To Continue On Or Not?

That is always my question after finishing a book in a series: am I interested enough to continue on? 

It’s a hard question all around. I’m awful at finishing series in general and I’m the woooorst at deciding whether or not to put down a book when I’m not liking it. I have a list of reasons why it’s so hard for me — some of those feelings apply to my fear of abandoning a series.

Most of the time I’m pretty solid on my YES or NO if I want to continue on but I do have a good chunk that stay in that “Hmmm I’m not sure” area. However, what prompted me to think about this, is that over the summer I read but nearly DNFed a book 1 in a series that I just really didn’t like and was pretty sure I had no interest of continuing on. I didn’t think the writing was that great. It was pretty eye-rolly. Didn’t love the characters. But THEN..behold…book 2 shows up in the mail from the publisher and my curiosity was piqued again and I have NO idea why. I didn’t even like it! WHY would I even consider it? Maybe it’s because I’m curious. Maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment. Or maybe it’s because I am the most indecisive person who likes to doubt their decisions. Oof we sure are getting a little more into the psyche of Jamie territory there.

But here we are…a book that was solidly a NO is now possibly a maybe? GAH.

 

Typically my method looks a little bit like this if it’s a first book:

[Keep Reading]

10 Things I Wish Someone Would Invent

Sometimes I have these times in my life where I’m like GOD I WISH THIS THING EXISTED TO MAKE MY LIFE EASIER OR BETTER. Sometimes I find out that it’s like, in fact, a THING made by those As Seen On TV people and sometimes it just stays a great idea in my head because an inventor I am not.

There are quite a few things over the course of my reading life that I wished existed so if anyone wants to put their inventor hat on or like find a magical way to do these things I will be your first customer.

 

1. A device that helps you unsee spoilers: Y’all know that blatant spoilers are the bane of my existence but SERIOUSLY this would be perfect for those times that you are minding your own business on the internet and your eye hones in on a big fat spoiler for something you love on Twitter or Tumblr or in the comments section. You just hit the button and BOOM never saw that shit. Related: a device that shocks people when they are assholes about spoilers? Too cruel?

Cannot-unsee

[Keep Reading]

A Readerly Woe

I’ve talked a lot about how I suck at series! I’ve got some ideas why — getting distracted by other books during the wait between books, being afraid to move on, loss of interest over time — and it’s so sad because I LOVE a good book series. I even tried Operation Make Jamie Suck Less At Series and this year one of my bookish resolutions is designed to help me with this. I just want to be better at reading series and not leaving so many loose ends.

A thing happened to me recently….and I wonder if this is some of my hesitation when moving on with series….sub-consciously.

So I recently picked up a book 2 of a book I LOVED last year and that had just released this Fall (I barely read this Fall because of adopting Finn so I never got to it). Like suuuuuper loved. I was obsessed with the world and the characters and soooo emotionally invested. I couldn’t believe I had to wait for a book 2. I mean, I am on the HIGHEST of book highs upon finishing this book.

So I crack open the book all ready to be wholly immersed in this series again and just pick up where we left off……and I felt nothing.

I mean, sure, I was having a case of book amnesia as I always do (which reminds me…I have a post related to that that has been sitting in drafts for a bit and should publish that). But I read a summary and some spoilers about what happened thinking that might help. But it didn’t. I just did not feel those same feels heading into this book. I mean, it took place like pretty much right after the explosive ending of the first book so I should have been right back in there.

But there I was….feeling not much at all. I’m like OKAY OKAY you will get back into this, and I did, but it took a while…like 20-30% of the way in to finally feel those feels and that connection to the story and characters again. And I mean PRAISE KANYE that I ended the book again on the highest of book highs because it got even more amazing.

And I kept wondering….is it the book? Is it just not up to par? Or is it that year in between that just wedged itself in between book 1 and book 2 and slowly siphoned my excitement level and connection.

