Why I Decided to Leave Twitter

Leaving Twitter was the best decision for me after years of struggling with the toxicity of the platform.

Leaving Twitter; Why I Decided to Leave Twitter

I’ve always struggled with Twitter, so leaving Twitter recently was an unbelievable relief.

I was very late to the game (years and years late), only signing up a few years ago. I’ve never tweeted consistently, and I’ve had to force myself to learn to use it after starting this blog.

Within the last few weeks, I decided that I no longer wanted Twitter in my life.

It wasn’t the easiest decision, as a decent portion of my website traffic comes from Twitter.

However, the negative aspects of using Twitter, especially the drain on my mental wellbeing, far outweighed the traffic being generated here to this blog.

I wanted to write a quick post explaining my decision to deactivate my Twitter account, because I know I’m not the only person that finds the social media site to be toxic and detrimental.

If you’ve had similar experiences, or if you disagree entirely, let me know all about it in the comments below.

Lack of Facts and Critical Thinking

The primary reason that I decided to no longer use Twitter is due to the fact that it’s one of many social media sites spreading inaccurate, misleading, or false information.

I follow more than twenty news sources in order to consume a wide range of information. Does that sound exhausting? Because it is. It might be overkill, but it’s a habit that started way back in 2009 when I was studying political science and international relations. I appreciate seeing different viewpoints of current events. It also allows me to think more critically about what I’m reading.

Not to be cynical or anything, but I have a really hard time trusting anything the media, particularly mainstream media, says.

I spend more time than I’d like navigating news sources like NPR, Reuters, Der Spiegel, The Daily Wire, The New York Times, The Intercept, and The Guardian (among others). The last thing I need is to have to do the same while I’m scrolling a social media site.

Before leaving Twitter, there wasn’t a single day that went by when I didn’t see someone misrepresent a news story in order to push an agenda. In some cases, it may not have even been a conscious decision on their part. Maybe they just agreed with the sentiment. But it was always there. There’d also be people spreading blatantly false information in their own little echo chambers, and if anyone attempts to correct such false information, there’s a good chance they’d be called out for it. This brings me to the next reason I’m no longer using Twitter.

Toxicity, Public Shaming, and Cancel Culture

Twitter is the only website that has ever given me an actual, literal panic attack.

The toxicity of Twitter users is astounding. When did people become so angry, hateful, and divided over every little thing?

It doesn’t matter if people are discussing something as mundane as pizza toppings or as important as police brutality – people are going to fight. I’m always startled by the lack of honest discourse when it comes to disagreements on Twitter.

When enough people disagree with someone, or when someone questions popular sentiment, they get cancelled. Cancel culture is one of the biggest travesties of our modern society.

There are plenty of public figures and tons of authors who I personally choose not to support. I’ve done my research on them and have decided that due to their actions, I will not spend money on their books, I will not support or publicize them in any way, and I choose to ignore them as much as possible. However, it is not my place to dictate what other people do, which is why I don’t talk about these people I’ve “cancelled.” Cancel culture creates an atmosphere where people are afraid to speak up, and to me, that’s a form of censorship, which I am 100% against. I’ve heard of many other people leaving Twitter (along with other social media platforms) for this same reason.

Doomscrolling and Wasting Time

This should be an obvious reason against using Twitter, and I don’t have too much to say.

Just like any social media site, it’s too easy to get sucked in and spend a lot of time scrolling through updates. The thing is, however, 90% of those updates are negative or useless. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

If you love Twitter and but find that you also spend way too much time scrolling, think about “decluttering” your feed.

What Community?

One of the original reasons I joined Twitter, specifically “Book Twitter,” was to join a community. I don’t have a lot of real-life bookish friends, so the prospect of finding new friends online to talk about books with was very appealing.

I didn’t find it an easy community to get into, however. Maybe I had difficulty because I’m not great at using Twitter or due to my ridiculously overwhelming social anxiety. Even after putting in some considerable effort to start conversations and engage more, I never felt like part of the community.

This isn’t anything against Twitter or the people who use the site. It’s purely my own experience. Obviously, other people have had different experiences and love the Twitter book community. This lack of ease in entering the community, however, was one of the reasons that I didn’t feel much of a need to stick around.

Final Thoughts on Leaving Twitter

This is not a post about why you guys should cancel your Twitter account, or why Twitter is evil. I wanted to share my experiences and the reasons why leaving Twitter was the right decision for me.

