“Every reader his or her book. Every book its reader.”
— S.R. Ranganathan
If you have space in your life to read one more year-end list, I made one too. Books that will stay with me and I will recommend to others. Books that changed my thinking. Books by authors I had never heard of and could not believe I had not. The books I wanted to go on and on and on, the best kind of books. Here’s my list.
My tastes are eclectic.
My guilty pleasure is the police procedural (the more noir, the better) followed closely by the coming-of-age novel. I read both fiction and non — have a fondness for memoir — although not biography.
I read “classics” I believe I should have read. I read author debuts. I am an occasional completist (Elizabeth Strout and Ann Patchett). Reading fantasy novels are still on my to-do list (Octavia Butler is on my bookshelf but has not yet made it into my hands) and authors from outside the United States. I am discovering Graphic Novels (“Black Hole” by Charles Burns is on my nightstand). I have occasionally judged a book by its cover (“Lessons in Chemistry” by Bonnie Garmus) and been pleasantly surprised – in a good way.
Is reading one of your resolutions for 2023? Have you ever been a reluctant reader but want to read more?
Here are some tips for creating and sustaining a reading habit.
- Try an eAudiobook. I’ve become an avid audiobook consumer which has the additional benefit that your listening skills improve as well.
- Ask a friend, coworker, family member or neighbor, “What are you reading?” It’s a great conversation starter.
- Frequent our Friends of Arlington Public Library bookstores, each purchase supports the library.
- Join a Library book club or the Winter Reading Challenge.
- And my favorite tip from Ron Charles, Book Critic at The Washington Post, “Dedicate this year to reading only works in translation. You’ll permanently expand your horizons.”
If you are like me and have recommitted to a year of reading more, my final tip: there is no harm in setting aside a book and not finishing it. The library has the next one just for you.
Director, Arlington Public Library