It doesn’t always happen to me. I can think distinctly of a few series that a year later (ummm Queen of Shadows!!) and I’m right back in the game. Maybe some of those are different? Maybe I talked about them and discussed them more with people throughout that year? Maybe it’s because some of them weren’t book 2’s but further into a series or a conclusion? I don’t know.

All I know is I think that is why sometimes I dread picking up the next book in a series when it’s been a while in between books. I know there is a chance that all that head-over-heels-in-love-with-this-series mega fangirl love and excitement has faded away a little bit with time. I’ve read 100 books since then. I’ve fallen hard for new books and characters. I’ve forgotten the details that made me fall in love. I can’t feel the pain or the exhilaration or the joy the book gave me with the same FEELING.

And it’s SAD. It makes me want to just wait til more books are out so I can binge read/semi-binge read but I also really like supporting the books when they come out and also it’s fun to read when a lot of other people are. In an ideal world, I would love to always be able to reread a series book before I moved on so I could at least come close to replicating those feelings and be super ready to dive into book 2 and rid myself of any of this disconnect (that isn’t the fault of the book itself).

But alas…I am a mere mortal.

Anyways, there is no real point to this post other than 1) I wanted to share how sad it was to have such a hard time being plugged back into this great story I loved and 2) I figured out yet another reason why I suck at series….despite loving being invested in a series.

 

Does this happen to anybody else??? Or is it just JAMIE PROBLEMS — table for 1?

 

PS. Some of my other readerly woes — the logistics of reading heavy books and all 10 of these bookworm problems

Thoughts On Taking A Year Off From A Numbers Based (Goodreads) Reading Challenge

Last year at around this time I got ready to set the number for the yearly Goodreads reading challenge and I changed my mind about how I would approach reading in 2015. I decided I would not be setting a number goal for 2015.

I’ve been on Goodreads since 2008 and I’ve been doing the Goodreads reading challenges for however long they’ve been doing it. It was SO weird for me to not set one but I felt I just wanted to try something new. I kept toying with doing OTHER (non-numbers based) challenges but ended up being completely challenge-less for the year.

This was a little bit of my rationale from that post:

“Even though my Goodreads reading challenge is not the end-all-be-all of my life by any means, it still is this presence breathing down my neck. It’s everywhere. I mean, most years I’m 30 books behind and not caring so it’s not like it really IMPACTS me or that I take it SO seriously. But it’s always there (especially when I think about picking up a chunky book or a book I know will be a slower read aka non-fiction or super literary adult fiction). Even though any pressure with it is mostly self-imposed even for someone who approaches it very low key, there is still a degree of pressure just by even logging into Goodreads and KNOWING that damn widget is going to let me know where I stand. (Mostly, it’s always YOU ARE BEHIND!)”

 

So I stand here..a year-ish later with some thoughts and observations:

[Keep Reading]

The Tale of Two (Warring) Bookworms Within Me

For as long as I could remember I’ve always dreamed of having Belle’s library in the Beauty and the Beast.

belle-library-dream

Or at least some beautiful room full of bookshelves or at the very least some customized built-in bookshelves that line the walls. I’ve scoffed when Will (or anyone outside of this community) says I’m hoarding books and have delighted in continuing in building my collection. I’ve oogled bookshelves and libraries on Pinterest and elsewhere:

366c465d22cb07fbd687c7b5a1af5d6b

[Keep Reading]

I Value My Time

Since the beginning of my reading life I’ve always struggled to put down books I’m not digging (do the youth still say this? I just turned 30 so I’m having this irrational panic that I’m suddenly out of touch). When I came into the book blogging world I quickly found that there were people who could so easily declare they were putting down books they weren’t into without even a second though (namely my bff Anna). I always WANTED to be so ruthless with putting down books I’m not enjoying but I guess it’s just not my personality.

Since blogging, I’ve gotten BETTER at it. I say better, as in, I’ll do it in those times when it feels likes wrestling an alligator just to get me to sit down with the book. But I still have some ways to improve…

101395-but-its-hard-gif-Scott-Pilgrim-rN0I(source)

 

Last year I wrote about 8 reasons I struggle to put books down. Reason #2 on the list was that I’ve invested too much time in it. If I’m honest I think this is my BIGGEST struggle out of the eight — even more than just being nosy about the ending.

