Summer Reads

Last night, on a probably-unnecessary-but-very-necessary late night Skype catchup call with my BFF who lives about 10 minutes away, she said something very interesting:

I need to get back into the habit of reading for pleasure.

Booyah. There it is. Right there! Reading for fun is a habit, just like any other pass-time. The more you do it, the more you enjoy it, the more you work it into your daily schedule – the better it is. I am also of the opinion that reading the wrong things can bum you out and steer your clear of reading altogether. There’s probably some deep metaphor in there for life, but I’m a little out of it this morning so just bear with me.

I have a simple rule, most of the time: I read what I’m really, really excited to read. Choosing a book at random off my shelf can work in a pinch, but most of the time I try to read things that I can’t wait to get my hands on. This might seem like it’d be expensive, but I rely quite heavily on the libraries at my disposal (my school’s system and the Montreal library), which, among them, carry most things. Of course, for the brand-new ones that aren’t yet at the library, I can usually save $10-15 by buying them on Kindle. And sometimes I decide to be patient, and wait until I can get them for free.

All of this is to say: I believe in you! If you decide to make this summer the summer that you get back into reading for fun, you can do it. Let me help you by sharing my personal picks for the next few months! These are all books I’ve either read and enjoyed, am reading, or am psyched to get my hands on.

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Read This Book: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Remember in elementary school, when there was D.E.A.R. time? As in, drop everything and read? I think it was created for books like this one.

I had been meaning to pick up this title for a while, ever since that book preview I stumbled into. This book was highly recommended, and was listed along with several other amazing upcoming titles on a handy-dandy little powerpoint slide printout.

I have since learned two things: 1. I must never again miss a book preview, because the books they recommend are pure gold; and 2. I must never again lose the powerpoint slide printouts they give out. Which I did. I have been ransacking my room for the past few days, looking for it desperately. Mainly because, if the rest of the books on that list are as good as The Night Circus and Ready Player One, I will have an outstanding year of reading.

Like The Night Circus, I read this book in about 3 days. No, I didn’t completely neglect my homework, but I did stay up a bit later and choose to read instead of watch TV (a very rare event). It’s that good.

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Read This Book: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

This post is the first in a new series called Read This Book. As some of you may know, I used to have a separate blog devoted to my literary loves. While I may continue with it at some point, I have since decided to consolidate a bit, and start writing about books on this blog! Stay tuned for upcoming posts in the series.

Photo thanks to redheadedbookchild

Last Tuesday, I came home from school in a good mood. It was a lovely day, bright and happy, with impeccable weather. I suddenly had a thought to go to the nearest Indigo, one of my favourite haunts – ever. I was home though, and quickly becoming a little too comfortable sitting down and relaxing after a long day. I questioned whether I should just stay home.. But something told me I should go. So I did! Was it the magical pull of discovering this book? I’ll never know..

I wandered the first floor for a while, choosing a book or two to peruse. It was just an ordinary trip to the bookstore until I got upstairs: where the Random House/McClelland Stewart Fall Book Preview was taking place! [#nerdalert] Oh boy. I was a bit late, but there were still some empty chairs with thick PowerPoint slide printouts sitting on top of them. I snatched one up as quickly as possible, and parked my booty for the next few hours, sitting in wonder as I was told of book after wonderful book that I simply must read. But it wasn’t until the Random House representative, Jen, stood up and started raving about this book that I got really excited. This is a woman who reads hundreds of books a year, and she’s this passionate about a book? She says it’s the most exciting book since Shadow of the Wind? Well. Those who loved that book as much as I did will understand what happened next.

I practically threw the other books in my hands on the floor (kidding, that would never happen). Ran after a sales rep. Breathlessly managed to ask for: The Night Circus. Raced home and consumed all 387 pages within 48 hours.

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How To Read More Books: My #1 Online Motivation Tool

I’m an avid reader. It’s one of my very favourite activities, and it has enriched my life in many more ways than I can enumerate. Books have given me many gifts, chief among them my vocabulary, my understanding of the world, my conversation topics, and – more likely than not – my love of writing.

It physically pains me when people say that a) they don’t like to read, or b) they don’t have time. If you lean more towards a) – I am sad for you. You don’t know what you’re missing! Maybe you’re not reading the right things. Don’t be afraid to try a different genre (sci-fi, culture studies, romance?) of book, or format (short stories, choose-your-own-adventure?). I’m sure there’s a story out there that will grip you, shake you, and spit you back out utterly changed. (In a good way, if that wasn’t immediately obvious).

As for those who agree with statement b)..Codswallop! There’s time. Believe it, there’s time. (Read more about how to make time for your passions.) Are you watching TV while you eat? Could be reading. Are you listening to music on your commute? Could be reading. Are you paying attention in class? Could be reading. (Totally kidding.) There is, of course, the possibility that you’d rather not be reading, and if so: I redirect you to the paragraph above.

For now, let’s operate on the principle that you’d like to be reading, but you can’t find the motivation to make it a priority. Trust me, for all my love of the written word, I can totally understand this notion. More often than I’d like to admit, my books get tossed aside in favour of my shiny, interactive, exciting laptop. And even though I have these insane goals, like read 100 books in 2011, sometimes I shrug them off, and watch MasterChef instead.

So! How did I, a distractable fool of a girl, manage to read 32 books in 32 weeks this year?

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