Today is National Book Lover’s Day, and it feels only right to express my love for the amazing authors who have captured my heart in the pages of their books.
I’ve told this story in the past, but it bears repeating on this day. After graduating with my Master’s in English. I ran from books. I loved my program, but it killed my basic enjoyment for reading because it required I read certain books while also analyzing the details for a deeper message tied into literary theory. In my Master’s program, this worked. In the real world, it felt onerous and exacting. Add to that my job: I teach Freshman Composition (and its former remedial partners), and I spent hours a day reading and grading students’ writing. I didn’t want to read words on a page, so I focused on images on the screen…until my soul felt dry. In December of 2017, I remembered how I LOVED reading YA romance as a teen. How it was the last time I felt like reading was an outlet for my hyperactive, overthinking brain to rest. Therefore, I leaped feet first into E.L. James’s 50 Shades series to check out the hype. I realized quickly that, while I appreciated James’s storytelling, the act of reading for enjoyment, to be lost in the pages of a book no matter the issues with the story, was my first love. So I dove into my Kindle, into KU, into anything I could get my hands on via Amazon, and I haven’t retreated.
Instead, I became a romance blogger/reviewer in September 2018 when I posted my first blog post. I have found that some of that analyzing and writing I did in my undergrad and graduate programs needed expression too. However, I don’t feel the pressure to perform like I did in that program. It’s important for me to write reviews that are somewhat elevated for this genre because it feels like it shows the world beyond our community the importance of this genre for women in terms of agency and authority and equity. Men are also included in this battle, so anything I can do to further this fight, I will do it.
I have so many authors who have challenged me, entertained me, wrecked me, and embraced me. There are readers (and authors too) in this community who have felt kindred from the start. I had no idea when I read Fifty Shades of Grey in December 2017 that I would fall like Alice down the rabbit hole into a world where people, in general, both authors and readers, include you and make you feel apart of something bigger than yourself.
So…on this National Book Lover’s Day, thank you to every author I’ve read thus far, who has also connected with me through social media or who pushes a quick like in acknowledgment of anything I’ve shared for them. Thank you for spilling your souls on the page through the eloquence of your words. You have touched my heart so many times that it feels more alive than it has in years. Thank you for using your experiences and insights to act as both a magnifying glass to the human condition and a mirror to my own life. Your writing shows the power of the written word to connect large swaths of readers from different cultures, races, sexes, and experiences. So…thank you!
In love and romance,