Today, I did something that I so often do… I sat down, powered up my laptop, and hit shuffle on my iTunes library. What made it feel different was when Brad Paisley’s “Letter to Me” started playing. Does anyone else wish they could go back in time and give their younger self advice? So today, I’m sharing my advice to my younger bookworm self!
No preamble is due…so often you’ve wished that your future self could give you guidance, so guess what I’m going to do!
1.) Don’t feel bad for being a total bookworm. I know it’s awkward being the one girl that’s trekking to the library while others are more concerned with the Library (a local bar). To be totally honest, once you’re 27, your friends and family will be texting you for recommendations. Don’t feel like a “nerd.” You’re passionate, intelligent, and have an opinion that many people find reliable. Just go with it.
2.) Don’t be afraid to be different than your friends. Just because all your friends drool over the latest Nicholas Sparks novel doesn’t mean you have to. We both know that thrillers are your current fave, so why pretend to love something that you don’t?
3.) If you really dislike a book, it’s better to put a pin in it than to push through and be absolutely miserable. Sometimes, it’s just you. You’re just not mentally at a place that you could enjoy that book (remember The Heart’s Invisible Furies?). Give it another chance, you just might find your next 5 star read. Other times, the book just isn’t for you. Period. It doesn’t matter if your friends love it, the rest of the world sings its praises. Don’t feel like you have to read something that makes you wish the book would just end. Life’s too short to read books that you dislike.
4.) Don’t be afraid of change. Your tastes will change. You’ll transition from Gossip Girl, to Twilight (try to not judge yourself for this one too much later on), to Ruth Ware, to Colleen Hoover, and beyond. Don’t limit yourself to one author or genre because you’ll miss out on something great. Just as the year has seasons, you too should have the chance to change periodically.
5.) Read the books you’re assigned in school. No, seriously. Don’t just check out the Spark Notes, and definitely don’t rely on the movie. Trust me, it’s never the same (and it rarely does the story justice…but that’s a totally different post). Even though they won’t always be your particular cup of tea, you just might find one of your all time favorite novels (looking at you, The Poisonwood Bible). Also, you’ll get exposure to other books that will help you grow and develop as a person, and if we’re being totally honest isn’t that the goal?
6.) Don’t judge a book by it’s Goodreads rating. Sometimes, you’ll find a book that catches your eye that has very few reviews, and maybe it wasn’t scored the highest. Big. Freaking. DEAL. Reading a book is such a personal experience, so at the end of the day, if you think you’re going to enjoy it, give it a shot. You might just find your new favorite author!
7.) Find your tribe. This is true in every step in your life, and your bookworming self is no exception. Find a group of individuals (whether you know them IRL or not) and share your thoughts on your favorite (or least favorite) stories. It’s so much more fun to pick apart a story when you have someone that has similar tastes as you.
8.) Don’t feel guilty for spending an evening by yourself, book in hand. I’m a firm believer that reading is your best display of self care. It allows you to escape your current reality, reassess your current issues in a more detached way, or even just relax after a stressful week. Frat parties and college bars will be there next week. You deserve to be happy, wherever that may be.
You’ll be so proud of the person that you’re becoming, and don’t you dare give up on your dreams. Always put yourself out there, no matter how crazy it may seem. Otherwise, you wouldn’t get the chance to meet one of the most incredible women/best friends you be ever met and have the opportunity to start a book blog (side note: be sure to thank Taylor for taking a chance on the kind of awkward, not totally comfort in her own skin, girl when she could have easily found someone else…seriously, she’s the G.O.A.T.) Oh, and never ever travel with fewer than 3 books to read. Trust me, that’s the only thing you’ll ever truly regret 😉