Whether it is reading a news article on your phone, or an instagram caption on your morning commute, we are always surrounded by reading and there are the select few that don’t let their mind wander into books and are adamant that they ‘don’t read books anymore’ unaware of how much they read from bits in their day to day life. Look, I do get it – for a long time there didn’t seem like there would be a book that would get me back into reading and bring that joy that I felt when I was younger and my Mum said we were going to the Bookshop to choose a book each. Ah, chills. That was until I coincidentally began working in said Bookshop many years later, and I became determined to find one that grabbed my attention and reignited my love once more.
My determination came from me beginning to realise the damage looking on my phone as soon as I woke up and right before I went to bed was having on my mental health. Sometimes you don’t realise it does, but for me if I saw something I didn’t want to on social media first thing in the morning then it would start my day off badly and would leave me feeling strange for the rest of the day. Not to mention that I have such a vivid imagination and if I read/ saw something scary or didn’t want to see then I will more often than not have a dream about it. Not to mention the ridiculously huge fact that whether your phone is giving off blue light or not, it can still keep you awake for longer. Bright lights in our environment can signal to our brain to stay alert and that can directly come from looking at a screen.
I’m not one of those people that believe every one loves reading they just haven’t found the right book because I think it’s naive to assume everyone is the same, but if you love movies and being creative – then I wonder would a person not get the same thrill from reading about a story they would easily watch at the cinema?
For me, it wasn’t like that. It was simply that I had heard about this book from a friend and thought it sounded cool and wanted to give it a shot so I asked for it for Christmas from my family. Prior to this, I had tried books that just weren’t doing it for me and I do believe now that if it feels like a chore than it is not the story for you because when you find one it is so easy to read you find yourself lost in it. I had tried The Good People by Hannah Kent, The Girl on the Train and Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier. Maybe it was because they just weren’t the right books for me at the time, but they felt like a chore to read rather than it being enjoyable. I always struggle with which specific book it was as Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine was the first book I read since being a child that I thoroughly enjoyed but looking back I realise it was more the genre – Female Protagonist leading the story.
The book ladies and gentlemen, is Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton.
I know what you’re thinking, who hasn’t read it and fell in love with it? But, that just seems to me the sign of an incredibly written book. It is a memoir written by Dolly, detailing some of the trials and triumphs of life: falling in love, friendships, self-sabotage, getting dumped, becoming friends with the guy who owns the corner shop and throwing a Rod-Stewart-themed party. It is a story about you, and realising that you alone are enough.
Maybe it came at a time where I felt like a needed some life-affirmation or it was more that no matter what age you are there are parts everyone can relate to. It is funny, heart-breaking and full of wit, insight and heart. A book that makes you feel as though you are getting life advice from a friend and know that everything will always be fine.
I am thankful to this book as it made me realise the beauty of reading and not only does it extend your vocabulary, work your brain and keep you away from social media, but it also lets you escape the real world even just for a moment and into a world of your own.
J.K Rowling “I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book”.