monday muse · reading challenge

Monday Muse: Why Read?

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This question was posed to me lately as I was reading memoirs about readers and their beloved reading habits. I don’t recall being asked this question personally – at any age/school year, at a library/bookstore, at bookish events, or any interactions due to my friendships or blogging. Honestly, I’m not sure if I have a well-thought out response even after all these years of reading. It is kind of like developing a personal philosophy as it is not set in stone but ever evolving and influenced by experiences present and those to come. At this present moment, I read to escape, to calm myself from daily struggles I face both socially and professionally. I read to forget the madness around me and truly immerse myself in something I can attach one (at the very least) emotion – laugh, cry, fear, anger, love, longing, learning, etc. Sometimes I read because I like being different as the assumptions of what the people around me are like involve filling time with social media platforms and buzzfeed articles whilst I do my best to challenge the status quo of reading a physical book as I wait in line, walk through a park, eat my lunch, or wait for an appointment. My craving for knowledge is an obvious rationale since I obtain new resources and nuggets of information from every book I read (whether I like it or not) and then share out to whomever is in my line of fire! SO it seems that I have many reasons to read. To heal, to feel, to learn. At least for now, that’s why.

What is your Why for reading?

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Monday Muse: A Lone Read(er)

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Confession: for the longest time I thought Frank in You’ve Got Mail was telling Kathleen that she was “a lone read”. When brainstorming this Monday Muse topic, I quickly learned that he was talking about a lone REED! Hahaha Whelp, either way, I’m still going to make a bookish reference and claim here as 1. it’s a bookish movie it came from, and 2. there are overarching themes of being alone in both metaphors.

I’ve been intrigued by the popular Silent Book Club (unfortunately, the closest one to me is 2 hours away), as it is a community of readers that find solace in solitude amongst fellow bookworms while also socializing and learning! What a concept. However, this makes me wonder about what I see on most Bookstagram profiles and shared photos that we tend to read alone. I have grappled with the notion of doing things on my own and being comfortable with that type of independence, especially in public. While I am at home, there are moments later in the day that I wonder, have I talked to anyone at all today? Whatever the answer to that question is at that time, I’m content because my introverted self is more than ok.

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Monday Muse (13) – Depth vs. Breadth

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I was talking with a friend at work the other day about our habits with reading. We both found it difficult to justify reading more by one author rather than reading all the other authors out there (at least one of their books if they wrote more than one). This makes me wonder what is more important to the reader – depth in one author’s style OR breadth of authors’ voices. I can see how academics truly immerse themselves in one author and/or time period for writers to be experts, but is that what we as the common reader aim? She was more inclined to read deeply Oscar Wilde works, where I have found solace in Jane Austen, Dan Brown, and Colleen Hoover. However, once I find an author (beyond a series since that I do not consider a part of depth) and dive into their works (famous or not), I tend to notice how they approach their content and can soon predict the rising action, climax, and denouement. Not that that is a terrible thing, but it does make me reconsider other authors styles that I have yet to discover. With my huge TBR pile, after I read a book and am amazed by the author’s writing style, sometimes I jump ship from my pile and head to the local library for something else by them – I swear Colleen Hoover dominated by Fall and Winter reading!

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Monday Muse (12) – Reread Month

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Sometimes, I look upon my bookshelves that is clearly divided into two sections: to be read and to be reread. As many bookworms may relate to, the to be read pile grows much faster than the latter. However, I’ve been reading some amazing books lately that I wish I had more time to reread them – to experience the emotions I felt the first time and/or to pick up new themes and nuggets I overlooked. I go back and forth between sticking with what you know you like and experiencing something different (always giving a book 100 pages before deciding if it is worth finishing). What a risk that is, as there are other books I KNOW I like that I could reread and still have an enjoyable experience. It is like the whole desert island game: which 5 books would you bring with you if you were stranded on an island? You better like the ones you bring! I wrote a post surmising this thought of rereading called Book Perennials and have yet to take myself up on it. Then I pondered, why not dedicate a whole month to rereading my favorites? Easier said then done, as I am internally going through the rest of year and seeing what books come out or what I have to read for class or my book clubs. Now if I was on a sabbatical, that would be the PERFECT time to indulge in books like these:

wild9everythingmbyfault

I wonder if this idea can be one of the Readathon Challenges I’ve seen….. Now there’s a thought 🙂

What are books you’d like to reread every year?

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Monday Muse (11) – Book Hangover

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Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon has undone me. I was skeptical at first, as how can a Young Adult/Teen book affect me so? Whelp, I’m happy to be proven wrong. And now that I read it in one day, I have no idea what to do with myself. It’s gotten to a point where I picked up a book the other day to start (one that I was highly anticipating!) and couldn’t find it in me to keep at it. Now granted, Everything, Everything is a unique type of literature that includes drawings by the author’s husband and  most dialogue between the two main characters is through email and instant messenger – not comparable to Pride and Prejudice whatsoever in terms of prose. But something about it and the themes and conclusion has kept me in a perpetual book hangover. I must say this is a rare occurrence for me, and it maybe attributed to how I’m on Whole30 and moods are just generally better and life is good in this program! However, I am confident that is not the reason I’m elated, and yet worried to pick something else up because it won’t compare to what I’ve experienced reading through Yoon’s first novel. It doesn’t help either that the trailer for the film adaptation went up not too long ago, so when I’m not reminiscing on the book, I’m watching the youtube clip every moment I get. I can’t get enough. I also want to tell eveerryyooonnneeee I know about it #obsessed. My review will be posted in the next week, so don’t worry, the high will continue then as well.

The questions I have for myself now are, what the heck am I going to read next?! And when will I be mentally prepared for it?!

Have you ever had a book hangover?