Confession time: I haven’t read a book for fun in almost three years. Yikes. I say ‘for fun’ because I’ve read plenty of books while finishing my degree, but I wouldn’t necessarily call speed reading half of Ulysses in three weeks a pleasurable literary experience. Intimidating? Yes. Anxiety-inducing? Check. Two feelings that shouldn’t be associated with the pleasure of hunkering down with a good book.
I think this is a particularly difficult thing to admit to myself because I’ve always been a veracious reader. As a kid I loved reading and this continued on into high school and post-secondary (hence the English degree). I was a true blue, capital R, Reader.
The truth is, there are plenty of people who don’t read, and that’s perfectly ok! Nowadays there are all sorts of ways to tell stories, and for some people, cracking the spine of a brand new book has little appeal. For that reason, I hate that I’m so worked up about not reading as much as I used to. Don’t get me wrong, Ive read a book of poetry here and there, and started a few novels, but long gone are the days of basking in a good book. Maybe it’s five years of reading every canonical piece of literature imaginable with extreme time restraints (which wasn’t all bad, of course). Or, it could be the fact that my attention span has been widdled down to nothing by the time-sucking wormhole that is Instagram. Or maybe I just haven’t found the right book.
Either way, it’s a lot harder than it used to be, and I’m trying with all my might to remedy that. In the meantime, I’ve been finding that light, low-commitment stories, articles, and books have really helped me fall back in love with reading. Even if it’s just cruising through a few blog posts in the morning before work, or flipping through a cookbook while I psych myself up to some proper fiction.
So, without any further rambling, here’s what I’m reading. Oh, and I think it goes without saying, but any book recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
In my quest to find something interesting to read, I’ve been scouring blog and websites that I’ve been frequenting for a long time. If you aren’t familiar with Man Repeller, or know them purely through Instagram, I would highly encourage you to read some of their articles! The writing is funny and poignant, without being showy. It feels like hanging out with a fashion-wise friend, who you can sort of talk to about anything. There have been two articles in particular I feasted on this month. The first, “I’m Obsessed With Divorce and I Blame Every 90’s Movie” is exactly what it sounds like. The second, “Why I Won’t Give-Up Nail Biting (or other PG Thrills)” was both relatable (as a nail biter myself), and also just a great conversation about allowing yourself a few filthy habits (no matter how filthy they may be).
Thirty-seven Small Songs & Thirteen Silences by Jan Zwicky
If you happen to live Pacific North-West like I do, you’ve no doubt heard of Jan Zwicky. If you have no idea who I’m talking about, then fair enough. She’s a highly celebrated poet and author, who just so happens to teach Philosophy at my alma mater, and dominates the local lit scene (for good reason). I’ve been familiar with her poetry for a few years, but this particular book of poetry really stands out. Each poem is maybe only 8-10 lines, but she delivers such amazing imagery with economy. It’s been a nice reminder to me that less is definitely more, and that I don’t have to try to squeeze an entire narrative into a poem, but rather focus on capturing an emotion or a moment in time. If you’ve never read a book of poetry in your life this might be a good place to start.
The Anna Edit
I love Anna. She’s just...so great. Her blog? So great. Her Youtube channel? So great. My ability to think of any other adjectives? Not so great. Ten minutes prior to writing this post, I actually got an email notification that she liked and replied to one of my comments and I am ashamed to say that I got a little too excited. I am a mere pleb, unworthy of her time. I just love everything she does and everything she writes. She’s personable, she does her homework, she knows what the people want! She’s even got a book coming out soon, and you better believe that I will be getting my freshly chewed fingers on that sucker. This past month, in preparation for this blog, I’ve been reading some of her older posts about tips and tricks for blogging, and how she managed to turn it into a full time gig. Now obviously I am a long way off, but a girl can dream, right? Her posts are charming, honest, and I always know I’m in for a good read. You can find her blog here!
Well, there you have it! A bit of a random list, I’ll admit, but hey, whatever gets me reading again! If you have any book or blog recommendations, I’d love to hear ‘em!