The Big 100- “Reading Revival” Revisted.

Everyone loves a good Netflix binge. Like, who doesn’t want to watch hours of Stassi vs The World (clearly, I’m watching Vanderpump Rules right now). But, almost a year ago, I committed to refinding my love for reading. And this week, I’m reporting back to say I found it, celebrated it, and have held onto it. 

The number of books I’ve read throughout the summer and semester is probably pretty average. It ranges from 1-3 a month and yes, one of them is always the Girls’ Night In book club pick. At first, progress was slow and it took an effort to turn pages instead of pressing play, but over time, the value of reading started to really show itself. 

“Reflecting on the differences in the characters I was reading about lead me to develop an understanding of narratives from different perspectives. A kind of empathy I could bring to the real world.”

Something I’ve noticed is that in times of self-obsession, like extreme stress or mini-meltdowns, empathy with and an attachment to fictional characters can keep you sane. It’s a distraction without complete distance and isolation from all human emotion. It’s a connection without a charge attached. It’s simple and it’s a way to practice loving when you maybe don’t have all yourself to give. 

“There are other women out there that want to grow from the books they’re reading, too. They want to understand the relationships between characters and relate it to their own personal development.”

I read the best book about two weeks ago. It’s topping the charts and is this month’s GNI book. It’s called Educated, by Tara Westover. It’s about the education of a girl raised by a super religious Mormon family. The real kicker is that it’s a memoir. The other real kicker is that it’s impossible to put down. 

There’s a kind of excitement in realizing someone enjoyed the same thing as you. It’s uniting and powerful. All the women in my family had read the book, or are currently reading the book, and I feel so close to them when we talk about it. The differences in interpretation reveal how we differ but also all we share. I love hearing her favorite subplot or her least favorite chapter. I’m getting to jump into the brains of people I love and it’s all because of 300 pages of words. 

So, I’ll end the same way I did in February 2018.

“So to conclude, read a book. Not optional. Please and thank you.”

Find the original story of my Reading Revival here


Stuck in my head: Golden Age // Houndmouth
Snap it: current read: The Handmaid’s Tale featuring my doggie PJ pants

Reading Revival.

Last night was the Girls’ Night In book club meet up in DC (shameless plug for GNI- follow their Instagram and subscribe to their newsletter) and let me just tell you it took me back to high school English class in the best way possible. Not only did we discuss a book that was interesting (Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong) but it gave me the creative inertia to write something again. So like, also, hi. It’s been a while. 

I started reading again at the beginning of this year because I was having trouble sleeping at night. I could give you scientific facts about how technology inhibits the secretion of melatonin in the brain or whatever, but instead, I’m just gonna go with the fact that you’ve probably suffered from technology-induced insomnia, too. And the worst part of not being able to fall asleep is the stress of knowing you can’t fall asleep. It’s honestly just a downward spiral to panic-ville. Not cute. 

But, aside from upping my nighttime routine, reading re-sparked my love for being creative and telling stories. I found myself analyzing storytelling techniques, mimicking character development, and more generally, being mindful of the way I reveal plot points in my own stories. Reflecting on the differences in the characters I was reading about lead me to develop an understanding of narratives from different perspectives. A kind of empathy I could bring to the real world.

The book club didn’t make me realize this- I was already conscious of my reading revival. But, the book club helped me realize that there are other women out there that want to grow from the books they’re reading, too. They want to understand the relationships between characters and relate it to their own personal development.

Goodbye, Vitamin was not the easiest book for me to relate to. The characters are much older, the subject touches on illness in the family and divorce, and the main character is extremely immature and underdeveloped. Yet, through the writing style of the book, I was able to fall for the positive spin on the plot’s most tragic moments. It was my type of thinking, my type of approach to challenges in life. In a time of stress and self-inflicted isolation due to exam week overload, it was nice to come home and share my perspective with someone- even if all else was completely unrelatable to me. 

So to conclude, read a book. It’s unfortunate how we don’t appreciate words on a page as much as subtitles on a screen. I think it’s time to trade Netflix for novels. Not optional. Please and thank you.


Stuck in my head: Tuesday // Hippo Campus
Snap it: my beeeeed!

P.S. The March book club book is Text Me When You Get Home. Check it out.