Finding Time to Read in our Busy Lives

Written by Kendall Talbot

Winter break is, for most college students, a time to sleep, travel, and catch up with friends and family. While I did enjoy all of those activities this past winter break, I used the majority of my time to finally tackle the precarious stacks of unread books that have been slowly taking over my room over the last several years. For four weeks I sat curled up on a loveseat next to my family’s synthetic fireplace, drinking coffee in the early hours of the morning and multiple cups of hot chocolate thereafter, each with a layer of at least twelve marshmallows always coating the top to trap the heat. I wanted to feel warm and cozy while reading. I wrapped myself in fuzzy blankets and the musings of imagined characters for hours, and I managed to finish six sizable books, which is quite a feat considering how slowly I read. Looking back, I realize those four weeks spent doing nothing but reading were the most relaxing and rewarding weeks I’ve experienced in a long time. Because the truth of the matter is that I never have enough time to simply read a book anymore.

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Turtles All the Way Down: Let’s Talk About Mental Illness   

Written by Kendall Talbot

Six years ago, John Green brought millions of readers to tears with his tragic, yet oddly comical story of two teenage cancer patients who, in spite of their ailments, were determined to experience love and life and everything in between. While The Fault in Our Stars dealt with the horrible effects of physical illness, Green’s new novel, Turtles All the Way Down, addresses a different category of illness: mental. The story’s sixteen-year-old protagonist, Aza “Holmsey” Holmes, suffers from severe anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder, living in constant fear of the multitude of tiny microbes alive inside her body and the bodies of others. Her mental illness keeps Aza consistently and irrevocably stuck inside her own head, and for 286 beautifully written and heartbreakingly raw pages, we get to be stuck inside there with her.  

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The Annual Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL) is Nearly Upon Us!

Written by Kendall Talbot

Running from November 25 through December 3 this year, FIL is the largest annual literary event in the Spanish-speaking world. Established and organized thirty-one years ago by the University of Guadalajara, FIL still takes place in Mexico where the school is located. This year, the fair expects to host over 2,000 publishers from 45 different countries, representing books written in 29 different languages.

How did FIL become so large and so far-reaching? There are a few unique key aspects of FIL that set the event apart from other book fairs. One of these elements is FIL Niños (FIL Kids). The fair caters specifically to families by scheduling almost 1,500 workshops that promote reading and writing for children. These activities allow kids to interact with the authors there, encouraging any future readers and writers.

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