where to get cheap books + thrift store book haul

i’ve bought sixteen books this week and i’ve spent under $20. that might sound rather impossible, because readers know that books can be ridiculously expensive. but it can be done, and i’m going to share with you where i find such cheap books. :)


amazon (used)

before you buy a book on amazon, you should check out those little used and new links below the format options. they’ll take you to a new page with more listings on it. you can get the same book for a much better price, just from a different seller. so i could buy the book in the picture for the actual price ($7.99), or i could get another new copy for $1.75.

book outlet

i found out about book outlet through mya’s unboxing post, and it’s a great site. they have tons of popular books, all priced much lower than if you bought them from a book store. plus, you can earn points (aka discounts) by purchasing books and completing little challenges.

i ordered six books from them last week. at the moment, i’m reading i am princess x, but i’m hoping to finish it today so i can start on moxie.

book fairs

i don’t know if everyone has one of these, but basically, the book fair is a warehouse that’s stuffed with inexpensive books. i think i’ve gotten more than half of my books there. they’ve got just about every book imaginable, and i always end up leaving with way more than i planned on buying.

i would suggest looking online to see if there are any book fairs near you, because it’s an amazing experience for book lovers.

thrift stores

my favorite place to buy cheap books is definitely thrift stores. i’ve gotten about thirty books from them this year, and i doubt i’ve spent more than that. most books at thrift stores are a dollar or less.

the best thing about shopping at thrift stores is that there’s always something new, and sometimes you can get really great surprises. for example, i found a signed copy of a court of thorns and roses by sarah j. maas.


now for that book haul!

i’ve been on a reading kick lately (if you follow me on goodreads, you know). unfortunately, i haven’t been able to go to the library as often as i would like, so i had to buy new reading material instead. i went to three thrift stores in two days, and this is what i found:

i’ve read a few of these before (the arctic incident, a grimm warning), but the rest are all new to me, and i have no idea what most of them are about. i don’t read book summaries anymore and i’m not sure why. at least that way every book is a surprise.

the books i’m most excited about reading are the rest of us just live here by patrick ness and peaches by jodi lynn anderson (she’s one of my favorite authors).


what are your favorite ways to buy cheap books? have you read any of the books in my haul?

xo apollo

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life, i guess (2)

a bunch of exciting stuff has been going on in my life recently, and i thought i’d share everything with you guys by dumping it into one post.

our cabin

– my best friend izzy and i spent the first weekend of june being counselors at camp victory. every year, our church takes their after school program up to the camp to have fun and learn more about God. we were put in a cabin with the elementary school girls, but we were primarily assisting the younger ones. izzy’s family has been helping for years, but this was my first time. i sort of hated it, but i know i’ll go again next year if i get the chance.

izzy!

highlights:

– i carried so many girls on my back that i have bruises on my hips from their legs.
– it rained pretty much nonstop. there were about two hours on saturday when it wasn’t raining and we got to play games outside, but it was pouring the rest of the time.
– one of those games involved running around with a dead octopus. izzy got a bit too into it and ripped off a tentacle.
– they made us do zumba every morning. that was . . . something.
– i got into the pool with izzy when i was fully clothed. it was fun and all, but i didn’t bring enough dry clothes, and the t-shirt i was wearing at the time was white and kind of thin. still, i’m glad she convinced me to do it.
– the girls in our cabin decided that our group would be named the “glitter star bears.” we had to do a cheer about it at every meal and it was sort of awful.
– we had a movie night on saturday, and someone told me we were watching shrek, so i was naturally very excited. they lied, though, and we were really watching monsters university. don’t get me wrong, i love that movie, but i had my heart set on shrek.
– i slept in the leaders’ cabin the last night because our girls were so loud and stayed up really late. sadly, i didn’t sleep any better up there, and i ended up getting about four hours of sleep over the whole weekend. also, there were roaches in the cabin and a snake in the bathroom. :)

– my brother was at a karate tournament the same weekend i was at camp. he did a roundoff backflip during his first kata, landed wrong, and ended up breaking his foot and injuring his knee. but he got back up, completed the kata, and got second place. his foot was broken in three places, i think, and he had surgery on monday to fix it.