What are your experiences with using Twitter? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

Where Have I Been? An Unintended Hiatus

You may have noticed that I’ve been a bit absent over the past month, and I wanted to make a quick post explaining that.

I jumped into the new year all gung-ho to start making YouTube videos, post every single day, get back onto Bookstagram – the whole shebang.

Unfortunately, however, my brain decided that was not going to be the case.

Recently, I’ve been in a depressive phase of my Bipolar disorder. I’ve also been dealing with a serious case of burn-out. This blog started to feel so much like a job that it wasn’t fun anymore. I was so focused on monetizing everything and trying to keep up with all the ARCs I’d received that I couldn’t find pleasure in reading anymore.

So I took some unplanned time off, and it’s working. I enjoy reading again. I realized that treating this blog like a job and trying (and failing) to make money from it was sucking all the enjoyment out of what started out as a fun hobby to talk about books that I loved.

I know I wrote a post explaining all the fun new updates coming y’alls way this year. Disregard that. I’m sorry.

I need to go back to treating this blog like a hobby. I’m removing ads, getting rid of Kindle Daily Deals, and will be spending less time agonizing over SEO and creating Pinterest pins and all the rest.

I don’t know how frequently I’ll be posting, but I will be posting somewhat regularly. Just not every day, because that’s not realistic for me. Maybe I’ll start filming YouTube videos again… maybe not. I’m not sure yet.

I’m sorry if anyone is disappointed, but I need to have fun with this again. I hope you guys will stick around.

If you’re going through anything similar, please take care of yourself.

New Updates for Read Yourself Happy

Are y’all ready for a bunch of new content in 2021!! I know I am!

Since I didn’t get to do a lot of the things that I had planned in 2020, this new year is going to be chock-full of exciting things for Read Yourself Happy!

No need for a bunch of preamble. Let’s get right to what’s new!

  • An actual schedule, and preparing content in advance. This was probably my biggest downfall in 2020. I never once sit down and actually planned out my blog posts or Instagram photos. As a result, I rarely got around to posting anything. This year, however, I already have a content calendar going, as well as tons of content prepped.
  • Booktube is a priority. I enjoyed filming and posting the (very) few videos I uploaded to YouTube, but seemed to find a lot of excuses when it came time to actually filming stuff. This is a huge priority for me in 2021. My goal is three videos per week, but it might end up being more than that. One thing you probably won’t see too much of, however, are vlogs. I very rarely enjoy reading or lifestyle vlogs, and don’t feel that my life is exciting enough to warrant those types of videos. What can you expect? Lots of reviews, tags, hauls (and unhauls), mental health updates, and discussions about having a speech impediment, being bipolar, and stuff of that nature.
  • Read the world! If you’re one of the few who have been around since the very beginning (and if you are, THANK YOU!), you may remember that in 2018 I attempted to do a Read the World challenge wherein I would choose three countries every month and read books from there and talk about their literary traditions. As is very often the case, I bit off way more than I could chew and got burned out within the very first month. My goal in 2021 is far simpler: read a book from as many countries as possible. I’ve already gathered quite a few to get started. I love reading books in translation. It’s a way for me to travel the world while staying in place. I’ve always prioritized translated literature, so the only real difference is that now I’m trying to focus on hitting every nation at least once. I’m learning German at the moment as well, and I’m going to be reading a lot of German children’s books until I’m ready to graduate myself up to middle-grade and young adult literature. In December my goal is to read Der Kleine Hobbit.
  • A Facebook reading and discussion group. This is something that I’ve wanted to do since the start of this blog. I would love the opportunity to get to know you guys better and do monthly buddy reads. The group is very new and sparsely populated at the moment, but obviously, as it grows it’ll get more interesting.
  • Crushing my 250 Goodreads Reading Challenge. I will kill it this year. This past year I had an ongoing reading slump preventing me from reading as much as I usually do, plus this was the year that I discovered how fun Minecraft is. (Yes, I know I’m a decade late. What else is new?) My biggest goal this year is to get my physical TBR down to a manageable number. Right now it’s in the hundreds, primarily because I have absolutely no self-control.

That’s all I’ve got, but for me, it’s a lot to look forward to. I’m really eager to start blogging again in earnest, as well as to have plenty of content ready in case I have days where my mood swings a bit lower and I don’t feel like writing or filming.

