The Importance of Reading Everything

7:00 AM


Because I've been reading a little of everything lately.

 this is not my picture because my photography skillz suck but unsplash.com is a lifesaver.
This summer, I wanted to challenge myself to break out of the mold of hiding in my YA sci-fi all the time, the things I know I enjoy. Reading is something I do for fun, for relaxing, for enjoyment, but I also really believe that it's crucial because it makes us better writers, thinkers; it makes us more educated, it stretches our brains, and it's good for us to read with a purpose sometimes. It's very good for us to read things not just for fun, but because it's good for us and it's a unique way of learning and absorbing emotion and it really does make us smarter. look at me, sounding all snobbish.

So I branched out. I read whatever I could get my hands on. 

And you know what? 

I suddenly became very cultured and intellectual.

I found a lot of stuff I liked. 
Image result for reader gif
this is something i tell everyone, very often, because reading.
"So what did you read this summer that was so different, Aimee? How, in fact, did you read a little bit of everything?" 

I dived into nonfiction. 

I read more comics than ever. 

I read books about writing. 

I read some plays. 

I read more classics. 

I read YA of all genres, even contemporary, even though YA contemporary is the bane of my existence and makes me want to weep for teenagers everywhere. 

I read poetry. 

I tried to read allllll the things, even if I didn't think I would like them. 

In every single one of those new genres I read, I found something I liked. I also found something I loved. I found things I didn't think I would enjoy but enjoyed anyway. I found things I...still really didn't enjoy. Things that bored me. I thought about things I hadn't thought about before, and more than anything else, I broadened my horizons and became open to new things, which was pretty darn neat if I do say so myself. 

Some things I dived into: 

1. Nonfiction. 
Ah, yes, the scary world of nonfiction. Lots of boring books and biographies about nothing at all. Books about the real world, ew. I wanted to read more biographies this summer, after Alexander Hamilton took me so fiercely...so I dived first into the biography section, where I read about Winston Churchill and other delightful peeps, and then into regular ol' nonfiction, specifically writing books. 

I did not like all of these books. Some of the writing books didn't mesh with me. Some were boring. Some still are boring. I DNFed some because I didn't see the point to reading them. But I also found a lot of nonfiction that I enjoyed! Learning about real people, historical people, is something that fascinates me, and biographies usually do a stunning job of bringing those people to life in our minds in an important way. And in most of the writing books I found inspiration -- even if I didn't agree with some things, the beauty in writing is that I could take the inspiration and tips that I wanted and that worked for me and leave the rest behind. 

I kind of feel like nonfiction is something we don't read as much as we should, or something that's underrated, and not seen as as fun as it is. So I will definitely be getting more into this in the future. 

2. Poetry
I had a harder time with this than most other things? I'm not a naturally poetic person. It doesn't click with me. I'm practical and straightforward and rhymes bother me and poems that don't rhyme are cool and all, but I don't know what they mean, and I just have a difficult time all the way around with it. maybe i'm just not reading the right poets. With that in mind, when it came to poetry I consumed whatever fell in my way. Charles Bukowski, Sylvia Plath, Maya Angelou, Edgar Allan Poe, a few others I can't remember and am too lazy to look up. I also found a lot of poetry on Pinterest. That counts too, right? 

Poems are interesting. I don't usually understand them, and they're not my favorite, but I like reading them anyway, and I think it's good. Poetry is and always has been important and it's probably good for me to put it in my head even if I don't get it or properly appreciate it. Maybe I'll be properly cultured one day.

3. moreeeeeee comics. 
I could rant about this forever but I need to do a unique post on it sometime this fall, so that will be upcoming. Needless to say: I! love! Comic! Books! They're so neat, and I think they're underrated and overlooked but they're such a gorgeous form of storytelling. They inspire me a lot
Image result for marvel gif
I JUST WANTED TO USE THE FLIPPY GIF SORRY

4. YA contemporary
Not gonna lie, my usual reaction to this is to stab it and kill it with fire. There have only been a few YA contemporary books that I've adored or even liked well enough in the past. So I was hesitant about reading more of them, but I had already issued myself the challenge and there was no backing out now. 

