Yesterday, me and my mother visited a gorgeous little French cafe called “Étoile”. It has now become our favorite in town, and I think it would be ideal as a meeting-place for a book-club! Sitting there, reading and talking with her – made me think of all the great advantages of being an active reader. Sadly, there are people out there who haven’t yet discovered this paradise, so I felt an urge to help you guys out a little.
So instead of Wednesday’s book-report (I promise it will come next week!) – I want to present to you, my list of ideas on how to truly commit to books and start loving them!
1. Make a friend join you!
When you start doing something new, it’s always hard in the beginning. However, with a friend (someone who is equally new to book-reading of course) everything suddenly becomes easier. It’s like exercising; very hard in the beginning, but once you start, you don’t stop. And if you bring a friend, its even more fun!
My advice is to create a small bookclub with your friend. Choose one book, read it and then discuss it afterwards with coffee and cakes. You’ll be surprised when you realize how fun this actually is.
2. Don’t start with the classics, just because you feel like you have to
I definitely prefer the classics, but it doesn’t mean I started reading them as a beginner. The most important things is to start with what you want to read. Do not take other people’s advice too seriously. This is about you. Your development. Your introduction into the world of books. So read “Twilight” if you’re into love-stories. Read some Nicolas Sparks if you love watching “The Notebook”. Remember that once you get into reading, the classics will come naturally.
In fact, the first books I started reading actively (I think I was about 10 years old) were the “Sweet Valley High” books. If you don’t recognize the title; it was a widely popular book-series going on in the 1980s – about first love, high-school drama, dating problems etc. Every girl in my class read them, and everyone thought it was insanely cool – reading books from the 80s in the early 2000s. We thought we were sooo old-school of course.
I know … very teenage of me! But hey! It got me into reading. So whatever you choose to do, whether it’s diving into “Sweet Valley High” or some other glossy, gossipy love-fiction, do not hesitate or think it’s embarrassing. Just go for it.
(Ps: I have to admit that I still love these books … ! And I do read them occasionally.)
3. Don’t tell anyone!
I don’t know if you’ve heard the advice before. Maybe it’s just me, but whenever I start something new – I like to keep it a secret. Everything suddenly becomes so much more fun if you’re being all mysterious about it. And if you choose to do this with your friend, make them keep their word as well. It’s nothing more exiting than reciting a phrase from a book you’ve just read to your parents or your colleagues. Most probably, they will freeze completely and get all confused. They thought you weren’t a reader. Well … I guess they were wrong!
4. Find your spot
This is probably the most important one on the list. Finding your own spot is like creating a routine. Furthermore, you’re creating your own meditation for the day – which is one of the biggest advantages of reading. Every time you go there, you know it’s time to open the book again and disappear from the world. So use your creativity. It can be the weirdest spot! Either on the top of a mountain hill, inside your parked car, in the kitchen while you’re cooking, outside on the balcony while taking a smoke, in a bar, in a café, in a local library, in your library, in your studio, in someone else’s studio, in your bed at night, in the bed in the morning while taking a coffee, in the bathroom, in your office, in your living room by the fire, in the forest while taking a walk, in the park …. the list goes on!
So find your spot, and I promise you; reading will eventually be the thing you look most forward to when waking up in the morning.
Personally, I prefer reading in the morning with my coffee, or reading at a café together with my mother or my brother. I also enjoy opening a book while I’m in my father’s studio of course!
5. Watch the movie first
Ok. I know exactly what you’re thinking now; she’s crazy! It ruins the book if you see the movie first!
In one way, yes. It does ruin the book, and it’s definitely not something you should continue doing for the rest of your life. But in another way, it’s a great ritual to start with.
Believe it or not, but my first introduction to Jane Austen (who I love so dearly today and always will) was through movies. I remember I was about 12-13 years old when I saw the 2005-adaptiation of “Pride And Prejudice” with Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen for the first time on the television. I was together with my father that day, and we both cried at the ending where she asks her father for permission to marry Mr. Darcy. I looked her up of course, and I ended up seeing all the movie-adaptations in less than a week. Since I had never read any classics before, I was imagining her books to be terribly tedious, full of advanced words and unnecessary descriptions. (I know, I’m still not proud about that…)
Stubborn as I was, I refused to the read the books before I turned 14 years old in 2013. That year, I read all of them. I also started on the Brontë sisters and Victor Hugo.
For me, movies were actually a golden ticket into the world of classics. They made me put those “Sweet Valley High” books on the shelf and turned me into the person that I am today. So thank you movies! You have done more than you know!
Maybe they will have the same effect on you …?
I hope this list was fulfilling to you non-readers out there, and that you will feel encouraged to drop by the bookstore today!
Aftur S. Nerdrum♥