– i found out last week that i’m old enough to work at my summer camp as a counselor in training! since i’m a girl and it’s a boy scout camp, i didn’t think it was likely that i would be accepted, but somehow i was. i’m ridiculously excited for this, because i’ve wanted to work at camp since i first went there in 2016.

getting ready for camp has taken a lot of work. i had to complete three online courses, do a bunch of paperwork, and buy a venture scouts uniform (unfortunately, the guy that ordered it got the wrong size). on top of all that, i’m leaving today for a training session at the camp and i won’t be back until friday night.

– a few months ago, my math teacher saw me drawing in class and asked me to make a new mathematics-themed poster for him. i sort of forgot about it until the last two weeks of school, so i had to rush to get it done. i worked on it for nine hours (most of which was probably organizing art supplies on the table), but i finished it in time. my favorite part is the blue jay, i think i did a good job coloring it in.

– this is maybe less important than the others, but i’ve heard that love, simon is being put on netflix this month, and i am so excited to watch it again. i love the soundtrack, i love the book it’s based on, and i am so ready to cry at the ending again. happy pride month, by the way! 🌈

– a few people have been asking if i’m going to do cwwc again this year. i’m sorry to say it, but i won’t be. i just have too much planned this summer, so i think it’s unlikely that i’ll have an entire month that i can dedicate to it. sorry!

have a good day! :)

xo apollo

may memoir

(i decided to combine my april and may memoirs. if i hadn’t, both posts would have been really short.)

documenting a month through poems and journal entries and song lyrics so it doesn’t get lost in the gray fog that is my life.


i. so, look, i don’t know how to say this, but i was lying when i told you i didn’t know if i was still in love with you. i just don’t know what to do and it feels like my ribcage is going to crack open if i don’t say something soon. i don’t want perfect dates and clichĂ© romance, i just want real, messy love, but i’m afraid that no matter how much i want it, this is not going to work.

ii. tonight my heart’s on the loose. talk myself out of feeling, talk myself out of control. talk myself out of falling in love, falling in love with you. (oh love // green day)

iii. it’s not fair! god, it’s not fair, how i could have lived anywhere in the world and i got stuck in the mountains with someone i will love forever from the background. this forsaken town aches because your name is plastered across every billboard, and even though it’s killing me to stay, i am too stubborn to leave.

iv. i’m talking to the ceiling. my life just lost all meaning. do one thing for me tonight, i’m dying in this silence. the last star left in heaven is falling down to earth, and . . . do you still feel the same way? (here’s your letter // blink-182)

v. here is my question for you: when will you stop hurting me? again and again, you appear in my life just to slip out without a word the next day. you take a shard of my heart every time you go; the unsaid goodbyes are eating me alive. i’ve had my heart broken by you enough times that there is not much left of me.

vi. weep for yourself, my man, you’ll never be what is in your heart. weep, little lion man, you’re not as brave as you were at the start. rate yourself and rake yourself; take all the courage you have left and waste it on fixing all the problems that you made in your own head. (little lion man // mumford & sons)

vii. so you can’t see me tonight; so you still can’t look me in the eyes. you may not be able to do everything, but i’m begging you — give me time to heal before you say “hello and i’m sorry” for the hundredth time.

viii. remember all those countless nights when i told you i loved you? and to never forget it — oh, just forget it! (your graduation // modern baseball)

ix. i am so upset that no one believes me! what will it take to make anyone care? i will have to be covered in my own blood with a split lip and broken nose before someone decides i am worthy of their help.

x. i want you to stop insisting that i’m not a lost cause, ’cause i’ve been through a lot. really all i’ve got is just to stay pissed off, if it’s alright by you. (rose-colored boy // paramore)

xi. why do you have to grin at me like that when i talk? you’re making me lose my train of thought.

i am going to miss you and the smell of cut grass and the dandelions tucked into your curls so much over the lonely summer months.

xii. it was summer when i saw your face, looked like a teenage runaway. oh god, i never thought we’d take it that far. some killer queen you are. (rollercoaster // bleachers)

xiii. i am sitting on top of a hill at night. lights from houses blink below us like fireflies. us — someone is crouched beside me, holding my hand. who are you?

