“So many books, so little time.” – Frank Zappa
Six days into 2023, and my reading year isn’t off to the best start. I was hoping to finish a 2022 bestseller on New Year’s Eve, but it isn’t holding my attention. I haven’t DNF’d* it, but I also haven’t picked up anything new. I’m already breaking one of my rules which is to stop reading a book if I don’t like it. However, I’m already halfway through the book, so I will see it through. Most of the time, I decide to DNF after the first 50-75 pages, so there must be something about this novel that I like.
Anyway, this got me thinking about other rules I have when it comes to reading. Here are a few of them.
- Book Covers – I never buy a physical copy of a book if the cover promotes the movie version. I prefer to lift up the author and the original cover design instead. We all know the book is usually better than the movie anyway, so why would I want to be a walking advertisement?
- Don’t leave home without a book. – Whenever I go out, I always bring something to read. it could be the New York Times on my phone or a novel I downloaded on Audible. I’ve also been known to travel with a pile of magazines I haven’t read yet or my fully-charged Kindle. Nothing bothers me more than waiting somewhere and having nothing with me to read.
- Support independent bookstores. – Whenever possible, I purchase books from an indie bookstore. There are several in my area that I love to explore. If I’m looking for a recommendation, there is always someone there I can talk to who will happily oblige. Spending an afternoon and my money in an indie bookstore is never a waste of an afternoon. I always discover something new or come away with a fun bookish accessory – like a cute bookmark or a reading log. The last time I visited my favorite bookstore, I received a free ARC (advanced readers copy) of a new book and a $10 coupon off my next purchase. Even Costco’s paperback section can’t offer me that kind of deal.
- Use the library often. – We have a beautiful brand-new library in my hometown, and I don’t use it as often as I should. And they have all the books I could ever want, or they know where to get them. Sometimes I don’t have the patience to wait when more than 50 faceless people are in the digital queue waiting to read the book I want next. However, I’m so happy when I know about a book early enough and can be the first or second in line. And, if I don’t like the book, I return it knowing I didn’t spend my hard-earned money to buy it.
- Shop my bookshelves. – This is a new rule for me this year. I have a bad habit of buying the shiny new title that everyone is talking about instead of shopping my bookshelves. Every book I own is one that I REALLY wanted at some point but never read. It’s time to rediscover those gems and remember why I bought them in the first place. One of my favorite books is one that sat on my shelf for over a year. It’s called “Beneath a Marble Sky” by John Shors. It’s a historical fiction story about the building of the Taj Mahal. Why I left it on my shelf unattended for so long is beyond me. And I know there are many more books like that in my possession. I can’t wait to dive into my past purchases to find my next great read.
How about you? Do you have any rules that you read by? I mean, live by… 🙂