hella, hella, hella reading
Lots of recommendations for your spring reading, current reading, and nostalgia at the bookstores.
When I read that Gen Z is being credited with bringing back the nostalgia around bookstores, I both clapped and rolled my eyes. When I think of nostalgia, I think of vintage things like Lisa Frank notebooks or those clunky Cathy Jean shoes, not a bookstore, which is still a very current thing for me. I have tons of memories from my childhood that surround book stores, like taking my mom’s car to ball out in Borders or convincing my dad to take me to the Sanrio store so I could get retractable pencils and a pack of bubble gum and then heading to Barnes & Noble for my bi-weekly assortment of books. I would convince my parents that I had to go often to grow my vocabulary (yes, I was this kid) or see what happened next in one of my favorite series: Sweet Valley High, American Girl, Cheetah Girls, or Goosebumps.
I’m still such a bookstore girl. I chose my apartment honestly because I was split between two different Barnes & Noble locations and two different Target locations because of priorities. And although I often read on my Kindle because of convenience and my budget, I still go to Barnes & Noble a few times per month. Talking to the people in the store helps me find better suggestions of what I should read next. I also have some friends that I met in the store - two are Jasmine Gilloury superfans (I still haven’t read one of her books yet), and I always talk to another about her nail polish - she paints every finger a different color.
Nonetheless, I am happy to read about the resurgence of bookstores. It’s being said that Gen Z and the TikTok trend, #BookTok are getting people back into stores using nostalgia as a driving force and sense of belonging. Here is some of the impact: Barnes & Noble initially said they planned to downsize to 450 stores by 2022. They, however, started the year with 625 stores and plan to add 20-25 more stores this year. Book sales are up 13% YoY, and at least 172 independent bookstores opened in 2021.
Another thought, not to be a naysayer here, though - I feel like this category of influence fits into book influencing. There are many that I follow and one of my favorites is Traci Thomas, who runs The Stacks podcast. Her podcast is great if you haven’t listened to it before, and she’s also a Bay Area woman on the East Coast so I feel cousin spirit from her - this was a tangent, BUT I read a few articles recently about how bookstagrammers don’t make money from their posts, and I wish they did.
Last thing about influencers and books - A few months ago, I wrote about creators and Instagram’s subscription update, and finally, I got my first opportunity to subscribe to a creator, and it was @subwaybookreview. I thought it was cool.
Spring Reading List:
Continuing the reading and book theme, it has been a few months since I shared a list of what I was reading because, let me be honest here, my attention span for reading a book has been pretty poor since January. I shared some of the life events I went through, but I haven't finished a book since the first week of February. Of course, my lack of finishing a book hasn't stopped my purchasing of books; however thus, I am recommitting to my reading for April, and here are the books on my list for the month and, more than likely, part of May.
Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson I got halfway through this book before binged The Dropout. One of my favorite podcasts, Bad on Paper, just did an episode about this book.
Foreverland by Heather Havrilesky, which I am halfway finished with
Sometimes I Trip On How Happy We Could Be by Nichole Perkins
Easy Beauty: A Memoir by Chloé Cooper Jones (just came out Tuesday)
Good Talk by Mira Jacob
Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, which I think I read in the past but can’t remember nor can I find in my Goodreads
Wahala by Nikki May
Hella, Hella, Hella Reads:
Here's the last thing on reading this week. Between tons of self-care and napping throughout the weekend, I spent a lot of time cleaning out my Pocket app, which means I have a lot of reads that I thought were worth sharing. I can go on and on, so I am limiting it to the best ones that I read. If you have any interesting reads that you read recently, please share with me either in the comments or by email.
How Serena Williams Saved Her Own Life, Elle
Statistics show that Black women are three times more likely to die during pregnancy or postpartum than white women for multiple reasons. So hearing stories from public figures like this story from Serena Williams is very important to shine a light on this topic.
What I Lost & Found When I Froze My Eggs, Refinery29
How Everyone Got So Lonely, The New Yorker
I Just Might Be Your Auntie, The Atlantic
That’s it for this week:
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