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Reading To Quell The Chaos

What role does quiet reading play in a time of so much noise and chaos?

Elizabeth Lane, the founder of our favorite book subscription box, quarterlane, introduces her new book column for The Fold by reminding us of the power of reading as a self-care ritual. We're thrilled to have her here to help us usher in our new space.   

Images by Christine Han for Quarterlane

Images by Christine Han for Quarterlane

When we at Quarterlane first heard about The Fold, we couldn’t have been more excited to dive in and contribute. A place that celebrates the next chapter, the reinvention, the risk, and all the crazy, messy and beautiful steps along the way – that is something to get behind. And for these moments of inspiration that ignite this next chapter, reinvention, or new risk – it is a book that is often the spark.

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Books are the container for new insights, ideas, explorations into our inner selves, and expanded points of view. Books hold the power to shake our world, shift our perceptions and crack us open in ways unexpected. And thank goodness they do, for that’s how we grow, how we create and how we become more fully ourselves.

Books can be brilliantly constructive and devastatingly destructive. That’s the power of writing and the power of the page. Books can bring us to feelings of profound joy and bottomless despair. And they can carry us through these same moments. All of this potential held within the pages. And this potential, this energy, is why stories are so important and why we need to make time for them in a present where time so often feels in short supply.

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When my own world feels like it has hit the rocks and shattered — when my life feels like it may no longer be recognizable and the uncertainty simply feels too big — I turn to a book to lift myself out. It is there, within a story, that I ground myself, finding anchor within the certain and the familiar in the midst of chaos.

And we are in a time of chaos. Each one of us can feel it – the pressure and the speed often feel relentless. But here’s the beauty – at the core of this swirling energy is the quiet. And we can access that, too. In fact, we yearn for this core sense of peace because we viscerally recognize it. We know it in our cells and know it is ours to claim. And to claim this — to slow down and settle in – this becomes a radical act of self-care.

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For me, this is where reading enters. Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to be twenty minutes of meditation in the morning and the evening alongside a daily yoga class – though it can certainly become that. But in these first steps of slowing down and stepping away from the day’s hustle, a quiet minute with a book is enough, and in many ways, it feels like freedom.

So in this space on The Fold, that’s what we’ll bring – a place to chat about books and read together. We will share what’s in that prime position on our bedsides each month — across all genres, without limits. It will be a space to generate conversation, bring debut authors to the front while also revisiting gems from the past. And perhaps this will be the place that brings the book forward that sparks a beautiful, stunning and fierce next chapter. 

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