Books, Reading, StephReads2019, UnreadShelfProject

10 books I should have read already…but haven’t (because apparently I’m a mess)

It’s rather something to have a large TBR named Steve who takes up half my apartment with shiny new books and brilliant old books, rather like a quiet sort of cat that I don’t really have to feed, but still somehow makes sure that I notice him. (throwing books on the floor seems to be his favourite pastime).

But one of the downsides of having a large TBR is that sometimes some books that I should read or need to read, get pushed to the back because of the habit I might just have of picking up and adopting any stray book in my path.

Which doesn’t do well for my TBR. And for some reason, Steve refuses to read the books for me, but instead just holds onto them and somehow multiplies all of them before I can look again. With that being said, there are quite a few books that I really should have read by now, and haven’t. So let’s unpack my shelf of shame together shall we?

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1- Rebels Rising (book 3 of the Rebel Mechanics series). I adore the first 2 books of these series, but really just haven’t been in the mood for these. I should because Alternative history, magic, steampunk and a sweet meet-cute, sounds up my alley. But I still haven’t picked it up…and now it’s been long enough that I have to reread the other books just to get to this one. (that’s actually the theme for about 90% of these books just saying)

2-BlackSouls (book 2 of the BlackHearts duology). Pirates and slow burn and the backstory of Blackbeard, all things that tick off my ‘yes please’ list of books. But again, I read the first one when it first came out and I don’t remember anything about it (except apparently that it was slow burn but still).

3-Invictus. I’ve heard this is like a Doctor Who novel with time travel and loops and it sounds amazing, but have I had a chance to read it yet? *dies laughing* seriously, nope. I do want to get into this because I have a feeling I will really like this, but time.

4-Love and Gelato. One of my good bookish friends is adamant I will love this book and ‘why haven’t I read it yet?’ texts in all caps are pretty much common from her about this book. Also she will randomly bring it up in conversations, “Oh it’s like that book…THAT YOU STILL HAVEN’T READ!” which I’m going to, soon I swear. I just have to be in the mood for a good contemporary because I don’t read them that much. (which is not a good enough excuse for her and she keeps telling me to just read the book! so I need to… so she can yell at me to read another book)

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5-Great Expectations. Um. yes. I love Dickens (technically I’ve only read 3 things by him but adored 2 of the 3 so there’s that) and I got this…2 years ago I think from a friend and I. Still. Haven’t. Read. It. I want to, but I also know with Dickens’ writing, it’s more atmospheric to read it in the winter. Maybe this year I’ll get to it?

6-Jellicoe Road. Yeah, I’ve heard really good things about this book (and author considering I have another of her books on my TBR) but just haven’t gotten to it yet. I have also heard it’s weird so I’m kinda mentally preparing myself for that, but I do like me some weird books.

7-Wild Magic. I didn’t grow up with this series at all. And literally I found all of them on Bookoutlet like a year ago. And everyone has Extremely. Big. Feelings when it comes to mentioning this series, and has told me that I need to read them. I am half-way started but I’m just not feeling in the mood for that type of book at the moment (the perils of being a mood reader)

8-Hunting Prince Dracula. Dude, this book has set on my shelf HALF-STARTED for a year. (or possibly more because I started it when it first came out and that was in…2017 whoops.) I have not finished it, I don’t know why because I really really liked the first one. And the last in the series is coming out next month, so I really just need to get a wiggle on and finish that book to finish the 3rd one so I can complete the series.

9-The Great Library series. Technically, I’ve read the first 2 books in this series, back when I thought it was going to be a trilogy. But then it became a 5 book series and basically everyone was dying of ALL. THE. FEELS. after the 3rd book so I just decided that I was going to wait, thank you very much until the 5th and final book were release. Well, it’s being released next month, and I don’t want to get spoiled for it, so I need to binge this series pretty much now.

10-Count of Monte Cristo. This isn’t even my book. This is a library book that I’ve kinda rerented over and over and over again, and still haven’t completed it (I first checked it out in APRIL…it’s AUGUST!). I’m in the middle (about 500 pages done) and I’m enjoying it but I also just don’t have the time at the moment to really devote myself to a long drawn out revenge plot. I do want to read this soon though because I want to watch the movie. (I saw the movie years ago when it was first out, but didn’t realize what was going on at all because I watched it with a group and…if you’ve never had a movie experience with about 30 people crammed in a living room all shouting and whispering and getting up to get stuff…well I don’t recommend it because it’s awful to try and watch a movie in)

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So those are books I should have read by now, but still haven’t. What’s one book you should have read by now? What’s one book you still are in the middle of but haven’t finished? Please comment and let me know that I’m not alone in my shame of unread books!

