I have always been a voracious reader. My parents still tell stories about how they used to have to pull books out of my hands so I could focus on getting ready for school or eating my breakfast without spilling on myself. I have always been a book person. I totally appreciate tablets and e-readers, especially when travel is concerned, but I love the feel of holding a book in my hands. That being said, I devour books like slices of pizza, rapidly gobbling up the stories contained within them. As much as I adore them, books cost a few bucks, so I had found myself reading less because I wasn’t willing to sacrifice space in my budget to pick up new titles.
In Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project, she talks about identifying the problem as the main way of overcoming an obstacle. When I started feeling frustrated that I had been reading less and began contemplating why that was, I realized that I wasn’t in a place to spend a ton of money on books. I can usually read three books a week, so that would come to about 12 books per month, totaling somewhere close to $2,400 per year! So the problem, then, was money. How should I overcome this problem? I don’t know why I didn’t realize it sooner, but the answer was so simple: get a library card and check out books for free.
I had dragged my feet on this, for some reason fearing that the process of getting a library card would be tedious and lengthy. But on a gray Sunday at the end of April, I finally took the plunge and I cannot tell you how my heart palpitated once I realized that all of the books in the public library were at my disposal (besides, the whole card process took a whole two minutes). I was like a kid in a candy store, looking up titles (and, frankly, re-training myself on the methods of the Dewey Decimal System), checking out books, and adding myself to wait-lists for popular works. I spent the rest of the afternoon reading, and have since knocked out six delicious titles:
- Delancey by Molly Wizenberg – my favorite of the bunch!
- The Fringe Hours: Secrets to Making Time for You by Jennifer Turner – really applicable tips found here, though the tone/writing style wasn’t always quite my taste; an easy & quick read nonetheless.
- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – so captivating, albeit a bit dark, with a touching budding romance at the center of the story.
- The Circle by Dave Eggers – a powerful commentary on social media + an amazing narrative.
- The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty – this book was even more engaging than I could have imagined, as I’d heard/read about it for months. I couldn’t put it down!
- Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by Anne Lamott – another winner by an author I love. There were some amazing gems in here, though I could have used a little more meat in some sections.
Now I’m starting The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo, which is actually a book that Mom lent me. And here are the books from the library that I just picked up yesterday:
- All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews
- The Chaperone by Liane Moriarty
- David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell
- I’ll Drink to That: A Life in Style, with a Twist by Betty Halbreich
- One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper
- Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte
- Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfield
As you can see, I’m going nuts over my new library card – I feel like I’ve been given a new sense of freedom, and I’m loving getting back into a reading routine (especially before going to bed – it’s so relaxing!). It’s the best move I’ve made in recent history.
Have you been reading anything good lately? If so, I’d love to have your recommendations!
Photo of a darling little mobile library in Dallas via my dear friend, Elizabeth Corley
Thank you for this great list of recommendations, Rachel! It makes me want to curl up with all of these books and read non-stop;) I love libraries !
Let me know if you have any other recommendations – you’re always reading great stuff! xo
Reading has always been your passion since the very early years. I love your recommendations and can’t wait to dig in. I’m heading to the library, today!
I haven’t been to the library in forever only because it takes me so long to finish books these days, but you’re inspiring me to head there again. Loved The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and The Circle. On my list: Better than Before, Bowl + Spoon (super readable, even though it is a cookbook), The Best Yes, On Becoming Fearless, All the Light We Cannot See (have this in audio, though its so rich, that I want to get the book and read it slowly), Being Mortal. I also got really into The Signature of All Things.
Better Than Before, Bowl + Spoon, All the Light We Cannot See & Big Little Lies are all on my waitlist! I love your additional suggestions, I definitely need to snag those. Please keep sharing any great titles you come across, we totally have the same taste in books! 🙂
Big, Little Lies is another guilty pleasure read!
I love this!!! You’ve inspired me to get a library card now.