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Two years ago Abrams & Chronicle published a wonderful little book called I’d Rather Be Reading, a mini coffee table book, packed full of literary-inspired artwork, quotes and photographs, and peppered with essays by fellow book nerds (click here for my review). They’ve since created a bookish collection comprised of a set of three notebooks, a 1000-piece puzzle, a journal, and this box of 20 notecards and envelopes (10 designs, two of each).
Have I mentioned that I bleddy love books? And not just in a ‘I like to read’ way. In a Rory Gilmore ‘nothing smells like that’ kinda way. I can’t walk past a book shop, I have piles of books stacked haphazardly next to my overflowing bookcase, and if I love a book and suggest you read it I might lend you my copy but god help you if you don’t use a bookmark! Don’t fret for my bank balance though, my library card gets a good workout too, but I love decorating my home with beautiful editions.
I could never own an e-reader because books are my digital detox; they’re my escape. I work in comms and I blog, not to mention I’ve become something of a #bookstagram addict, so I’m in front of a screen most of the time. By picking up a physical book, I’m shutting myself away from the rest of the world – no multi-tasking, no notifications, no interruptions.
A recent study showed that reading for just six minutes a day can reduce stress levels by 68% (source). My commute is a whopping 90 minutes each way – that’s plenty of downtime to de-stress (we’ll ignore the fact that it’s a busy and noisy school bus…). I’m also doing my future self a favour, as reading regularly can enhance your brain power and memory skills (source). I’m not able to read in bed because it sends me straight to sleep, so using the commute to read instead of scroll is so beneficial.
I also read because I love to write. That may sound counter-productive, as time spent reading is time which could be spent writing (or at the very least drafting a post on my phone), but reading widely, whether it’s chick lit, classic, young adult, or a children’s book, whether fiction, memoir, poetry, or a collection of essays, it all increases my knowledge of other experiences – and widens my vocabulary. As Stephen King said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
Lately I’ve been favouring books which inspire, educate or empower me, mostly written by women and about female experiences. I’ve been inspired by the lives and careers of some truly incredibly people, I’m learning to up my game on Instagram (thanks, Hashtag Authentic!), and I finally feel like it’s ok to put myself first (sometimes). If you’re looking for recommendations, check out my reviews of Sarah Knight’s No Fucks Given Guides and my post on feminist books for all ages.
Why do you read?