Life @ U of T

Introduction

Carpe Read ‘Em: 7 Books to Motivate and Inspire You

Carpe Read ‘Em: 7 Books to Motivate and Inspire You

Aaniin! Why don’t students have extra time to read? Because they’re always booked!

This week I wanted to talk about something that I’m sure a lot of us struggle with…as a student I find it hard to find the motivation to read for pleasure. As an English major with minors in History and Indigenous Studies, I sometimes find it tasking to just pick a book without feeling exhausted. With the start of the new year, I’ve been pushing myself to find the time read daily or even just weekly, to try to cultivate hobbies again. I thought that I would share some books that I’ve been enjoying.

Gidaa-agindaas endaso-giizhig. “You should read everyday.”

I know finding the time to read while in school can be difficult and even unwanted, I hear you! These are relatively, easy reads that help me when I’m feeling lost and need to be reminded that I have purpose.

picture of the book inward by yung pueblo

1. Yung Pueblo, Inward

"attributes of a good friend: they feel like home they are honest with you they remind you of your power they support you in your healing they have a rejuvenating presence they hold a vision of your success they support you in new adventures they lift you up with joy and laughter they bring out the best version of you”

 

Diego Perez writes under the pen name Yung Pueblo, meaning “young people.” As a meditator, writer, and activist, Perez has been described as ‘your guardian angel leaving sticky notes for you’–his work is very meditative, and I could not recommend this book more! Inward encourages readers to seek inner healing, which Perez sees as a necessary step towards global peace.

picture of i wrote this for you by dallas clayton

2. Dallas Clayton, It’s Never Too Late

It’s Never Too Late is a children’s book for adults and Dallas Clayton’s use of colour and wordplay make it a fun read. I love how this little book can easily put things into perspective for me when I’m feeling lost—it’s never too late to live the life you want and make each moment count.

picture of braiding sweetgrass by robin kimmerer

3. Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass

“In some Native languages the term for plants translates to ‘those who take care of us’”

This piece by Robin has taught me so much about our relationship with the land. Braiding Sweetgrass uses Western science and Indigenous knowledge systems to envision a holistic relationship with the world around us. Kimmerer delivers a piece that is hopeful, as she acknowledges the negative impacts humanity has had on the earth and yet insists that we are meant to be here and care for each other. This book makes me feel connected to creation and teaches me something new with each read.

4. Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

This is a piece that some of you may have read in younger years, perhaps assigned for school. Coelho’s story of a young boy finding his place in the world is a sentiment in which we can all relate to. I picked up this book when I needed to feel like I had a purpose and I am on the right path. It’s a relatively easy read and something you can pick up during your commute.

pleasefindthis book called i wrote this for you

5. Pleasefindthis, I Wrote This For You

This book is very special to me, and it found me at a time when I really needed to hear what it had to say. Pleasefindthis (Iain S. Thomas) has created such an incredibly intimate piece that speaks to the human experience. I can read and re-read this collection of poems and find something new each time. I love gifting this book to my friends, it’s perfect for any occasion.

picture of garden time by ws merwin

6. M.S. Merwin, Garden Time

A friend gifted me with this little poetry book after I lost someone very close to me. It’s a cute little collection of poetry inspired by the natural world.

7. Herb Nabigon, The Hollow Tree: Fighting Addiction with Traditional Native Healing

“As human beings we were never meant to hold physically on to our emotional anguish for as long as we do. […] When the sweetgrass braid is used for spiritual purposes we relieve our minds of past burdens, remain focused in the present moment, and trust the future path will unfold as it is meant to be revealed”

This book by Herb Nabigon has taught me that healing and self-care is a long process, but it is not impossible. Nabigon shares his own journey to healing from a place of addiction to one of recovery and self-development.

I’m starting to journal and write again this year, and I find these messages, poems, and prose call me to take a moment of self-reflection. Texts like these are easy and accessible reads for when you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, it’s definitely helped ground me in difficult moments. Now, let’s get lit-erary!