Imagine this: It's Christmas Eve. You've enjoyed an abundant dinner with your loved ones and exchanged gifts. You received that book you've been dying to read, the one all of your friends have been raving about. You spend the night cuddled up near the fire reading your new book, sipping mulled wine and devouring freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.
This is actually an Icelandic tradition known as Jolabokaflod, which roughly translates to "Christmas book flood." It began during World War II, when giving books as gifts during the holidays became super popular because paper was one of the few supplies not strictly rationed. The tradition is still widely celebrated by Icelandic people today.
On a personal note, one of my resolutions this year was to dedicate more time to reading, and I'm proud to say it's one of the few I've ever achieved. I'm sharing my tips for how I found time to read throughout the year, plus a few of my favorite 2018 reads and anticipated reads for early 2019.
From our Cariset family to yours, we wish you the happiest of holidays!
My Five-Star 2018 Books
- "We burn and bleed and cry, fully aware that the worst the sport can give us, in the very best scenario, is incomprehensibly meager and worthless: just a few isolated moments of transcendence. That's all. But what the hell else is life made of?"
- "Mama had quit high school and 'lived on love.' That was how she always put it, the fairy tale. Now Leni was old enough to know that like all fairy tales, theirs was filled with thickets and dark places and broken dreams, and runaway girls."
- “That's the problem. We let people say stuff, and they say it so much that it becomes okay to them and normal for us. What's the point of having a voice if you're gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn't be?”
- "She knew the years of isolation had altered her behavior until she was different from others, but it wasn’t her fault she’d been alone. Most of what she knew, she’d learned from the wild. Nature had nurtured, tutored, and protected her when no one else would. If consequences resulted from her behaving differently, then they too were functions of life’s fundamental core."
Next Up On My "To-Read" List
Tips for Reading More Frequently
- Buy a Kindle: I invested in the Paperweight earlier this year and absolutely love it. It's so portable and easy to use that I can now read everywhere and anywhere, whether I'm commuting, waiting for an appointment, on a plane, or at the beach.
- Download the Goodreads app: This app is like Facebook for book lovers -- you can keep track of the books you've read/want to read, leave reviews, and track your friends' reading activities.
- Start a book club: All you need is a few bottles of wine, some cheese and crackers, and a small group of friends who also enjoy reading. Rotate hosting and selecting the book. My group spends 5-10% of the time discussing the book and the remaining time sharing laughs and gossip.
- Make it a habit: I know life gets busy, but even on my craziest days I can usually find 10-15 minutes to read in bed before passing out -- it helps me wind down and relax.