Happy reading y’all, and remember, life is too short for mediocre books!

~Stephanie

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monthly wrap up, StephReads2019, UnreadShelfProject

July wrap up!

Well, hello fellow booknerds!

I decided that doing a 5 book wrap up just really wasn’t working for me. (Obviously because I only did 2 of them and then walked away from it so there’s that)

So I’m going to be back doing what I think kinda worked for me last year, and that is monthly wrap ups.

For July, I managed to read 28 books= 8055 pages read.

Which, is actually the best reading month I’ve done this year. I haven’t really been in a slump, but more of a ‘book block’ where I want to read but I don’t know what I want to read, so I end up reading 5 different books all at once and not getting through any of them and then deciding I need to reread other things.

It’s a bit of a problem. The nice thing is that the majority of the books I read this month were off of Steve my TBR! So I’m slowly shrinking him down to a manageable size.

So, for July I read:

13-from Steve my TBR

6-Reread

8-Library

1-for work

Breakdown: 

5 Agatha Christies:

 

7 Nonfiction/Biographies:

 

8 Adult Fiction: 

 

2 Classics:

 

4 Graphic Novels:

 

1 Christian NonFiction:

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1 Middlegrade: 

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The ratings for these ranged all over the place, from a very low 3 stars to being some of my favourite books that I have read so far this year. Which is quite exciting and I’m now chuffed to get back to reading and hopefully this next month will be even better! I am going to be getting rid of 2 of the books I read this month because they were both on the lower range of 3 stars, and that’s my shelf restriction, so that I keep only the books I love.

How was your reading month Dragons? Best book read? Worst? Let me know in the comments!

Have a great day and remember, life is too short for mediocre books! Happy reading!

~Stephanie

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Books, Reading, StephReads2019, UnreadShelfProject

#theunreadshelfproject2019 Update

It’s no secret that I like having a big TBR. In fact, I have such a liking for it that I have named mine Steve. (Not sure why). But the problem that comes from a big TBR is unfortunately while I’m still excited for those books, they sometimes get shoved to the side while I get newer and shiner books, and then it just kinda repeats itself.

Last year, Whitney (@theunreadshelfproject on instagram) started the Unread Shelf Project, to basically start tackling her TBR. I found out about it in March of last year and kinda participated. She basically had a prompt for each month for what you could read, such as “newest book you purchased” or “Book that’s been on your TBR the longest”. You do the prompt, yay! If you don’t read a book that fits the prompt then she suggests you get rid of the book, thereby lowering your TBR either way.

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Last year I completed some of the challenges and wasn’t sure I was going to do it again this year or not. But then in December, she challenged us to just count our unread books. That’s all we had to do, just count them.

My number was…well it was higher than what I was happy with. I am okay with a large TBR, and I will never be one of those readers who gets their TBR down to zero. (To be honest just thinking of my TBR dropping down to single digits makes me stress a bit) But I do know that I like to have about 100-130 books on my TBR.

That number wasn’t what my books were. It wasn’t even close.

So I decided I was going to really do the UnreadShelfProject this year. I needed to cut back on some of my TBR and figured that this would be the best way to do it. So I jumped in.

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The nice thing about this project is that it’s pretty much set at your own pace. There are some people who want to get their TBR down by 10 books, some who have a need for it to get to double digits and some who just want to read the books that they got years ago.

For me, after counting all the books that I had unread on my shelf, I decided that I wanted to read at least 75 books off Steve the TBR this year.

I actually didn’t think that I would be very successful about it, not because I didn’t want to read all the books on my TBR but because I have a tendency to read the books I’ve checked out from the library first, mainly because they have a time-limit and my TBR books…don’t.

However, at the time of this writing, I’ve managed to read 30 books off of Steve the TBR. *throws invisible confetti*

If I keep going at this rate, I might pass the objective that I set for myself. And since I haven’t really stopped buying books at all, that might be a good thing. I do have to say I’m slightly surprised how many I’ve managed to get down, and I’m already wondering if I can beat the goal I set for myself this year.

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What about you bookdragons? Did you set any reading goals this year? Have you been reading off your TBR? Let me know in the comments below!

Have a great day and remember, life is too short for mediocre books!

~Stephanie

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5 book wrap up, Book Reviews, Reading, StephReads2019, Uncategorized

Books 6-10 wrap up

So whoever thought that I would be more active on my blog this year by doing 5 book reviews/wrapups, y’all can go ahead and laugh because I sure did.