All the usual stuff will still be around too, like weekly book and comic book releases, and daily Kindle deals.

If y’all have any recommendations for things you’d like to see on the blog, Instagram account, or YouTube channel, let me know! I’m always open to new suggestions!

I hope every single one of you have a great 2021! Here’s to a brand new year!

Don’t forget to follow me on social media:
YouTube | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest Amazon Wishlist
If you would like to support Read Yourself Happy, you can donate through Ko-Fi!

A Look Back At 2020

A look back at 2020, a year that most of us are ready to leave behind.

2020. It’s been one hell of a year.

Plague. Explosions. A tumultuous presidential election. Isolation. Protests. Violence. Etc, etc. I think everyone is breathing a collective sigh of relief that this year has come to an end.

My blogging suffered a lot in 2020. I don’t think I even need to make excuses about why that was. We all know how rough this year has been.

I’m adamant that 2021 is going to be better, at least in terms of Read Yourself Happy. I’ve got so much fun stuff planned out!

For now, however, let’s look back at 2020.

This was the year that I took the leap and switched from a WordPress.com site to a completely self-hosted one. Talk about a learning curve! I’m not the most tech-savvy person in the world, so even though the transition happened months ago, I’m still getting everything straightened out.

I failed miserably at my Goodreads challenge. My boyfriend and I have a bet every year based on that reading goal. If I win, he buys me a super-fancy book or book collection; if he wins (and I don’t meet the goal), he gets a fancy cologne (something that he collects). I lost by a bit last year, but this year…

Yeah…… Not hitting 250 this year. That screenshot is from December 30th.

I’m still super happy with the amount I read, however. Any amount of reading I consider a victory.

My best and worst books of 2020 lists will be coming early next week, so keep an eye out for that. I read mostly backlist titles this year, although I did make space for a few new releases, like V.E. Schwab’s The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue.

Like many companies, my employer switched to work-from-home back in March (March 19th actually – it was a nice birthday surprise for me!), and I’m obsessed. I hope I never have to go back to the office! Working from home has improved my mental health by an incredible amount. Obviously, WFH isn’t for everyone, especially extroverts. However, as an introvert who needs silence to be productive, I’m absolutely thriving.

My overall mental health has held up surprisingly well, all things considered. A few medication changes, but nothing major. I’m still learning to deal with bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression, but these are conditions I’ll be living with for the rest of my life.

While I’m wary of what 2021 will bring, I’m confident that at least in the book and blogging portions of my life, things are looking up. I’m so excited to be sharing more regular content with y’all!

Let’s kick 2021 off with a bang! Get your reading lists ready!

What was your 2020 like? Are you happy or sad that it’s over? Tell me about the best thing that happened to you this year down in the comments!

Don’t forget to follow me on social media:
YouTube | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Pinterest Amazon Wishlist
If you would like to support Read Yourself Happy, you can donate through Ko-Fi!

Quick Note About Today’s Posts


Just a quick note – aside from Kindle Daily Deals, I’m going to be taking the day off from blogging due to my birthday. I hope all of you are staying safe! See you guys tomorrow!

Don’t forget to follow me on social media:

YouTube | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Amazon Wishlist

If you would like to support Read Yourself Happy, you can donate through Ko-Fi!

A Few Thoughts About Moving


If you’ve been wondering why there haven’t been any updates to Read Yourself Happy lately, it’s because my boyfriend and I recently moved. While we weren’t planning on moving, it ended up working out for the best – our leasing office decided that they wanted to renovate our unit, so they moved us into a much nicer one for the same price. I couldn’t be happier, as now we’re living on the second floor rather than the third (living on the third floor gets old really quickly), the unit is newly renovated and lovely, and we’ve got a fireplace!

While I’m excited about our new apartment, the actual practice of moving left me thinking about excess. We could only afford to hire movers for two hours, which got all of our furniture moved, but my boyfriend and I moved everything else by ourselves.

I didn’t realize how many things I owned, and how much of what I owned is useless.


Books (obviously), clothes, magazines, cups and plates, scarves, stationary… anything you can think of, I’ve got it. The problem, however, is that I never use 80% of it.

As we were walking up and down the stairs over and over again throughout the three days we had to move, I kept thinking about why I owned so many things, especially books. Yes, I’m a book blogger, and you could technically say that it’s my job to read books, but why do I need to own all of them? Ebooks are usually cheaper and take up no real space, and library books are free and returnable. There are options besides spending money and hoarding items.

