Lectiophilia: a single word encompassing a deep love for reading.
I can’t tell you why I stopped reading for fun – whether it was because the mundane responsibilities of day-to-day life took over or because I started supplementing books for other hobbies – but I vow to make this is the year I begin again (never mind the fact we’re already three months into 2017. Better late than never, right?). My interest was sparked upon reading about the 52 books in 52 weeks challenge, but I came to the realization shortly after that I simply don’t have the spare time to read a new book every week, as much as I’d love to. As it is, I find myself reading countless chapters a week for graduate school. It doesn’t always bear the most fun material, but I can certainly say I’ve learned a wealth of knowledge in this past year. Therefore, I’ve adapted the challenge to fit my lifestyle a bit better: I’ll be reading 24 books in 12 months. This equates to two books a month, which is much more achievable given my current situation. This month I opted to read Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert and We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. These two books had little common ground, except for one thing – both were written with the purpose of teaching the reader an important lesson. Here are my thoughts on the diverse pieces (also, this post contains affiliate links, but I can assure you my opinions are 100% honest):
There were a million and one reasons why I wanted to love this book. After reading scores of raving reviews, I delved head first into this literary adventure with exceptionally high expectations, but found myself wildly disappointed as the novel played out. My first issue with Gilbert’s writing was that it was all over the place. She perpetually jumped from one story to the next, with no real transitioning in between. Perhaps she did this on purpose. Whatever, moving on. As I continued to read further into the chapters, Gilbert attempts to personify the concept of an idea, claiming they are, “constantly galloping towards us, constantly passing through us, constantly trying to get our attention.” Um, what? Big Magic is more or less a composition of Gilbert’s quirky ramblings rather than an inspirational, self-help book. While the reading did heed a few pieces of advice I thought were useful, like the notion that we should take advantage of our most brilliant ideas immediately rather than pushing them aside until later, I did not buy the mantra that ideas are anything more than products of our own, individual brains. Additionally, she spent much of the book talking about herself – name-dropping at any opportunity she could – and I found it particularly hard to read without losing interest.
My final rating: 5/10
I decided to read this book in honor of National Women’s Day, which falls on Wednesday, March 8th this year. Albeit the cover is relatively plain (IE. boring), any seasoned reader knows not to judge a book by it’s cover. As of lately, there has been such a negative stigma attached to the world ‘feminism’. Anyone who cares deeply about women’s rights and equality is automatically dubbed delusional, self-centered, and my personal favorite, a man-hater. While a true feminist knows equality on both sides is of the utmost importance, Adichie sets the record straight in her book, which is short, sweet, and straight to the point. This enlightening read offers insight on what it means to be a feminist, utilizing personal anecdotes to elucidate the discrimination that women in other parts of the world encounter on a daily basis. We’re no longer living in the 60’s, and a woman should be looked at as a strong, resilient being who is capable of everything a man is. Adichie makes the compelling argument that we should be feminists in the most eloquent way possible, and I’d definitely recommend this book for anyone looking to delve into the true significance of feminism.
My final rating: 8/10
What are some of your favorite reads? I’m in need of two compelling picks for next month!