Last year, my boyfriend moved to Boston. I live in New York.
He comes to see me every weekend. I'm a very lucky girl. But we were the kind of sickeningly in love couple that spent every single moment together because we had so much fun together. He is my best friend, and I really never get tired of him (but ask me again in 10 years. The answer may be different).
Therefore, at first, I was extremely lonely. I found myself with a ton of time left over that used to be spent with him. But then I rediscovered what I'd seemed to have forgotten: books are such amazing companions.
When Nicholas (my boyfriend) lived in the same city, I was definitely not reading as much as I used to. But when I got to thinking about it, I realized that I have not been reading as much as I used to for probably the past six or seven years.
What better activity to devote all my free time to, particularly in the winter, when I am not inclined whatsoever to go out? Staying in and reading was clearly the best option.
Reader, I have not regretted it.
Books soothe you in your loneliness. They make you feel empathy, compassion. You get lost in them. Books can be great substitutes for boyfriends.
They can be irritating. Sometimes you need to stick with them, even through the boring parts, even when the going gets rough. Usually you'll find out at some point that it was worth it to stick it out.
Sometimes, things start out slow, and take a while to pick up. Sometimes you don't even realize you're in love until it's too late, and you're absolutely obsessed.
But sometimes you have to break up with them. Sometimes, they're just not a good fit for you. It's not them, it's you. But sometimes, it is them. Sometimes they never pick up the pace or they're just not intriguing or exciting enough.
Dating in New York City is hard. Reading doesn't have to be. Here are 11 books that make great dates.
So, get off OKCupid and start reading! At least with a book, you don't have to wait until the check comes to get the hell out of there.
What book do YOU think makes a great date? Let me know in the comments!
Sure, he's a machismo Alpha male type on the outside, but underneath it all, he's really just masking the sensitive soul he has underneath. Hemingway's writing is beautiful, simple, poignant. This book will make you long to be a 1930s expat.
Russell's stories incorporate reality with just a dash of magic. They're perfect for escapist reading. Also, the mean little boys that are featured in almost every story won't make you miss having a man around.
Any woman who has not read this MUST do so. You can finish it in a sitting. Ladies, if you find yourself feeling lackluster, weak, etc, this long essay will make you feel the essence of female empowerment.
Oh, so many affairs! Gay and straight! Scandal! Lots of drunken debauchery. Quite the racy novel for being published in 1945. Though there are extremely tragic aspects and it is admittedly slow in the beginning (what classic book isn't?), this book is simply superb.
Being a single girl in NYC is hard. Even for girls like Holly Go Lightly. Capote's classic does not have the Hollywood ending that the Hepburn film has. In the novella, "Fred" is gay, so there is no romance between the two. But it is SO New York 50s glam.
This was the first book my boyfriend gave me, back when we were just friends. I was chronically sick because it was my first year in New York, so I was mostly home for about a month. There is really nothing else like DFW's essays. They are so, so great. This is my favorite collection of his. It opens up with an essay about Vegas's porn convention and also has the quintessential essay for grammar/language lovers everywhere: "Tense Present."
Sometimes we all need a good, long cry. It's therapeutic. Morrison's classic is a guaranteed tear jerker about a young black girl growing up after The Great Depression in the Midwest. She has an inferiority complex because of her eye and skin color. You will cry through the whole book. You will also realize that you in no way, manner, shape or form have it 1/4 as bad as the little girl in this book.
I know, I know. This might seem like a weird choice. But trust me! There are so many great stories here! And you probably weren't even paying attention when you read it in high school (you might even have used SparkNotes). The stories are clever and captivating. And now you'll finally find out where the term "Oedipal complex" comes from (and the word "narcissist" and I'm sure a ton of other words and phrases). I mean, read the cover...these stories are "timeless."
Sure, Jonathan Franzen is a complete misogynist, but I'm not asking you to date HIM, just the book! This book is essentially like a day time soap opera, except well written. You won't be able to put it down.
I've watched Kenneth Branagh's "Hamlet" more times than I'd care to admit (it's the full actual play, unabridged. It's FOUR HOURS). Wait, what? You've never actually read "Hamlet"? GET THEE TO A READING ROOM (a horrible joke, particularly if you've never read "Hamlet"). No but seriously. Go. Read this now.
"Obviously, Doctor," she said, "you've never been a 13 year old girl.” I don't know how a middle-aged man accurately wrote what it is like being teen girls, but he absolutely did. Maybe it's because it's from the perspective of teen boys. But he captures the essence. Sure, it's not always pretty. Teen angst is a bitch. But this book is absolutely beautiful.
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