I’m in no way saying that owning anything, including books, is inherently bad. I’ll never be a minimalist. However, I do think that I need to become more conscious of what sort of items I’m permanently bringing into my life. I have no issue purchasing a book by an author I’ve loved for years, but should I be buying a book from an author I’ve never read? What if I end up hating it? For those kinds of things, I’d much rather rely on the library until I know for sure.

As I write this, I’m sitting in our new living room, where books are strewn across the floor waiting to find a more permanent spot. Our apartment is small and I’ve got very limited shelf space. My goal moving forward is to only purchase books that I know I’ll read over and over again, such as anything by Neil Gaiman or Brandon Sanderson. For everything else, however, I really want to make use of the wonderful resource that is the public library system.

Have you dealt with any difficult moves in the past, or do you have thoughts on owning too many books? Let me know in the comments!

Don’t forget to follow me on social media:

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Amazon Wishlist

If you would like to support Read Yourself Happy, you can donate through Ko-Fi!

Read Yourself Happy is One Year Old Today!


Today is an exciting day for Read Yourself Happy. The blog is officially one year old as of today! 

The past year has been really exciting. Before I set up this website at the beginning of September 2018, I’d known for a while that I wanted to start another blog (previously, I’d had blogs about politics and veganism). The only thing was, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about.

Sure, I had a ton of ideas, but none of them felt right. Then I found my inspiration in discovering Booktube. 

I’ve always loved to read and have been surrounded by books my whole life. Creating a book blog was one of my ideas for the new blog I wanted to start, only I didn’t think there’d be enough interest in it. Once I discovered Booktube, however, I realized that there is enough of an online book community for a new book blog, and that was all I needed. Read Yourself Happy was born.

My first post, Chapter One, was uploaded on September 7, 2018, followed by my very first review, which was of Helen Oyeyemi’s wonderful White is for WitchingSince then, my blog (and myself) have grown so much.  I’m looking forward to many more years of book blogging in the future.

To celebrate Read Yourself Happy turning one today, I’ll be sharing a few posts with you guys, including the best and worst books I’ve read since the blog’s beginning, things I’ve learned about the book community and about blogging in general, and a list of the posts that I’m most proud of.

Most importantly, I’d like to thank all of you wonderful people who read, subscribe to, like, and share the content you find on Read Yourself Happy. I had no idea the blog would become as popular as it has in just a year, and I’m forever grateful to every single one of you.

Thank you for reading. Let’s keep it up for Read Yourself Happy’s second year!

Don’t forget to follow me on social media:

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Instagram | Amazon Wishlist

If you would like to support Read Yourself Happy, you can donate through Ko-Fi!

How Two Little Comments Destroyed Me


I’ve written before about how I have a speech impediment, specifically a lisp and rhotacism. I wanted to talk a little bit more about that today, and about how two little comments led to my becoming severely depressed.

While I did experience some bullying about the way I talk in middle school, I didn’t encounter it much in elementary school. I think that was due to the fact that I grew up on an island and most of our families knew one another or we were related as cousins or neighbors.

I’m very thankful that I wasn’t bullied in elementary school, because gosh-knows how much harder that would have made things. I still find it hard to believe that I used to get in trouble for talking too much in class. That definitely wasn’t a problem that I ran into during middle school or high school.

When I think back to the beginning of my experiences with depression and anxiety, my brain always settles on two distinct comments that were made to me regarding the way I talk. Both comments were made almost in passing, but they have stuck with me for the past twenty years, and I doubt I’ll forget them anytime soon.


“If you learned to talk better and lost weight, you’d be really pretty.”

I was told the above statement, word for word (yes, I still remember it that clearly), by another student in my fourth-grade class. I don’t remember what we were doing or why she said it to me, but it was the first time I felt different from my peers. I’d been in speech therapy since kindergarten, along with a few other students from my class, but by the fourth grade, I was the only one left taking it.

I’ve always struggled with my weight and was definitely a chunky child. I wasn’t embarrassed about my size until this comment and a few other moments between fourth and sixth grade that made me self-conscious about my body for the first time.

If someone said the above statement to me today, I would tell them to fuck off and would promptly forget about it, as I’ve learned to love myself as an adult. As a ten-year-old though, being told you’re not pretty because of your weight and speech impediment is a huge deal, and the comment stuck around at the forefront of my thoughts for far too long, all the way to college.


