A classmate of mine was a non-reader. For a long, long time, he had aversion to the world of words. One day, he discovered the joy of reading and there was no looking back for him. He was in his mid-twenties when he started.
A. It is never too late to begin reading.
B. With the right books, anyone can become a reader.
So, how do you make the transition? How do you go to the other side of the fence and have all the green grass? Maybe, these points will help you.
Physical book vs Ebook. And the debate rages on. I would suggest you to opt for the former. But if you are more comfortable reading on a screen, invest in an Ebook reader such as Kindle, for distraction-free reading. But if your will-power is strong, then you can always read on a tab or any other device.
Become a member of a local library. This way, you can get access to each and every genre of book without spending all your life’s savings!
Or read online. Archive.org, Project Gutenberg and a number of other websites allow you to read books or sample chapters online for free. Go for them!
Choose a reading nook. Where no one can come between you and your book. Just saying! 😀 Any place where you can comfortably sit and read at a stretch will do.
Dedicate a time of the day for reading. Go for a digital detox and indulge in reading. Even if it is for fifteen to twenty minutes, dedicate yourself for reading completely. Over the time, you can always increase the duration.
Choose a book by its cover. If dull and drab book covers don’t make you feel interested in reading, switch to books with a lovely cover design. Or maybe, you can switch to a different edition of the same book with a different cover design. Hey! Cover designers get paid for this! 😉
Read books based on movies. This will get you interested, somewhat. Goodreads has a list and so does Listchallenges. Take your pick.
Read fanfics. Reading fanfics is a fan-tastic exercise. It gives you a fresh perspective and answers a number of ‘what-ifs’ you always had in mind. Best part is, you can read them online for free!
Read books that have lesser number of pages. When you complete a book, you get a sense of achievement. So, why not begin with books that can be completed easily? Here are some lists:
Travel is a magic-entwined word. With every journey, you become a little poorer but way richer. You carry back not just the memories associated with a place, its people and everything in between, but also its smell and that requires no extra bag and baggage!
Although I am not much of a traveler, I have had my fair share of reading experiences when I did travel in life. Let me share some of the tips with you today.
Pack light. This is THE word, you will find in all the tips related to travel and I make no exception. Pack light also means that you need to pack some light books to read on the go. No hard covers. No heavy GSMs. Lightweight books will be your best companions.
Calculate the time you will spend reading. If you are going abroad and spend most of the time sightseeing or collecting souvenirs, then there is no point taking along a 700 page book of some award-winning novel. It is going to fail for all you know. Unless, you are a speedy little mercury when it comes to reading and can polish off a good novel in your flights/ transition. If not, then take along a book that you know you can complete during your travel.
Cover your book with a wrapping paper/newspaper. I find this tip very handy, especially when I travel alone. There are pesky strangers at all places, who want to strike up a conversation such as “Hey, you are reading so and so book…” I do not tolerate small talk like this. So, before I pack my book(s), I cover them up with a paper and read on without any interruptions. Haah! 😉
Have extra bookmarks on you. I keep losing bookmarks when I am on the go. So, as an alternative I keep more than two bookmarks with me and use them during my travels. I also use ticket stubs as bookmarks, in case of an emergency. Bills are another alternative, if you do not intend to preserve them that is. 🙂
Read 5 pages of a book before packing it. Strange tip. I know. But it prevents you from carrying books which you will get fed up of reading midway and then end up getting stuck with nothing to read! Frustrations galore. Else, you can always carry two books at least, to have a backup.
Write your name, number and address on the first page of the book. Even if you lose the book in a strange land, there will be chances that the book will find its way to you. 🙂 This way, you will lessen the chances of losing a book that you borrowed from a library or a friend (in this case, write the details with a pencil).
Reading is a hobby that gives joy second to none. More often than not, beginner level readers are clueless as to how they can build up their book collection or which books should they start reading first. Here is a new series in my blog – Beginner’s Luck and I will start with a list of 7 books that every beginner should have in their collection.
Classic: There are so many classics out there that you will surely be spoilt for choices. However, in my opinion, you can settle for quick classics such as – The Animal Farm or The Old Man and The Sea.
Chicken Soup For Soul: I have not read any of the books in this series. But if you want to get started with non-fiction, this is the best series that you can try. There are many variants of the book such as – Teenage soul, pet-lover’s soul, teacher’s soul to name a few, which you can pick and choose as per your interest. A collection of longform anecdotes, these books can be tearjerkers.
Fantasy novel: You can always start with Harry Potter. It is easy to read and has an amazing plotline.
Fairy Tale or Folk tale: Fairy tales and Folk tales are never going out of fashion or print. If you love a particular country, other than yours, pick up a Fairy or a Folk tale from that part and enjoy having a glimpse into their culture. It becomes twice more interesting. Trust me.
Literature inspired: If you want to have a taste of English literature and yet, afraid to swim through those long words and complex sentence, not to mention archaic words, then opt for Stories by Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allan Poe, O.Henry, Leo Tolstoy and abridged works of William Shakespeare.
Children’s book: Alright, you might be a grown up but some children’s literature will never cease to amaze you. Pick up Enid Blyton’s Boarding school series or Mystery books and you will surely end up loving them. You can also pick up Bridge to Terabithia.
Detective story: I am a Sherlock Holmes fan and have loved his stories or rather, cases since I started reading. You can either opt for Sherlock Holmes or settle for Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot or Miss Maple series.
Tell us about your collection. Does it include these books?
Not all of us hold a degree in Library sciences. Not all of us are immensely organized as individuals. It is true for me and maybe, a lot of you reading this post as well. Let me share some insane bookshelf arrangement tips for the disorganized, which I have implemented practically. Hope it helps 🙂
**Before anything else, heap your books on the floor.
Break free from the rules. Whoever said that books need to be stacked according to their height, weight and what not must have had a lot of free time to while away. We don’t. So, don’t worry if the alignment goes awry or if one book sticks out like a sore thumb in the stack, go ahead and arrange them the way it suits you.
Arrange by colors. Color coding is one of the easiest way to get your book arrangement done. From the heap of books, make stacks of different colors. Once you are done with all the books, put them all in the shelf using the VIBGYOR pattern or CMYK or any other pattern that you want. Ideally, I opt arranging them from the darkest colors to the lightest.
Stack them horizontally and vertically. Alternate between stacking your books horizontally and vertically. This way, you will not need to invest in bookends. Think of all the money this will save you and the shelf space you can fill up with your beloved books!
Leaning books are interesting too. If the prim and proper mode of book arrangement is not your cup of tea, you can also opt for leaning books. They give your room a casual look and feel. I love this arrangement for thin, hardcover books.
Save yourself trouble of searching. Save yourself the agony of having to search your latest purchases from the book stack by arranging books with the newest ones first. Work your way down to the last shelf, where only the oldest and the most read books will reside. This way, you can quickly grab your latest books for reading.
Arrange them according to their genre. Moody people like my cousin, tend to leave a book midway only to pick up another, completely different book and then coming back to the previous book. For this, the best idea for book arrangement is to stack them according to their genre. I have an entire row of books on my shelf dedicated to classics and literature, another for languages and non-fiction, one for chicklit, one for books that are in series and another for South Asian literature and other novels.
Let the books breathe. No matter how you arrange your books, always leave some gaps in between the stacks and allow them to breathe. You can also put a deodorizer to keep away moths and insects and let your books be in the pink of health.
Have a picture of your bookshelf and your unique book arrangement? Mail them to me or share a link here. Happy reading 🙂