How To Read More (Or At All)

So, you’ve finally gotten to the point where you’re reading books, or maybe you’ve loved reading forever. However, finding the time to read is not always easy. So, how and when can you read?

On your way to work/school/where ever you’re going

This one is especially easy when you’re using public transport. Reading on a train or a bus is one of the easiest ways to spend the time you’re there. Even if you don’t want to carry a heavy book with you, there are lots of ebook readers you can install on your phone, so you can read those ebooks you’ve been dying to read.

Even in the car, you can ‘read’. Driving to work is so much nicer when you’re listening to an audiobook after all. At least, I quite enjoy it. Of course, I wouldn’t pick anything too heavy, since you also have to pay attention to traffic, but there are plenty of books that are just great for on the road. I’ve listened to my fair share of books, while driving to and from my parents (about 4 hours one way).

Plan

Yes, planning can be quite helpful. Not just what you’re doing throughout the day, but also when to read. Plan in some time for reading. Reading is helpful and good for you in so many ways (I’m planning on writing a blog post about this some time). It is definitely not a waste of time to plan to read 30 minutes everyday. It brings us right to my next suggestion…

Make it part of your routine

Instead of just having it it on your daily list of tasks, make it something that fits right in with the rest of your routine. Whether when waking up on the weekend, or right before bed throughout the day (my favorites). See where you could make it part of your routine. It really helps me relax and get ready for bed, so it’s part of my bedtime routine: brush teeth, pj’s, reading and sleeping. Not to mention it’s so much healthier than staring at the blue light of your phone right before going to sleep.

Make it a priority

If you want to read more, it has to be a priority. I hear people say this all the time about fitness, but the same goes for everything. If you really want to do something, it is a priority. Perhaps, if you don’t read (as often as you would like), it’s not a priority. There’s nothing wrong with that. Everyone has different activities or interests they prioritize. To read more, it must be a priority.

Bring a book

Bring your books everywhere you go. You never know when you’ll have a dull moment and you need something to do that’s not just mindlessly scrolling through your Facebook feed. Whenever I have a doctor’s appointment, I take a book; waiting times are ridiculous even with appointments, so a book is a nice way to stay entertained. Plus, there are a lot of old people where I go to doctors, so I feel a lot of judgy eyes when I’m on my phone there. So, I read to prevent old people from looking at me funny. Yes, this happens.

If you still have no idea how to read more, here are some more drastic measures you could take:

  1. Quit your job or school and read all day.
  2. Get a job where you can read books all day (i.e. where you have a boss who doesn’t pay any attention to you).
  3. Pretend to be sick, so you can have a sick day and spend all of it reading.
  4. Unplug all electronics, shut the blinds and don’t open the door; pretend not to be home and read all day, instead of spending time with friends. 
  5. In fact, send all your friends breakup letters, so you can read more.
  6. Do not get involved in any fandoms, they take up too much of your time.
  7. Also, book clubs are a big no-go for the same reason.
  8. Hire someone to read to you all day, while you do other chores.
  9. Or ever better, hire someone to do the chores, so you can read.

I hope you’ve gotten some new ideas, or bit of a laugh. Let me know in the comments how you try to read more.

Book Unhaul 2017 Part 1

I’ve written a couple of posts before, about unhauling books. It definitely feels very freeing to just let go of the ones I didn’t like, or the ones I’ll never read again. 20160920_192848

Unhaul #1 (2015)

Unhaul #2 (2015)

Unhaul #3 (2016)

Unhaul #4 (2016, Mari Kondo)

Like I did the end of last year, I’m planning to go through all of my books again at the end of this year. Before that though, there are a lot of books I’ve already said goodbye to this year.

