dear World’ by Bana Alabed. It’s written by a seven year-old Syrian girl, with the help of her mother, who describes the horrors of war. 

So many books, so little time. Yes, I want to devour as many books and since I have little time to spare, I will take precious pockets of time to indulge in books. Paperback, hardcover or kindle, the choice is personal. What are your thoughts on this? 




The New Year has descended upon us again. We tend to desire a change for the better. Hence, we make new resolutions hoping to become slimmer, healthier, more beautiful, wealthier and more organised perhaps through journaling. Shops and news agencies stack organisers, planners and journals to target the planners, organisers and journal enthusiasts who are aware of the benefits of journaling. 

Typo has recently launched a 50% discount sale of selected items. These include weekly planners, journals and stationery. I purchased a handful of journals and weekly planner with the aim of being organised at work as well as continue with journaling which can be therapeutic and reflective.

On that note, I must mention a special journal containing prompts that I stumbled upon at Typo. Entitled ‘Do you ever ask yourself what if?’, each page contains a prompt starting with ‘What if….’. Interesting and creative, the prompts help the writer to reflect deeply and write about things that he or she has never thought of. Examples are ‘What if you could change your personality? What would you change?’, What if you could meet someone who inspires you? Who would it be?’, ‘”What if you could take over a company? What would it be and why?’. There are prompts that require deeper amount of thinking or even some amount of research work than others. On the whole, I feel that this journal is a keepsake and it comes in handy for those who have problems in thinking of what to write.  

Benefits of journal writing

  1. It is cathartic

Journal writing requires you to be in a clear frame of mind. It allows you to pour your thoughts and feelings which can be a healthy outlet for venting your anger, letting your emotions flow and penning your worries. In short, it is a personal therapy session.

  1. It activates your brain

Journaling makes you reflect on past events and consider your thoughts and feelings about it as well as about the people involved. It makes you delve deeper into your psyche and think about things which you may not have considered before.

  1. It helps in personal development  

By penning your thoughts and feelings, you get to understand yourself better. This comes to the fore when you flip through past entries and realise how far you have come or changed.

  1. It improves your writing

Daily journaling helps you improve your writing and the way you express yourself. You sharpen your writing skills and are more aware of word choices as you write.


When to write

The best times are in the morning before you start the day when your mind is still fresh and before you retire for the night. The latter is the time when you get to reflect of the days happenings and pen significant thoughts and events that have transpired during the day.

Where to write

Find a quiet place to journal so you can concentrate and organise your thoughts. Pen down what comes to your mind and let your thoughts flow on paper. Use that time frame and mental space to write, write, write.

You’ll be amazed with the ideas that you put down on paper and how much you have achieved or developed within a certain time frame. So if you are still contemplating whether you should start  journaling, do it Now or Never!