the crazy little reader.

when i was little, we often would drive out to BC for a month during the summer.
we camped, swam, explored, spent time with family...
and read and read and read.

i would go to the library before the trip,
check out 20 books,
and try my best to stuff them all in one backpack.

i read voraciously during the year too.
at about thirteen years old, i realized, with great sadness,
that i had read almost the complete young adult section at my local library.
i began to venture off to the next closest library to quench my insatiable thirst.

{i was a flexible little reader!}

all throughout junior high and high school, i read like crazy.
but as i started university,
all the required readings (novels, articles, textbooks) started to weigh me down.
i realized that i started wanting to read for pleasure less + less.
all that required reading made picking up a book look a lot less attractive.

it's a little scary when something you have always done,
something you've always considered core to your personality,
just isn't there anymore. 

this is not to say that i don't read at all anymore,
but i often have to force myself to pick up a book,
and it sometimes takes me a looooong time to get through it.
(case in point, outliers. i finally finished it yesterday after starting it THIS SUMMER!)

every once in awhile, i read something that re-ignites that spark
and i feel like that crazy little reader inside of me is not gone,
just a little tired.
(jonathan strange + mr. norrell did it for me this summer -
read it! a little slow in the middle, but the last third was amazing!)

so new year's resolution:
revive that crazy little reader inside.
i miss him a lot.

and i need to start spending more time in bookstores again.
what wonderful wonderful places.

any fabulous book suggestions??


  1. fabulous post! it broke my heart a little.
    i love little j!

  2. I get all my books of Borders Marketplace! So cheap!

  3. I am with you on EVERY level here in this post. I grew up with my face glued to books, read through the whole library, university has tried to kill my love for reading!!!

    IF you haven't already read them:

    I Am The Messenger-- Markus Zusack
    Blink-- Malcolm Gladwell
    The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters {it's a series} I'm not sure of the author...

    This is, of course, assuming you've read The Time Traveller's Wife. I cannot recommend it highly enough.


  4. Just like you, I was a little bookworm too, actually I still am!

    Reading is a fantastic hobby, it brings me to so many places, it's wonderful. I just read Richard Yate's Revolutionary Road, it's a fantastic book..really, I highly recommend it.

    By the way, Happy New Year!

  5. funny you posted this!
    a bunch of bloggers just started a book club that was announced today.
    check it out on my blog! we'd love to have you along!

  6. My favorite thing about being done with college is that I have time to read for fun again!
    If you want a book to really get you reinvigorated about education, especially in the inner city, I can't recommend Whatever It Takes by Paul Tough strongly enough. It's about the Harlem Children's Zone, and it's inspiring and amazing and incredibly well-written.

  7. JANIS!!!
    Firstly, I adore ADORE adore your blog!!! It's so very much you to the core!! I am so very glad that I discovered it!!! [it has become one of the highlights of my day to read it]
    I just started going through the booklist you gave me over FB at the beginning of the school year and will be attempting to fit in some 'pleasure' reading in as I have decided that it will be purposeful for the survival of my sanity.
    Love reading this and seeing your lovely pics!!

  8. I completely understand what you're going through. Required reading weighs me down, too, and I never really read for fun anymore-- I have read a lot on this break from school, though.

    My favorite books that I read last year were: The Red Leather Diary, The Book Thief, American Wife, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, the Help, Ella Minnow Pea... lots!

    I hope you get that love for reading back!

  9. +SNAP! missed out on a beautiful photo-shoot at mcnally!
    maybe instead of new books, some old classics would re-ignite your passion for reading?
    "fat chance", "who's got gertie and how can we get her back", "the face on the milk carton" all come to my mind :D

  10. those pictures are too cute! i wish i could read more- truth is, i'm not good at it , to easily distracted.xoxo

  11. Janis, this is a marvelous post and one after my own heart! I love seeing the evolution of your reading self!! I too have a passion for books - just to be in their presence (either in a bookstore or gazing at my own library)! I just finished On Beauty by Zadie Smith and am dying for her new book of essays "Changing My Mind." For non-fiction, "Half the Sky" by Nicholas Kristof is a fabulous account of empowering women around the world. For the classics, I reread "Sense And Sensibility" every year, loving it more each time and I am about to dive into Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged." Happy reading, friend!

  12. oh i totally used to be the same! i used to read so much. but then when i went to university to study music then that all changed because i had to read books that were assigned. not so much fun anymore!

  13. Yey, a book post! Lovely, just lovely!
    Well, I'm reading Chronic City by Jonathan Lethem right now, and it's hysterical. Haven't gotten that far, but it's promising for sure! Loved this post. Hope you find your inner reader again, I'm joining this blog book club thing that I can't remember the name on righ tnow, will get back to you on that!

  14. try Dylan Thomas's Adventures in the Skin Trade.

    after that, try reading my blog...

    All Fashion is Fiction...


  15. I was totally the same way in university Janis! Don't worry, someday when you're all done, the little reader inside of you will find it's way back into your life. Mine sure did - give me a good book and I'll finish it in two days flat! Sometimes one if I really can't put it down!

    A few good ones that I finished recently: Divine by Karen Kingsbury and Riven by Jerry Jenkins. Excellent books!

  16. So cute. I could never be that flexible when I'm reading. Very impressive.

  17. oh you guys are so sweet! so many book suggestions! i will definitely be writing some down! merci beaucoup! x

  18. i noticed in college today that i am going to start hating reading. ughhghh. why must school do this to us? haha. i love this post though.

  19. first of all, AMAZING photos, you are adorable!!! second of all, i could not agree more. i used to read non-stop... get in trouble for reading in class! now that i'm an english major, i'm lucky if i have time to finish my required reading! but i do still love reading... my favorite book is extremely loud and incredibly close by jonathan safran foer... if you haven't read it, you MUST! xo

  20. Have you read any Miranda July?

  21. is that mcnally? i heard that they're going out of business and it kind made me sad. textbooks made me quit reading too.

  22. bookstores are one of my FAVORITE places to be. But I seem to forget that, and I need to spend more time in them, too.

    p.s. speaking of fabulous book suggestions, I just blogged about one...

  23. I was totally the same way. I inhaled our elementary school library and then some. Those pictures of you are hilarious. Particularly, the one where you're folded like a pretzel.


  24. wow, i couldn't have put it better myself! that is almost exactly how i feel. i'm glad you're making it a resolution to find that little reader! perhaps i will, too. i don't, however, think i'll be fortunate enough to find the flexibility. :]

    i don't know if you've already found this, but i did just this week: goodreads.com. i love it! it's a good way to keep track of books and a nice little online community for book lovers. you should check it out.

    some of my favorites (as if you need more!):

    thought-provoking:: The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

    adventure/historical fiction:: Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

    self-improvement/empowering:: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnagie

    amazing biography about walt disney:: How to Be Like Walt by Pat Williams

    easy to read almost fairy tale:: Ella Enchanted by Gale Carson Levine

  25. lovely post! i feel the same way too - i'm a freshman now, and i'm just too bogged down by required readings and articles that it has taken the time and energy away from me to read books that I want to read. I think I might start reading books by Roald Dahl! I looooved them as a kid and would stay up and read in bed, in the dark. (No wonder I had to wear glasses by the time I was ten..) No adult fiction, but I shall rediscover my love for the Big Friendly Giant and Willy Wonka! :)


thanks so much for writing! i love hearing from you!