My Favorite… Gift Ever. And Why I Know You All. A Thank You Post

There’s this meme on Maureen’s blog I’ve been eyeing for a while, it comes out every Wednesday, and this Wednesday… It had a theme I couldn’t pass up. It’s about your favorite gift, and it so happens that that gift is related to the blog, so I just couldn’t miss my chance. If you want to know more about the meme and join it, here’s more info.

So what am I going to talk about, actually?

Alright. I’m not actually going to talk about my favorite gift. I’m going to talk about the giver. Because that’s infinitely more important, isn’t it? It’s high time I dedicated a post to someone who has been very influential in my life, and that person is my sister. If it wasn’t for her in the long run, I might not even have a blog. Because my sister was the one who equipped me with my year-long dream at the time – my first Kindle. Without the Kindle, I would have never been able to read books in English. Would have never been able to get ARCs. And would have probably never started blogging.

There’s a funny story behind this too…

First of all, let’s transport back to good old 2005. When I was still in highschool, I was kind of a nerd, and I was always very ecologically geared. So naturally, when I first heard of e-ink paper? This was pretty much what I looked like:

I was like.. I must have it. But then… You might not understand this, because the majority of you who read this blog come from a well developed Western country. Back then? We had probably only joined the EU for a year! There was no shipping, no buying from other countries… (that’s why I still tend to think there’s no shipping even now, although there is xD) Basically, yes, I read that Sony was developing an e-reader. But I knew that it’s just as reachable to me as the moon. It was a far off dream that I could probably never have. But I never stopped thinking about it.

The funny thing is, I even wrote a report for physics about how e-ink works. And then I wrote another one for university. Not kidding! Imagine me presenting that.

Years passed and first Kindles appeared. I had no dreams of even getting one. It would have cost 5 times its actual market price to get it here. I could even have asked, I had a sister living in America. I had a boyfriend who was American (that’s a long story for another day maybe…) and yet I didn’t even think of asking. It was so far removed from the scope of my life I didn’t even ponder it.

But something happened…

I don’t even know how it began. It was my year of winning things. I… Did this weird “let’s program your subconscious” thing where I said I would win something every month that year. (Surprisingly? I did. I won 15 things that year in raffles, and I’ve never done that before or since!) And… Maybe it just put me in a winning mood? But I noticed this random contest one website was holding, and it went like “give us a dream of bettering yourself and we will make that dream come true”. And I was like BRING IT ON.

It was one of those Facebook voting contests. I believe at that time, it was already like 2013, maybe. Maybe 2012. I made like 200+ people vote xD among them… Was my sister.

Did I win?

Yes and no. No, I didn’t win the main prize, which means… I didn’t win them buying me a Kindle (LOL I know! Who won? This random girl won a nail art class! A nail art class! Bettering yourselves..? Nail art over reading?!..) But… I did win second place 😀 I won a voucher for trousers I still wear. But that’s beside the point.

Because… When I didn’t win, my sister was all like… “Hey, why didn’t you tell me you wanted a Kindle? It’s like 99$! I could have got you one ages ago?? I keep having to come up with present ideas!”

And that’s how it all started. How I started reading English books. How I realized later that there was this thing called NetGalley. That you could get unpublished books. That you could blog. Years later I only started blogging because someone made my dream come true. A dream I had thought was so far out of my reach that I didn’t even dare dream of it much.

So I want to say…

Thank you to my sister.

If it wasn’t for you, I would not be here blogging right now. I would not have people reading my words. I would not even have had the opportunity to read half of the amazing books I’ve read, because we don’t have them all in my country. But even more than that… I wouldn’t know that dreams you’ve had since highschool can even come true.

That’s enough touchies for today. Maybe one day I’ll write a post to thank my mom for teaching me to read. That’ll be a big one. Do you have anyone who has influenced your life like that? Share with me in the comments!

I’m Evelina and I try to blog about books that matter, with a bit of fun there too! Disability and equality will be topics you see a lot, but there’s also a lot of scifi, fantasy and… GIFs. I’m also the proud founder of #ARCsAnonymous.

63 thoughts on “My Favorite… Gift Ever. And Why I Know You All. A Thank You Post

  1. This is like the cutest blog post ever!

    Sometime us in the West don’t realize how good we have things when it comes to technology and access to literature.

    We all benefited from your sister’s gift, which gifted us this blog!

    That cat gif at the top of this post is all too real to me. I have a ginger cat that looks just like that and would also swat me like that 🙂
    Paul Liadis recently posted…Communicating Danger to a Society Millions of Years in the FutureMy Profile

    1. Thanks 🙂 I live in Lithuania. Actually, I wouldn’t say I used my kindle to learn to read English. I was fluent years before I got it. We learn English at school, I was had been learning it since being maybe 6. It’s just that the Kindle gave me access to read more because nobody likes reading on the computer 🙂
      Yeah, I could say the same about my mom!

