Check out both lists: Fiction and Non-Fiction! I’ve read a few of these books already, but if they’re not crossed out like this, then that means I want to reread them and won’t mark them off until I do. The lists are quite extensive, and they’re only going to grow—new book recommendations and releases are bound to result in frequent additions!

I’d also like to take this opportunity to reveal why I want to read so much in the first place. Of course we all know that reading opens the mind, expands your base of knowledge, gives you perspective, etc. We’re told that all the time. But the main reason why I want to read more is because I’ve had the chance to observe all of these effects in action. I’ve seen how amazingly such an activity can transform and transcend, through my older sister Emily. Emily is one of the most influential people in my life, as well as one of the most worldly, intelligent, daring, and accepting I know.

She’ll probably be mentioned multiple times on this blog. Emily spent much of her childhood reading and writing, and she continues both of these pursuits even into her adulthood. I think books played a huge role in making her the person she is today. On the outside, she’s playful and can often seem carefree—even careless—but don’t be fooled: while this light and jovial nature is most definitely a side of her, she can also be pensive, analytical, and incredibly profound.

My theory is that books, and the wealth of stories that Emily has accumulated from them, have given her the wisdom to act with reason, the stamina to be patient, and the courage to express herself.

In short, I want to be more like my sister. And that is a huge reason why I will constantly be trying to open my mind to the stories and experiences of others, as she has throughout her entire life.