books, Maria's Column, reading, self-care

Falling in Love with Reading Again

Hello everyone! I have been meaning to do a book review for a long time now, but I can’t decide which one to talk about. So I’m going to discuss a couple of things in this post and hopefully book reviews will become a monthly post for me.

First off I want to talk about my relationship with books. I have always loved to read. Ever since I was a little girl I have been obsessed with books. My mom would read to me every night and our Christmas countdown was unwrapping a book every night instead of unwrapping chocolate. I had finished the Harry Potter series by the time I turned 11 and was tearing through any book I could get my hands on. I read books well above my grade level, which usually meant checking books out of the high school library. I don’t think I can count how many times my school librarian made me put a book back because I was under the grade limit for checking it out (she did that for content not because of skill level).

Reading was my escape. When I was having a hard time in the real world, I could escape into fantasy worlds of magic, wonder and adventure. I could picture myself as the heroine saving the world. The one who gets to go on the adventure, fall in love and do it all over again. I became the characters that could conquer anything in the real world.

But somewhere along the line that all changed.

I stopped reading as much as I used to. I would buy new books all the time, but I couldn’t get myself to read. I still really don’t fully understand what happened – but it didn’t bring me joy anymore. It started to feel like a chore.

Maybe it’s partially because I’m an English Major and all of my homework is reading, or maybe it was because too much Netflix rotted my brain – but I lost interest in reading. I lost interest in books.

I had to force myself to read for my classes and even then I skimmed and used Spark Notes a lot of the time. But over this past year I have slowly started to allow myself to fall back in love with reading. To discover new worlds and new adventures instead of just numbing my brain with constant movie streaming and social media.

That is one thing that this pandemic has been really helpful with. I have the time to read!

It’s still a struggle sometimes to choose a book over watching a streaming service, but the reward is so much better. I’m forming reading habits again and I’m finding a new and revived joy in books. I get excited about picking up a new book to read and I don’t want to put my stories down until I finish.

If you are struggling with similar things just know that you aren’t alone. Sometimes we think it is easier to just numb ourselves to the world around us instead of facing it head on. I still truly believe that literature has the power to change the world. If you’re a reader, a writer or a listener, literature can make an impact on your life in extraordinary ways. Lean into the change and see what can happen.

Here are some recommendations for books that can help you fall back in love with reading:

  • Circe – Madeline Miller
  • Salvage the Bones – Jesmyn Ward
  • A Darker Shade of Magic – V. E Schwab
  • Beach Read – Emily Henry
  • Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

If you want any official book reviews on any of these stories let us know in the comments! I hope you all have a wonderful week.

Happy reading!


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