It’s a time issue for both types of readers — those ruthless book quitters and those who have a harder time.

clock-time-lapse-o

People who are big champions of putting down books they aren’t liking/aren’t into say things like “life is too short to read books you don’t like.” I myself have repeated this mantra over and over in my head when I’m trying to decide whether or not to mark a book as DNF (did not finish, for those unfamiliar with the lingo of the bookish interwebs).

But for the part of me that struggles to put down books? It’s also a time thing. Like okay I spent an hour (or whatever time amount) of my life reading this book. If I give up, then I feel as though that hour was a complete WASTE of an hour because I didn’t complete the story and I was just reading for no good reason.

 

So then I have this very hard choice at hand! (And I’m like the Queen of Indecision and Avoidance). To figure out what is the bigger waste of time

  1. Reading 1 hour of book and putting it down — and now I’m free to read something I might enjoy more but I’m out that hour with nothing to show for it. 
  2. Or spending 3 hours on a book that I didn’t like — I finished it (so yay I completed something) but I HAD TO FORCE MY WAY THROUGH IT or didn’t like it or whatever the problem was that made me considering putting it down. 

And then there’s all the other questions that swirl through my head: Do I see it as a waste of time by having read and interacted with a book even if it was torture making it through it? Will I be annoyed if I don’t find out what happens if I put it down? Can I ask someone what happens if I put it down? Is the value in giving up that hour worth not slogging through more of it? Should I persevere through books when they require more attention or are “harder” to read (ie classics)? Is reading a book for an hour and not finishing it any more of a waste of time than I do mindlessly surfing the interwebs? AM I OKAY WITH THIS LOSS OF AN HOUR?

I don’t really have any foolproof ways for knowing for calculating the value of my time — whether I’ll be happy I put it down or that it’s a better use of my time to slog through.

Sometimes I feel a THANK GOD I STOPPED READING THAT I WAS GOING TO THROTTLE MYSELF WITH MY SHOELACE IF I READ ONE PAGE MORE but other times I don’t feel strongly one way or another. I mean, sometimes I finish a book I wasn’t digging and it’s like “eh well. That was that.” And then there’s those few times it’s like OMG WHY DID I FINISH THAT STAB STAB STAB. It’s a toss-up most of the time! Then just as rare –– the times I LOVED it after slogging through.

I just know that I value my time and I want to make the best use of it — especially that every so precious reading time!

 

I’m more so really curious if this is something that anyone else struggles with! Do you DNF with ease or do you struggle like I do? HOW do you decide what is the better use of your time? Please tell me your thoughts on this!! Maybe your rationale will help me!!

Perception, Reality & Our Super Reader Community

perception-reality-online-book-community

 

I was on Twitter the other day and I saw a conversation, not at all a bad one, and there was just a random comment along the lines of “oh yeah that author is so popular and probably doesn’t really need the buzz like others do.” Totally understand the sentiment of wanting to support the authors that might not get as much buzz or that might be debut authors or under the radar! TOTALLY. I love doing that and do it all the time. SO MUCH. That’s not at all the point of this post.

What this comment made me think about is perception vs. reality. They aren’t always aligned. I knew this statement that was made about this author wasn’t necessarily fact as I know the author and know a little bit about their publishing journey. They are totally ~popular~ within our circles but outside of it they just aren’t as well known/have struggled. But I could see how this person who made the statement could think this given what they see online and in this particular community of ours! I really could! Especially in relation to how well loved they are IN our community. And I think this sort of thing happens a lot  — these innocent misperceptions based on what we see online vs the actual reality. (Especially since as readers, pre-social media, I don’t think we really HAD much of a look into ANY of this).

