Reading Hacks!

I know I have not posted a review for a while, life has been a little busier than usual lately. However, while I have not had much time to write, I have read plenty! People often talk about “Making time” to do certain activities, like reading, but truth is…you can’t literally make time, can you? I read ,on average, one book each week. I happen to love reading and I understand that is not the case for everyone.

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If you are not as in love as I am wit books but still would like to read  more, here are a few tips for you.

  1.    Read what you love, not what “you are supposed to read”

I share Neil Geiman opinion who once said there are no such things as “bad books”. He encourages parents to let their children read what they love and enjoy. A lot of us tend to think we ought to read strictly none-fiction or at least “the classics” because they are the ones with substance. Truth is, there is no point to forcing yourself read what you do not enjoy. You can sit there before bed with that book you were told you should read and stare at it one paragraph at a time, but you are not gonna build a habit of reading like that. What kind of book do you like?  If you don’t know, start with what kind of movies you like. Mystery? Thriller? Pick a category and do a little research. There is always the good old Goodreads website. You can also look at your local library’s website. In my experience, most book store workers have a few good suggestions on each category. You could also try reading a book that has inspired a movie you enjoyed. Reading what you enjoy will turn reading into a leisure activity. Once you start enjoying reading, you will happily dig into your To-read list.

  1.    Carry a book with you at all times

I always have a book on me. You never know when you might find some idle time. I happen to take the public transit a lot and that’s when I do a lot of my reading. Waiting for an appointment, your lunch break or any other time when you get tired of staring at your phone make for excellent reading times. Almost every book is available as audio so if you drive long distances you can still “read”. I am one of THOSE PEOPLE who needs her solid book made of paper to enjoy it at full potential but…if you insist that a book is to big and heavy to carry, you should invest in an e-reader.

  1.    Know what you are reading next

Build up a list. Use library’s website, goodreads and book review blogs (cough cough…follow mine, cough) are great resources to do so. I browse the book store once in a while and take pictures of the book that grab my interest. Knowing what you are reading next means if you don’t fancy what you are reading, you can keep up your reading streak picking up the next one.

  1.    Join or start a book club

Much like going to the gym, or waking up on time, you are more likely to find time to read if you feel the urge to keep up with someone. I encourage keeping the group small. Maybe even just 2. Makes picking a book easier. An alternative for those of you as corny as I am and in a relationship, pick a book with your partner and takes turns reading it to each other.  

Once you grow a reading habit, start taking note of how long it takes you to finish a book. It can be a fun little competition with yourself. You will be surprised at how fast speed of your reading improves. It’s a good skill to have and reading a lot will teach you speed-reading better than any gimmick I promise!

Happy reading! Stay tuned for my next review and recipe!

 

An Almost Unhealthy Obsession (Or why we should protect our libraries)

Bookish:

Well, here I am finally starting a blog like I have been planning for last few years. I love books. I have loved books for as long as I can remember. My wonderful parents made sure I always had plenty to read. Growing up in Iran, the library scene was kind of disappointing so almost all my allowance would be spent on books. I had a small collection that grew every year. My dad even got me a cute stamp that read “Mehrdokht’s private library”. I was so excited I remember how eager I was to set up the stamp pad with the green ink he bought me and spent rest of the day carefully branding my precious books.

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I was not kidding…here is my stamp in action!on my copy of “Dear Enemy” by Jean Webster

Years later, moving to Canada, I brought a selection of my library with me. Again, thinking back I admire my parents for putting up with my obsession with books. We had to pack our whole life to start over across the world. We were each allowed two large and one carry on luggage. My wonderful parents allowed me to fill in one of my luggage with just book! I don’t know if I am communicating how big of a deal this is.  We were about to leave most of what we had behind and start over in a new land and they allowed me to take up half of my precious luggage space with books!

I soon realized that in Canada books can be quite expensive. However, I also learned that Canadian libraries are wonderful magical places where you can get your hand on the latest books and lovely librarians who would search every library they can think of to get you the book you want. I visited one during my first week in Canada and instantly fell in love.

When people say they’d like to read more but books are expensive, I have to control myself not to roll my eyes so hard it’s tickle my brain.

I read every kind of books, often in a random order. Once in a while I get obsessed with an author and go hunting for everything they have written. I actually get excited to read their first books and oddly feel proud noticing the progress in style of writing.

Generally though, I’m into historical fiction. Or nonfiction narrations.  Not a big fan of fantasy but keep an open mind. I do not judge a book by cover, genre or title. Although I admit I have read books simply because the cover was catchy or clever like “Cat out of Hell’ (More on that later).

Peckish:

That’s it for “Bookish” now onto the second half: “Peckish”. First of all, I love that word. British English has so many delightful words we need to start using in North America. I love food. I love making food, sharing food and eating it too. When I was a teenager, I realized making good food is a great way  to make friend. Turns out  I’m also pretty good at it. Cooking, baking, messing with food till it tastes good, it’s like magic. I love it. When I was making plans for this blog, I started thinking about what would make it special. Why would anyone bother reading my reviews? Is there something in a book I notice differently? And well, the answer was food. I find In every book there is a significant food that either highlights a significant event or holds a special place in a main character’s heart. It’s often described in such details that brings water to your mouth and makes you picture anime like kawaii style food. You can almost taste it and imagine the character savor every bite.

So, I decided to make that a reality.  I’m gonna tell you about the books I read and I’m gonna tell you about the food I find to be the most significant and why and then I’m gonna tell you how to make it. Well enough talk! Let’s get this going.

Happy reading and happy cooking!♥♥

Love,

Mehrdokht (But everyone calls me Mary)