The love of reading came early for me. Speed reading classes, Scholastic book fairs, and afternoons perusing Barnes & Noble are among my cherished childhood memories. I finished the fourth book in the Harry Potter series the summer between high school and college, then reading for fun was put on hold.
While Amazon almost pays you to purchase books they’re so cheap, it’s easy to run out of space in your 25-year-old self’s home. In my dream home, I’ll have my own office with walls dedicated to my collection of books. For now I’m embracing my inner single girl and saving money and storage space for shoes by visiting the library.
Ah, the library… much more convenient than the airport, much less expensive than an exotic overseas trip, but with arguably just as much possibility to transport. Owning a library card is an underutilized privilege of living in the U.S. People have stopped buying DVDs in favor of having unlimited access to movies and TV shows on Netflix. People have stopped buying music in favor of curated playlists on Pandora and Spotify. The opposite of cutting back on book-buying is not buying books on your e-reader; it’s visiting the library. Ones in major metropolitan areas acquire the newest titles as soon as they are available. Sure, you may not have it the day it’s released, but being number 16 on the waiting list makes the process all the more exciting. Plus with a two- to three-week due date, you’re forced to read efficiently… no more pile of half-read novels on your nightstand.
And, in case you’ve never stepped foot in a library, you’ll be pleased to know that unlike the $10-a-month you cough up for online subscriptions to movies/music, a library card in most places is free with proof of residency. Who doesn’t love FREE? A single girl truly does, I can tell you that much.
Starting in a couple weeks, I will start a monthly book report of the latest and the greatest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments, and I may choose some to add to my growing “to-read” list.
You may already have a list of to-reads of your own, but if you need another nudge here are our picks to get you back in the groove:
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls: Written in the same beautiful, thoughtful tone as the classic A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, this book will make you wish you had the same command of language as Walls who released her latest work this summer (The Silver Star).
Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris: A collection of witty short stories to appease even the most ADD of adults. If you haven’t been introduced to Dave Sedaris, this is a good place to start.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: Simply put, a page-turner. You will be on your toes from start to finish. It’s difficult to put down and impossible to forget.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: What easier way to start reading again than with the Young Adult series that everyone’s talking about. Sure, anything starring Jennifer Lawrence is hard to resist but the books are actually worth the read. They offer a different perspective on Panem, and I highly recommend reading Catching Fire before the November premiere of the franchise’s second film.
Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion: Didion is a quintessential California writer, and this “quick read” (just a little over 200 pages) is a way for you to jump-start your new reading career with more serious literature.
What’s first on your to-read? Use #SingleGirlReads to share.
Catherine Abalos holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis in Writing and is working towards a goal of reading 25 books in 2013 in order to beat her record of 20 in 2012.