I first met Sheila when she joined my blogging mastermind group a few months ago, and I was immediately drawn to the thoughtful book reviews she shared on her personal blog. Then last month, she launched a new site called The Deliberate Reader – because great books shouldn’t be hard to find. She’s currently doing a series called “31 Days of Great Nonfiction Reads,” and offering some great book suggestions. The only downside is that my “to-read” list is growing exponentially! Oh well… 😉
Want to Read More, and Enjoy What You Read?
Otherwise known as my number one reading tip:
Read what you like.
Revolutionary it may not be, but it’s easy to get caught up in reading what’s popular, or what you think you “should” read. If you’re not enjoying what you’re reading, it’s going to a lot harder to be motivated to read.
Conversely, if you’re reading something you love, you’ll find pockets of time to read a few more pages. You’ll pass on a so-so TV show in order to get a chapter or two finished. You’ll make time to read when you want to find out what happens.
Part of me wishes that I liked highbrow literary fiction. Instead my favorite fiction reads include mysteries, fantasy, historical, and some childrens/young adult titles. You know what though? That’s what I like, and that’s ok.
Even within genres, there is a wide variety of books, so finding more books to read that you’ll like is easier when you already know what you like. The mystery genre includes subgenres such as cozies, hard-boiled/noir, police procedural, historical, legal, supernatural, private investigators, amateur investigators, capers, whodunits, and more. I love some subgenres of mysteries, but there are certain subgenres that I don’t like at all, so it helps to know your preferences.
And of course, you don’t have to be limited to reading fiction! There are many people who think they don’t like nonfiction, but that’s such a broad category, you might be surprised to find that actually you do! Perhaps you don’t like dry history texts, but you’d love memoirs. There are nonfiction books available on virtually any topic you can imagine – animals, food, money, travel…
As you’re reading what you like, it leads to a related point: You don’t have to finish it.
This is a point I wish I’d learned years ago. Or at least learned to put it into practice more reliably. I’ve recently been adding the books I’ve read over the past 13 years to my Goodreads account. And if I could tell my 1998 self something, it would be to be a lot fussier over what books were worth finishing.
I’m not talking about books I had to read for school; I’m talking about the books I voluntarily chose, and finished, despite not really enjoying them.
All that reading time was, in many ways, wasted. There are hundreds if not thousands of other books I wish I’d read instead.
It’s still hard for me to not finish a book, but I’m getting better at it. I just wish I’d started a lot sooner.
No matter how much reading time you have, you’ll still never be able to read everything. Being deliberate and intentional in your choices is important, but so is admitting when a book isn’t working for you. Unless it’s something you have to read (like for a class assignment), it’s ok to quit. It’s ok to quit after only a few pages in. It’s ok to quit halfway through. It’s ok to quit when you’re almost done..
Reading is one of my favorite things to do, so I make it a priority. Even so, I’ve had to learn to be pickier about my reading choices. I try to select books with care, and I try to concede if they’re not worth continuing to read. I want to make the best use of my reading time, whether I’m reading to learn something new, or simply for enjoyment. At my new blog The Deliberate Reader I share book reviews, lists, and suggestions, as well as posts about the reading life and life as a reader.
A former librarian turned stay-at-home mom, Sheila shares her love of reading at The Deliberate Reader.
For more about finding great books, visit this post.