One of my favorite things to do is create reading lists for myself. It is easy to get in a rut, not knowing what to read, not knowing where to start looking. So, why bother reading at all? That's when I'll settle for a magazine (not good literature) or even worse, lull my mind with videos on Netflix. Now, I'm not one to pass up a good episode of I Love Lucy (I find these on YouTube) but there is something so magical about reading a great book.
I wholeheartedly believe in the power books possess. Finding a book that is so good I can't put it down is like finding THE perfect pair of shoes in the store that are my size, my style, my price and the last ones on the shelf. Like kismet. Destiny.
Now I don't mean to trivialize books. They are so much more than a pair of shoes. Words can take you further than shoes. They are more comfortable, more inviting, more rewarding. I love me a good pair of shoes but I love me a good book even more.
Things I gravitate toward:
* mostly non-fiction, real recounts of events in time (present or past)
* fiction by female authors
* pretty covers (vain, I know)
* cookbooks that are more conversational memoirs than books of recipes
* Elisabeth Elliot
* The Cat Who... mysteries
* true adventures
* Ralph Waldo Emerson
* books about good books (so I can feed my hunger of good books)
A great tool that I own is this book by Nancy Pearl a librarian from the Seattle area.
Other great tools for finding good reads:
1. the library website - there are usually librarian recommendations, recommendations for different genres, and links to outside sources all designed to unite a book with a reader
2. pinterest - there are lots of boards related to books and reading, if you can find a board that lines up with your interests it could be a goldmine
3. goodreads.com - meet your next favorite book
4. what should i read next? - a tool that asks you what you read last and recommends books similar
5. book reviews in your favorite magazine
6. browse the shelves at the library if you have a free hour, touch the spines with your fingertips, go slowly, read titles, take time with any title that piques your fancy
I find plenty of lemons, reading just one or two pages and knowing it is a relationship that was never meant to be. And that's ok. For every five books I try, one is a gem. But a gem is worth the time.
My current reading list:
Grand Ambition by Lisa Michaels
Nothing Remains The Same by Wendy Lesser
More Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin
How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen
There was waking, and there was sleeping. And then there were books, a kind of parallel universe in which anything might happen and frequently did, a universe in which I might be a newcomer but never really a stranger.
More lovely quotes about books:
"She reads books as one would breathe the air, to fill up and live." -Annie Dillard
"No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance." -Confucius
"In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but how many can get through to you." -Mortimer Adler
"Reading is an act of resistance in a landscape of distraction." -David Ulin