I think in our book blogging community, which is comprised of super readers and people who are really IN the KNOW when it comes to all things books, it doesn’t always reflect the reality of how a book does on a grand scale or how popular an author actually is. I know authors who are super popular in the book blogging world and I don’t think they’ve quite reached that level outside. It’s been jarring to me to think in my head how super popular and hyped a book is in this community and then talk outside of our community and realize it’s not as big at all. Or how I can talk to a librarian about a super popular book I see embraced by our community and they tell me it doesn’t move off the shelf ever. I’m like “WAIT NOT EVERYONE HAS HEARD ABOUT THIS AND AREN’T CLAMORING TO GET THIS ONE COPY?”

It’s so interesting to me sometimes how our reality in our community doesn’t always accurately reflect sales numbers or popularity out there in the world. Sometimes it makes me really sad. I’m like “LOOK. WE ALL LOVE THIS. WHY CAN’T THE WORLD?” And sometimes our reality totally align with the rest of the book world and, hey, maybe we even helped champion it. I wonder if it’s just that sometimes, despite how big our community feels and has gotten, it still is just a small sampling but we are passionate and loud and we see what feels like a lot of people talking about and reading certain books. It looks popular to us. We are just in this community where everything is amplified because we are so saturated with conversations about all sorts of books that it kind of skews our perception a bit. It’s a little bit like an echo chamber but not like in a negative sense. (Does that make sense? Maybe I’m looking for another metaphor?).

The other thing it made me think of, regarding perception and reality, is of authors themselves. I know that before I joined this community I automatically thought published author = successful and rich and being an author is their only job. That’s true sometimes but I know a whole lot of authors who have other jobs and being an author isn’t the only thing they do at all. There have been authors who have shared about the realities of being a mid-list authors and it definitely was one of the things that opened up my eyes to how off perception vs. reality can be.

I don’t really have a point to this post. Just a whole lot of musings on something that’s kind of fascinating to me. But I think, in thinking about this, it has just reinforced how super important it is to leave reviews for books I like and love on sites that might reach the non-book bloggers and people who aren’t saturated in this world like we are — Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble because every little bit counts and we are already championing these books so why not make sure our love for the book is heard outside of our community? (not saying you are awful if you don’t…god knows I am SO behind in cross-posting reviews).

It makes me want to think about what other avenues I can spread the word and how I can use my platform BETTER to help further champion the books I love. How can I better be a resource to people like teachers and librarians who are reaching people that I might not? We do an amazing thing by creating buzz and talking about these books and writing reviews but I’m asking myself how I can do better with just even a little more effort on my part personally to reach beyond this community.

Thoughts on this? Even if you don’t agree with me or think I’m totally wrong, I’d love to hear them! How can we reach beyond our community to make a difference for books we love?

Status: Overwhelmed & Fatigued

Lately I have been quieter on the internet than I normally am. True, some of it is because of summer time fun and travel. Some because of aspirations to ~disconnect~  a little more and ~be more present~ in my life. But honestly? I just feel plain overwhelmed and fatigued.

tumblr_inline_np2breEMI71rwjrx3_500via realitytvgifs

I mean, when I open my computer and descend on the internet it’s like being a kid in one of those huge candy stores with a billion options. HOW CAN ONE EVEN CHOOSE WHERE TO START OR WHAT MAKES THE CUT TO FIT IN YOUR MOM-APPROVED PORTION OF A BAG??

It’s like: okay, let’s check my email. DEAR GOD NO WHY. Twitter instead. Okay I should do some blogging stuff — write posts, try to respond to comments, clean out that spam, etc. Ah okay I’ll try to read some blogs. OMG WHY DO I SUBSCRIBE TO SO MANY BLOGS? WHICH ONES TO CHOOOOSE? Hehe funny animal video. Omg miltary brother surprising his little brother SOB. Okay back to my email. OOH THIS LOOKS LIKE A GOOD EMAIL. Newsletters, newsletters, newsletters. I AM SO INSPIRED. I AM GOING TO LIVE MY LIFE BETTER. Gets on Twitter. Hour of passive scrolling happens. Okay I’d really like to: find some new music, listen to podcasts, catch up on what is going on in the world, find some new recipes for this week, HAIR TUTORIALS BECAUSE I AM THE WORST, oooh I want to learn things, should I film a video?, ehhh hey Facebook why do I even still have you, OOH LET’S START A NEW BLOG, ugh I really need to respond to these emails like a grown a$$ adult, google “how to not get overwhelmed by the infinite possibilities of the internet” *shuts computer, cries and swears off the internet for forever*

