Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Top-5: Tips To Happy Reading

This series of blog posts is a top 5 topical 'best-of' list for all things bookish - be it true crime, fiction, novels to novella etc. - pretty much whatever topic I want to post about on a given day. The aim being to reintroduce myself with some old favorites (books/authors) and also take a look at some books/genres I'm yet to read much of. This is a more casual series of posts as there is no defined scheduled unlike my regular Friday Finds and Monday Reads, feel free to join in and post your top-5 all things bookish and provide a link in the comments. 

This entry looks at my top tips to happy reading. 

Reading is an insular and solitary hobby. It's a form of escapism that allow the every day person to travel the world without having to leave the conforms of their own home. What makes reading such an enjoyable hobby? For me, the below are key to happiness between the pages:

1. Read what you want, when you want. 

As a book reviewer I get a lot of requests to review books, often by authors I haven't heard of and small indie publishes I know little of (as well as some of the better known names). It can be hard at times to say no to a review book. The thought of missing out on that next 5-star best-of-the-year read is something I don't take lightly. However, reading should be fun and without obligation - it should feel like a hobby, not like work. So read what you want, when you want. 

2. Don't be afraid of the D-N-F

Life is too short and there are so many books waiting to be read to have to suffer through a book that just isn't doing it for you. Take note that a DNF doesn't mean you can never return to it - case in point being LOLITA for me. I tried to read it and was creeped out by the subject matter and didn't like the writing a few years back. This year I gave it another shot and loved the book. Readers mature, tastes change - what doesn't work for you now doesn't mean it won't work for you later. Put down that book, pick up another - enjoy your reading.

3. Find that special reading spot

I've got a couple of these in my house - the best is a bean bag I sit on in a corner of my library nestled among my bookcases. A nice quiet and comfy place is essential for quality reading time.

4. Don't be afraid to try new genres

As readers of this blog know (and those who follow me on Goodreads), I have an eclectic taste when it comes to reading fiction. This year I've enjoyed some of the more literary books I own while branching out into family dramas, sci-fi etc. Variety is a good thing and keeps all those same-genre books you own feeling a little less same-same.

5. Research your reads

I put in a fair amount of research into my reads. I want to know what the author has written (if a new author), I want to know the circle of writers he or she is part of, I want to know more about them in general to get a feel for their style and influences. Doing this will lead you down a path to more books and a greater informed choice for that next read while hopefully limiting those dreaded but unavoidable DNF's. 

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