Bookshop Day in Norwich

In honour of National Bookshop Day (Saturday 8th October), I’ve put a together a list of my favourite places in Norwich to purchase books from. Happy reading!

  1. City Bookshop
    Popular with students, City Bookshop has become something of an icon in Norwich. Here, you will not only find your favourite classics, but also an array of history, art, travel, and biographical books, to name just a few. A lot of the books are new, or in extremely good second-hand condition, but for a fraction of the price. Their stock is replenished and changes frequently too; I like to take a trip there every few weeks or so to seek out any new American fiction they have in.
  2. The Market
    The Norwich market is such a magical, inviting place, full of all sorts of treasures. However, situated at the very back of the rows of stalls, sits piles and piles of second hand books. You could spend hours looking through the collection, and still only be halfway through. Again, these are very cheap – roughly £3-£4 a book – and in good condition. What’s more, the owner of the stall is very welcoming, greeting you with a warm friendly smile!
  3. Charity Shops
    Norwich is certainly not short of charity shops, however some are better than others when it comes to books. Places like the British Heart Foundation and Oxfam ‘book specific’ stores, are often well-stocked, but pricier. These are great if you’re looking for something more specific, as chances are they will have it. However if you’re simply looking for inspiration, you may be better off going elsewhere. My personal favourite is the British Red Cross shop on St. Benedict’s (conveniently a few minutes’ walk from my house). They have yet to fail me on their choice of books, and whilst it may not have the biggest selection, they are certainly are the cheapest I’ve come across. I recently picked up a signed Margaret Atwood novel for 95p, and a Lonely Planet ‘The Travel Book’ for just £2!
  4. The Library
    OK, so you may not be able to purchase books from the library per se, but you can definitely keep them for a very long time if you take advantage of the renewals process! The Millennium Library in The Forum is quick and easy to sign up to, offering a huge selection of classic and more modern fiction/non-fiction. As for students in Norwich – go to the UEA library! I get that you may be bogged down with work, essays, projects, etc. but if you’re a true book lover, you should definitely have at least one non-module related book under your belt. A significant chunk of your £9K a year tuition fees are most likely for maintaining the fabulous library selection – use it!

Books are an excellent way of relaxing, learning something new, or just plain enjoying yourself. Head on into town and support your local bookshop facilities, wherever you are this Bookshop Day! 🙂

Why I’m Choosing to Teach Abroad

If you had told me 6 months ago that I’d have secured my place on a teaching internship in South East Asia, I would have laughed in your face. Literally. I had no self-confidence, and doing something like  this was pretty much out of the question.Yet last week, I took the plunge and booked a 4.5 month teaching placement in the beautiful country of Vietnam! Starting August next year, I’ll be starting my post-uni plans by teaching English to Vietnamese children, and I must admit, I’ve never been more excited!

However, teaching English abroad hasn’t always been on my to-do list. Prior to this summer, I’d actually never really looked into it that much. Although, when that initial ‘what the hell am I going to do after university’ mindset kicked in, my frantic Google searches led me me to a number of TEFL internships. My first choice was actually South Korea (and perhaps this is something I’ll pursue in the future, who knows!), but after some deliberation – and a tempting price – I opted for a paid Vietnam internship next summer.

Programs like these seem to be a great jumping-off point for those just coming out of university. To obtain the appealing monthly salary in Vietnam, you need to have a degree for starters, and having just completed my year abroad also helps when it comes to the whole transitioning overseas. You also get pretty much set up before you get out there, in terms of accommodation, which definitely appealed to me and my new stress-free way of thinking…well, that I’m trying to achieve anyway!

So what do I hope to get out of my time in Vietnam next year? After being so wrapped in how I’m feeling, getting better, and moving forward, it will be rewarding and refreshing to make a difference to other peoples lives by teaching them a valuable new skill. Continuing in education and pursuing my passion of literature is possibly the best decision that I have made – how exciting will it be to share that?! Apart from this, it will be amazing to experience another culture and immerse myself in their way of living. I’m not really into the whole ‘country hopping’ idea of travelling; after my year abroad I’ve learnt the value in settling down and getting to know a place before moving on, which is why I opted for a lengthy placement in Vietnam. Surrounding myself with Vietnamese food, people, buildings, and of course beautiful scenery for 4.5 months is my ideal version of really experiencing a country. Saying this, it will be great to explore the surrounding countries of South East Asia after my internship ends, though that’s a while away yet!

If anybody has ever undertaken anything similar to what I’m doing, do let know! It would be great to get tips on living/working in Vietnam, and the whole TEFL internship scheme in general. 🙂


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