Rediscovering the Joy of Reading This World Book Day

By Felicia Czochanski

In 2019, people had been reading less – life got too busy, there were distractions brought on by phones and TVs. But the pandemic changed that. In 2020, the average American read 20 minutes a day, an increase of 21% from the previous year, and it brought in the best sales year of the decade for print books. A resurgence of reading is a great thing: reading exercises the brain, improves concentration and healthy sleep, it boosts your library of general knowledge, and it can also be a really affordable type of entertainment. This World Book Day on April 23rd marks a celebration of all things reading and offers an opportunity to tap back into the world of books if you’ve realized it’s been a while since you last enjoyed a good written story.

I’ve always been a big reader. I love getting lost in the stories of other people, getting so immersed in a book that I can visualize the setting, letting me travel to faraway or fantasy places that I’ve never been and would never go, with a fresh perspective. Books are so important to me and my lifestyle, but they can also be expensive – with the average hardcover book retailing for close to $30. While the price has increased alongside inflation, and the increased prices of production, paper, and ink, it can be hard for some people to justify this cost for something they may only read once. This is why I love scouring the shelves at Goodwill for the latest titles!

Two men standing in front of a book shelf full of books in a store.

Thrifting second-hand books is an amazing way to keep up with your favorite authors and read some of their earlier work. My favorite Goodwill store has bookshelves lined up by the shoe racks at the back of the store and I’ve found so many incredible books there, some hardcover and seemingly brand new! One of my favorite authors is Fredrik Backman, and scoring a hardcover copy of his book Beartown was an awesome find. Similarly, finding a small travel-friendly copy of one of my favorite books Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert was perfect before my trip to Mexico – it came with me and my favorite Aloha bags travel case, and was just the re-read I needed for a relaxing few days at the beach.

A picture of a book in the sand.

Oftentimes, when people think about Goodwill, their mind will immediately go to all the amazing second-hand clothes and shoes you can find there. However, second-hand books are such a natural thing to thrift too! Books are an amazing thing to share with people you love, because they spark new ideas and great conversations. When you read a book, or gift one to someone close to you, you’re able to learn and even bond over something fun and special. Why not give it a try? Shopping for books at Goodwill, you’re able to find some amazing titles for around $2 or $3. Compared to the steep retail price, this is a steal! Shopping for books second-hand also extends their life cycle, helping Goodwill divert pounds of could-have-been waste from landfills and instead, opening up a whole new world with their pages.

Do you have an amazing Goodwill book haul? Share it with us on Instagram @goodwillintl!