  2. This post was lovely!! It’s really nice that you can count on your sister and than thanks to her you are blogging now. I guess all of your followers must also thanks her .
    My biggest influence was my mum cause she will push me to read by “no reading” to me. I was constantly asking her to read more and more to me; eventually she “stopped” and I lerned to read within two months .
    Marta Pascual Pérez recently posted…October Book Haul & Wrap Up + November TBRMy Profile

    1. Haha, thanks Marta 🙂
      😀 I love your mom’s tactic! My mom must’ve motivated me in some way as well, but it was so early in my life that I don’t remember (I was four when I learned to read.) I know she used to read to me as well, but then maybe we just started reading together or something 🙂 teaching a child to read is indeed one of the biggest gifts a parent can give.

  3. I loved this post!!! And yay for your sister giving you the Kindle! My brother and sister-in-law are the people who help me keep my dream for my blog alive! They’ve done so much for me, including paying my hosting fees for me one year while I was out of work, and just overall providing support! It helps that my sister-in-law is the only other book dragon in the family.
    Michelle recently posted…On Why I’ll Never Conquer My TBRMy Profile

    1. Thank you! I’m glad my story warmed your heart 🙂
      I guess I am also very lucky, one of my friends is just hosting my blog for free 🙂 and another friend of mine built my theme! So I absolutely know what you mean 🙂 but where would the world be if we didn’t help each other out, huh?
      I’m glad you’ve got other book dragons in the family, that is always awesome 😀

  4. This is a great story Evelina and trust me, you are a gifted writer. You should probably try writing your own book? 😀
    You know, what’s common between us? My Kindle is also from my sister 😛 but it isn’t gifted. It just happened then that a friends of her gifted it to her but she didn’t actually used it ever. So when I got married and moved to different city, I just grabbed it and she didn’t mind 😛

    Really a great post. Actually, my eyes were little teary at the end? 😀
    Sim @Flipping Thru the Pages recently posted…State of the ARC | November 2017My Profile

    1. Hahaha, I don’t know about writing my own book 😀 I don’t have any stories to tell!
      Well, I guess your Kindle is *sort of* gifted 😀 friends who give kindles as gifts?? Where do you find awesome friends like that?? 😀 especially because she didn’t use it even! OMG 😀
      Awww I’m glad to have warmed your heart with my story 🙂

  5. Wow. That’s such an amazing story! I’m glad you decided to join this week! 😉
    We in the West definitely don’t always realize how good we have it. And I love that you Sister brought you this gift. That’s just beautiful! I love your blog and I think you’re amazing at this blogging bit. Keep up the good work! 😉
    Thanks for signing up and sharing your favorite gift!
    Maureen Bakker recently posted…HoHoHo Readathon 2017 Jigsaw ChallengeMy Profile

  6. Such a wonderful origin story to your life as a blogger! I’m glad your sister ended up giving you that one thing that opened up the world for you. That e-reader is definitely a life changer in this case. And man.. Trousers.. Definitely better than nothing! Thanks for sharing, Evelina. 🙂
    Lashaan Balasingam recently posted…The Boy on the Bridge by M.R. CareyMy Profile

    1. I had to check back for the trousers, but now I remember 😀 heh. Yeah, it was an amazing gift! I wonder where I’d be now if I didn’t make ghat decision of taking part in that silly content and hadn’t started it all up 🙂

  7. This is a very cute post! I’ve been wanting to write a similar one as well. My boyfriend gifted me a Kindle a few months back and without it I don’t think I would have ever been able to blog! I honestly didn’t even know things such as ARCs existed haha so imagine my great shock! Many people might think it’s not very bookworm of me to love my Kindle, or to sometimes prefer it over books, but I don’t have the finances or resources to buy paperbacks all the time and my Kindle has saved me a lot on money and has contributed to me becoming a reviewer.

    You’ve inspired me to write my origin story now!

    1. Oh, only a few months back! You should definitely write that post 🙂
      Those people who think that “ereaders are not real books” can go bite it and shut up 😀 because it’s very privileged talk! Who are they to say I’m not reading “real books”, when in fact I’m probably reading more than them, and also it’s the only way I can even get books? It’s kind of like saying “oh you’re not reading real books, so you’d better not read at all, I don’t care that you can get print books. Let’s just kill some trees!” 😀 it’s like not seeing the forest for the trees, really. It’s silly. Books are words, it doesn’t matter how you read them (same goes for audiobooks. People who trash talk about this have nothing better to do, is all.) Those people should just take their heads out of you know where 😀

      Please share your post with me when you finish it 🙂

  8. What a great story! Your sister sounds wonderful – and we’re all glad that she gave you that kindle.

    1. That is true 🙂 yeah, I know, right! I was always feeling like my sister always gives me too many gifts in the first place, how could I ask, you know? How could I possibly ask for anything more 😀
      But I really am glad, and happy to know you all 🙂

  9. I loved reading this post! And clearly you have a great sister. I only get ARCs on netgalley too because I don’t live in an English-speaking country but I blog in English, but I always had enough money for books (well, not always, but we had a library), so I guess I can count myself as pretty fortunate! I’m happy you found your way to reading and blogging eventually!

