How I’m Falling for Reading Again

Back in high school I was a bookworm. I spent secondary one in the library, living in many different worlds. I spent the other four years swooning over characters, talking about them and these worlds with my friends.

Even though I stopped reading leisurely, I still considered myself a bookworm. I was in denial that I had drifted away from enjoying novels. Who doesn’t love the library aesthetic? Hanging out in Indigo, sipping coffee and scanning books is one of my favourite things to do to this day. I’ve been in literature classes, listened to people list their favourite authors and novels, and felt ashamed because I couldn’t do the same. The reason for this was because by the time I started university, and I started to come to the conclusion that my bookworm days were behind me.



During university my excuse has always been that I didn’t have time to read outside of class. When I did have free time, I spent most of it reading textbooks or wanting to thoughtlessly relax by watching movies or TV shows.

This past winter break, I decided that would change. I realized I had no excuse not to read because I wasn’t drowning in assignments. I remembered a book I read in high school that I loved and thought of revisiting it to get back into reading.  The last time I read and enjoyed a novel was in high school, so I started there. Don’t be afraid to reread a book you loved, even if it’s a young adult book. Some YA novels are well crafted and as enthralling as a story geared for older audiences.

The book I revisited was A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. Set in 1895, it is the first novel of the Gemma Doyle trilogy. It follows sixteen-year-old Gemma Doyle as she moves to Spence Academy in London from India.

One day, after running away from her mother because of an argument, Gemma has a violent vision. In this vision, her mother is murdered by an inhuman shadow.

After her mother’s death, Gemma is sent to Spence to become a “proper English woman.” She is followed by her visions, and Kartik, a boy who is assigned to watch over her, tries to prevent her from using the visions she cannot control.



At Spence, Gemma makes friends with three mismatched girls. Felicity and Pippa, who are inseparable and snobbish, and Ann, who is quiet and self-conscious. Each have their secrets, and their secrets bind them together while separating them too. That is, until Gemma taps into her powers, and together they discover true magic.

I enjoyed every bit of it just as much, if not more than when I was fifteen. I rediscovered this world I once loved, appreciated the writing style and descriptions and once again had the chance to gossip about the story to my friends. No matter what audience A Great and Terrible Beauty may be geared to, you can still enjoy it in your twenties.  

If fantasy YA was never your genre, opt for a book you used to love—no matter at what age—and start there to get back into the swing of reading. Reliving good moments through stories you’ve once read can motivate you to  read a novel. By the time you finish it, you might yearn for more and fall, once again, in love with reading.