Update: It’s still January. Which means we gotta do what we do best—get creative with inside fun until we can get back to outside fun. And when we say fun, we mean fun for everyone. Including you!
So today, let’s talk about one of the best ways to *checks notes* increase empathy, improve relationships, reduce the symptoms of depression, improve wellbeing, and have some serious fun…reading for pleasure with your friends and loved ones.
P.S. Calling all good news! Later this month, we’re dedicating an entire newsletter to sharing uplifting stories from all of you. Got a story that brought a smile to your face or a rainbow over a stormy sky? Hit reply, share with yours truly, and you may be featured!
This Could Be You
We get it—not everyone is Rory Gilmore (did you know she read 408 books throughout seven seasons of Gilmore Girls?). But, despite her sometimes questionable choice in romantic partners, we could learn a thing or two from Rory.
Reading is one of the best favors we can do for our brains—it helps us expand our worldviews, stretch our attention spans, and even learn new languages. And all that is true whether you consider yourself “a reader” or not.
This year, I set a resolution to get back to reading for fun. Because nothing beats curling up under a cozy blanket with a hot beverage, a book, and some peace and quiet.
Want to join me? Here are some easy peasy tips to either jumpstart or ramp up your journey to becoming as bookish as Rory G.
Make your reading goal accessible
Saying “I’m going to read 50 books in 2023” is super admirable. But for some of us (especially those of us who topped out at three books last year), it’s not particularly realistic.
Instead of working toward a very big, very intimidating number, try these reading goals:
- Commit to a simple weekly page goal, like 20 pages every week.
- Pick up a book before you grab your phone or the TV remote. I know this season of Ginny & Georgia is good, but you may be surprised how relaxing and satisfying reading can be.
- Make it a family affair. At the end of the day, everyone can grab their own book and read a few pages on the couch together. If you have little ones, try family story time!
Even if you always procrastinated on summer reading (anyone else remember sitting in the school parking lot before the first day while your mom speed-read The Grapes of Wrath to you?)...these tips can get you in the groove this year.
But building in a new habit like regular reading takes time and practice, so give yourself room to experiment. Some ideas to do just that?
Try a new genre. If you’ve spent your life bashing fantasy and sci-fi (guilty), give it a shot. And if you don’t love it? Put it aside or pass it on to a friend. No shame in that game!
Feel out a new medium. Some people are Kindle people and some are not. Do what works for you!
Make it a group effort with a book club. Honestly, reading is more fun in groups—you get more book recommendations, more accountability, and more quality time with your friends and loved ones.
- You can check out your local library or independent bookstore to find IRL book clubs that meet regularly. If you’re more of a Zoom type, here are some great recs for virtual book clubs.
- Or start your own! Grab some friends or coworkers and decide on how often you’ll meet, where you’ll meet, and what vibe you’re aiming for (we love a wine & cheese book club). In the words of our favorite TV chef, how easy is that?
Did we just…start a FamilyMade book club? I think we did. This month’s selection is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Have you read it? Want to join us as we read it this month? Share your thoughts anytime throughout January and we’ll highlight some later this month. Can’t wait!
Books for non-readers. I was a book fiend as a young person. As an adult? I have trouble getting into them. This list is a good place to start if you’re struggling to find something that catches your interest.
Award season round up. If you’re more of a red carpet fashion type, we have some good news. Tomorrow’s Golden Globe Awards kick off the 2023 season, and after that one *event* at last year’s Oscars, it may be worth tuning in just for the drama!
And speaking of drama + books…we have to talk about Spare by Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex. The previews are wild and the full book comes out tomorrow. Count me in. Something to hold us over until the final season of The Crown!
Look at us, on a roll already this year. Happy reading and we’ll catch you back here on Friday.