Say YES to reading
Books have always been a part of my life. My earliest memories are of my mom reading to me. There was something about the way she read that made everything come to life. I loved being curled up in bed with her, looking up at her as she read the words out to me. Words I couldn’t see, but words I could feel. I could be perfectly safe with her next to me while my imagination would run wild. I think that’s where my love of reading began. I still remember our trips to the library. My mom, my sister and me. Getting to pick out books. My mom would leave to check out her favourite authors, while my sister and I proceeded to race each other upstairs to the coveted JA section. Summer was always an adventure, because we could get so many books to make our summer reading pile. A pile which my sister always got through quicker than me before inevitably dipping into my stack (she still does this btw). I have never been a quick reader, yet still get immensely lost in a story. I become attached to characters to the point where I don’t know how to say goodbye when I reach the last page.
I attribute my wild imagination to growing up reading books. People will often tell me that I have child-like dreams because the things I conjure up are so amazingly outrageous that only a kid could dream it. I wouldn’t change it though. It’s fascinating to me that the mind can envision a whole person simply through descriptors that are written in a book. I love that I get to be another person when I read. I love that I get to be in a whole different world. It’s not like watching a movie or a show. Because you aren’t using imagination there. The characters are already created. And you can separate the character from the actor if you really want to. You can’t do that when you read. What you create is yours and it stays yours while you are subconsciously making adjustments here and there. Constantly creating. All within your mind. And you get to learn. Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, there’s always a takeaway. Everyone will interpret a book differently, and that is what makes it even more amazing. Can you tell how much I love it?
I realized that I don’t give myself enough time to enjoy books. Even knowing how much I love reading, I just don’t do it enough. I buy a ton of books and I get another handful from the library. Then they sit there neatly stacked next my bed, acting as a second nightstand, while I spend my evenings watching Netflix. It seems silly. I get spurts of motivation to read, but then it passes by and I’m back to stacking up my books for a rainy day.
I recently went on a yoga/meditation retreat, and the ladies there were talking about a book challenge they did for 2018. Reading 50 books in a year. It was so inspiring listening to the adventures they had had through their books. How many they got through, how many stories they got to be a part of. I was so happy sitting next to the fire just listening to the excited exchange of stories. I was itching to get my hands on a good book after that conversation, so I decided right there that I needed to do this for myself.
So that’s my plan for 2019. Lots and lots of reading. With many cozy blankets, lovely teas and hopefully a fur baby (fingers crossed!). Some of my goals for this new year include clarity (personally and professionally), more adventure, more presence and more time immersing myself in things I love. Reading does all those things. It can offer clarity, it offers escape and adventure, it makes you present (because you just can’t truly multitask while reading) and I get to make sure I read/learn about things I love.
My book list is almost fully ready. I’ve chosen to aim for 30 books instead of 50, because lets just be realistic, right? I got my mom into it too, but I can tell you right now she will beat me by about 20+ books for sure. Which is OK with me, because then I can steal her books after she’s done. Win win. :)
The list I created took some time, and I’ve left room for new books to venture their way to me. Instead of forcing myself to read only the books that are currently on trend or being talked about the most, I’ve made this list very much about me. I’ve included all my loves: a whole lot of self-growth, spirituality, wellness and business. And of course, a sprinkle of animals and a few mystery and romance novels thrown in. I couldn’t imagine doing this challenge without having it include the things I love. Because at the end of the day… I’m reading for my soul. Not for anything or anyone else. I learn a lot from reading, but it is truly my soul that benefits the most.
There’s a reason we are so drawn to stories. Each of us is a story. Constantly being created. You can find yourself through words and can create yourself through words. There’s more to reading books than meets the eye. As the world demands more and more of our attention each day, I believe that reading, writing and any other form of expression is going to become even more vital.
So let’s get reading shall we? Anyone else feel like doing a 30 book challenge for 2019? What’s at the top of your list? Here’s a sneak peek at what I have on my list so far:
The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes (because it just makes sense to start off the year with this one, right?)
The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer
Unsaid by Neil Abramson
Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
The Judgement Detox by Gabrielle Bernstein
I Found You by Lisa Jewell
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein
Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist
Work Party by Jaclyn Johnson
Crushing It! by Gary Vaynerchuk
Something In The Water by Catherine Steadman
The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
Start With Why by Simon Sinek
You can follow along on Instagram(#heartfulbookclub), I’ll post as I go through each one and let you know my thoughts and recommendations. Any of your suggestions are welcomed as well. It can be like our own little virtual book club :) And if you need more bookspiration, check out my pinterest reading board for ideas!