Perhaps I’ve unlocked some sort of new book blogger level once I’ve been sent a puzzle for review, or maybe the good folks at Thomas Allen just know I’m the type of person that wants to sit at home by myself for long periods of time, but either way, I’m excited to share with my readers my first ever bookish puzzle review!!! I’m not sure how to properly review a product like this but I’ve got some fun pictures and adjectives to share, so I’ll start with those.
I had the pleasure of putting together Book Nerd by Holly Maguire with my husband and my two young kids at our family cottage, which by the way, does not have television or internet: essentially the ideal conditions for puzzling. I anticipated this would take us the two weeks we were there, but instead we completed it within the first three days of our stay – turns out puzzling is addictive when it’s in the middle of our living room!
Obviously we started with the edges first, which came together quite quickly. Then we worked our way inwards, slowly putting together a few key sections that were easy to sort from the pile; certain potted plants, pieces of clothing, the dog and the cat, etc. Then we were on to particularly colorful sections of the bookcases, which I found easy enough because I knew many of the book titles. This is where the true joy of the puzzle shone for me – recognizing books I’ve reviewed on this blog like Girl by Edna O’Brien, and Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams.
The bookshelves display a wide range of titles; from fiction to non-fiction, from classics to modern-day bestsellers, this particular collection has something for everyone. And once the books themselves are completed, the seafoam green wallpaper isn’t too difficult as it has a pattern unto itself, and the white shelves are fairly thin so there isn’t a great expanse of a single colour to frustrate puzzle novices. Both our children enjoyed placing a few pieces, and our 7-year-old in particular made some great headway, so don’t let the 1000 pieces scare you away; anyone can tackle this challenge with a little patience and time.
As we were puzzling together, I mused out loud to my husband: “How am I going to review a puzzle? What should I say about it?” and my husband suggested I mention how smooth and pleasing the pieces themselves were. It’s an odd observation, but he’s right – they were laminated in some way to ensure they felt nice in the hand, and clicked together fairly easily. He also wanted me to mention they didn’t feel “too dry”, so take from that what you will.
Now please don’t take this review to mean I’m going to start puzzling on the regular – I simply don’t have the time to do this often. That being said it was a nice treat on our family vacation, and as you can see below I’ve shelved this at a little free library in Muskoka so family of bookworms can delight in this puzzle the way we have.
I love this so much! We enjoy puzzles at my house too. Especially bookish ones! And I love that little free library in a tree!
right? It was all so great 🙂
I used to do a lot of jigsaws (as we call them) back in the pre-cat days, but I soon found cats and jigsaws don’t mix well! They can be extremely relaxing though, and this one looks like a lot of fun.
Ah yes, jigsaws!!!! B/c we were at the cottage the whole cat issue didn’t come into play, but you’re right that every time we try to play a board game or put a puzzle together at home, Makita jumps on the table and tries to join in 🙂
I totally know what your husband means about the pieces, including them feeling dry. Sometimes the bottom of the box will have lots of “puzzle dust,” as I call it, from when the pieces were cut in the factory. If the pieces aren’t carefully crafted, you can actually put one piece in several places and it FEELS like it clicks together, even though it doesn’t belong there. I hate that.
I’ll tell him that you agree with his puzzle piece assessment, he’ll feel so good about himself haha