I have always loved reading and the past two years, I set the challenge of reading 12 books a year or a book a month. In 2017 I read about 14 and for this year, I’m currently on my 18th. I try to read a mix of both fiction and non-fiction.
I definitely have inherited my love of reading from my mum (who always has a book on the go), but it was my dad who used to read to me in the evenings. I just loved to hear all the different voices of the characters and creating all these fantastic images in my head of what they looked like. I was always given an abundance of books and loved going to the local library.. I always took out the maximum number of books permitted. I even remember walking home from the library, with my book stuck in my hand.. I couldn’t even wait until I got home to read it! On beach holidays, I’d easily go through at least 3 novels in two weeks. I suppose reading has always been a little getaway for me. I had a big imagination as a child and reading fiction novels really helped delve into this.
Whilst studying Psychology at University, I rarely read in my free time. After all, there were a lot more social things going on as well as endless amounts of textbooks and research papers to read and essays to write. Also, I got my first access to Netflix at uni! After uni, it took a bit of time before I found pleasure again in reading for fun. Forward to the last few years, and once again, I’m reading one book after another.
I love that words can be so captivating that you just can’t stop turning the page. I love the imagination and worlds that are created by writers and authors and I love the way I can escape from the worries and stresses of everyday life. I love that books can help me relax but it also excites me. It’s so nice to have something that doesn’t involve a screen. Reading also keeps me engaged, helps me learn and helps me with my concentration. I think you can tell, that I just love to read. I also think that creating this blog and writing and writing copy for my previous job was just a natural development from my love of reading!
In terms of minimalism, I’ve always found it hard to go through my books. I definitely hold attachment to them! However, in the past couple of years, I have donated so many away. I made a pact to only keep my most favourite ones and reference books only. Nowadays, I only tend to buy new books which I know I’ll want to keep and I’ll either borrow from the library or from family/friends, or buy second-hand ones which I will donate on again.
As you can see from the following images, Xinran is my favourite author. She’s a British-Chinese journalist, author, speaker and advocate for women’s issues. To keep it very short, she shares powerful true-life stories about mother-daughters, family, identity, loss and the struggles of ‘ordinary’ Chinese women. She certainly provides an insight into the lives of Chinese woman, which have been so misunderstood. Sky Burial and The Good Woman of China are exceptionally moving and are two of my favourite books, ever.
Some of the books I’ve particularly enjoyed reading this year have been-
- The White Book (Han Kang)
A meditation on the colour white and a book on mourning, rebirth and the human spirit
- Sky Burial (Xinran)
A true story of a Chinese woman who spends 30 years searching for her soldier husband in Tibet
- Lying in Wait (Liz Nugent)
A crime thriller
- Men Without Women (Haruki Murakami)
A series of short unique stories about men who find themselves alone
- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine (Gail Honeyman)
An uplifting story about an isolated and very ‘ordinary’ young lady dealing with loneliness, love, friendship and opening up
Do you like to read and why? What books have you read recently that you enjoy?