#Our Reading Lives

Our Reading Lives features stories about how books and reading have shaped who we are and how we live.

Why Does Reading to Ambient Sound Make Reading Better?

I read better and remember stories longer when my reading is accompanied by white noise — whether it's rain or ocean noises. But why?

How Working in a Library Healed My Inner Child

Working at the library that was my safe haven has been satisfying in a way I’d never experienced. It went beyond satisfaction to healing.

How Performing in a Musical Adaptation of Pride and Prejudice Brought Me Closer to the Book

Playing a Charlotte pastiche in a musical gave me a profound appreciation of Charlotte Lucas and Pride and Prejudice overall.

The Joys of Checking Cookbooks Out of the Library

Borrowing cookbooks from the library has reinfused my baking life with joy — even if I don't end up using any of the recipes.

How Choose Your Own Adventure Books Taught Me to Be a Better Reader

Many read the Choose Your Own Adventure novels as children, but even if you didn't, they hit a little differently when read by adults.

My Library’s Circulating Zine Collection is My New Favorite Thing

A zine collection is also a resource and a service. Mostly, though, it's a delight. It's so much fun. It's joyful. It's surprising.

At What Age Should We Stop Reading Aloud to Each Other? (The Answer is, Never!)

Bedtime stories are common for young children, but we're missing out if we stop reading aloud when we grow up.

Reading Calvin & Hobbes for the First Time as an Adult

Growing up, I loved reading Sunday comic strips but was an adult before I read Calvin and Hobbes. The child I was didn't seem to care.

Why Latin American Horror Hits Close to Home

I can't deny that Latin American horror books hit very close to home. There is a certain kind of terror in the everyday terrors they depict.

Like Pressing a Bruise: Books I Regret Rereading

One reader reflects on the books she's reread, wondering what made them so appealing in the first place.