When I graduated from college, I barely wanted to look at a book—let alone read one. In school, I read so voraciously (upwards of two books a week depending on how many English classes I was enrolled in), that it took me a few years to stop seeing books as an assignment, and begin reading them again for my own enjoyment. It's been about 10 years since my last English class, and at this point, I read almost as many books per week as I did then (luckily, they come without a term paper now). Since reading is one of my favorite pastimes, I thought I'd share some thoughts on my favorite books, how I find them, and my routine around reading. Enjoy!
I consider myself to be a traditionalist in many ways, but I've embraced reading books on my iPad. It started during our honeymoon when I was in the middle of finally reading the Harry Potter series and didn't want to schlep seven several-hundred page books around Italy. While I love e-reading, I've weighed the pros and cons below.
Pros: I immediately took to the iPad because you can get book recommendations really easily, then download the book instantly (rather than going to the bookstore or waiting for an online order to arrive), and most popular books offer samples so you can read the first 10 pages for free before committing. It's also significantly easier and cleaner. For most of the books I read, I don't need to read them again so putting them on a shelf is a waste of space, especially when our bookshelf is already too packed. My favorite part of reading on an iPad though is its nighttime reading mode. I have trouble sleeping and often wake up in the middle of the night—with my iPad, I can read at 3 A.M. without turning my light on and waking up G (and have you ever noticed that pages of a book can sound unbearably loud when it's silent?).
Cons: I still occasionally purchase and borrow hardcover books (hence the photo of my nightstand above) for several reasons. I love being able to highlight passages in books—which is possible with an iPad, but not quite as seamless—and I enjoy the camaraderie of sharing a book with someone else, when you can see the pages they've dog-eared. There's also a visceral feeling that comes from reading a physical book, and being able to flip back to certain passages and look at the cover. On occasion, I'll purchase a physical copy of a book I've finished on my iPad if I love it and think it's worth returning to, as I did with Fates and Furies.
I read pretty much exclusively in bed before going to sleep (with the exception of audiobooks, which I sometimes listen to on walks). Sometimes it's only for five minutes, but other times I'll get into bed at 8 and read for a few hours. It provides a way for G and me to have alone time—he'll watch a show in the living room while I cozy up with a novel. I'd read more often, but reading is too relaxing. If I read during the day, I usually end up napping with a book in my hand instead of reading.
Geoffrey jokes that if a book involves a missing or murdered woman, I'm game. And he's right. I love a thriller more than just about anything. I also feel much more compelled to read buzzy books than see buzzy movies because I love the conversations that happen around books (between my girlfriends and on Goodreads).
I'll also read any book a female comedienne comes out with, like Amy Poehler, and Tina Fey. They're a perfect palette cleanser—I literally woke up G from laughing out loud at Mindy Kaling's first book.
Since I use Overdrive (a free online system used by libraries) to download most of my e-books and audiobooks, it's low risk. If I didn't enjoy a book, it's okay since I didn't also waste $25 on the hardcover. However, I frequently check Goodreads, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and my friend Rachel's blog (her "Reading, Lately" series is amazing). If a go-to source lists a book as a Top 10, I'll read it.
What are you some of your favorite books right now? I always love recommendations, so sound off in the comments below!