ao2w0

I’m just overwhelmed. There are so many things to consume…and that I WANT TO CONSUME. So many things out there I don’t even KNOW I want to consume (internet clicking and spirals YO). I want to read all the blogs that interest me and spread the comment love. I want to know what’s up in the world. I want to be entertained. I want to chat with all the people I think are cool on the internet and be present on Twitter. I want to learn. I want to be inspired. And that’s not even like the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things that I want to do outside of the internet — read all the books, watch all the tv/movies, do all the fun life things. A PART OF ME WANTS TO DO IT ALL. A PART OF ME, THE ONE CONSOLING THE PART WHO WANTS TO DO IT ALL AND IS OVERWHELMED, RECOGNIZES I CAN’T DO IT ALL.

tumblr_m8awpwSOC51rpc5fq

I’m just so overwhelmed by all my options. I mean, hey, I get I’m super lucky to have all this at my disposal and that this is even a problem for me. But right now I just feel so overwhelmed and also a bit fatigued from all the noise & opinions and the constant barrage of things I’m being inundated with.

I’m trying to create better habits for myself for consuming the internet. But it’s so hard to curate. I’m trying to figure out what things are most important and worthy of my time. I’m trying to not feel bad or guilty when I can’t do it all and support all the things or when I’m feeling behind. BUT I WANT TO LOOK AT ALL THE THINGS ON THE INTERNET. But I also want to know my limits and the signs that tell me I need to step back because of fatigue.

Soooo I have no grand conclusions or plans or anything but mostly I’d love to hear from YOU all. Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the internet and its infinite possibilities and avenues you can go down? What do YOU do to combat internet/social media fatigue? How do you curate your internet consumptions? WHAT IS YOUR INTERNET ROUTINE LIKE? Tell me allll the things, people!!

I’m Not Too Old For That!

I feel like all my favorite reading related discussions on this blog happen from conversations with non-reading people or non-YA reading people (this, this and this for sure). This discussion is certainly a product of such a conversation.

I was catching up with an old friend and the topic of reading came up and I definitely read different things than I used to. I explained some of the stuff I’m into now and she, totally not trying to be disrespectful, said something along the lines of, “But how do you read about teenagers so often? I feel like I’m so past all that and like it’s not at all relevant to my life anymore. Plus I like more literary things” And I mean, her right to read what she wants and I do understand WHY adults might not be into YA. Totally, I read adult fiction too because I can’t ONLY read YA. Anyways, I explained a little of why I love YA and gave her a couple books to try out because I am very confident in their relevancy to people of all ages. (I’m not even going to tackle that literary comment because HAHAH some of the YA books I love are way more ~literary~ than some adult books I’ve read).

But that encounter got me thinking… I will be 30 in October. My 10 year high school reunion happened last year. I AM SO FAR PAST HIGH SCHOOL. Why does YA speak to me still? I mean, I still read adult fiction and other things but I am so, so into YA and don’t see a switch being turned off anytime soon.

I mean, aside from the fact that YA has some of the most innovative and creative and exciting stuff coming out and AMAZING writing/storytelling/characters…what IS IT about YA that attracts me to it still? I really thought about it and I’ve come to the conclusion it lies in these two areas:

1. There is something really appealing to me when I read YA because of the lens I read it through as an adult and how I can reflect and process my past.

I honestly think there are so many things that I’d experienced as a YA that makes so much more sense to me now as an adult. I am a very reflective person by nature and I’ve found that reading YA has helped me to do that and also has made me more self aware as an adult because of it.

