Saturday, June 6, 2015

A Second Chance

I am currently on a mission to spend more time reading. TV series, movies, and all the gadgets I have make it so hard to get lost in a book, no matter how good it is. I read less than 10 books last year, and I think less than 5 a year beforehand. I have promised myself to read, and got even more enthusiastic after reading this article.

So I decided to give reading a second chance. I want to feel the same way about books like I did ten years ago. Now I have read more than 15 books this year, and even though it's not that much, I am proud of myself because I show progress.

If you also do want to be an avid reader again, the first thing that you need to do to start reading is deciding what genre would be most suitable for you. Just think about the kind of movie you'd usually go to, or the topic that intrigues you. Mine would be fiction (the adult one), parenting, religion, and psychology. You should also decide what are you reading for: Is it solely for amusement? Or do you also want to deepen your understanding about something?

The next step that should be done is signing up for a Goodreads account. If you want to start reading again, you have to make sure that you are not going to spend hours reading a book that's not even worth your time. I started by looking at books from Goodreads Choice Awards. I know that everybody have a different taste and you might not like the book that another hundred thousands of people do, but reading a best-seller is a safe bet. Also, listing the book that you have read and want to read is a good idea to make you focused and feel more excited. The community is also important, as you'll find thousands of people who are profoundly passionate about reading.

You want to see book recommendations in a video form because that's just something that you enjoy? Then the so-called BookTube is the right place. Just search a book's title in YouTube, and watch the review. The only BookTube-r I subscribe is Booksandquills, just because she can make a book sounds very interesting and make me want to read it (even though I might not really like the book after all). I'm still looking for one that suit my reading preference the most, though.

Besides Goodreads and YouTube, of course you can ask your friends for recommendations, although it's not easy to find someone who reads lately - especially someone who reads the kind of book that you like to read. So whenever a close friend of mine posted a book on Path, I try to read the review on Goodreads to decide if the book is worth reading, and start enjoying it if it is.

If you're starting to get comfortable with a particular genre (and that includes bestseller), get out of your comfort zone and start reading a different book. I put some classics into my to-read lists, because I know there must be a reason why those book are still relished after all these years.

If there is a movie or TV series based on a bestseller book, which one would you prefer? I do enjoy watching it (especially if it's an action or sci-fi) as it would help visualise the book and make me got into it better with all the sound effect, but I learned lately that the latter would give you so much more.

First and foremost, reading a book will give you perspective. It gives you a chance to really understand what's going on in the character's minds. It will be easier to walk in their shoes if we do know what they feel about something. And it will feel more personal and emotional, I think.

Reading can also give you more chance to imagine. The characters could be anyone you want to picture. The setting could even look more personal. You choose. It's your own adventure.

Besides, I think reading is better for your brain. It will help you develop a good sense of language and give you exposures of new, fancy vocabularies. Most friends I know who reads has a more unique way to put up sentences. It's also good to improve our memory and concentration, I reckon, as those are essential to keep up with the story.

So if you loved reading growing up, but got so busy or lazy due to the technology, gave it another chance. Go to a bookstore or get yourself an e-reader, and start over. It has been a great experience for me so far and now I can't wait to tick every book that's on my to-read list.

Too much to read! (Source)

And be easy on yourself. You don't have to like a book that everybody else does. You don't have a to read a book that sounds smart. Well, in a book store at York, I saw a sign that said, "Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it", so at least find a book that won't make you look terribly embarrassing. Just start with something you are fascinated about, then explore new things.

Happy reading!

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