The Medicine of Reading

Wow, looks like WordPress updated their posting tools and webpage as I’m writing this. Nifty!

I love reading. I really do. I also love a lot of other things that like to consume my time. Video games, movies, hanging out with my close friend. I always know that a quick or long read will be waiting for me whenever i need it. Doesn’t matter where I am or how I feel when I grab that book – the text will remain the same and draw me in.

I usually feel a sort of accomplishment after a good reading session. I ALWAYS feel one after finishing a long book I’ve been working on for weeks (See: Lord of the Rings). It made me get to thinking, how exactly does reading seem to grant these sort of pleasurable emotions. Sure, we’re reading a hopefully engaging story. Though at its simplest a book stands to be nothing more than text on a page!

I came across this article on the Wall Street Journal. Go give it a read. It pulls from a lot of various studies since the late 90’s that show the social, academic, and mental abilities of frequent reading. I won’t go into the specifics of the article, cause that’s boring and you can read that on your own, right? We’ve just established that its a good thing, after all!

So why do we find it so difficult to just sit down and make time to read these days? I admit, I don’t read nearly as much as I used to. Those other things I mentioned earlier…tend to give them way more attention than the books. Sometimes the flashes and colors of other forms of entertainment just draw me in. I don’t get the same feelings though that I do while reading. Whenever I feel like I’m in a bad place, I find much more success after reading in improving my emotions. In a happy place? Well reading seems to just heighten those things as well! I really need to work on my habits. I know what works best for me, I just have a hard time getting to do it.

So how often do you read and do you wish you did it more often? Do you feel reward type emotions afterwards? Let me know!


Spiral to Reality


So I messed up. I’m not perfect. Sue me.

I went in to grab a fantasy book and may have just grabbed one that leans more towards sci-fi. I got too excited and in the moment of feeling for the book’s spine rather than picking numbers this week. However, it seems that after reading some of Matther Hughe’s The Spiral Labyrinth, the book has as many fantasy elements as sci-fi. I’m going to cheat a bit more here and just call it a fantasy novel.

(Also, I had all this great footage filmed and my computer corrupted the files…bad luck the past week.)




Fantastic! Of course. I mean, as my video shows, I did base this week’s selection of feel alone. So of course I got something that felt awesome. This book doesn’t disappoint. Highest of the shelves quality, I felt like I got a great deal here! The book smells fresh off the printer and very firm with a confident hardcover. The colors of the beautiful cover are vibrant. I just want to jump into that image on the front, don’t you?

My only complaint lies in that the cover and first few pages of the book seem to be very, very quote heavy. I couldn’t help but be drawn in to other people’s opinions before I could even begin to develop my own.

That’s a small nitpick though, because the artwork and appeal of this book lead right into the book’s contents itself! It reads classical yet futuristic. The painting on the front feels just the same.


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A Future, Today


Shelf 3 – Row 3 – Book 7

This week, I landed upon the sci-fi classic Dune by Frank Herbert. This is one I had heard a bit about but never gotten a chance to read it myself! So I’m pretty excited!


This book has aged just fine! Perhaps people just hold the classics in a higher regard? It doesn’t even smell like it had been on someone’s shelf that long. The book is quite firm too. Of course, the spine is a bit worn from some intense reading by the owner before me, but that’s not a big deal!


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Audio to Visual and Other Monsters


Quick note before you get too into this: I broke my rules. This isn’t a random pick or a review this week. It’s Halloween time and I wanted to pick Welcome to Night Vale since it just arrived in the mail and smells oh so fresh.

Welcome to Night Vale actually began as a podcast that gained popularity over the past two years. Known for it’s quirky and mysterious material, it tells tales of strange happenings in one town by ways of a radio show. Nothing in the town of Night Vale is normal, and that’s just fine by me.



Beautiful and just how it should be. When this book came in the mail, I took more care opening the cardboard box than I did some recent clothes I got. Honestly, I had pre-ordered this book so long ago I had forgotten about it. Luckily, Amazon reminded me of its arrival just a few days before. The loud knocking of the delivery man woke up half my house (I live with a lot of nappers). I didn’t care though. I ran to the doorstep and grabbed the book with glee.

The book feels surprisingly light for a hardcover. Weight wise, it feels cheap. Like some children’s hardcover once forgotten in the back of a library. That’s the only part about it that does feel poor, however. The print and colors of the books are vibrant. The paper crisp yet slightly worn to not feel too official. It fits the tone of the podcast and universe Welcome to Night Vale has created perfectly…and I haven’t even read a word yet!


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Three Reasons Why You Should Gamble*

*With books.

