Holly Moon, Development and Marketing Coordinator
When you’re in school, there is not much time to read anything that is not assigned to you by a professor or teacher. Like many of my fellow tragically suppressed nerds, I did not get many books knocked off my constantly growing “Want to Read” shelf during those busy four years. This year, I decided to return to my literary roots. I started off slow, reading rather casually, but have recently felt inspired to voraciously dive back in.
Some of the ways I have found motivation is from listening to podcasts about reading. Some great ones include “What Should I Read Next?” from the writer of the Modern Mrs. Darcy blog, Anne Bogel and the New York Times Book Review. Through listening to these recordings catered to bibliophiles like myself, it became clear how emphatically readers empathize with the characters in their books.
Reading and Emotional Intelligence
Working at Frameworks, I felt compelled to delve deeper into the connection between Emotional Intelligence and reading. It turns out it is a big topic in behavioral science research! According to a study published in Elsevier by Dan Johnson of Washington and Lee University, reading fiction increases empathy and prosocial behavior while influencing emotional perception.
When I reflected on this, it made sense. Books have the ability to make you feel sad, happy, angry, or even scared. I’ve definitely been in the somewhat embarrassing situation when you are reading a book in front of others and you find yourself laughing out loud and sometimes (even more awkwardly) crying. As readers, we feel genuine connections with the books that we consume and the characters whose lives we shadow. Literary journeys such as these can be therapeutic and should be encouraged, especially for our youth.
Becoming Part of the Reading World
If you are in a reading rut like I was, I encourage you to jump start your bookish life and improve your emotional intelligence in the process! Here are some ways that you can do it:
- Create an account on Goodreads and follow your friends. It is a great way to get suggestions!
- Join an email list for readers such as Modern Mrs. Darcy or Buzzfeed Books.
- Follow your favorite authors and fellow bookworms on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Some of my favorites include Paolo Coelho (Facebook), @wellreadblackgirl (Instagram), and @poetshouse (Twitter).
I hope that you give these suggestions a shot. One of the best ways to find reading inspiration (and improve your EQ in the process) is by embracing the culture that comes with it!
“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.” – Mortimer J. Adler