    1. Oh the international woes 🙂 but hey, I guess there is an upside? 🙂 because at least all those ARCs don’t take up space. I can’t imagine where I’d put close to 100 ARCs 😀
      Where are you from, BTW? 🙂

    1. Awwww Cassie, thank you 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, opening up and posting something like this is nice sometimes 🙂 thank you for reading! And my sister is definitely amazing 🙂

  10. I’m amazed by your story! I forget that just because here in the Western world most things are readily available doesn’t mean that’s the case in other places. I’m thrilled you got a Kindle to expand your reading world! Yay for a wonderful sister!

    Reading books in another language sounds daunting, so bravo for reading in English! Netgalley is the best, right?
    Rachel @The Readers Den recently posted…Review: An Ex for Christmas by Lauren LayneMy Profile

    1. Yeah 🙂 things are different here. Reading in other languages… well, I’ve read in Japanese 😀 I know 7 languages (at least, I used to!) and English doesn’t feel like a foreign language to me at all, really 🙂 NetGalley is absolutely the best! And let’s not forget Edelweiss 😀

  11. Dear sister, thank you for dedicating this pose to me. It brings me pleasure to make you happy and when I’m far away, gifts are one way to make that happen. Even if they are small or random, i hope they bring a smile to your face when you get them 🙂
    However, I think I got an even better gift, I got a baby sister. A sister that looks up to me! What better gift can one ever ask for? I guess I should be writing a thank you blog to our dad 😉

    Love, Nora

  12. That’s a pretty awesome story. And yes sometimes things are possible and you just don’t even realize or think about it. That’s great your sister got you a kindle and that started your reviewing and blogging journey. For me starting my own blog and getting my Kobo e-reader did much the same. If you don’t live in the US it’s hard to get physical review copies, so having an e-reader is a must if you want to receive and review ARC copies of books.
    Lola recently posted…Lola’s Kitchen: Onion Pie RecipeMy Profile

  13. Awe Evalina! That is just so awesome your post has actually made my day. Thanks so much for sharing. Thanks to your sister to because it has been so cool getting to know you through your blog.

  14. This post is so relatable in terms of ~not~ having an e-reader when maybe the “rest” of the world does. It’s on my list, though it’s never been as much of a priority until now. In 2013, I had a winning streak for every giveaway I entered except the technological giveaways, including for Kindle devices and iPads. It was so frustrating! I know they’re fairly inexpensive, but I’m also frugal and really prioritize my spending based on what I absolutely need in that moment! I currently make do as I can with the desktop Kindle software, but…it’s frustrating having to read from my laptop screen.

    I enjoy reading about the things that made becoming a blogger possible for other bloggers. There are a million stories out there about how to start a blog and why us bloggers started blogging, but in terms of how it was possible, those stories are rarest of all and not frequently shared.

    My current blog was made possible because my dad gave me a prepaid Visa giftcard for Christmas. I didn’t have a bank account because the people with whom I lived (I was an adult, but during that awkward transition from child to adult; it’s complicated) and the controlling environment, I wasn’t allowed to spend money on things that didn’t require cash without explaining the little details about it. I didn’t even know about prepaid “gift” credit cards! If it wasn’t for him, I’d’ve found a way, but…I only know the path of which was created when I took this one, and I’m grateful for it.

    Thank you for sharing this story!
    Jane recently posted…10 Before 30: ReduxMy Profile

    1. First of all, sorry it took me forever to answer my comments 🙂 I have really been a little delinquent with my comments this week. Secondly, thanks for reading, and oh man! That’s a bummer about being in the same situation but not being able to win… a Kindle would make your life immensely better, if you’re a frequent reader. So much less eye strain and headache. Maybe you can get a second hand one? Even an older Kindle touch is an amazing help for a bookworm. Either way, I hope you win or otherwise acquire one soon 🙂 as someone who remembers how I wanted it myself, I can so empathise.

      Believe it or not, I can also totally relate about the adult-but-not-yet thing! I was also a lot like that. I feel like I became an adult much later in my life than others did. But to everyone their own time, right? Who says 18 is when you grow up. You grow up when you can or feel like you must. Everyone’s individual.

      And that’s actually amazing to hear that you started your blog over a gift as well! It feels like maybe sometimes people give is gifts with so much love, that it transforms into a creation like that, like a blog or other endeavour that you pour your own love into later on.

      How long have you been blogging now, by the way?

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