blood, blood, dripping all over me, from my chest. an angel with sunkissed skin, blonde hair, and no wings climbs the hill and sits by my feet. his voice is soft, his fingers warm as they dip into the blood. softly, warmly, gently — i am going to hell.

xiv. i have this dream that i am hitting my dad with a baseball bat, and he is screaming and crying for help. and maybe halfway through, it has more to do with me killing him than it ever did with protecting myself. (father // the front bottoms)

xv. it makes me so sad that after seven months, we were finally in the same place at the same time, and i didn’t even say hello. i guess the timing just didn’t work out. it never seems to, for the two of us. please forgive me.

xvi. we’re alike, you and i. two blue hearts locked in our wrong minds. so can we make the most out of no time? can you hold me? can you make me leave my demons and my broken pieces behind? (WILD // troye sivan)


other songs to listen to:

not warriors // waterparks
still be around // a summer high
my my my! // troye sivan
i want to hold your hand // the beatles
the faster the treadmill // i fight dragons
never fall in love // jack antonoff, MØ
love me // the 1975
that girl // all time low
fake happy // paramore
stay the night // green day
HOLD ME TIGHT OR DON’T // fall out boy
don’t come down // the maine
dumpweed // blink-182
am i pretty? // the maine
when you see my friends // mayday parade


life updates

| inspired by the lovely rutvi |

– my last soccer game is tomorrow, and i’m probably more sad about that than i should be. but my team this season is the best one i’ve ever played with. (or my favorite, anyway.) i’ve made friends with some guys i’ll be going to school with, and i think i’ve become a much better player, thanks to my amazing coach. i’ll definitely miss my team (oddly named kfc/kfbees) over the summer, but i think most of us are coming back for the fall season.

– me, my brother, and a few of our friends hung out at a bubble tea cafĂ© one night. we watched shrek and played this really disturbing card game called exploding kittens. anyway, i know bubble tea is a trend right now, but i think it’s really gross? the drink i got was called orange green tea, i think, and while that tasted pretty good, i nearly threw up when i ate one of the bubbles. i strongly believe that that’s what an eyeball would taste like.

– last year, my friend izzy and i started working on the fishing badge at summer camp. since we weren’t allowed to keep the fish we caught at the lake, we weren’t able to complete the last requirement, which is to gut a fish. fortunately, my dad is a fisherman, so he brought us two fish and we cleaned them in the parking lot after soccer practice. it was really disgusting because they still had eyes, and mine bled more than izzy’s. still, i’m glad i finally have my badge. :)

– to earn our ahg level awards, another girl and i hosted a badge workshop. we met up at a park one morning and helped some of the younger members earn their nature & wildlife badge. we taught them about native animals, did a birdfeeder craft, took a short hike, identified edible plants,  picked up trash, etc., all in one hour. it was actually quite fun, and i guess i enjoy working with kids? who knew.

have a great day!

xo apollo

room tour

i’ve wanted to do a room tour for ages, but my bedroom has always been kind of mess. so over the past few months, i’ve slowly been getting my room to where i want it: i finished painting my bed, i hung up the tapestry i got in d.c., i bought accessories, etc. and i’m happy to say that my room is finally pretty enough to share.

well, the real reason this post took so long to make is that i didn’t want to clean. but i was on a productivity kick this week and swept, washed my sheets, watered all my plants, put away my clothes, and wiped (some of) the watercolor stains off my desk. i had to take the pictures for this before my room returned to it’s natural state (aka a disaster), because it’s probably never going to be this clean again.

i love seeing my friends’ rooms for the first time, because i feel like it’s a reflection of who they are. for example, my brother’s room has looked like a dump for the past five years, which perfectly displays his apathetic personality. my best friend’s room is covered in her own artwork. so i thought letting you guys see what my room looks like would help you get to know me better or something.

also, i’m so sorry about the quality of these pictures. the lighting in my room is always horrible, and this is the best i could do.

sorry for getting sidetracked. let’s get into it, i guess.


here it is! :)

my room has been all different shades of ugly in the past, such as dark blue, pale yellow, and lime green, and now it’s back to blue with white and orange accents. the walls are actually two different colors: the one behind my desk is a slightly lighter blue than the others.

