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Thoughtful Thursday : how do you broaden your reading?

Thoughtful Thursday is an opportunity to discuss things book and blog related. It might be an issue that has been mentioned in the media, or something about people’s reading or blogging habits.

 Inspired by Becky Page Turner’s  recent post, I’d like to write my thoughts about: 

How do you broaden your reading?

I like to believe that my reading taste is quite electic. I read contemporary/general fiction, classics, travelogues, non-fiction, crime fiction, thrillers, true stories, biography, management, economics, war, translated fictions etc. I choose books that are award winners and books from popular lists and sometimes graphic novels. There are just some books that I don’t read, books like YA, fantasy or sci-fi. So don’t ask me about books like Lord of The Rings, Narnia or Hobbits, I’d rather see the movies :). Having said that I have read all Harry Potter’s books and the Twilight Saga. I suppose I only read them at a period of my life when I don’t have anything better to do!

The way I broaden my reading is to visit my local libraries more often really. I find library looting allows me to be more adventurous in reading all sorts of books. If I don’t like it, I can return it and I do not feel compel to finish it. 

Reading about other cultures, or other countries is really my utmost objective. I think with this in mind, I actually broaden my reading and thinking. So I tend to read books from all part of the worlds (except the North and South poles that is). Recently I find reading native authors writing about their own countries through translated fictions, as opposed to a foreign author writing about his / her adopted countries or places they travel to, is an eye opening experience.

I think it’s quite liberating to be able to pick a book anywhere in a whim and read whatever I like. So I’m two minds about signing up for reading challenges that restricts you to a book list. On one hand, I love to read some of the books that are heralded as classics or a good read, on the other hand I’m sort of pressured to adhere to a list and meet the target. Sigh!

But perusing a book list and reading book blogs does make me want to broaden my reading, but it does rob me some time off from reading “The Economist” or God knows what sort of rules and regulations the Financial Services Authority (FSA) is going to come up next?

The best advice I can give is to look out for sources of inspirations from what other people are reading and to be positive and take an interest in what new books that may appear in your horizon. And if you chose not to broaden your reading for the time being, it’s fine as well. 

After all, reading is supposed to be fun. It’s not a “have-to”. 

What do you think? Are you trying to broaden your reading and how are you trying to do so? And where do you look for inspiration that will broaden your reading? I’d like to hear what you think.

About JoV

A bookaholic that went out of control.... I eat, sleep and breathe books. Well, lately I do other stuff.


10 thoughts on “Thoughtful Thursday : how do you broaden your reading?

  1. I don’t much care if my reading is because it is broadening or not – I just read whatever comes in front of me that interests me. I too am reluctant to join challenges for that reason.

    Posted by rhapsodyinbooks | March 11, 2010, 1:27 pm
  2. I almost the exact opposite of you! As in I’m trying to broaden away from Fantasy and SciFi literature which I pretty much grew up reading. I can quote all things Lord of the Rings, Narnia and Hobbits haha!! I started first by looking at lists of Classics, like 50 books to read before you die kind of things. Now I find I have a blog and love to read other blogger reviews. If it hadn’t been for the book blogging world I most definitely wouldn’t have read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, it would have been to out there for me if I hadn’t been recommended it. Since that positive experience I’m definitely more open minded. Have just gone and renewed my library card so I can go and root through every section except fantasy/scifi for some hidden gems!

    Posted by jessicabookworm | March 11, 2010, 1:45 pm
    • LOL. Good luck. I think the British Library is doing us book junkies a great deal of good (else I’ll be broke spending all my money on book purchase)!

      Let me know what’s new that you are reading. But you do read great stuff though. Because of you and Michelle, I’m going to read “The Picture of Dorian Gray” and “Rebecca”.

      Posted by JoV | March 11, 2010, 9:46 pm
  3. I’m very much like you, I think. I read to learn about the different cultures. I’m particularly drawn to the middle east, but for some reason, I can’t seem to find good books set there, or written by middle eastern authors. (I’ll make sure to check in on your blog when I run out of titles. You seem to read quite a bit from the Middle East..)

    Having said that, I think blogging’s a great source of my reading more widely. I wouldn’t have read so many different books, and discovered so many different new and favourite authors if I didn’t blog. The book blogging community is definitely doing wonders for me.

    And yea, the libraries have developed into my favourite hang-out places. I’m going to miss them. (I’m going back to Malaysia soon, I really hope the libraries there have improved since the last I saw of them…)

    Posted by Michelle | March 11, 2010, 8:40 pm
  4. I can recommend sooooooooo…. many Middle Eastern titles, key words:
    Tahir Shah “The Caliph’s House”, Azar Nafisi “Reading Lolita in Tehran”, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Ahdaf Soueif “the map of love”, I’m sure you already plough through Khaled Hosseini? All good stuff.

    Say hello to Malaysia. I wouldn’t know if the libraries have improved or not, but the mega bookshops in Malaysia sure are alive and kicking with book lovers’ purchase!

    Posted by JoV | March 11, 2010, 9:51 pm

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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City

JoV's favorite books »
Share book reviews and ratings with JoV, and even join a book club on Goodreads.

Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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