So once I’m done with school, I hope to spend more time with this fun little blog. But until then, I will continue to pop in at times with some stuff that’s on my mind. One thing that’s on my mind right now is that I have decided to severely limit my caffeine intake to one cup of coffee per day. I AM GOING TO DIE. But moving on:
One thing I thought would be kinda fun is to take Frequently Asked Questions in my life and answer them here. Now, by FAQ, I don’t mean that I get, like, TONS of questions every day. But isn’t it funny how you do find yourself answering the same thing so often. For instance, “How do you keep your hair looking sooooo beautiful?” Just kidding. I’ve never gotten that question. My best friend frequently did actually get that question. We’d be shopping and someone would literally stop her and ask how she did the curls in her hair. It was so super annoying. I’d just stand behind them making faces at her to try to get her to laugh while she was describing her hair technique to her adoring fans. Whateverrrrr…
So my first FAQ is this: How do you find time to read? And the similar question: How do you find books to read?
1. Reading is my Thing. My one true love (well, besides my loves who are human). So: Reading is my inanimate True Love. That does not mean it has to be your love or your Thing. Quilting or knitting or watching reality TV might be your thing and that is completely and totally fine. Don’t compare your hobby or interest to mine, because they are going to be different.
Because we are different people. Yay, US!!
But this means that reading isn’t something I struggle to find time for – it means reading feeds me and keeps my interest and I do a little reading every day. Ideas to help you make it your thing are to: Keep a book of essays in your car. Keep books by your bedside, on the ottoman and on the kitchen counter. Every time you have a few minutes, pick it up and read a couple pages!
2. Reading is what I did growing up. I learned how to do it. I’ve had years and years and years of practice. Put in enough time on anything and you’re going to be good at it! My mother was an author and she would do research on teenage romance books and for some reason, she would read these books very quickly and rip off the pages as she went. I told her recently that that is why I think I’m a fast reader – I was trying to keep ahead of her tearing out the pages!!! Good practice right there! Practice makes perfect. Make goals for yourself to try to read 12 books this year or 24 or whatever seems right to you. Make it a real, live goal in your life and do it! This practice makes you faster at reading and better at comprehension.
3. I “allow” myself to be a reader. In other words, I spend money on books. I talk about books. I keep track of my books read on both a paper list and the Goodreads app. I read magazines and shorter articles. I try to keep an open mind to try all genres of books – except Stephen King. I’ve never been able to get into his writing. No worries. My fault, not his. I decorate with books. Bookshelves are in our front room, our dining room, our basement and my bedside. I embrace it.
If it is the end of the day, and I am done with my work, I will sit there and read. To myself. With laundry ten, nay, five feet away from me and
4. In order to know what books to read, there are a few tricks I have:
–One: Read the New York Times Bestseller lists (I find them on Amazon.com)
–Two: Find fellow readers who like similar books to you. Ask to see their lists! Or friend them on Goodreads.
–Three: Ask someone you admire their top five books they’ve loved. Don’t tell him, but years ago before I knew him personally, I asked our pastor what his top five books were – the list he returned inspired me, but also made me know that I could trust him and call him “pastor”. (That was a loaded/heavy thing for me since, you know, my pastor was my dad and he died and I was like, do I reallllly want a different pastor?? It sounds stupid, but trust me, it was a hard road for me. And the funny thing is, the ultimate thing that made me figure that okay, you’re cool, was his list of books. Don’t judge that too harshly, there were other parts to the decision…but that was a big part of it.)
–Four: My favorite way to keep track of books to read is to take a picture of the cover when you’re roaming the library or Barnes & Noble. OR take a screenshot if you see one online that you like. I keep these pics on my phone and when I’m looking for the next book to read, those pictures are a good place to start!
5. The best advice I have is not to look at reading as a chore or “learning” like some old school marm is standing over your head demanding you learn this and that for a big exam. Read to learn, yes, but read to learn things you are interested in. This means sometimes you will not finish a book. This is okay!! You are not hurting the book’s feelings!! I literally throw books across the room if I hate them and refuse to finish them. No big deal. Nobody even knows this. Except you do now. It’s fine. Life goes on. Read the book at the rate it deserves – a light, “fluffy” book is like watching a reality TV episode, it doesn’t deserve close attention. Skim and move along. A deeper book may require you to slow down and concentrate.
Someday soon I want to start a book club. We’ll get together and chat and discuss our favorite authors and our favorite sentences. We’ll mourn our beloved characters and we’ll laugh along with writers with the gift of turning a phrase just right. We’ll share our favorite quotes and become friends over shared books. You bring the snacks, ‘kay?