here’s a mirror i “borrowed” from my brother years ago and never gave back!

to the right of my mirror is my dresser and dragon tapestry. i don’t like the dresser that much because it doesn’t match the rest of my furniture, but i think it’s special to my mom because she won’t let me get rid of it.

my dresser is sort of where weird knickknacks go to die. there are a bunch of little trinkets on it that i don’t know where else to put.

i have a glass bowl with my favorite lip balms, a piece of petrified wood that i got for valentine’s day last year, some amethyst, and a 10th doctor funko pop that was a christmas present from my brother.

a cactus made out of rocks, some adorable clay animals that megan made, and a tiny music box that plays the song somewhere over the rainbow.

a wormaid from megan, an octopus from allison, a mermaid figurine, and more amethyst.

i usually have some flowers in my room. the current ones are poppies and bachelors buttons.

here’s my favorite part of my room: my desk area. i got the desk from my neighbor years ago and keep painting it different colors to match my room.

i keep some art supplies in a custom mug i got for christmas.

i have an embroidered twenty one pilots quote, an artist mannequin, more flowers, and a salt lamp. apparently salt lamps are supposed to help with anxiety, but i don’t think mine works.

my desk drawers are always messy, especially the bottom one. it’s stuffed with letters and old journals and also some 3ds games. i think my whole life story could be discovered from the contents of that drawer.

the next drawer up is where my sketchbooks, artist trading cards, and drawing books live.

i keep my markers/pens/colored pencils in the top drawer. this drawer used to contains tons and tons of crayons. i’m not sure why.

above the desk is a strand of lights! i’ve hung special odds and ends from the lower section.

there are some paint swatches and a love, simon movie ticket, which i talked about in my latest art post.

a pressed flower crown from my last day of co-op and a sketch from a nature journaling class.

an atc and an old photograph of the light of my life. she hates it, but i think it’s cute. :)

i was trying to figure out how to play the end of all things // panic! at the disco on the ukulele and came up with this.

a weird picture i cut out of a magazine and a paper chain.

my closet is on the other side of the room. there are lots of odd things in there, like a flag from summer camp that reads “semper ubi sub ubi,” (“always wear underwear” in latin) shinguards that haven’t been washed in five seasons, a sort of shrine to one of my dead cats, and maybe even an entire person. who really knows.

beside the closet is my loft bed. it was originally purple, but i painted it white last christmas. or started painting it, anyway. it didn’t actually get finished until a few days ago.

i made my bed for the first time in years to take this picture. it’s extremely hard to make your bed when it’s so far off the ground.

beneath my bed is my reading corner. it’s just a costco dog bed with a body pillow bent around it, but it’s very comfortable. my three favorite stuffed animals live there, who are creatively named kitty and pink bunny. i don’t think i ever named the dog.

my new bookshelf is also under my bed. my parents helped me make it, and i painted the whole thing. unfortunately, i’ve already filled it up, so we’ll have to make another one soon.

i can reach the top of the bookshelf from my bed, so i keep a journal, pen, and flashlight there. that way, i can easily get to some distractions when it’s late and i still haven’t gone to sleep.

my ever growing plant collection takes up one of my windowsills. i’m surprised that they’ve stayed alive this long.

my other windowsill is home to a wooden L (a christmas present from kelsie), a party favor from my friend izzy, and a soccer trophy from elementary school. maybe it’s a dumb thing to keep, since my team didn’t actually win anything, but it’s from the coach who made me fall in love with the sport, so it’s special.

there are two little hooks beside my windows that i hang my favorite necklaces from.

this isn’t super important, but look at how cool my light is! it casts a pretty pattern on the ceiling and makes me feel like i’m on a pirate ship.


so that’s my bedroom! i hope you enjoyed the tour. :)

there’s an empty piece of wall beneath the windows, and i might turn it into one of those picture walls that you see everywhere on tumblr. i’ll definitely show you guys if i ever get around to doing that.

have a good day!

