Bookish List · Uncategorized

Book Inspired Hobbies I Wanted To Try

Hi, it’s Sabrina here!  Today I want to talk to you about six books that inspired me to try and pick up a new hobby – a.k.a. Six Times Sabrina Got Extremely Carried Away Fantasising About Her Future Because of a Book.  What I mean by this, is that the book had me daydreaming and researching for weeks before – for the most part – I gave up.  These books all had a huge impact on me by making me want to learn new things and actually kept me productive for a little while and I’m going to tell you exactly how.  I’ve got six books to talk to you about, in no particular order.


Though The Walls Around Us, one of my favourite books I read in 2019, is not really about ballet, it does feature quite a bit.  It follows the story of three teen girls and the way their lives are intertwined in a mysterious and thrilling way.  Fortunately for me, the hobby this book inspired me to research was not killing people, but ballet dancing.  I loved how ballet has such a huge impact on the characters’ lives, and how it made them so passionate and competitive.  For weeks, I thought I wanted that too.  I remembered how badly I wanted to try ballet when I was a young kid, and how I never got the chance to try.  So, after a couple of weeks of obsessing, I decided to look up some Youtube at-home tutorials.  And you know what I discovered?  I thought beginners ballet was absolutely, mind-numbingly boring.


I put off reading this book for years because I thought it was going to be a simple romance that I wouldn’t enjoy.  I’m so glad I ended up picking it up though, because it isn’t all that simple and it is super cute!  It also features a main character, Emi, that works as a set designer for movies which really intrigued me and made me feel creative.  It is so clear that Emi adores her job and puts her heart and soul into dressing sets in the perfect way.  For a little while in high school, I thought maybe one day I would be an interior designer, and this book made me think about different ways I could get a job that involved decorating rooms.  Of course, it’s not as simple to get those jobs as it is for Emi in the book, who hasn’t even completed high school before she becomes employed.  My research told me it requires a degree from university and though there were a few different degree options, I didn’t want to make a big life decision like that based solely on inspiration from a book I read.


This contemporary romance is one of the few books I’ve rated 5 stars this year and one of the reasons for that is how completely it captured my imagination with the premise – Portia from New York moves to Scotland to take up a sword making apprenticeship at an old armoury.  This remains an integral part of the story and isn’t simply swept aside to focus on the romance (though that was equally enjoyable) and… I still want to do this apprenticeship so badly!!!  Obviously, I don’t have the resources to start simply creating swords, and research has turned up precious little other options in my area – and in these times, all the courses have been postponed anyway.  Still, I thought, why not look up some sword fighting tutorials on Youtube?  I have an empty wrapping paper roll that I can swing about, so surely I could do this at least?  A quick google search reveals that no, it’s essentially pointless to try and learn sword fighting on your own because you need a teacher to correct your form – as with any martial art, apparently.


After the last book, it should not surprise you that this book inspired in me a desire to take up knife throwing.  Yes – of the two big hobbies featured in this wonderful Beauty and the Beast retelling, my mind latched on to knife throwing rather than playing cards.  In my mind’s defence, I do hate gambling, so I guess the choice was natural – though if you asked my parents, they’d probably say I’m scared of knives too.  Anyway, after a few weeks of considering myself tough enough to try and learn the skill of knife-throwing and thinking about how cool it would be to have that random ability in a society that has absolutely no need for it, I returned to my senses and continued with my normal life – there were no google searches needed for this one.


The Raven Cycle is so hyped up that I don’t think I need to tell you what it’s about and why I love it, but I will anyway.  It follows a group of friends on their search for a dead Welsh king and I absolutely love all the characters and the beautiful writing style.  I will also tell you that it’s not the only series of books that somehow convinced me I needed to learn Latin, but it did have the most significant impact – perhaps because I love Ronan so much.  I just thought – and still think – that it would be amazing to know Latin, and that it would help with learning other languages.  I went so far as to download apps on my phone that were supposed to help me and even checked out an entire textbook from the library.  Unfortunately it is part of my personality that I struggle to stick with things for long periods of time, and I only ended up getting through a very small portion of the textbook before returning it to the library and putting the idea on hold.  On that note, however, if there’s anyone reading this who would be interested in trying to learn Latin as well and would hold me accountable for doing learning activities, I would love your help!


Why not end this post with the hobby I actually kind of stuck with?  Starfish features a main character named Kiko who loves to draw and paint and dreams of getting into a prestigious art school.  Almost every chapter ends with Kiko describing something she has created that day and I totally fell in love with those descriptions (along with Kiko herself and most of the rest of the book).  Something in the universe must have been telling me to try some painting, because in the same month (June, 2019), one of my favourite makeup Youtubers, RawBeautyKristi, uploaded this video where she followed a watercolour painting tutorial.  From there, the Youtube algorithm took over from the universe and I discovered a lot of Youtube channels that focused solely on watercolour painting – my first favourite of these was kelogsloops and to this day, I still get ridiculously excited when he uploads (it’s rare).  So, I did some research and bought myself some cheap watercolour paints, brushes and paper from Kmart in August 2019 and you can still find me painting with those today (though I have also picked up some more expensive supplies).  I have attempted to do some drawing as well, but I quickly decided that was not fun enough for the work I had to put into it, lol, so I paint simple things or trace printouts.  Painting brings me a lot of relaxation and joy, and I have Starfish to thank for that!

