08 March 2011

girl who reads.

Listening to: In This Life by Switchfoot. 
Quote love: "I stepped into the bookshop and breathed in that perfume of paper and magic that strangely no one had ever thought of bottling." Carlos Ruiz Zafon 

(yuck photo. not the best I've ever taken.)

There are the books and there is the sister. And in those books are hundreds of hours of childhood, of continents and countries and turning ten and turning thirteen and just last year when I discovered a new favorite.

Words are powerful. I'm learning this everyday, it seems. (Finished Bird by Bird last week. Amazing book.)

There are so many books piling of my bookcase. There are the books downstairs that I moved because they just aren't my thing any more. There are close to fifty books crammed on little sister 2's bookshelves, the books I loved and outgrew.

I don't have a favorite sister. I never have, and I don't intend to.

(However, if I was going for sister points, I would say Anna, because I know for sure that she is The Only One who reads this.)

My closest sister is Anna. Closest in age (I'm older), closest in height (I'm shorter), closer in looks (that was her a few posts back, not me), and my very first best friend.

We couldn't be more different.

Actually, we probably could, but hyperbole feels good right now.

This girl has never read, a) all of Anne, b) more than the first thirteen pages of the Book Thief, c) the whole Series of Unfortunate Events, and d) Alice in Wonderland.

Those are favorites. For real, long time favorites.

So. I told her I was gonna make a summer reading list for her, and we'd go out to Starbucks if she finished it. Any suggestions? I'm thinking difficult stuff: lots of Shakespeare, Bronte, Austen.

You probably didn't know this: when I was nine-ten I was on a Shakespeare kick. It may have had something to do with going to his house, or the fact that I bought an abridged set of plays from my brother, not knowing it was abridged. Then I bought his teeny tiny leather bound copy of Twelfth Night and kept that for years. For my tenth birthday I was given a Midsummer's Nights Dream and the Merchant of Venice. Late at night when we were supposed to be asleep, I would walk around our room reading Shakespeare out loud and she would tell me to go to sleep.

So what books do you think should be on the list? What books have you read that you can't imagine having not read?

"Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

"Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

"She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book. 

"Buy her another cup of coffee. 
"Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

"It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does. 

"She has to give it a shot somehow. 
"Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

"Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

"Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series. 

"If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are. 
"You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. 

"Over Skype.

"You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

"Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads." by Rosemary Urquico, via.


  1. If I wasn't already following you, this post would make me want to. Because it's so...true. So eloquent and lovely and true.

    I love reading. I love the Book Thief and Harry Potter and My Sister's Keeper. When I was younger, I used to read even more. I loved Little House on the Prairie, The Series of Unfortunate Events, the Penderwicks, and lots more. Actually, I still do.

    And you're a brilliant writer, you know? When I was reading that little excerpt, I was just smiling and nodding, because it's so true. Especially the Twilight part. XP

    Anyway, sorry for the long rambling comment. :P I just liked this post.


  2. i kinda, really, love this quote. it made my day just reading this. especially since i've been in a book slump.
    what's the quote from?
    anywho. i always love the quotes on your posts. where do you find them? (:

  3. Major heart swoon.

    If I could have any wish...I'd wish to read the books I loved as a kid like it was the first time.

  4. Later:
    Okay, I feel really dumb now. I thought that long quote at the bottom was yours. :P I'm sure you're a brilliant writer anyway. But I love that quote.


    Your very smart friend,

  5. Okay so...
    consider this idea stolen. ;)

    I looove love your new header my dear! It's beautiful. You're so talented.

    Speaking of talented... that picture is fabulous. So shut your mouth...
    about that. Other then that... keep talking. We all love it! :D


  6. Hello! I know you like the Pixar movie "Up" and I thought you'd like this article about National Geographic and they're attempt to make balloons float a house(:


  7. I love this post!

    "Jane Eyre" and "Pride and Prejudice" should definitely be on the list. :)

    I'm running out of room in my bookshelves. A few months ago, I bought a third one, and when I came home and reorganized my books, it completely filled it up (I had so many just stuck in there). Then I have boxes of my older books in the loft/attic, plus some in my closet. I can't get rid of any book that I had some emotional attachment to at some point. Even if I'll probably never read it again, if it was important to me at one time, I just can't bring myself to get rid of it.

    Amazing quote at the bottom. Where did it come from?


  8. You know when you read a blog post and the words linger in your mind for the rest of the day and they inspire you to go create something big and brilliant and you can't quite stop staring at the screen and thinking, 'wow'? I can feel my pulse right now. Whenever I read about words I breathe faster.
    This post was one of those.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Because this has made me realise that books are a gift and you can't take words for granted and other people do understand books smell good.
    I, of course, recommend the 'Anne' books for Anna. I totally don't understand American school, but she's a freshman so she's, like, fifteen? {like in the Taylor Swift song!}. Jane Eyre was amazing, Rebecca stole my breath and I'm enchanted by A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. Alice Hoffman writes magical prose and of course, Bird By Bird. I've yet to read any other of Lamott's work, but I'm expecting it to be brilliant.
    And, that was a long comment. I think I'll go read something now.

  9. Okay, I seriously, seriously, seriously, seriously *goes on for a few minutes* seriously love that quote... (:

  10. Such an inspiring post, I love the quote at the beginning! I definitely need to catch up on my reading pronto! :D


    P.S: I'm giving away a $500 FOLEY + CORINNA bag for my blog's Birthday! Would love to see you joining the fun! :D

  11. Perhaps she would like these:
    Pride and Prejudice
    Northanger Abbey
    Jane Eyre
    The Scarlet Pimpernel or The Black Arrow
    To Kill A Mockingbird
    Hope she actually read the list of books you give her. All the time I'm trying to get my brother to read a certain book, but I never prevail. :P

  12. you should put classics on there, but not too many...classics are a big undertaking for a lot of people...even some readers. I know that because they are hard for me. She might not finish if it's all famous and old. Richard Peck. She must read The Book Thief.
    I also must say, I loved this post, espeically the quote at the end...did you write that???

  13. im obsessed with you already!!! Im a writer, and obsessed with reading... LOVE this! my dad just published a book as well :) ill be back to your wonderful site girl! thanks for inspiring me!

  14. I loved to read this post, that quote is so wise, I love it :)

    ♥: http://withlovekatariina.blogspot.com

  15. This was such an adorable read, I read it alongside my breakfast. Made my morning :3
    Haha oh and that picture is lovely not yuck!

  16. I *love* your blog. That is all. :)

  17. Hey Katie girl! You just won the giveaway on my blog, check it out!!

  18. Any of Jane Austen's books are incredibly amazing -- Persuasion is my favorite so far, though I did enjoy Emma, and still have to finish P&P and S&S. I love Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Shannon Hale, and Lois Lowry. And The Book Thief was absolutely breathtaking.

    Have a lovely day!

  19. You have beautiful writing. You can always tell when people actually enjoy reading because their words are usually so beautifully written! Right now I'm reading "The Book Thief" but I wish more than anything I had more time to read!

    <3Chelsea Elizabeth

  20. i juuuuuuuuuuust might steal your idea of happy things list.
    but i also might link to you... so there.

  21. love these comments! hearing about your love stories with books made me smile.

    SO sorry about the confusion about the quote on the end. I didn't credit it properly, but I have it sorted now.


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