So, to keep reading fun, read daringly! There are several steps which make it easier to do this and some of them will be more challenging than others. It is easy to read what everyone else is reading but, as Murakami pointed out, if you only read what everyone else is reading then you can only think what everyone else is thinking. That quote is far too over-used on my own behalf, but only because of how much it rings true. Stretching our minds to the furthest little space of what makes them a universe within themselves is never an easy task, but it is one which reading allows us to undertake. Through reading we can put ourselves into a myriad of situations and periods of time we might never know in person but it feels like we are truly there when we read the words. So we come away from those pages a better person - having learnt something. Being slightly changed in some way.
I challenge you to read daringly this summer because it works wonders and I want everyone to love reading as much as I do. Here are a few little tips to get you started:
|Fill your mind with stories! - Copyright CLSS 2015|
1. Random Library Search
Go into a library and look for a random book. Maybe something you have wanted to read for quite a while but haven't yet gotten around to or a recommendation from someone at work. A fun one can also be to find random inspiration, such as picking a letter from the alphabet and then choosing a book from the shelf with an author or title beginning with that letter. You never know what you might come across.
Random library searches are different depending upon the individual. Perhaps you think this might not work for you because you really aren't interested in reading something such as a crime thriller and if you come across one of those in your random search, then you might feel you have to read it. Do not worry - the random search can still be for you. Personalise it a little bit more by doing a search on the online system perhaps. Then you can search for key words to see what comes up. So if you want to read something new that you wouldn't usually pick up but still within a certain genre, you can put in keys words (e.g. poetry) to the search bar and get a list of options which contains a wide variety of different materials but still applies to one genre.
2. Ask For Recommendations
As previously mentioned, book searches can be random but still be a little personalised. The aim is to get you reading more than anything and to find yourself enjoying a wide range of different materials as you consume your regular literary diet. Recommendations can be a good place to start if you don't want to be overly daring. At the end of this university year, I thought it would be a good idea to pass out some literary recommendations to my own teachers (it is the only time in the year it seems acceptable!). Sometimes you will come across books which fit your tastes exactly, particularly if you are asking within your own friendship circles. But aim to ask someone who has different reading tastes what they would have you read to get engaged with a new area of writing - whether it be manga or 15th century German texts. Keep a list of your findings and work your way through it, tracking your thoughts as you go to see if this new style of reading really is for you.
3. Blind Date With A Book
The last place I saw these was in the train station in Florence on my Easter trip to Italy. It is such a quaint, cute idea - the principle being that you buy a brown paper parcel containing a book with but a few key words or a summary on the front to give you a clue as to whether or not this book is for you. It incorporates all the literary theory in practice really (Barthes death of the author and the like). Plus it means the cover never really comes into the decision making at all. You go in knowing nothing and come out with a new experience. Win win!
4. Translate That Fiction
If, like me, you speak other languages or are a language learner then it can be extremely useful for many different skills you possess to get your brain into gear by reading a book in that language. Some interesting past projects for me have been reading texts in their original languages, such as The Little Prince in the original French or Walks In Berlin in German. There is always that little sparkle that just evades even the best of translators and consequently, ends up not making it into the new language edition. However, reading it in the original language can really restore that extra bit of life. Even if you don't want to read a classic in its original format, you could always read one of your favourite books in a new language to test yourself. Harry Potter is a really popular one - you'd be surprised how many people have told me that their language skills have improved just by reading a book in another language.
If all else fails, or if you just need a break from all of the different reading approaches that you have taken on, then make sure you have a stack of your favourites to re-read throughout your reading experimentation. Some of mine would have to be Fangirl or Anne of Green Gables. These books make me happy and remind me why it is that I love reading so much which can never be a bad thing. The important thing above all is to keep yourself happy and thinking about things in a new light, even if that ends up being a book that you have read many times that is in actuality quite old and not new to you at all. Reading daringly is important, but sometimes the most daring way to read is to... dare yourself to read in any format! And keep reading until you need cake. Then eat cake and keep reading.
Do you accept your dare? I dare you to read one book this next month - And ... GO!