I’m slightly distressingly behind, but I’m hoping I can knock a few more of these out tomorrow since I don’t work, but that also requires me to stop reading for a spell and we all know that won’t happen.

Let’s jump straight to the books, alright?

Book 6: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

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462 pages, fiction. 4.25 stars, TBR.

Basically this is about the Count who is placed under house-arrest for about 20 some years in a hotel. And all the people that he meets and changes while there.

I’ll be real, I mainly wanted to read this book because I had read his previous work and loved it, and wanted to get this one. I actually won this in a giveaway on instagram and decided it would be one of the books I devoured in January. And it was the perfect book for cold and grim January. I did love it, though I felt that the ending was a bit sparse but on the whole I highly recommend it. It’s more of a character driven book then a plot driven though, so it does seem to take time to get going, but I loved it.

Book 7: The diary of a bookseller by Shawn Bythell

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312 pages, non-fiction, 3 stars.

This was a small diary of a bookseller who works in Scotland at a used bookstore. It was interesting at points, but because it was told in very short text, you don’t really get a glimpse of what the customers are like, what the business looks like or anything. Plus, and I hate to say this, but the narrator had this annoying habit of sounding like he was better than anyone just because he read books, and his customers wanted different things or different books. I think if it was redone to a different format, it probably would have been higher rated for me.

 

Book 8: The imaginary by A.F. Harrold

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221 pages, middlegrade, 3 stars.

This book was about an imaginary friend and the “Reals” that they dealt with but something felt off for me on this book. It could be that we didn’t really get much background on the bad guy, it could be that it wasn’t really told well or that the narrative seemed to be missing a lot of pieces. The author also seemed to try to be imitating Roland Dahl’s style to a very specific point and it just came off as him copying instead of imitating.

 

Book 9: Tiny Homes by Country Living

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196 pages, non-fiction, 3 stars.

I actually thought this would be something different than what it was. I thought it was going to be about people living in tiny homes, which I admit is something I find fascinating, but instead it just showcased a few of the tiny homes that people live in. So more style and form rather than how they do it. I am glad that I read this though because I got a few ideas for space saving tricks in my own tiny apartment so there’s that.

 

Book 10: Quiet girl in a Noisy World by Debbie Tung

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178 pages, graphic novel, 4.25 stars.

I have never run across something that so accurately describes me as an introvert than this comic. It’s fantastic and I absolutely loved it. Highly recommend for everyone to read, not just introverts.

 

During this time frame I also DNF’d (did not finish) 2 books.  The 2 books I DNF’d were Cruel Prince and Property of the Rebel Librarian. There were a few reasons, ok more than a few, for me to stop reading them, and the main one on both of them were the characters and their style. I really don’t want to go into it, but basically neither of these books were for me. And I’m ok with that.

So there we go fellow booknerds, only about 5 more to go before I’m caught up! 🙂

Happy reading, and remember, life is too short for mediocre books!

~Stephanie

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5 book wrap up, Books, StephReads2019

Books 1-5 read of 2019

Good evening fellow booknerds!

A few weeks ago I asked if y’all would like monthly wrap-ups or if you would like to see wrap-ups after every 5 books. And pretty much all of you wanted me to post every 5 books…so hey I’m slightly behind…like by a lot. I mean, not terribly, but considering I’ve already read 25 books for this year? Yeah, I have quite a few posts to do.

So, onwards and upwards yeah?

Book 1-

A broken way by Ann Voskamp.

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271 pages, Christian nonfiction, 4 stars. (reread)

One of the things I always try to do is to reread a book that either is an old favourite or a newish favourite to start the year off, and this year I chose this one. It is all about being broken and being willing to be used by God. I did enjoy my reread of this one and it didn’t really change from the rating I had before, so that’s always a good thing. I hate when you reread something and you decide on a different rating.

Book 2-

Little moments of love by Catana Chetwynd

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148 pages, graphic novel, 4 stars. (library)

This was adorably cute and smoosh-worthy. Absolutely loved all the little interactions with her and her partner, they were just so adorable! Very much reminded me of Sarah Anderson’s work, which is also cute.

Book 3-

Love and Friendship by Jane Austen

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251 pages, classic fiction, 3 stars. (TBR)

This was a collection of her scribblings and writings that never really made it into much of a story. I thought most of it was entertaining, but there was just so much scraps that it was hard to see what exactly would come of it. On the whole though, not bad.

