Melissa Ragsdale is an NYC-based writer, editor, and professional book nerd. She is currently the Events Assistant at Housing Works Bookstore, a nonprofit bookstore that raises money for people affected by homelessness and HIV/AIDS. Born and raised in Austin, TX, Melissa graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in English and a minor in Computer Science. She spends most of her time writing fiction, performing improv, and craving breakfast tacos.

Latest Articles

10 Books I Wish Every Teenage Girl Could Read

The books you read as a teenager stick with you for life. I know it feels like being a teenager is awful, but it's really a time to explore who you are and you want to become. Every moment and every piece of media is a chance to learn something new a…
By Melissa Ragsdale

25 Fall-Inspired Writing Prompts To Help You Spark Your Creativity

Autumn is the perfect season for writing. I don't know if it's the cool weather or the sugar high from all the pumpkin spice, but the second the leaves begin to turn, I feel my creative juices flowing. And I'll bet I'm not the only writer who gets an…
By Melissa Ragsdale

If You Don't Own These 10 Things, You're Probably Not a True Harry Potter Fan

Looking through all the amazing Harry Potter merchandise available on the web can feel as wondrous as browsing through Diagon Alley with a pocketful of Galleons. Literally anything you can imagine from the Harry Potter universe has been turned into a…
By Melissa Ragsdale

11 New Fiction Books To Help You Celebrate The Beginning Of Fall

September is somehow here, and while I will certainly miss the lazy days of summer, there's plenty to get excited about in the fall reading season. This fall, readers will be getting some absolutely amazing new novels, and this month's new fiction re…
By Melissa Ragsdale

13 Magical #19YearsLater Tweets That Celebrate Back To Hogwarts Day

Harry Potter fans all around the world are coming together to celebrate Back to Hogwarts Day. That's right, today — Sept. 1, 2017 — is the exact day in the on which Harry, Ginny, and their family drop Albus Severus off for his first journey on the Ho…
By Melissa Ragsdale

This Is The One Book You Should Read To Better Understand North Korea

I'm sure you, like me, have been hearing a lot about North Korea in the news lately. Tensions are high between America and North Korea, to put it mildly. Yet, the truth is, North Korea remains an enigma to most Americans. The things that we do know p…
By Melissa Ragsdale

11 Nonfiction Books To Read And Discuss With Your Social Justice Book Club

There's no better way to introduce yourself and others to new books than through a book club. And now, in the era of Donald Trump, it's important to consider whether or not the books you read are working to dismantle structures of inequality in the w…
By Melissa Ragsdale

Need Some Me-Time? Escape The Real World With One Of These Books

There are days when all you want to do is shut off the world and take some time for yourself — I won't blame you. The world is a harsh place, and sometimes, a little escapism with a good book is needed. Life can certainly be exhausting, and we all n…
By Melissa Ragsdale

10 Oddly Specific Harry Potter Items You Didn't Know You Could Buy Online RN

Every Harry Potter fan needs their own collection of wizarding merchandise, because there's no better way to make your life have all the spark of Harry's world. The good news for Potterheads is that when it comes to availability of Potter products on…
By Melissa Ragsdale

7 Incredibly Easy Ways You Can Support Authors You Love Right Now

Authors work incredibly hard to create the books that we love, and for many, it can be a thankless job. So, of course, as readers we want to support the authors we love as often and as loudly as possible. The unfortunate truth is that being an author…
By Melissa Ragsdale

I Re-Read Goosebumps As An Adult, And It Still Gave Me Nightmares

Every '90s kid remembers the prickly feeling of anticipation and fear that preceded any reading of Goosebumps. In 2017, the infamous horror series turns 25 years old, and author R.L. Stine is still going strong and still terrifying kids for a living.…
By Melissa Ragsdale

8 Books Every Woman Should Read For A Truly Life-Changing Experience

Books can be so powerful. We all have our own personal list of books that have changed our lives — the novels or memoirs or poetry collections that made us who we are. It's really amazing to think about how much can be contained, just by putting ink …
By Melissa Ragsdale

8 Harry Potter Characters That Everyone Forgets

One of my favorite things in Harry Potter is the abundance of minor characters. No matter how large or small a part they play in Harry's story, every character we encounter in the Wizarding World is full of life. That's part of what makes the world o…
By Melissa Ragsdale

Why Bookmark-Users Will Never Understand People Who Dog-Ear Books

There are two types of people in this world: people who use bookmarks and people who dog-ear books. The feud between bookmarkers and dog-earers is centuries old, and the blood runs pretty deep. And as a bookmark-user, I absolutely cannot understand w…
By Melissa Ragsdale

7 Places Every Aspiring Writer Should Add To Their Travel Bucket List

For those who are privileged enough to afford it financially, physically, and otherwise, traveling is a wonderful way for writers to expand their horizons. Writers are inherently curious, so it's natural that as a writer, you would want to explore as…
By Melissa Ragsdale

If You Read Only Five Books This Year, Here's What They Should Be

Sometimes it can be so overwhelming how many great new books are coming out. You want to read them all, but you only have so much time in the day. It's so easy for your TBR list to get out of control — which is a great problem to have, but can also …
By Melissa Ragsdale

The 10 Addictive New Fiction Books You Need To Read In August

As the calendar turns again, August brings the distant call of school bells and autumn rumblings. But it's still summer for another month, so now's the best time to get as much summer beach reading in as possible. And you're going to fall hard for th…
By Melissa Ragsdale

The New Harry Potter Books Better Have Answers To These Mysteries

Two new Harry Potter books are coming out this October, and Potterheads, it's time to get excited. While the books don't feature new stories with the trio, they promise to give us an in-depth look at the wizarding world, the subjects at Hogwarts, and…
By Melissa Ragsdale

7 Literary Orgs Where You Can Volunteer If You Love To Read & Write

Being a reader and being a good citizen often hand-in-hand. If you're a reader looking to make an impact, you're in luck because there are so many great literary organizations that need volunteers just like you! By working together, book-lovers can u…
By Melissa Ragsdale

What To Read Next, Based On Your Favorite Bestseller

There are some books that are bestsellers for a reason. Those books that you — and all your friends — just want to read over and over because they're so darn life-changing. Those books that have you counting down the minutes until the author's next r…
By Melissa Ragsdale