I’ve only been at this game of mine for three weeks, but I have to share how incredible the experience has been. Here are my top three reasons why you should go out and join me in the game!


When you first pick up a new book – do you not quickly flip through the book and look ahead at what’s to come? Now, I don’t mean reading the last few pages. Just a few seconds glance as the pages dance before your eyes. For now, you’re only on page one. Soon, you’ll be missing the way you felt before you knew what wonders the book you once held ignorance too contained.

When you go and pick some book at random, you truly have NO idea what you’re getting into. Sure, it may turn out for the worse; as it certainly has for me. Though half the fun lies in the fact that the book you choose may be an unsung hero. A book not many know and even fewer love. Something to tell your friends about, brag that you found a treasure simply by chance. I guess you can kind of become a literary hipster in this sense..

Also, reading these books gives you a new appreciation for all the types of styles and vocabulary out there. You may pick up a book three decades old and find it could have been written in 2015…or 1815! Expanding your bookshelf also expands your expertise, and what a fun way to do it this can be!


So perhaps you’re already a book lover, or perhaps not. After three weeks and three books, I’ve only spent about $8. Just two nights ago, I spent $30 on one meal with some friends. I couldn’t help but think about how many books that would get me. How many hours and hours of reading and physical fun it would bring me.

When it comes to entertainment, nothing like a great book truly offers the best dollar per time spent. Not only will you spend hours reading the book itself, but it will stay with you. Whatever you read sticks in your head. The book becomes something to reference, read over and over, or just show off on the bookshelf.

Doing something of this sort really gives a bang for the buck. The books are yours to keep as long as you wish for such a bargain. Hey, and maybe while you’re browsing the shelves you’ll come across another book you’ve already been looking for. Hard to find any better deals than at Half-Price Books honestly! Go ahead and grab it.


So, have I sold you on going out there and getting a random book yet? Good. Now. The real beauty is that you can do whatever you want with this idea. Make your own rules. Don’t make any rules at all. Expand your genres. Stick to only one. Go find books you’ve never heard of, or maybe just ones you have been meaning to get to for a while now.

You can share your experiences with the world or do it only for you. In the end, I can assure you that being creative with something you’re interested in like I am really pays off. It only strengthens your want to get out there and explore, so go do it!

This Book Sucks



Shelf 9 – Row 2 – Book 16


Horror! October! How convenient this is. Three weeks and we’ve had a taste of each of the three categories with no repeats! I wonder who will get the first repeat genre in the end? Man oh man, am I excited though. Not to give any less importance to the other categories, but I had really been looking forward to a horror selection. It had been years since I’ve had a good read that kept me up at night and wanting to keep the lights on! Now…on to my selection…The Hunger by Whitley Strieber.

The Hunger

THIS BOOK IS SO 80’S AND I LOVE IT. –Calm down Garrett-. 

Upon first picking up this book, I couldn’t help but grin. The over saturated, yellow and purple cover just screamed that I would be in for something really, really interesting this time around. My silly demeanor did give way to a bit of disappoint, as I realized I probably wouldn’t be staying awake at night like I had hoped.

Apparently, they made a movie out of The Hunger after its publication. I happened upon a later release with a different cover featuring the actresses and actors. The pages of the book are the yellowest I’ve seen yet, but I guess it melds well with the purple woman on the title. Perhaps it was intentional or perhaps the book just didn’t age well. Speaking of’s time we get to…



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The World’s End and Other Sad Stories



Check out my first video that goes along with this review! Follow me as I select and pick out the book, and give some more details on my reading experience!

Shelf 2 – Row 6 – Book 30 (again!)

This week, I let my dear friend Wesley select my genre. Wesley stared intently for a moment at the three colored balls in front of him, then select sci-fi. Did I mention Wesley was a cat?

After a trip to Half Price Books and some random number selection, I stumbled upon The Glimmering by Elizabeth Hand.



I knew I was in for something interesting upon picking this one off the shelf. I sighed with relief when I saw that the book had a much better looking cover art then last weeks. The deep purple that encompassed the cover drew me in. The outer pages of the book contrasted its cover – a sickly yellow poisoned by exposure and time. I could tell that this book hadn’t been read too heavily (if at all) as its spine seemed like new. I always wonder about a book’s history in cases like these. It looks as if it had been upon someone’s shelf for a very long time without even a glance!

Opening the book revealed very fine text upon its 525 pages. Chapters seemed to take their time as a new one would only come along every thirty pages or so. Not too much at first glance, but with its heavy text I knew that I wouldn’t be making too much progress by the end of my three hours!

The cover art mystified me. Gargoyles, a giant clock, and purple clouds? I had no idea what I had in store. Little did I know that my confusion would only grow from here…


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