You know what? I still didn't like most of them. But I did enjoy some of them, and found some new treasures, and I feel good about myself for making myself read more of them. 

Basically: I read many things. 

More than anything else, I learned this summer that it's good to challenge myself. It's good to actually take reading seriously sometimes: to set aside time for it and commit to just consuming words for a little while. It exposed me to new ideas, stretched my brain, and I had fun with it. I read things I wouldn't usually read, and I feel all the better for it -- I also discovered new things to obsess over and love and that's always a plus. There are so many different types of stories out there, and it's easy for us to get stuck in our little niches and only read things we think we'll enjoy but...we're missing out on a lot of stuff if we do that, too. 

All that to say, experiment and have fun.

Or let me rant about experimenting and having fun.

Because seriously, I enjoyed that more than I thought I would.

12 comments

  1. I started reading comics some time around last year, and I completely agree with you--they're a different form of storytelling, and every time I read one I like I end up feeling recharged, inspired, and happy. I know you're more into Marvel, but I'd really reccomend DC's Court of Owls story arc and Batman: Black Mirror. They're both creepy and dark, but also incredibly good.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I kind of fell into a horrible reading slump earlier this year, so lately I've mostly just been forcing myself out of the routine I'd fallen into (wasting hours on the Internet instead of reading or being productive). I'm reading about four books right now, and they're all from different genres, but I'm reading. My life tends to fall apart when I don't. But anyway, I'm trying to branch out a bit too. It definitely helps.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes! One of my favorite quotes is “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” (It's from Haruki Murakami.) It's so important to read new things, and I think it really helps you understand other people better. Because that book you hated is someone else's favorite, and if you can understand what they liked about it, you understand them that much better.

    ReplyDelete
  4. ARGH Nonfiction. If you want me to like a nonfiction book, it has to be a SERIOUSLY GOOD nonfiction book XD. *highfives you for being so brave*
    You don't like YA contemporary? It's certainly not my favorite genre (that would be Speculative Fiction, thank you very much), but I don't find it too terrible *shrugs*. *gives you candy for being brave enough to read it*
    Love the flippy marvel GIF XD.

    ~ Savannah
    scattered-scribblings.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. POEMS ARE MY FAVORITE AHHH. Plays are amazing too! I've also been branching out into YA contemporary as of late, and I've found some awesome new reads too. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was one of my faves :)

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

    ReplyDelete
  6. would you please do a post where you tell us alllll the books you've read this summer? this year i delved into the world of fantasy fiction, which i never, ever thought i would like, and i ended up loving it! xx
    www.fangirlingmaxima.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I find it so hard to read nonfiction, I always start out with good intentions and then DNF the book :/ Did you read any really really good nonfiction you would suggest? Poetry is so hit and miss. Sometimes you connect with tons of poems in a collection, and sometimes you connect with just one, which is frustrating!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I need to do this, try something new.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I really am trying to read more often, and to branch out more. Any recommendations?

    ReplyDelete
  10. This post was really cool! I tend to love all forms of fiction (historical, contemporary, fantasy, sci-fi occasionally, even some animal books LOL), but you dove into the NON FICTION REALM?? *dies* I'll sometimes wish I would read those books to be smarter, but they're just not for me.XD This was such an awesome post! It really inspired me to try reading different kinds of books or reading material in general!;)
    -Emma-

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh my gosh, I can't read poetry well as well. It's too complicated for my mind. Well, some poems like Back in The Playground Blues are grand but most are difficult as heck.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I should try some YA Contemporary.....I don't think I've ever read any before.

    ReplyDelete

hey. hey. talk to me. i'm a fan of comments and flailing with you. go for it.