#Our Reading Lives

Our Reading Lives features stories about how books and reading have shaped who we are and how we live.

Edward Cullen is a Comedian, and Other Thoughts on MIDNIGHT SUN

A reader examines her history with TWILIGHT and shares her wiser, more critical, and more snarky thoughts on MIDNIGHT SUN.

When Reading is More Stressor Than Stress Relief

Reading might be good for stress relief, but what happens when it becomes what creates stress for you?

How Tournament of Books Changed My Reading Life

How Tournament of Books made one reader think more critically about the books she reads, and how she approaches them as both a reader and a writer.

Who Creates Meaning in Fiction: Authors, Readers, or Both?

One reader contemplates the question of who gives meaning to fiction: is it the reader's perspective, the author, or both?

Tiffany D. Jackson and the “Stress” of It All

A reader examines why Tiffany D. Jackson's novels can be stressful, and how stories like GROWN advocate for Black girls and women.

To All the Libraries I’ll Miss When I (Finally) Move

Six years after moving to D.C. and deciding it's not for me, there’s still something holding me back from leaving: the libraries.

How I Learned to Stop Being Sexist and Love Miss Marple

A woman's meditations about Agatha Christie and murder mysteries, including a discussion of why Miss Marple is awesome.

“I’ve Censored My True Feelings”: Jessica Darling, Me, and Mental Illness

Jessica Darling made me feel less alone growing up, navigating what it is to discover oneself while experiencing mental illness.

When Will I Stop Equating My Self-Worth With the Amount of Books I’ve Read?

One reader questions his compulsion to read as a prop for self-worth, and considers how reading slumps lead to existential angst.

Why Are We Obsessed With Other People’s Bookshelves?

Since COVID-19 began and Zoom calls became a regular feature of our lives, we've become even more fascinated by other people's bookshelves.

Appalachian Audiobooks That Taught Me How to Say Goodbye

A reader on the Appalachian audiobooks that took her back home to Appalachia and helped her prepare to move farther away from it.

How My Reading Journal Accidentally Became A Plague Diary

It is clear that my journal anticipates a reader. No, begs for a reader. Begs for someone other than me to hear what it has to say.

A Summer Without Voices: How Rachel Carson’s SILENT SPRING Gives Me Comfort in a Time of Crisis

One reader shares why Rachel Carson's SILENT SPRING is a source of solace in tumultuous times.

How the Pandemic Has Changed Our Reading Lives

Real readers weigh in on how the stress and new routines of the pandemic have changed how much we’re reading—and what we’re choosing to read.

3 Ways to Start a Two-Person Book Club with a Friend

One Rioter describes three different types of two-person book clubs that have helped her make and maintain long-lasting literary friendships.