We Asked Readers What They’re Reading

Reading books is kind of like becoming a citizen of the world. You can dive into new worlds and new personas without all that hairy passport drama and vaccinations, not to mention the annoyance of lugging around a suitcase. Reading is the no-strings-attached mode of traveling, sending us sputtering out in every which direction to journeys unknown. Here at The Reading Room we believe everyone has a reason why they take these journeys and why they continue to read. Whether its’s the sensory experience, a coping mechanism or any odd reason, we’re setting out to learn why we read and how we do it. And we’re starting with a very simple question.

What are you reading?


John, 22, New York


“With the beginning of summer, I wanted to start reading a few books I had come across while in undergrad but had never had time to delve into…I’ve been obsessing over Patti Smith’s Just Kids, which details the intimate relationship between herself and the artist Robert Mapplethorpe in New York City during the 1960s and 1970s.

Smith makes wonderful use of highligting the works of art, poetry, and literature that deeply inspire her creative process, so I’ve been drawn back to books about artists’ in New York that inspire my own creative process as well. This has brought me to artists’ monographs and narratives such as Glenn Ligon’s Some Changes and David Wajnorowicz’s Close To The Knives as well as works of poetry by Adrienne Rich and Audre Lorde.


Roche, 20, New York


“I’m reading A Small Place by Jamaicia Kincaid. It’s an ‘attack’ on the obliviousness of tourists. I like reading, especially stories like these, because you can never get enough of another perspective. We need to color what we see with what others see to get a better grasp on the world. Reading book by book is a start” 

What are you reading? What motivates you to read? Send us your responses by commenting here or on our Facebook page for a chance to be featured in our next edition of Readers of the World.

Callie, 24, New Jersey


“I’m reading Virginia Woolf’s Orlando right now, mostly because it’s the last books of hers I have to read. But also it deals with gender in a way that is really relevant in 2016, despite the fact it is a historical-fiction biography of a lord in the Elizabethan Golden Age in England. Half way through the book, two of the main character change gender, while Orlando undergoes a mysterious sex change and his suitor turns out to have been gender bending all along. So it’s interesting to see Woolf explore gender and identity in her day and age, in a historical fiction piece. I want to marry her the end…

Also, Orlando is a poet and she uses his voice to talk a lot about the things she has to say about writing and poetry herself.” 

Featured image courtesy of NY Times.