“If you don’t learn how to talk right, you’ll never get married or find a job or be successful. So try harder!”

Thinking about this statement makes me furious now that I’m in my early thirties, but for all of my teenage years, I couldn’t get this thought out of my head.

My sixth-grade speech therapist told me this. And I believed her. Instead of telling one of my parents what she said to me so that they could speak to the school about it, instead of telling my regular teacher, I simply took her statement in and internalized it. She was an adult and a teacher, so who was I to argue?

More than the first sentence I talked about, this second one had a huge impact on my childhood and teenage development, and I wish I could go back in time to tell my eleven-year-old self to not believe a word she said.

I spent years feeling like a complete failure before starting on anything. I would take failing grades on school projects just so I could avoid standing in front of the class to present my book report or project. I talked to no one, having just a handful of friends and never really branching out. I never dated in high school because I believed that I wasn’t worth it and felt that no one would be interested in me anyway because I was fat and talked weird.

I had severe depression in middle school and high school, and no mental health care. I don’t know if I even tried to tell anyone about how I was feeling. I just believed that I wasn’t good enough and never would be. I fantasized about suicide, but thankfully never attempted it. I loathed going to school and would fake being sick just to stay home and get lost in a book or The Sims, where I could pretend to be someone else.

tim-mossholder-SR8ByN6xY3k-unsplash.jpgIt wasn’t until college and my early twenties that I started to realize everything I’d believed as a teenager was wrong. I started dating and realized that not only did the people I dated not care about my speech impediment, they actually liked the way I talked. I learned that I could be fat and still be loved. I took job after job that forced me to talk to people (think tour guide or call center) and no one made fun of the way I talked!

Coming to terms with all of the time I wasted as a teenager believing that I wasn’t deserving of appreciation or love still hurts to think about, but I’m so thankful that I broke out of those beliefs and was able to become a successful adult. I still suffer from depression and anxiety, which I’ll be dealing with my whole life on and off, I’m sure (on top of being bipolar), but I now feel confident that I can handle it.

It almost sounds silly to think that two small comments can have such a huge impact on someone’s life, but, as cliched as it sounds, words really can hurt, especially when you’re young and you haven’t learned how to defend against them.

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram | Amazon Wishlist

If you would like to support Read Yourself Happy, you can donate through Ko-Fi!

My Bipolar Type II Diagnosis

My Bipolar Type II Diagnosis.png

At the beginning of last year, I started a new full-time job, one that had great health benefits. Previous to this, I had worked jobs that either didn’t offer health care or didn’t offer good healthcare. I’d gone most of my twenties without having insurance, which meant I had zero access to mental health care.

Once I had insurance, I went to my primary care doctor and brought up my issues with anxiety and depression. He prescribed Zoloft to me, and I started taking medication for my mental health for the very first time.

Before we go further, a few things: First, I’ve suffered from depression since middle school, so for nearly twenty years. At times it’s been incredibly severe, even to the point where I’d fantasize about suicide. Second, I’ve always had wild mood swings, sometimes going from happy to depressed within seconds. Third, I’ve also dealt with crippling anxiety, particularly in high school, which has slowly gotten manageable over time. I’ve long known that I needed to be receiving mental health care, but when you don’t have insurance and are working jobs that don’t provide income beyond that which you need for basic necessities, it can be impossible to get the help you need.

Back to the Zoloft. At first, it worked. I noticed that I was generally happier. The changes happened quick, almost too quick. Within a couple months, it completely stopped working, actually making things worse. I became lethargic and depressed, and it got so bad that my boyfriend was skipping work to be home with me because neither of us wanted me to be home alone.

I went back to the doctor, and he then switched me to 20mg of Lexapro. The same thing happened this time around – it started working right away and then stopped, and I was thrown into another period of depression and worsening anxiety.

So then I went back to my doctor a third time. This time around, he cut my dosage of Lexapro in half and added Wellbutrin. And… you guessed it. The same thing happened again.

Finally, I’d had enough. I booked my first appointment at a psychiatric office, which I should have done in the first place. I met with someone who I talked with for about half an hour, and she looked at me and told me straight up that she was 90% sure I was bipolar.