  1. 10335308The Farm by Emily McKay
  2. Dem Tod auf der Spur by Michael Tsokos
  3. In Defence of English Cooking by George Orwell
  4. The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
  5. The Chemist by Stephanie Meyer
  6. Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly
  7. Computer Angst by Steven Klamm
  8. De Jongen die niet Bestond by Steven Klamm
  9. Enge Buren by Steven Klamm
  10. Overal Spinnen by Steven Klamm
  11. 28245487Stemmen in je Hoofd by Steven Klamm
  12. Tirza by Arnon Grunberg
  13. Ich hab’s euch immer schon gesagt by Alex Hacke
  14. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
  15. The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro
  16. Leven na Haley by Jonathan Tropper
  17. The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella
  18. Haantjes by Kluun
  19. Nach(t)sicht by Jo Jansen
  20. Der Totenleser by Michael Tsokos
  21. Mind Games by Teri Terry
  22. Jungs sind wie Kaugummi by Kerstin Gier
  23. The Circle by Dave Eggers
  24. Is everyone hanging out without me by Mindy Kaling

A lot of them, I’ve read but didn’t like. Others I liked, but I know I won’t read them again. Some, I wasn’t even able to finished, so they ended up on my DNF list. There’s too many books in the world and too little time to give those books another chance. So, I’m moving on!

June Wrap-Up

June didn’t go as well, reading-wise, as the previous months. I finished a total of 6 books, which doesn’t sound to bad, until you realize, that of those 5 books, 2 were cookbooks. Cookbooks are really quick to go through, so I’m not even sure if you should count them, but I do (because I really want to have read 5 books!). Then, I also finished an audio book. Meaning I only really read 2 books this month, and finished reading one that I started in May. Not really my best score. Actually, my worse score since I started keeping track. There was however a book that I started but then DNF’ed. I just couldn’t get through it.

Anyway, there must be times, where reading just isn’t a priority and obviously this was one of those months.

Here are three books I finished:

  1. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery – By far my favorite book this month! I loved Anne’s voice. You can find my review here.
  2. The Circle by Dave Eggers – I wasn’t very impressed by it, but I can imagine they might’ve made the movie a lot better. I haven’t seen the movie yet though, maybe it’s a bit mwah too.
  3. Jungs sind wie Kaugummi by Kerstin Gier – This was the audio book I listened to on the way to my parents. It was kinda funny, but definitely not one of her best works.
  4. Die Laufmasche by Kerstin Gier – Also not one of her best works. Funny, but a little predictable.

Seeing the three books I read lined up, it makes more sense why I didn’t have a good reading month. I just didn’t have a lot of great books to read after Anne of Green Gables. I even DNF’ed another one. The epiphanies one has while blogging, right?

I hope you’re reading month has been a bit better than mine. More books, better books and maybe both! What did you read this month?

Ps. I’m hoping to do a review of the (vegetarian) cookbook once I’ve tried some of the recipes.

Recommended: (Dutch) Books About War

Since writing my post about May the fourth, I’ve been thinking about the books I have read and loved that are about war. There are a few books I’d like to mention. Some of those are Dutch books, but those are definitely worth it if you can find a translation.

First up, a non-fiction book: The Diary of Anne Frank (also originally Dutch: Het 375013Achterhuis). It’s been a while since I’ve read it, but I would like to pick it up again sometime.

I can’t go on without mentioning another classic: Schindler’s Ark, or its now more common name: Schindler’s ListI wasn’t a big fan of the book. I loved the story it told, but getting to the story through all the fact-dumping was terrible. It’s a historical fiction book, based on a lot of research. So, parts of the books are non-fiction, while other parts have been written to resemble the truth with the discretion of the author.

Then, there are a couple of fictional books, based on real wars, or even true-events. I cannot not mention Kruistocht in Spijkerbroek by Thea Beckman; children on a crusade, on their way to war. Thea Beckman has a couple of books that feature wars, such as the Geef me de ruimte4812236trilogy or the Kinderen van moeder Aarde-trilogy. Then there is The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne. Do I even need to explain that one? Furthermore, there is Oorlogswinter by Jan Terlouw, about a Dutch boy saving an English pilot whose airplane had been shot down.

Last, but not least, some books based on or around fictional wars. Let’s start with one of my favorites: The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Another one I would recommend would be The End of Days trilogy by Susan Ee, where a war between humans and angels is being fought. Another trilogy: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi is definitely worth checking out. Be aware though, there are three more books in the works, so if you like it you might be stuck with it for a while.

