A Millennial’s Defense of Leisure Reading

 

The one-and-done rule can work for an array of situations—checking out library books is not one of them.

Honestly, I have more discipline window-shopping in Le Marais in Paris compared to when I walk into the local library.

Once I walk through the entrance of Wilton Library, I experience a Bookworm Blackout for roughly half an hour. I don’t realize how many books I end up checking out until I drop at least one thousand pages on the circulation desk, carefully stack the pile in a woven canvas tote, then lug it to the back seat of my car.

With that being said, I am incredibly aware and decisive about the books I select. A series of filters go through my mind as I try to figure out who to bring home.

The three topics that I draw from the most are the business and history of fashion; Parisian and French culture; and digital media and its relationship to entrepreneurship. Then, I brainstorm and get more specific about what interests me in the moment to hone in on specific book titles to explore.

Even if I’ve always been meaning to read a magazine editor’s biography, depending on my mood, sometimes the sophisticated classic literature novel prevails. The reverse has also happened—there have been times when I wanted to focus solely on reading French literature, but can only focus on travel writing or Chick Lit Lite.

I always forget how overwhelming it can be to possess the enthusiasm to read. The positive intention of flipping through pages in peace conflicts with the reality of responsibility. No matter how much you want to unwind with your books, it can be difficult to muster more time and energy after a long day.

LeisureReading_RealLife_PSbyMH (3)

Note: scrolling and tapping articles on a smartphone screen does not qualify as reading.

It’s reading, but it’s not reading-reading.

Yes, skimming the NY Times Bestseller List and Goodreads are the more obvious and more efficient resources to find books. Yes, I’ve found plenty of great book suggestions on Instagram and listicles posted on LinkedIn and Facebook. Yes, Kindle, Amazon Prime and the rest make reading more immediate. And yes, I’m completely aware that I may have injected a little bit too much innuendo while describing my excursions to the local library.

I don’t care—I’ve been told effort is sexy.

Ordering books online is easy, but I find reading is more incredible when you take more pleasure in the approach. I like getting my mint mocha from the coffee shop across the street, walking over to the library and weaving in and out of the shelves to find the perfect books…

Then again, why frown upon anyone ordering books from their iPhone in one hand and while holding a glass of wine in the other? There’s definitely pleasure in that approach.

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