Remember when the Scholastic Book Club flyers would arrive at your classroom and you would pore over them at your desk when you were supposed to be doing other things and circle the books you wished you could have? I’m not sure when that started or if it ended, but for a book nerd at elementary school in the 80s, it was like Christmas. I think of that sometimes in this day and age where the internet is a vast, infinite Scholastic Book Club at my fingertips at any time, with no one to tell me not to buy a given book except my own budget.
Despite that abundance, my book-reading muscles have atrophied substantially in recent years, and I’m sure I’m not alone. I attribute it to a variety of factors: part decision fatigue, part decreased attention speed because of the brevity of social media posts, part feeling like we’ve read because we spend so much time skimming emails or think pieces or news. I know that whenever I do crack a book – especially an actual book with actual pages and an actual cover – my mood and state of mind are immeasurably improved. As we enter what I always think of as the reading season, with cozy nights and vacation days approaching, I like to get as much inspiration as possible to line my nightstand or Kindle with recommendations.
Will you give me a recommendation? I obviously have a soft spot for books from and about Costa Rica, Latin America, immigration, women and women’s rights, and the theme of the Daily Boost, which is finding inspiration amidst chaos… but I’m wide open, honestly. I’d love to hear what you’re reading now or books that pop to your mind that you might have read long ago but that NO ONE SHOULD GO ANOTHER SECOND WITHOUT READING, and actually now that you think of it you don’t understand why you aren’t rereading it yourself right at this very moment. (“The Incredible Lightness of Being,” “The Elegance of the Hedgehog” and “A Confederacy of Dunces” come to mind, off the top.)
I’m a writer in San José, Costa Rica, on a year-long quest to share daily posts on inspiring people, places and ideas from my adopted home as a kind of tonic during a rough time in the world. Sign up (top right of this page) to receive a little dose of inspiration every weekday in your mailbox; tell a friend; check out past posts; and please connect with me on Instagram or Facebook! You can also find me churning out small, square poems on any topic under the sun (here on the site, on Instagram or Twitter).