It’s Okay to Read All The Things

by Laura Findlay

Dear Zoo,

It’s Saturday. Caturday. Saturyay. I’m happy. There is blue sky and a few wispy clouds. I’m up to my second cup of tea. Things are peachy, after an extraordinary week of busy.

This week, I read this great post over at Meet Me at Mikes. Pip writes about virtue versus character and how people often strive to be this perceived great thing – particularly on social media – and that this perceived great thing is maybe a bit over-rated, maybe a bit inauthentic and not necessarily satisfying or fulfilling. She declares that being the true, authentic you, faults-and-all, is a better road.

I happen to agree. For some reason, we’ve wound up in a society that is heavily focused on perfection. It kind of blows, because we all know, really, that everyone has quirks and – gasp – flaws. And that a lot of the time, these are OK and make for an interesting world and interesting conversations and, shock horror, diversity. Some way back we got incredibly lost and wound up thinking that being all the same was somehow, not just better, but how we actually are. False.

In the wide, magical world of reading there is great diversity. For some reason, however, we can get a bit hung up on what we read, a bit judgey. We lump things into categories, put some things on pedestals, frown at some things. It’s a shame. I try to remember this when I embark on a reading adventure – any and all things are great to read and it is perfectly OK not to like some things as long as you know that that is totally subjective.

Some things I like to read: novels that do not fit in a genre, novels set in interesting places like Not Forgetting the Whale and State of Wonder, articles about Antartica or dinosaurs or technology, books about animals, Flow magazine, books about interiors like Spaces and Fine Little Day, the newspaper, large-format children’s books like Maps, cookbooks made by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, crafty feel-good things like Craft for the Soul, blog posts, anything by Elizabeth Gilbert, favourite kids books like Hatchet, graphic novels, things about crafts, all of things written by Rainbow Rowell because she is a word magician.

Do you like any of these things? I bet your list is different to mine. That’s cool. Have a nice Saturday!

Yours truly,