8 Things Only Readers Understand

8 Things Only Readers Understand | Inkwells & Images

There are some things that only readers understand:

1. You can know a word, how it’s spelled, and what it means, and still have no idea how to pronounce it.  This is called “reader’s vocabulary” or “Calliope syndrome”. This happens to me ALL the time – one specific word was “superfluous” which I thought was pronounced “super-fluous.” Another hard one? “Epitome.” Oops.

2. You can forget to eat while reading. It’s strange, but true – I can forget to eat entire meals because I’m engrossed in an intense story. I remember reading “The Hunger Games” trilogy in three days and not eating much more than saltines. Ironic, considering the title of the book… and this is coming from someone who very much likes to eat.

3. There’s no wrong way to “sit” while reading a book. Sitting normally in a chair. Pillow in your lap instead of behind your head. Lying on your stomach with the book propped in front of you. Every marathon reading session has a few interesting postures that it goes through… or more than a few.

4. Owning more than one copy of a favorite book is perfectly acceptable. There’s the hardcover that reminds you of the first time you read it, the paperback that’s easier to carry around, the commemorative edition that you HAD to buy because it’s one of your favorites… You are not alone, book-lover.

5. Anything can be used as a bookmark. ANYTHING. Paper (obviously), but also hair ties, pens, ribbons, paperclips… and maybe a little unusual but totally valid: other books.

6. The best possible response to “What are doing this weekend?” is “Read a book.” Maybe it sounds lame to other people, but two days of uninterrupted reading bliss is the best way to spend a weekend.

7. There’s only one way to read a series: in order, from start to finish. No explanation necessary.

8. When you finish a really good book and just can’t bring yourself to start another one because you know everything is going to be a letdown. That’s when you have to turn to your reader-friends and get a solid recommendation to pull you back in.

Which of these had you nodding your head? Any that I missed? Share them in the comments below!

P.S. Did you see which books I’ve been reading lately? Check them out here! 

What I Read the Rest of 2016

A Winter Weekend on the North Shore | Inkwells & Images

My reading updates have been rather sporadic this year as I took the summer off from blogging… and then most of the fall and winter, too. The combination of having no internet connection + building a house + incubating a baby turned out to be too much to handle and still make space for writing words, and my last update was back in October.

I’m still incubating a baby, but we are finally living in our house AND we have the internet – both things that make life in general easier, but especially blogging. I’m making no commitments to blog regularly or often in 2017, but it does feel good to be sharing books again.

I do try and send out a newsletter once each month. If you want more regular updates from me, sign up here.

These little reading round-ups help me form opinions about what I did and didn’t like about a book, making me a better reader and hopefully a better writer. And I hope you are able to add (or cross off!) a book to your list once in a while because of them, too.

Here’s what I read the Rest of 2016:

How to Be Here: A Guide to Creating a Life Worth Living by Rob BellNonFiction – At Ashley’s suggestion, I picked up this book and really enjoyed it. I read it while we were still in transition while building the house, and I think I might buy a copy and read it again this year as I need reminded that “here” is exactly where I am supposed to be.

Champagne: How the World’s Most Glamorous Wine Triumphed Over War and Hard Times by Don & Petie KladstrupNonFiction – I picked up this book at my part-time job at a wine store (it was a super fun job, until I found out I was pregnant and could no longer drink anything we sold!). When we think Champagne today, we think glamour and celebration – but it was neat to read about how it used to be considered a dud wine that no one was really proud of. This history is full of surprising stories and fun facts, and doesn’t get too overloaded in detail. If you like history and bubbly, it’s definitely worth a read.

Outfoxed by Rita Mae BrownFiction – This was a novel chosen by one of my book clubs (the one that LOVES horses) and it was definitely enjoyable. An interesting read, since the animals talk and the murder of the murder mystery doesn’t happen until about three-quarters of the way through the book, but the characters were vivid and the story unfolded well. If you like stories about horses and people who are crazy about them, as well as reading up on a more southern way of life, I recommend it.

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia DayMemoir – This book was the pick of the other book club I’m in that meets about every other month. It was a classic celebrity memoir, and I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had seen more of Felicia’s work first. I enjoyed hearing about her unconventional childhood and how she wrote and directed and self-produced the first few seasons of her TV show before ever finding any investors. It was fine, but if celebrity memoirs aren’t your thing, pass on this one.

