Well, hello there!
Welcome to our cozy corner of the Internet. Would you like a cup of tea? Or maybe a cup of coffee? A scone?
Join us as we settle into our favorite comfy chair — book in hand and cat on lap — for some quiet reading time.
If you didn’t bring your book today, or are feeling a touch restless and would rather go for a walk in the wind, we’re always up for one of those, too.
Either way, we’ll help you remember to take a deep breath, enjoy a bit of quiet time, and find your calm center in the midst of every crazy, stressful day.
You’re definitely in the right place, lounging & relaxing here with us, if you want to:
🤎 Discover a simple, calm antidote to daily stress
🤎 Nurture your imagination
🤎 Find your focus, and the holy grail of “flow”
🤎 Recommit to enjoying some of life’s simplest pleasures
🤎 Read what you want, not what anyone else says you should
🤎 (Re)discover a reading life of ease and joy
🤎 Support indie bookstores
🤎 Help us support literacy efforts, AND help us give 10,000 books to kids
Who is the cozy book nerd 🤓 behind the screen?
Hi, there! I’m Jennifer, an artist, writer, reader, gardener, and the founder of Read+Purr. I started the company to counteract — rather than add to — the social-media and societal pressures that say book nerds should “Read this!” and that they should “Read more, more, more!” As an antidote to reading challenges, must-read lists, comparisons, and awkward book-club discussions, our monthly doses of bookish magic (real mail!) and Tiny Garden Stories are a lifeline of calm that will lead you away from stress, overwhelm, and guilt and (back) into a bookish world full of peace and enchantment.
There’s no doubt that the act of reading a novel you love — especially in a cozy, quiet setting — is calming, relaxing, and good for your brain.
But don’t forget that the act of reading — and the stories themselves — can also spark, strengthen, and nurture your imagination. Which is vital to (re)discovering more enchantment in the world around you.
Life is full of magic: sunlight filtering through tree leaves, the flight patterns of bees and hummingbirds, the otherworldliness of a foggy morning, serenades of songbirds, the chattering of crows, tiny mailboxes hiding in tree forts. And a vivid, well-practiced imagination, coupled with a habit of calm focus, allows you to notice and appreciate that everyday magic.
Let me tell you a story.
As a quintessential shy introvert, I was the kid who would happily lie in bed and read all day. And who actively looked for secret doors in the backs of cupboards. (I was also not yet ten when the original Star Wars was first released and, for months after seeing it in the theater, I expected the Millennium Falcon to burst into view anytime I saw dramatic-looking clouds in our normally cloudless California sky.)
When I was twelve, we moved far, far away, to a land of forests and castles and it was, in one sense, like stepping into an actual fairytale. There was still school and (for a while) language barriers, and grocery shopping and laundry and all the usual day-to-day things, but there were also cherry orchards and more birds than I’d ever seen or heard before; snow and Christmas markets; and ancient buildings and castle ruins to admire and explore.
When we went for walks on otherwise ordinary wooded paths, I heard the metallic clink and leathery creak of saddle and bridle — and the thundering hooves — of ghostly horses galloping past us. When we toured half-ruined castles perched above the River Rhine, I mentally filled in all the details and imagined the kitchen gardens, the courtyards, and the great halls full of color and people and life.
After five years in Germany, I went off to college in the States, landing smack in the middle of an actual forest, atop a mountain.
While there, although I don’t recall having (or making) much time for fun books, I read medieval history and literature and studied astronomy. And I walked the forest, discovering delicate wildflowers; creeks and waterfalls; lichen-covered rocks; mosses; leaf-strewn paths; clouds of fireflies; tree frogs and katydids; cicadas; and cliff top views of the green valley, the wide sky, and glorious sunsets. To be sure, this was real nature-magic. But I would argue that it felt extra enchanting because of the half-remembered-from-books otherworldly magic still lurking in the back of my mind.
What I’ve learned along the way …
Throughout all that time and beyond, others suggested that, instead of “wasting time” reading so much fiction, I should tackle “real” books. Jobs, careers, and society’s ever-present push for “self-improvement” dictated “useful” books. And even when fiction-reading was deemed “acceptable,” there was always the admonishment to do it the “right” way: “Join a book club,” they said. “Don’t read so many children’s and young-adult books.” “You must read this.” “Read faster.” “Read more.”
To which I now have the courage to say: Nope, nope, nope. I may not be much of a rebel, but I wholeheartedly disagree with every bit of that nonsense.
Instead of repressing and ignoring the joy you get — have always gotten — from reading stories you love, embrace it. Seek it out. Celebrate it.
I created the Read+Purr subscription mailings as a series of love notes to one of my favorite forms of relaxing me-time — reading fiction — and to you, my fellow book nerds. To remind us all that, despite what your brain may be telling you, or you may have been led to believe: Reading fiction does not translate to “wasting time.” And there is enough time in your day for reading (or even for going outside or doing something else when you don’t feel like reading).
It is possible to rescue your bookish bliss — your contentment, your chilled-out blissful joy — from the clutches of productivity and overwhelm. And, yes, with a habit of relaxing reading time (on your terms), you can finally say good-riddance to that nagging sense of dissatisfaction, the inability to focus, the yearning for more beauty and wonder in your life, and the icky stress that makes your head and your stomach hurt.
Our favorite books teach us new ways to see the world, show us how to relate to and understand others and ourselves, and fill up our minds and memories with beauty, magic, far-flung places and times, and extraordinary characters.
Ultimately, it’s not about which books you read, or how many, it’s about how they make you feel and grow, and how they light up your imagination so that you can find — and savor — the magic that’s all around you in the real world.
Contentment really is as close as your favorite book.
All you have to do is sign up.
For the media:
Jennifer Singleton — a.k.a. “The Avid Reader Who Refuses to Join a Book Club” — is an artist, writer, and founder of Read+Purr, where she conjures monthly doses of bookish magic that arrives by way of real mail and helps overwhelmed and anxious book nerds rescue their calm contentment from the daily grind. Singleton founded Read+Purr to counteract the social-media and societal pressures that say book lovers should “Read this!” and that they should “Read more, more, more!” As an antidote to reading challenges, must-read lists, comparisons, and awkward book-club discussions, the Read+Purr mailings offer a lifeline of calm that leads away from stress, overwhelm, and guilt. Reading for pleasure is vital for our health and happiness. It should be a relaxing and fun experience and should not feel like work, and those are the only “shoulds” that matter. After a lifetime of successfully navigating reading slumps, bouts of anxiety, and periods of reading a bit too obsessively (if such a thing is even possible), Singleton now possesses a hard-won set of boundaries, habits, and rituals — all grounded in calm, quiet joy — that help fit books, reading, and healthy relaxation into daily life with ease. She has never outgrown her love of children’s and young-adult books; has been dubbed a Moss Elf by friends; and once spent a delightful, if often rainy, week as a temporary resident of Windsor Castle.