2. THERE ARE SO MANY UNIVERSAL THINGS IN YA THAT DON’T GO AWAY ONCE YOU HIT ADULTHOOD.

I mean, SO many of the things I read about in YA are actually relevant to me. I might not be in high school or be falling in love for the first time as an old married lady but what I find about a lot of my most favorite YA books is that when you strip away that kind of stuff that isn’t applicable to me, I still find things that are so, so relevant to me. That are these universal THINGS that most humans — young and old — deal with to some degree. And I have found that YA has explored these things in such a raw and honest way that really clicks with me.

Here’s just a small sample of things that have been so, so relevant to me in YA novels (in a thought-provoking and meaningful way) despite being past that ripe YA age:

grief and loss and tries to work through that. My mom might have passed away in 2006 when I wasn’t reading YA but there is still so much to work through even years later and reading YA stories about grief has helped me process a lot. It’s given me new eyes to what I experienced as an actual young adult when my mom was sick and then passed away. Read: Why I love reading stories about grief

–  friendship: I’ve read books about losing friends, making new friends, the ups and downs of friendship, etc. etc. As a 30-something my friendship landscape may have changed but friendship at 16 and friendship at 30, while different, relies on a lot of the same core things. And a lot of those friendship issues that you have at 16? YOU STILL HAVE THEM AT 30 BUT JUST IN DIFFERENT WAYS. It’s still so hard to deal with friend breakups or growing apart, the difficulty of making new friends, opening yourself up to new friends (getting over your initial judgments to make room for a friend) and there is still so much JOY in having girlfriends. I think I appreciate those relationships EVEN MORE NOW.

–  finding yourself/growing into your own as you grow up/becoming the most REAL version of yourself/figuring life out: I’m sad to report to 16 year old Jamie that you don’t figure your shit out when you become an adult like I thought would happen. I think, as a approach 30, I’m more myself than I’ve ever been before as I’ve waded through a lot of versions of myself that were only half true to my heart. But I AM STILL FIGURING IT OUT. I don’t think you ever truly figure things out. I still doubt myself. I’m still growing and learning (about myself and the world). I learn SO MUCH about myself and my own journey through YA characters of all genres. Things that inspire me, things that make me want to be braver and better and kinder, things that make me want to live more boldly and take more chances. I STILL don’t know what I want to do with my life despite knowing what I want to BE ABOUT and HOW I want to live. I’m still figuring it all out.

And honestly these are just A FEW of the things that my last couple reads made me think about and were so RELEVANT to my life (I could go on — family issues, identity issues, living more fully, figuring out what you want to do with your life, fighting for what you believe in or what is right, life disappointments, feeling lost, dealing with depression, heartbreak, etc).

And sure, I’m not saying reading YA as an adult is something that everyone has to be into or is their thing. I can understand not WANTING to read about high school/teenagers, being picky about what kind of content you read in YA or even finding SOME stuff in YA eyerolly as an adult (I do sometimes!) but to say that YA can’t be or isn’t relevant to the life of adults is simply not true.

 

I’m curious…if you are an adult reading YA..what draws you to it? If you have a different feeling about this, I’d love to know!

On Books That Change Your Life

In my reading life I’ve had an abundance of reading experiences where I’ve felt extremely moved and even like something in me has shifted. Books that have challenged me. Books that made me think a lot. Books that have rocked me to the core.

But I’ve only had a handful of books that I could say ACTUALLY changed my life in a tangible way. Like caused me to take action and change something. Made things truly different.

One of the books in recent times was Just One Day by Gayle Forman (I know, I know…I talk about this book all the time but IT IS IMPORTANT TO ME and really damn good). I read this one in November 2012, as I was fortunate enough to receive a galley, and I remember just devouring it while Will and I were visiting my dad over Thanksgiving. I stayed up late. I sneaked in reading time while others were napping. It was just that book I think I was MEANT to read right then as some of my life was kind of mirroring where the main character was at in ways.

