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A Summer Reading Renaissance

I am a huge bookworm, always have been. I remember when I was younger, I would devour books faster than my parents could buy them for me and as a child then a teen I knew that if I were a dragon in a fantasy world, I wouldn’t hoard gold but books. I’ll admit reading isn’t the flashiest of hobbies, it’s not rock climbing or knitting; a bibliophile is more like a cinephile’s less popular cousin. “Why read when you can just watch it play out on screen?” I’m frequently asked. My answer is always the same, “I enjoy staring at lines on a page and getting lost in wild hallucinations”. Okay, maybe I don’t say all that but just saying, “because it’s fun” makes reading sound even less cool.

If there was at least one positive thing that came from the pandemic, it is that more people started reading. Either for the first time or as a rekindling, more and more people started reading as a hobby and entire communities began to grow — like Booktok! It is thanks to these new communities and a new uptake in global readers that I heard about the wonderful author Sarah J. Maas.

Having previously read her other series, A Court of Thorns and Roses and Crescent City, I am now reading her longest saga, Throne of Glass. Having just finished Queen of Shadows, I have decided to read the next two books, Empire of Storms and Tower of Dawn in tandem with each other. This will probably be my most ambitious read yet with both books equating to over 1300 pages – I might as well read Infinite Jest next, we’ll see. Maas does such a brilliant job of world building and character development that you as the reader deeply feel for what her characters are going through. My friends and I joke that the series main character, Celaena Sardothien, has plans and her plans have plans have plans which is the perfect way to describe how clever Maas is when crafting the plotlines and story arcs throughout all her novels! I am not kidding when I say there are some moments where I am physically shaking with worry for my beloved characters. I get the same wonder and excitement from reading Sarah J. Maas as I have with Tolkien minus chapters and chapters devoted to the description of a single tree. We are in the midst of a great reading renaissance with access to more and more authors within the mainstream media. Reading, for me mostly fantasy series, is more important than ever with the state of the world today to provide an escape from the endless doom-scrolling and awful news. It’s time to a break from all of the socials and crack open a new book – or two!

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