Book 4-

Parnassus on Wheels by Christopher Morley

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160 pages, classic fiction, 4 stars. (library)

This is a story about a woman who gets fed up with her brother always gallivanting around and having adventures and she decides to go and take an adventure herself. So she ends up buying Parnassus on Wheels, which is a mobile bookstore and having an adventure herself. This was such a cute fast read. I loved how they talked about books and personally it was such a delight to read.

Book 5-

Illusionarium by Heather Dixon

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361 pages, YA sci-fi/dystopian, 3 stars. (TBR)

This deals with parallel worlds, a plague, magic and the idea that not everyone is what they seem, but it was not the best. It was fast paced enough where I basically read this in one sitting but the problem was that it was so fast-paced that you didn’t really get to know the characters. I felt that if it had been longer or even been the first part of a duology it would have been more than enough time to really flesh out the characters. As it was, it was pretty much like “these are the characters and this is the plot and go” sort of feel. I still did like it but like I said, it definitely needed just a bit more with it. I did whizz through this though so that is a good thing, but I didn’t really understand a lot of what was happening.

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So that’s my list of the first 5 books I read in 2019. Hopefully I can get the rest of the posts up before I finish too many more books!

How has your reading been so far? What has been your best book? Worst book so far?

Remember, life is too short for mediocre books!

~Stephanie

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Reading, StephReads2019

2019 Bookish goals (better late then never)

Hello fellow Booknerds!

So it’s pretty much the third week of the new year, and I’m finally getting on here to let you know my bookish goals for the new year. I would usually do a wrap up of last year but honestly, last year (even though I beat my reading goal for books) I didn’t do well on most of my challenges. I think that in part, that was because I decided to do so many (read all of Charles Dickens works, read 85,000 pages, read 12 translated works and 2 untranslated works, etc.) that I just basically did all the reading for my books challenge but forgot everything else.

This year, I started thinking about my goals for 2019 at the start of December. I didn’t want to just state a few things, I wanted to make sure that I was going to be able to really complete these goals. I want to look back on a year and be proud of everything I’m completing.

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So on to the goals!

Goal #1: Read 200 Books.  This is actually something that is one of the easiest on the list because for the past 2 years I have consistently read over 200 books. I decided to break it down this year into the following:

*Read 50 from the library

*Read 75 off of my own TBR

*Read 50 rereads

*Read 25 for whatever

This year I am really wanting to focus on getting my TBR down just a bit. I know a lot of people who like their TBR to be less then double digits but honestly, I can’t do that. I just personally have a lot of books that I want to read but keep forgetting about because they are on my TBR.

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Goal # 2: Read 80,000 pages.

Last year I had this idea that I should read at least 85,000 pages, but the problem was I didn’t think about how I should read bigger books to get this number up, and therefore I realized about November that this goal was not going to be hit. This year though, I really think I can do this, as long as I focus on the next goal.

Goal #3: Read 12 big books this year.  I want to read more big books (over 500 pages) this year. I feel like every time I get started with tomes I either get bored or I set it down so I don’t have to finish it. But this year, especially with the page goal that I’ve set, I want to focus on getting some of those ginormous classics out of the way. I’ve actually joined a buddy read for a few of them, so we’ll see how that goes. (spoiler alert: I’m either absolutely ahead of people when I buddy read, or I drag my feet about doing it and end up having to do it all at once so we’ll definitely see how it turns out)

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Goal #4: Read 12 CS Lewis books this year.  C.S. Lewis is one of my favourite authors of all time. And I’ve read a lot of his more popular works, but realized this year that there are quite a few that I have actually never read. So the past couple of months was spend collecting them, and while I’m still missing a few of the more rare ones, I am making this my goal to really dive into his writing this year.

Goal #5: Complete at least 2 series. Y’all, I am so bad about this. I start a series and get really enthused about it, but then the last one comes out or I don’t like one of the middle books and then I just set it down…forever. I also think that if I don’t finish the series that I somehow will keep all the characters safe and free from all harm, which is not how reading works. I have about 12 series that I have half-started (and about 4 of those are duologys) and I just need to buckle down and read them. (The other bad thing about this is that I will have to reread about 14 books just to get caught up on the series.)

Goal #6: Write on here at least once a week.  I think this is a constant with me, I want to be more consistent with blogging but because life literally happens, this happens to be the first thing to drop by the wayside. I do want to get better about being on here and being consistent though, and I am going to try to do 5 book reviews (basically wrap-ups for every 5 books I read rather then waiting till the end of the month, that might help me get more on track here)

So there you have it. All my bookish goals that I hope to accomplish by 2020. I really think that I can do it, especially with 2 of my friends and I competing with our reading goals this year so if I don’t complete all these, I can’t win. And for reading, I like winning.