Books I Did Not Finish

I’m not usually very good about putting a book down once I pick it up, but I let (made?) myself do that more often in 2016. With the limited time that I had to read, and the knowledge that once this baby arrives there will be even less time, I really only want to read books that are actually grabbing my attention. Here are a few that I may come back to someday, but that I didn’t quite finish this year:

On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta Young Adult Fiction – This was another recommendation from Ashley, so I know that it’s a good book, I just could not get into this last fall. I don’t think I could read for a long enough stretch of time to absorb what was happening, and kept having to flip back to remember who was who and why things were happening the way they were. Another day, maybe.

Dog Run Moon: Stories by Callan WinkLiterary Fiction – This is a collection of short stories from an author who I heard a segment from on the New Yorker Radio Hour podcast. I enjoyed the segment immensely and really wanted to read some of his work, but it was not the time for me for these short stories.

What have you been reading lately? Anything you can’t put down? 

5 Books I Crave Every Fall

 

Season of Rest- Northwoods Weekend | Inkwells & Images4

Fall is my favorite.

I know that everyone says that these days, with their Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Apple Orchard runs, but I have loved fall since grade school. The crisp air and changing colors have always captivated me. I love watching the leaves fall away, encouraging us to focus on what is left behind: the shape of a bare tree, the lines of a field laid to rest for the winter.

It’s no surprise, then, that I love books that make me think of this season, ones that encourage cozy evenings and campfires and seeing the world with new eyes. Here are the books and movies that I crave every fall:

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Because OF COURSE. Who doesn’t want to read a book that has lines like “I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

Most of you have probably read Anne, but if you haven’t, you really should give at least book one a try – the characters are endearing and hilarious and kind-hearted and will make your heart swell and weep all in the span of a couple of chapters.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

This book just feels cozy, like autumn layers and warm apple cider.

It’s also a book that starts in the fall, as a new school year begins, and there is something so magical about new places and new beginnings – even if the main character doesn’t think so herself. Cather is a first-year college student and an introvert dealing with an assigned roommate. She is also obsessed with the children’s book character Simon Snow, a fictionalized version of Harry Potter. Cather writes fan fiction under a pseudonym, which doesn’t leave her much time for making friends and seeing what college has to offer.

The book has great characters, a lovely plot, and even fake fall-themed Starbucks concoctions like a “Pumpkin Mocha Breve”. It’s 100% worth a read – even if you don’t get to it before the snow flies.

Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist 

Here’s my nonfiction pick on the list, and for good reason. Fall always invites me to slow down as summer ends and we approach winter with a little less on the agenda. This books invites that, too.

It’s a combination of story and recipe, and I remember reading it one winter when I really needed to hear it’s message of rest and community – and now every year when the weather starts to crisp I feel the need to pull it off the shelf and dive in again for a good reminder for the soul that rest is okay – and necessary.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel 

This is literary post-apocalyptic fiction, guys. It’s SO BEAUTIFUL. And sad and lovely and everything you could want. Stunning is really the only word to describe it.

The story follows a few characters whose stories are woven together very loosely, but in a way that doesn’t leave you frustrated. There’s Shakespeare and a global pandemic and museums of found things… everything unexpected and perfect. I’d set aside a weekend to tear through this one: you’re going to want to.

You’ve Got Mail (This is actually a movie, but it COUNTS)

This one is also an OF COURSE. “Bouquets of sharpened pencils” is just one of the lines in this movie that make my heart flutter a bit.

If you’ve not seen it, grab a copy from the library and pour a glass of red wine (or water, if you are pregnant like me and not allowed) and settle onto the couch wrapped in a blanket with a handful of snacks nearby, preferably chocolate. I’m actually a little jealous that you might get to watch Joe and Kathleen meet for the first time, and see The Shop Around the Corner all decorated for fall. It’s a move I watch over and over again, but sometimes there’s nothing like that first.

 

What are the books and movies you crave this time of year? If you read or watch any of these for the first time, let me know! I’d love to hear what you think.