I had heard of bipolar disorder before because I had a high school teacher who was bipolar, but I really didn’t know much about it. At the end of that appointment, I was scheduled for another, to get my actual bipolar diagnosis, when I was told that I had bipolar type 2. Afterward, I started doing research on bipolar disorder, and I was shocked at how every single symptom was something I’d experienced. It felt so good to finally know what was going on in my brain.

My new doctor kept me on the Lexapro and Wellbutrin but added Quetiapine to the mix. So far, everything is working. In fact, I feel the best I have in recent memory. The Quetiapine maintains my mood swings, and I rarely have panic attacks anymore.

Looking back, I’m not surprised by my diagnosis. I’ve been able to pinpoint manic episodes, where my energy levels would shoot up to astronomical levels. I’d stop sleeping, and take up activities that weren’t particularly healthy. In fact, during one of these manic episodes, I lost nearly 100 pounds in a few months because I spent an entire summer being obsessed with working out, sometimes working out for six to eight hours a day. With the help of my doctor, I was able to pinpoint two truly manic episodes in my past.

With bipolar type 2, I’m more prone to hypomanic episodes, which “is an emotional state characterized by a distinct period of persistently elevated, expansive, or irritable mood, lasting throughout at least four (4) consecutive days, according to the American Psychiatric Association.” I’ve been learning how to deal with this disorder, and I finally feel that I’m getting the mental health care that I’ve needed.

I’ve been wanting to write this article to encourage other people to get the help they need, and to make sure you’re speaking up about whether or not your mental health medications are working. At times, when the previous concoctions of pills weren’t working, I didn’t notice right away, because the slide into depression happened slowly. The first time it happened, with the Zoloft, the only reason I noticed it was because my boyfriend pointed it out to me.

If you feel as though you need mental health care, get it. If your medication isn’t working perfectly, talk to your doctor. You deserve to be happy.

Don’t forget to follow me on social media:

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram | Amazon Wishlist

If you would like to support Read Yourself Happy, you can donate through Ko-Fi!

Remembering My Mother on Mother’s Day


My amazing mother passed away on Memorial Day, 2010. She had been sick, but her death was still unexpected. The guy I was dating at the time drove me (while I was weeping uncontrollably) nine hours to be by her side, but she wasn’t conscious by the time I got there. She died shortly after we arrived that night. I was crushed, and her death ushered in a long period of depression that I should have sought professional help for.

For the last nine years, both Mother’s day and February 18th (her birthday) have been very difficult for me. For the first few years after she died, I wasn’t able to work on those days because of how emotionally destroyed I was.

Nine years later, I can finally manage to get through a work shift on Mother’s Day, but I still miss her more than anything or anyone I’ve ever missed before. She and I were incredibly close, and it pains me that she won’t be there when I get married, or have kids, or even just when I need wise advice. I miss talking to her, I miss her stories, and I miss her sense of humor.

Mom’s the one on the left

My mother read voraciously. I still haven’t met anyone that reads at the speed or volume that she did. On a day off from work, it was nothing for her to finish two or three books and still retain everything that happened in them.

I’m not that talented, but between her and my father, I grew up surrounded by books. I’m very thankful for being raised with access to plenty of literature and parents that read a lot.

My mother introduced me to The Hobbit, which is still my favorite book. I remember her large art books about fairies and gnomes that lent me plenty of fuel for my childhood imagination. (Even all this time later, Alan Lee, whose art makes up the majority of the book about fairies she had, is still one of my favorite artists.)


Every week we would drive thirty minutes to the public library, both of us leaving with armfuls of books that we’d have finished by the following week.

Aside from fantasy, we read different books. I opted for science fiction while she would read romance and contemporaries. One of the reasons books are so special to me, though, is because she taught me how to appreciate reading. I’ll never forget that, and when I have children of my own I hope that I can instill the same love of reading into them.

My mom having fun at a wedding while I watch on (far right)

If your mother is still with you, please call her today. Tell her you love her. Never take having her around for granted.

When Love of Literature Becomes Book Buying Obsession


I’ve written about my issues with anxiety and depression on this blog before, but I want to talk about a specific problem that arose out of my depression that I wasn’t aware of until recently. I’m a bit ashamed of it, but I’m proud of myself for being aware of the issue so that I can be more cognizant of it.

I was compulsively buying books whenever I’d feel anxious or sad in order to get a brief flash of pleasure.