What do you think?

Have you read any books that have inspired you to research a hobby, or even pick it up yourself?  Do you already have any of the skills on my list? Would you like to learn Latin with me?  Let me know!

19 thoughts on “Book Inspired Hobbies I Wanted To Try

  1. What a great post, Sabrina! I took ballet as a really little kid and never stuck with it long enough for it to become interesting 😦 I am so intrigued by it though and I wish I could be able to do the beautiful things I see in performances on Youtube. My cousin is actually a proper ballerina and I have to admit that I do envy her sometimes haha! Although she does say that pointe shoes are not as glamorous as they are made out to be.


  2. Oh, this is such a great post!! 💞 And so relatable too as some books really had me interested in new hobbies/interests! I also remember being mesmerized by Emi’s set designing in Everything Leads to You, it honestly seemed like so much fun! 😊 Also very happy to hear that you ended up doing a bit of art thanks to Starfish 🥰 A book that inspired me to take up a new hobby was Radio Silence, it got me into listening to podcasts, though I don’t do it as frequently as I would like!


  3. Omg I love this post so much and these are all such cool hobbies. I’d fail at probs most of them haha.

    No, I actually LOVE ballet, firstly. I used to take it as a little girl when I lived in London and have the fondest memories. I tried to do it here in South Africa but I lived in a small town and wasn’t obsessed with the class so like eh?? Also, I hate having pressure on my hobbies and it just becomes less fun when I’m FORCED to learn something I don’t want to.

    Also, sword fighting and knife throwing does sound badass but those I would most likely fail. Unless I spent hours but I think I’d get bored hehe. And also, whenever people talk about art I always leave wanting to do more of it and then,,, just don’t. I love looking and admiring but I’m not creative like that *nervous sweats*

    Also HOW COOL would it be to learn Latin. I reread that series recently and I left wanting to learn Latin too. I love other languages so I actually really need to look into this. Also super want to read Starfish <3<3


  4. One of the things that attracts me to certain books is if the main character has some sort of interesting passion or one I like to read about. So many authors have impressed me with this aspect of their books.


  5. This is amazing and makes me want to pick up all of these hobbies too!! (Sword making?? Sign me up!) Ahaha TRC definitely made me wish I spoke Latin too, though I have made very little effort to do so 😅
    Reading the book Sourdough by Robin Sloan inspired me to try baking bread for the first time last year, and though I only do it about once a month, it’s something I love! (Though I still haven’t actually made sourdough bread, since I don’t have a starter…)


  6. “thinking about how cool it would be to have that random ability in a society that has absolutely no need for it”

    The only book in your list I’ve read is The Walls Around Us (LOVELOVELOVE), so yeah, I get it when you say “Fortunately for me, the hobby this book inspired me to research was not killing people, but ballet dancing” 😆. It’s interesting to hear that ballet is more boring than one would think (then again, with all the exercises, it makes sense). And it’s cool that you found at least a feasible hobby you stuck with thanks to one of your favourite books!


  7. This is such a fun post idea! I explored so many different hobbies as a kid thanks to being easily influenced by books: photography, horseback riding, sketching, gaming, etc. Can’t say that knife throwing was ever one that intrigued me, but I did try axe throwing one time and that was pretty fun. You never know, maybe this is your calling!


  8. Honestly the idea of you swinging a cardboard roll around trying to sword fight had me laughing so much 😂 And knife throwing?! I’m glad you didn’t decide to take that one up, I’m a little scared for your safety 😅

    When you got to Raven Boys I was certain you were going to say learning to read tarot (since that’s what that series made ME want to do) but Latin is pretty cool! I have no patience for learning languages so I admire you for trying.

    I have a set of watercolours that I love, and I’m obsessed with watching videos of people searching different paint colours on YouTube but I hardly ever paint anymore, which is kind of sad. Maybe I need to read Starfish too and it’ll inspire me!


  9. Love this post so much! I never actually read any book that made me pick up a new hobby, but now that I know this concept exists… I will be paying much closer attention to the things characters do! 😀


  10. I love that The Raven Boys inspired you to learn Latin! That’s such a fun idea! 😀 I want to try out some book-themed recipes someday… I’ve already made November Cakes from The Scorpio Races and want to try out some of Lara Jean’s recipes from TATBILB 🙂


  11. I’m glad I’m not the only one getting inspired by character’s hobbies in books. I mean, some of yours are more niche than mine but they are very cool. I did like the idea of Portia’s apprenticeship in Duke By Default but soon realised I’d hate it. I do ten get inspired by artistic hobbies in books, though. And when I read Love Lettering I really got back into bullet journaling for a couple of months. I like those that inspire to indulge in creative pursuits, I miss being creative and often don’t find the time to do more.


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