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What I Learned Reading ‘Everything I Know About Love’

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Naturally, as an English major, I read a variety of books to keep my literary brain on its toes. Over time, I’ve developed a few standards for how I determine a book to be a good read. The most important one is how much of a lasting effect a book has on me. If I’m still thinking about it months after the fact, there’s a good chance I’ll be thinking about it for the rest of my life. This has been the case for me after reading Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton back in November. As I go into 2024, I’ve dedicated some reminders for myself based on what this book taught me about love, friendship, and life.

Alderton’s book is about her life as a young woman growing up in London. Most of it is centered around her twenties before going into her thirties, a time full of lots of change and personal growth. While I read, she talked about instances throughout her life that made me feel so seen and understood as a woman. She detailed so many feelings that I’d always have trouble defining myself as a girl attempting to navigate college and early adulthood. 

One of the first things I found myself constantly thinking about was Alderton’s experience with the relationship between chaos and fun. I found that especially in my last semester, I was always down for the prospect of an adventure even if having a good time wasn’t guaranteed. Looking back now, I feel like I was beginning to confuse chaos with having fun. Going out on a whim seemed exhilarating but after a while, it began to feel exhausting to have to constantly be on the go when I could’ve been doing something I knew I’d enjoy, like taking an “everything shower,” putting on a matching PJ set, and curling up in bed with a new book.

As I move into the new year, Alderton reminds me to make peace with being comfortable. Instead of judging myself about how I’m spending my time, I learned to lean into the mundane and overlooked experiences of everyday life. When I nurtured the basic habits of my life, they ended up becoming more reliable ways of making me happy. And honestly, who doesn’t love a good night in?

I think the most important thing I took away from this book was the idea that love is always all around us. Even after a hard day, a failed quiz, or (in my most recent case) a criminally messed up bagel order, it feels like everything is out to get you, but I swear it’s not. Alderton taught me that the people in my life are there for a reason, and there’s no shame in relying on them even if it’s just to complain about how wrong my bagel order was.

My favorite quote from the book details this idea perfectly. Alderton writes, “You were made so that someone could love you. Let them love you.” It may seem cliché, but there is love and joy in everything and everybody around us. Sometimes we just need a reminder to appreciate it and allow ourselves to feel it.

This book has genuinely been a life-altering read. I’ll definitely be picking up Alderton’s other reads in the future. So, the next time BookTok recommends Everything I Know About Love, take it as a sign to read it. Who knows what it might teach you?

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Savanna is majoring in English editing, writing, and media at FSU. In her free time she’s picking up a good book, listening to her favorite artists, or spending time with her friends.