Reading is Wholesome (& Damn Sexy).

Via Bryonie Wise
on Feb 1, 2013
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Source: via Pam on Pinterest
Source: via Pam on Pinterest

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.”

~ James Baldwin

I love books (almost) more than anything in life—from a very young age, to this climbing-closer-to-forty of recent days, books have always been central to each breath I take.

I came by this love honestly—my parents both avid readers—and some of my favorite memories include weekend afternoons and evenings, each of us with a book nestled into our hands, happily settled into our own worlds, the quiet hum of companionship as the pages flip—and of course, our last-minute pre-Christmas trips to the bookstore.

We would each choose a (reasonable) pile of books, which we traded at the cash register, took home and wrapped for each other—and then eagerly awaited Christmas morning, when we would open our packages of joy, curling up after  brunch, with full bellies, a glass of something bubbly and magic preparing to open before us.

Loving books as much as I do, I even spent a good portion of a past life making books. Each time I walk into our living room, I feel a graceful, grounding joy, as I look at our full bookshelves, busting with favorites, with books I have invested my heart and soul in, whether through the experience of reading them, or the through the experience of making them.

Each book, each story, has a place in my heart. Each book, each story, has helped me to find company, wisdom and the knowing that I am not alone in this world, no matter if I am up or if I am down.

Recently, so caught up in the busy, I noticed that I has having a difficult time keeping my attention in a book that I had started reading around the holidays. The days have been so long and so full, my body ready for sleep the moment before my head hit the pillow—I was lucky to get through one paragraph, let alone one page, of Jeanette Winterson’s Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

And so, I made myself a promise—that this year, I would commit to reading one book a month.

Not two, not ten—just one. There would be no competition as the months passed to read more than the previous month—I could save that for next year, maybe—and I wouldn’t, as I had done in the past, rope my friend Rebekah into a reading competition with me (which we did for some time, fiercely maintaing a blog to talk about the books we read).

No. This year, one book a month.

A commitment to myself and my imagination. A way to honor myself—a way to strengthen my personal integrity.

One chilly late afternoon, my love and I trekked downtown, stopping in at the bookstore to use a gift card we received at Christmas, before going to see The Hobbit (which I still haven’t read).

There, I picked out two new books—one that had been repeatedly recommended by my aunt, The Art of Racing in the Rain and the second, which spoke to me from the display, The Fault in Our Stars.

That night, I began the first book and thanks to a teaching schedule that has me traveling around the city a ton, I found many more moments to dive into the book.

Two days later, I had finished racing in the rain and I was on to find the fault in my stars.

Next up was Wild, which I plowed through; returning to Ms. Winterson, promptly polishing that off and then proceeded onto The Marriage Plot, which due to some much needed rest as prescribed by the universe, I finished reading in two days.

And today, the beginning of a new month, I will start The Immortal Life on Henrietta Lacks.

I devoured five books in the span of four weeks—my brain, my imagination, had literally been starving—and as I continued to read, I could feel a part of myself come alive again.

The me that believes—in magic, in life—in the power of our imagination and our creativity—and the me that will worship and celebrate the beauty of the written word for the rest of my days.

This is for all the book lovers, word nerds and lonely hearts that have ever found themselves, while lost in a book.

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About Bryonie Wise

Bryonie’s life is rooted in the belief that when we come from a place of love, anything is possible. When not teaching yoga or writing her heart to the bone, she can be found frolicking in the sunshine with her camera & her dog, Winston, living her yoga. Stay in the loop of all her magical happenings, connect with her on Facebook, TwitterInstagram—& maybe even add her first book, HEART ROAR: A Book of Tiny Prayers to your collection.


23 Responses to “Reading is Wholesome (& Damn Sexy).”

  1. jim fry says:

    Love. ~ Image.Gasms ~ Love.

    Contextually &, Holistically, a beautiful post.

    :: Bows in Appreciation ::

  2. kmacku says:

    One book a month?

    Challenge accepted.

  3. Love this. Did you ever see the post I did about the books you've been too busy to read? Just finished re-reading Cloud Atlas, so I think for February… hmm. I have the Game of Thrones series & haven't started yet, but think I want to stay with David Mitchell a little longer and read Number9Dream or The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

    p.s. How how HOW have you not ever read The Hobbit? I am sending you a copy tomorrow! xo

  4. Karl Saliter says:

    Night Circus is my vote Kate. I couldn’t put it down. B, if you haven’t eaten Murakami’s 1Q84 yet, I stand behind it with everything. Me and the tattooed midget collaborative thought he peaked at Wind Up Bird Chronicle, and happily, we were wrong as fuchsia sneakers.

  5. laydowninthetallgrass says:

    Oh, Jim, thank you!!

  6. laydowninthetallgrass says:


  7. laydowninthetallgrass says:

    Ha…I think I was too busy to read it but I'm going to look for it now. Cloud Atlas is in my pile, but just picked up Quiet and In One Person by John Irving as February back ups.

    P.S.: I know…mortified to admit that publicly…but I have read the entire Chronicles of Narnia series more times then I count…and a few others. I don't know how The Hobbit never crossed my path! (Blushing, profusely!) xo

  8. laydowninthetallgrass says:

    I haven't! Adding to my list! Thanks Karl!

  9. Nils Montan says:

    I loved this post and the images are out of this world. Please read Tolstoy's Anna Karenina this year, even if you read it before. You will find it very rewarding.

  10. laydowninthetallgrass says:

    Thanks Nils, for the recommendation! I haven't read it and so on my list it goes. B

  11. ava says:

    yes, reading is cool, fun, stimulating and exciting! also helps one to be a better writer.
    so many books, so little time! and storage units are full of them, some of the hardest things to let go of.
    great photo stream too…read on everyone

  12. Lindsay says:

    Fellow word nerd here, I've had a love affair with reading since I can remember. Retreating with a good book to escape the noise and chatter of the world, there's nothing like it. As a busy mom, I mourn the free time that no longer exists but the moments of reading to my boys are sacred. Thank you so much for sharing your love of books, I too will cherish and celebrate the beauty of the written word always! I'm in the middle of reading 'Guruji' and then I'm determined to read 'Quiet', and the list goes on and on….

  13. karlsaliter says:


  14. Kathy says:

    Love this post! I am also a fellow book nerd and read at least a book a week! I must be addicted but living in the mountains on cold winter days, there is nothing better than a book, tea and a warm fire. Lovely images and sexy.

  15. laydowninthetallgrass says:

    It's true! Thanks for the comment, Ava!

  16. laydowninthetallgrass says:

    Oh my pleasure, Lindsay…thank you for reading and taking the time to leave some thoughts! I just added Quiet to my pile…happy reading! B.

  17. laydowninthetallgrass says:

    Thanks Kathy! Oh, that sounds lovely…

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