A Little Look at My Reading Life

A look into how I got started, what I like to read, where I find new books, and my reading habits.

The ability to read is an immensely powerful one. It can bring laughter and tears into one’s life. It bestows moments of empathy, of reflection, and questioning. It can imbue one with untold knowledge and transport you to worlds you’ve never imagined before. Above it all, is that the ability to read can liberate an individual. It can open up the world and untold possibilities to an individual. It’s why I love reading and books. The stories told within its pages can connect human beings all over the world with a few poignant sentences. It’s a magical, beautiful thing.

My earliest memories of reading and books are of the library. I loved the library as a child and the freedom of exploration that it gave me, wandering down all the different aisles of books and peering into different worlds that I had never seen before. That freedom to explore and imagine is one of the greatest experiences that I a child can have. Reading has the ability to both free and connect a child to the world. I know it did for me. It was one of the first, truly independent experiences that I remember as a child.

I love marvelling at libraries located all across the globe. Whether they are historical ones that have existed for centuries or new and modern ones, I cannot help but look and be amazed. There’s so much to see and learn, whether it’s the architecture, or spatial design, or history, there is always something interesting to see and learn. My love for the library continues to this day, not to the degree that it once was but the memoires and the fondness that I hold these for institutions will continue for a years to come.

My reading tastes have expanded greatly over the years, as I have gotten older. The older I have become the more I want to know, the more I want to understand and reading expansively allows me to do just that. During my teens I read exclusively fiction and mostly young adult novels. I, like many others, were enamoured with Harry Potter. (I still am.) I anticipated every new release and devoured the books as quickly as possible. (I read the Half-Blooded Prince in one sitting). The majority of the books I read during that period of my life were books centered on young females and their lives, across every different genre. My favourites were ones about discovery through travel, whether through mystical lands or here on Earth.

Once I hit university my extracurricular reading life hit a major huge slump. When you’re reading 100+ pages of material for some classes per week, combined with papers, exams, a part-time job, and a semblance of a social life, your mind really doesn’t want to do much else or any other reading when the day is almost over. During my four years of undergrad, I probably read maybe five or six books per year. The majority of those books were fiction, varying between fantasy/Sci-fi, mystery, action, and romance. Most of those books were once again centered on female protagonists.

Today, I am willing to read anything and everything as long as the subject interests me. I still read a lot of fiction. Fantasy/sci-fi, action, mystery suspense, romance, historical, and young adult are the genres I am mainly drawn to. I dived head first into the world of non-fiction and have enjoyed it immensely. I actually spent that last half of 2015 reading almost exclusively non-fiction with a few romance books sprinkled in between. Graphic novels were a new addition to my repertoire last year as well, an addition that I am all in favour for. There are some amazing graphic novels out today and I’m more than excited to explore them and their way of storytelling. For 2016, I’ve challenged myself to not only complete the 50 book pledge but to read more diversely as well. I’m completing that challenge at a pretty good pace at the moment and hopefully that will continue as the year goes on.

The vast majority of where I find new books and titles to read are through the Book Riot website (link). Book Riot is an amazing site that talks books and writing and everything related to books. Not only that but they are dedicated to the idea that diversity goes hand-in-hand with reading and writing about books, which is something that I whole-heartedly support. (They also have a sister site that is dedicated to graphic novels called Panels). Not only does Book Riot have posts about books, both new and backlisted ones, but they also have some amazing podcasts that talk about books and where generally I find books to add onto my ever-growing TBR list. I have never gotten a bad recommendation from their site or their podcasts. (Note: I am in no way affiliated with the Book Riot website or its staff, I’m just a really big fan of all they do.)

Recommendations from friends are another place where I add more titles to my ever-growing TBR list. And occasionally I will pick up a book while wandering through a bookstore that catches my eye. (Snazzy book covers always draw me in.)

In the great debate of physical books vs. e-books, I am a physical book kind of girl. I love being able to touch it, feel it, hold it, and smell it. I love the tactility of a physical book. My heart flutters at the sight of rooms filed floor to ceiling with shelves upon shelves of books. Strolling through bookstores and seeing all their wares is a very relaxing experience for me. And a good part of my Instagram is dedicated to posts about books and looking at peoples’ bookshelves. I love physical books. But I like e-books too. The convenience and cost of e-books make it a very attractive option. I do most of my romance genre reading through e-books because of the cost and convenience associated with buying them off Kindle or iBooks. But deep down, I’ll always be a physical book kind of girl.

Rapid-fire time:

  • I read all times of day, but mostly right before bed. The silence that fills that space right before sleep, I find is best time to read
  • I prefer my iPad over a Kindle for e-books
  • I do have a special bookmark that I use for all my books. It’s a small print of the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland
  • I prefer to read in complete silence if possible
  • I don’t have an all-time favourite book because I have many favourites and I just can’t choose one
  • Though my current favourite is Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coastes (If you haven’t read it, go read it!!!)
  • My favourite Harry Potter novel is The Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Hamlet is my favourite Shakespeare play that I’ve read
  • I wept like baby reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (Has anybody read After You? Is it good? Is it worth the read? Tell me please?)
  • I’m currently reading Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin (this is my first Le Guin novel so I’m pretty stoked)

Tell me a little about why you love books and interesting reading habits you have in the comments or hit me up on Twitter

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