What are your bookish goals for this year? Do you have a few that are leftover from last year? What’s your reading goal for the year? Come talk to me in the comments!

Happy reading dragons, and remember, life is too short for mediocre books!

~Stephanie

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31DaysofBlogmas, Reading, StephReads2018

How I read over 200 books this year

I read a lot.

Like, over 200 books per year a lot.

Whenever I tell people that I read this much they usually ask me how I do it, or what kind of magic did I do to make that number possible.

And honestly, I never thought that this was some high sort of number, until I began looking at stats of average readers, where most people don’t even finish a book per month, let alone in the high 20’s per year.

So, I thought that it would be fun to tell you a bit about how I read so many books, and maybe some of them will help you out. (If not, no worries, I’m just over here reading like always)

One of the things I make sure to do is make reading a priority. Many people I work with at my second job don’t get why I don’t have cable (the main 2 reasons are it’s freaking expensive and I don’t need to have the distraction) but in reality, I’ve chosen to make my reading a main thing I do when I come home.

I do still watch netflix or amazon prime, and I watch some booktube videos, but on the whole after watching one or two episodes, I realize how much time I’m wasting and I turn it off and go to a book.

When I say I make reading a priority, I don’t mean that I neglect my writing or my job or whatever, I just mean that I am try to read every day for at least 20 minutes. I use the app Bookly which tracks how long you read each day and while I’m not super competitive with others, I love seeing how long that streak can go.

And this is difficult, especially when I work an 8 hour day at my first job, get home to brew a cup of coffee and then immediately set out for my second job and don’t get home till after 11 pm. But I find that if I don’t read anything during the day or even right before I got to bed, my mood is just not there.

Reading helps me relax, refocus and also make sure that my mental health is up.

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I also try and read multiple books at the same time. For some reason, I don’t like to read only one book at a time, it actually causes me to read slower when I don’t have the option of picking up a different book. Right now, for instance, I have 6 different books going on at once. I try to not do the same sort of genre for each book just so I don’t get confused, but sometimes I can’t help it.

I have always done this. I read books and sometimes the plot is lost or the character is dull or I just need a break from the 500 page tome that I’ve started and I go after a different book. (There are times that this backfires on me as there are some books that I just don’t feel like completing and are bugging me but that’s a different story)

Also it makes me feel really accomplished when I manage to complete 3 or so books in one day, because look at that Goodreads challenge jump up!

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Another thing I do for my reading is to acknowledge that there are some authors I just don’t like and won’t read. Most people will say you need to read widely, and I whole-heartedly agree with that, but I don’t want to spend time and money on an author when I know I don’t like how they write or what they write. There are too many books in the world that are waiting for me to find them and I don’t have time to waste on mediocre books/authors.

And just because I don’t like a book or feel like a book is for me, doesn’t mean that it might not be for you. One of the best things about reading is that it’s subjective to the reader, and what I like you might actually hate. We can all have our own opinions.

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This year I got super into graphic novels and to be real, I’m so glad I did. They basically go fast, pretty artwork and make me feel so happy because “Look how many books I finished because of them”. I wish I could say the same for audiobooks, but unfortunately I’m very picky on audiobooks. I have to have a narrator I like, I have to have read the book previously and I have to like the way they talk. (Kid you not, very unpopular opinion here but everyone in the book community seems to love Jim Dale’s narration of the Harry Potter books and I absolutely HATED how he voiced the characters)

I really wish I could read more audiobooks because then I would have so many books read, but I have 3 that I love, and that’s enough for me at the moment.

Another thing I do to challenge myself to read more books is something that’s really random but it’s to take a picture of each book and do a twitter thread with it. For some reason knowing that the thread pops up and shows not only how many books I’ve read but also how many pages and ratings I’ve given it, makes me want to read more just to fill it up.

And the last thing I do to read so much is just literally carry a book with me wherever I go. Anytime there’s a line (hello crazy holiday shopping) I pull out the book and read. Maybe it will only be a few pages, maybe it will be almost finishing the book, but I never really have a problem with waiting.

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So, yeah that’s pretty much how I read and such…which really wasn’t very full of tips as far as I can see, but maybe one of these will help you out!

Hope your day is going great, and remember life is too short for mediocre books!

~Stephanie

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