I was feeling stuck. Doing things because that’s the way they were even though I was unhappy. Devoting all my time to a group of friends that wasn’t reflective of who I was anymore (and were a little bit toxic for me) because I had ALWAYS been friends with them since high school & college. I wasn’t doing things *I* internally wanted to do because I was always doing what THEY wanted to do. I just felt like I was straddling this line between the person who I was (though internally and externally they seemed different) and the person who I wanted to be but I just really felt confused as to who I really was.

         “I don’t know who I am. Or maybe I do know who I am and I just don’t want to be her anymore.”  

 

Just One Day just kind of took me by the shoulders and shook me as I watched Allyson find herself. As I watched Allyson open herself up to all these new things and stop just living so passively. So much of my own life problems I was watching unfold in Allyson’s journey that I was like “DID GAYLE KNOW THAT I NEEDED THIS BOOK? MAYBE SHE WROTE IT FOR ME? UNLIKELY BUT THIS IS SCARILY HITTING CLOSE TO HOME HERE.” I kept reading, not only because I loved the story and the characters, but because I felt like I would find the answers to what I needed to do in Allyson’s journey. And I did.

            “And this is the truth. Because I may be only eighteen, but it already seems pretty obvious that the world is divided into two groups: the doers and the watchers. The people things happen to and the rest of us, who just sort of plod on with things. The Lulus and the Allysons.  It never occurred to me that by pretending to be Lulu, I might slip into that other column, even for just a day.”

 

I realized I, like Allyson, was being a watcher these days. I just was kind of existing in the status quo, unhappily, and was just letting life come and go rather than really LIVING and DOING. I kept hoping for better things or the things that I wanted to be true of my life….but I wasn’t doing anything to get them. At all. And I just kept plodding on. I wasn’t putting myself in the path of it — something that Allyson was finding out you needed to do if you wanted things to happen.

When I finished the book I was just weeping. Because it was a damn good book. But also because I knew what I had to do. I knew that I could not read these words and feel these things that mirrored my own life and just not do something about it. It was like I was being sent my own little message for my life and I would be stupid not to listen. It felt overwhelming. But then I remembered this quote from the book that put it into perspective:

            “We are born in one day. We die in one day. We can change in one day. And we can fall in love in one day. Anything can happen in just one day.”

 

So, in the days following my reading of that book, I decided that a break-up was in order for a friend group that was kind of toxic for me/wasn’t working for me anymore (I maybe didn’t go about it the right way but I kind of needed to quit them cold turkey because they were such a HUGE part of my life and the thing that I felt was holding me back from doing the things I wanted). I decided to start a book club and had one up and running by January (my book club story and tips for starting your own). I started saying yes to things. I let myself start saying NO to things I felt like I couldn’t prior to reading this book. And for the first time in a long time I actually felt like I was more ME than I had been in a long time.

Just One Day was the kick in the pants I needed to change things that I knew needed to be changed a while before it. I just didn’t have the courage to change them. Allyson’s story resonated so much, all that forward action, that it made me PHYSICALLY change things after reading them. It was liberating. It was a gift in a lot of ways but I think of my life how it is right now, totally not perfect but I’m ME and I’m living the way I want to, and how my life probably would have continued on had I not read this book and I’m so thankful for it that I don’t have adequate enough words.

          “Or maybe it’s not a miracle. Maybe this is just life. When you open yourself up to it. When you put yourself in the path of it. When you say yes.”

 

And that’s simple what I did. I opened myself up. Put myself in the path of the things I wanted. I said yes (but also realized that sometimes saying NO to one thing is also saying YES to other things).

That book changed my life. I mean, completely flipped it upside down and made it so it was impossible to continue on the way I was. And I am so, so thankful for the words that I needed to hear at exactly the right time in my life.

NOW. I would love to know about any books that changed YOUR LIFE. Please tell me!!!! Books are just magical like that and I need to know!

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...