xo apollo

end of may or early june

there are days when i am bursting at the seams with light
i have daises in my hair and a love song on my lips
my forearms face the sun
i am lovely and so is the world
i believe i could live in the color yellow

and there are days when i am the static on the radio
i am lying on the floor of my room with the blinds closed
my mind is drifting
you could press your lips against mine for the first time
and i would not unbury myself to murmur i love you back
time has stopped in my suburban tomb and in my heart
i am frozen, a cold metal frame of a human
the world keeps moving on without me in it
i know because i can watch the shades of sunsets drip down my wall
and because the knocks on the door have stopped

but i will come back someday, maybe tomorrow
and i will sing my love songs with more passion than before
now i know what it is like to be alone and forgotten on the floor
and i do not want you to feel that way, too
it is not your fault that i disappear from time to time
and i’m sorry that you can’t keep me here
no matter how hard you try
just sing with me, please
so i can bottle up this love and drink that instead of poison

xo apollo

summer bucket list

school ends for me in about two weeks, so i thought it was an appropriate time to post this. i’ve been joking about how this is my last summer of freedom before i go to public school full time, but i guess it’s actually true. i’m going to try and have fun this summer, so i made a list of ten things i want to do over the next few months.

when i go back to school, i’ll make another post about this to see how close i got to accomplishing all my goals.


1) explore

there’s an old dam down the road that’s covered in graffiti. it’s got a river on one side and forest on the other, and i think that’s where i’m going to be exploring this summer. i’ve only been there twice so far; the first time i biked and checked out the graffiti, and the second time i went fishing. and my family just bought a bunch of inner tubes, so hopefully i can get a friend to head down there and go tubing with me.

2) read 15 books

i was originally planning on reading 100 books this year, but i’m way behind on that, as i can’t seem to concentrate on anything. reading even 15 books in a few months sounds kind of difficult for me, but i’m still going to try.

3) nail my back handsprings

one of my gymnastics coaches was helping me with back handsprings one day, and she told me i twist to the left when i do them. the same thing happens when i do bridges or back walkovers. but i think that if i can straighten them out, i’ll be able to do them by myself.

4) vbs

i think the theme my church picked for this year’s vacation bible school is “road rally,” or something like that. i’ve already signed up to be a crew leader, hopefully for elementary school kids. izzy tells me that our age group is only allowed to work with preschoolers, but we’ll see.

5) hang out with friends

since my friends all go to different schools, i don’t get to see them that often. in fact, the only friend i’ve hung out with regularly since school started is izzy, who i see 3-5 days a week. i miss my friends and i want to have another summer with them before i go to public school, my schedule gets crazy, and we drift apart.

6) earn 2 ahg badges

(ahg is my scouting group, for those who don’t know.) i’ve almost completed the gardening and plant science badge, and after i get that i think i’ll work on nature & wildlife. doing badge requirements is sort of my go-to boredom buster, and i’m trying to see how many i can earn before i age out of ahg (i currently have about ÂŒ of all the available badges).

7) go to camp

going to ahg camp with my best friend is always the highlight of my summer. i’m excited to see my camp friends again, swim in the lake, go to the shooting range, and hopefully buy a rainbow knife that i couldn’t get last time because the staff heard me talking about murder with izzy. :)

i’m actually going to two summer camps with her. the other one is a weekend camp at beginning of june, and we’re going to be counselors.

8) garden

i got my garden planted a few days ago, so i’ve already kind of done this one? i have some herbs, mint, daises, aloe, a succulent, primroses, and some little flowers that i don’t know the names of. i’ve also been growing cacti from seeds, and hopefully i’ll be able to keep them alive.

9) get a tan

i currently have a slight shinguard tan from soccer, and it’s only going to get worse as the season goes on. for anyone who isn’t familiar with what a shinguard tan is, it means my thighs and calves are pale, and just my knee is tan. the only way to fix it is to go outside for something other than pratice/games, which i will unfortunately do if i want to look less like a zebra.

10) go swimming

my family doesn’t actually go swimming that much, but since i just got two new swimsuits, we kind of have to. one is a maroon one-piece with a kind of crisscross thing on the chest, and the other is a black bikini with a bunch of different colored stripes. i did a really bad job explaining them, but they’re very cute.


 so that’s my plan for the summer! it’s unlikely that i’ll actually do everything on my list, but i’m still going to try.

let me know in the comments what you’re looking forward to doing over the summer!

xo apollo