Other books only have war as a small part of the story, but are still interesting to read. For example, 1984 by George Orwell. The country is at war with an ever changing enemy, though the people are led to believe it’s always been the same. In fact, one could question if the country is at war at all.

Of course, there are many more books that could be listed here. What are your favorite books about wars?

“If you don’t like it, you don’t have to read it.”

I’ve heard this a lot. Or maybe, read this a lot would be more accurate. Whenever someone has something negative to say about a book they’ve read, this is the go-to response: “You didn’t have to read it.”, “No one forced you to read it.” Or anything along those lines. It annoys me. A. Lot.

I get it, sure. You loved the book and you don’t like it that this other person didn’t. There’s just a small problem with this idea of not reading a book if you don’t like it: how are going to know you won’t like it if you don’t actually read the book first? Yep, you have to go through the experience of not liking a book, before you can draw the conclusion you didn’t like it.

So, any things you’ve read or heard about book reading and reviewing that just irks you? Let me know in the comments.

Confessions of a Book Blogger #10 – I like ‘snowflakes’

Firstly, I don’t actually like the term ‘snowflakes’. Everyone, whether real or a character in a story, has something about them that makes them different. That’s exactly what makes them them. It’s what makes characters seem like real people.

Sure, stories often follow people who happen to be different. Whether they ‘happen’ to fall in love with a vampire who actually likes them back, have always been a wizard without knowing it, or have undiscovered special powers.

I like reading books like this. Sure, it might be statistically unrealistic that we ‘happen’ to be following this one person that can save the world. But honestly, I don’t care! If I like the story, I don’t really care if it is about a ‘snowflake’.

How do you feel about this?

Declutter your shelves: 5 types of books to get rid off right now

DSCN2980We all know the problem: overflowing shelves, an overwhelming TBR and no idea how to deal with this. I’ve been decluttering my shelves, and have been trying my best not to add too many new titles to it permanently. It’s not easy, but there are a couple of things you can do to make it easier. Here are five types of books you definitely do not need to keep on your shelves, so you can make room for new books.


1. Books you hated/didn’t like

Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? However, from personal experience I know it’s not. I’ve held on to a lot of books I didn’t like or even hated, just because I assumed it was expected of me to have these books on my shelves. For me personally, these are usually classics. However, any kind of book you didn’t enjoy really doesn’t have a place on your shelves, does it?

2. Books that have been on your TBR for over a year

If they’d really been on your TBR for that long, are you ever going to read them? Really? Honestly? Because there are so many other books, still coming out, that you have to read as well. Really, I’m not very good at this, but I have gotten rid of a lot of books that had been on my TBR forever.

3. Books you’re saving for someone else 

You know the type, those you’re saving for your future children, or for friends, just in case they want to borrow them. Is this really useful? Do you really need to keep these? By all means, keep some of the very sentimental ones, but all of them?

4. Books you’re never going to reread

Obviously, you’ll have to keep Harry Potter. That one book though, that you’ve read once and quite enjoyed, but are never going to pick up again? Does that need to clutter your shelves? Or could you use the space for something new and possibly better? You can’t always say it you won’t or will reread it. However, there are certain books where you know you won’t. Don’t keep those around even if you liked them. Hand them on to someone else, or make some money selling them.

cbffb-11925612_1478482295781198_2013205310_n5. Gifted books

Yes, you are allowed to get rid of books that have been gifted to you. It is not a crime. I don’t remember where I’ve read it, but it stuck with me. People give you items, because they’re supposed to make you happy, because they’re supposed to add to your life. When these items (in this example books), no longer fulfill this purpose you should no longer hold on to them. When you do, they completely defy their original purpose.

And then another two obvious ones: books you DNF’ed, as well as books you’ve been ‘currently reading’ for months.

Can you think of anymore books that should not take up any of your shelf space? Or do you believe that me advocating getting rid of books is close to heresy?