Looking back on the last couple of years, I’ve realized that I’ve been doing this for a long time. I’ve always been surrounded by stacks of (mostly unread) books and it’s nearly impossible for me to pass up any book that is on sale. There are days when I’m feeling really down and hopeless, but also restless, and on days like that it’s not uncommon for me to go to a thrift store just to buy discounted books.

Amazon Kindle deals have been absolutely dangerous for me over the years. I have over 500 ebooks on my Kindle, almost all of which I bought because they were discounted down to $1-3. I’ve read perhaps 5% of them, which is shameful. I still want to buy Kindle books occasionally because they are a wonderful deal, but for the past couple of weeks, every time I’m about to hit “Buy Now,” I ask myself if I need to pay money to read this or if I can’t just pick it up from the library. Every time I’ve asked myself this question, I’ve opted for the library. It’s not a fix, but it’s progress.



I found a way to justify any purchase.

Even when I really shouldn’t have been spending money, I would talk myself into buying a book because I had a 15% off coupon or because I had to read that exact book right now. This is one of the hardest things for me. Hell, I literally found myself doing this today while browsing YA fantasy hardcovers on Amazon. It got especially bad in the first few months of starting this blog when I felt justified in buying all the books because I was now a book blogger.

The last decade has had a lot of lows and just a few high points in terms of my mental health. I’m finally getting the help I need thanks to the fact that I have health insurance for the first time in ten years. Over the years I fell back on several forms of unhealthy self-medication, such as smoking copious amounts of marijuana and drinking to the point of blacking out several times a month. Thankfully, those dangerous coping mechanisms are years behind me. These days, I have two things I resort to when I’m feeling down: books and food.

I have a long way to go before I would say that I no longer use purchasing books as a relief for depression, but I feel like just being aware of it has made me think more about my habits the last couple of weeks. I’ve purchased books in March, but not at the rate that I had done in January or February (in February I’m pretty sure I bought around 40 books). I’m embracing the library more (which I should have been doing all along!) and trying to focus on reading the books I already have.

I love books and reading. Reading is healthy and is a great coping mechanism to escape from things that are causing you stress. I want to embrace that aspect of reading over the blind purchasing of books I don’t need in order to get that brief ten-second boost in my brain.

Has anyone else ever had this problem? Let’s talk about it in the comments. I’d love some advice on how to deal with this.

Introducing My Bookstagram!

I’ve been wanting to set up a book-centric Instagram account for a while, and I finally dived in this week!


Read Yourself Happy – Instagram

It’s just getting started, but I’ll be posting around two to three bookish pictures per day! I’ll also be hosting a giveaway when I get to 1000 Instagram subscribers. I’m looking forward to sharing some of my favorite book covers with you guys, and so much more!

I’m always open to suggestions, so please leave me any advice or insights into starting and managing a bookstagram account! I also want new people to follow, so if you have your own bookish-themed account, please leave it linked below!

I figured now would be a good time to remind you guys of all my other social media accounts as well, so if you want to stay up to date with what I’m doing, subscribe, like, and follow!


Sugar-Free January – Week Two


At the beginning of the month, I announced that I would be going sugar-free for the month of January in an attempt to detox a bit from all the sugar I’d starting eating. Last week, I shared my thoughts at the end of the first week, which can basically be summed up with: I noticed nothing different about myself, and I spent my nights dreaming about sweets.

Week two has been much easier. I haven’t been craving sweets as much, although walking into a grocery store is still a challenge. An interesting thing that’s happening is that I haven’t been nearly as hungry as I usually am. I’ve always been a snacker or grazer, eating small bits between meals. I also tend to eat when I’m bored, which I know isn’t healthy. This week, however, I’ve noticed that I’m no longer craving snacks between meals, and when I do eat I get full much faster.

Another change I’ve noticed is that my skin has started to clear up and is less oily. I had a feeling this would be one of the results of cutting out sugar, but I’m still very pleasantly pleased by it. When I was vegan and watching what I ate, I rarely ate sugar and white flour, and other mass-produced foods and my skin absolutely glowed during that period of my life. There was even one time that I was at a bar with one of my friends and a strange woman walked up to me to ask me what kind of skin care products I used to get my complexion. I’m not sure she believed me when I replied with “just some drugstore cleanser.”

Overall, at the end of the second week, I’m beginning to notice some positive changes, albeit slowly. I’m looking forward to seeing what week three brings.