Jomana is a passionate reader who loves to write about books and literature.
Why You Should Read Books, and Why It’s Fun
1. Increase Acceptance of Others
Reading makes you follow the stories of other people and see what they go through in their lives. You get into the minds of different characters, see how the characters make decisions, and what leads them to make these decisions. Also, you become better at understanding others’ points of view and accepting them without being judgmental.
2. Reduce Stress
It’s no surprise that reading can help you reduce stress. How does that happen? Whenever you feel under any kind of stress, all you have to do is just pick up the book you’re reading and get lost in the story.
It helps you escape reality. Moreover, it makes you distracted and may actually lift your mood.
Scientifically, reading helps at reducing blood pressure and easing muscle tension. Check out this article that describes in more detail how reading improves health and reduces stress.
3. Reading is More Fun Than You Think
Let me describe to you exactly what happens when you read a fictional book. It feels like a movie is playing inside your head. That’s what your imagination does when you read, and it’s the most amazing thing.
You come to a point where you can “see” what’s happening; however, of course, you don’t “see” things clearly, but clear enough to make it a beautiful experience. Don’t believe me? Check this out. You’ll see different readers describing what actually happens inside their heads while reading.
4. Improve The English Language For Non-Native English Speakers
There isn’t much to say here. However, what I’ll say is that reading English books can actually be as good as taking English courses.
This is because you can understand and know new vocab by getting a sense of what a word means from the whole sentence. Googling these words can also help you a lot. Books also help you at understanding how sentences are formed and how a dialogue between people goes.
5. Learn From Other People’s Mistakes
This is a major benefit of reading. It basically makes you learn from the mistakes of people—fictional and real ones—without actually making them. Not to mention, it helps you to gain more experience in life in a shorter period of life.
Also, reading self-help nonfiction books specifically can change your life massively—if you choose the right book. I will provide you below with a list of self-help books to start reading.
6. Get Exposed to Different Cultures
Reading books that take place in different countries or continents gives you the chance to get introduced to different cultures and different people. You get to see these people’s traditions and understand how they think.
This helps you at understanding and communicating better with people of cultures and beliefs different than yours. These books also help you at opening your eyes and see what is happening around the world.
How to Start Reading and be Encouraged to Make it a Habit
1. View Pictures on Pinterest
Now, this may sound like a weird piece of advice, but hear me out. Search for book images and images of people reading, and let Pinterest cast its spell on you. This should give you a push to start reading. You can start here.
2. Decide What Genre You find the Most Interesting
There are tons of book genres out there. This short article will show you the list of different book genres. This is a highly recommended step to ensure you pick up a book that interests you.
3. Search for Books and Read Reviews on Them
A great website that will enable you to do that is Goodreads. On Goodreads, you’ll be able to search books by genre. Moreover, you’ll be able to see reviews about the books from people who have read them.
What I want you to do is, while searching for books, read the reviews written about them. Then, see which books have a good percentage of good reviews. I must say, though, that you might still not necessarily like the book. There were many hyped-up books that I didn’t really like after reading them.
However, this will be a helping factor to reduce the risk of picking up a not very interesting book.
4. Give the Book a Chance
Don't expect to be engaged in the book right from the first couple of pages, or even the first ten pages—some books succeed at doing so, though.
Even for me, it takes some time to be into the book, and it can be even confusing at first. Nevertheless, by ‘some time’, I mean the first 25-30 pages, so be patient. I recommend you read the first 50 pages, and if you find yourself not enjoying the book, maybe this one isn’t for you.
But do Not give up; search for another book that looks interesting to you. Even avid readers sometimes quit reading books that they don’t find engaging. This is called DNFing a book (Did Not Finish reading).
It is an expression you’ll see used a lot in Goodreads, and it means that the reader started but won’t finish the book. So, what I’m trying to say is, it’s totally fine to stop reading a book that you can't bear reading. HOWEVER, give the book its chance.
5. Choose a Cozy Place
This might be very obvious, but it is actually an important factor that will tempt you to start reading.
6. Lengthy Books Determining the Difficulty of a Book is a Myth
You might think that the number of pages in a book determines how difficult the book is, and I don't blame you. Nonetheless, this is not the case. It just determines how long it will take for you to finish reading the book; that’s it.
Don’t be intimidated by lengthy books. An engaging and good-paced book will keep you reading no matter the number of pages. It may be a good idea to start with a short or average-length book, though, to get the satisfaction of finishing your first book.
For nonfiction books, it might be harder to read chunky books. So, maybe you can start with a short, INTERESTING book.
You can look for nonfiction books that talk about topics that interest you. There is a wide variety of topics that you can look into.
You can check out this video for other helpful tips.
Fiction Book Suggestions for Beginners
I’ll keep it short, but I will link the description of every book.
1. A Thousand Splendid Suns (by Khaled Hosseini)
Genre: Historical fiction
This book will grab your attention from the very beginning, and it won’t get boring at any point while reading. It will keep you wondering what the fate of the characters will be. Moreover, it is a fast-paced book, so I believe it is easy to start with.
2. Everything, Everything (by Nicola Yoon)
Genre: Romance / Young adult
I’m not really into romance books, but this one is amazing and super easy to read. The romance is beautiful and not cringy, and the characters are well developed, and it is easy to get attached to them. Also, it has some plot twists that make the story special.
3. The Book Thief (by Markus Zusak)
Genre: Historical fiction
The book takes place in World War II. In a nutshell, the book will make you or, at least, feel something. Again, don’t be intimidated by the book's length; it is extremely easy to read.
4. Cinder (by Marissa Meyer)
Genre: Young adult / Fantasy
This one is a light and heartwarming read. It is a re-telling of Cinderella in a cool and more modern way. If you are a lover of magic and magical stories, this one’s for you. This is the first book in a series; however, you can read it alone and find it satisfying. I HIGHLY recommend it.
5. The Alchemist (by Paulo Coelho)
This book is considered both a fiction and a nonfiction book. It tells a fictional story that has a deep meaning and a lesson to learn. I recommend reading almost all of Paulo Coelho’s books. They are short books that have strong messages behind them.
Nonfiction Book Suggestions for Beginners
Most of which are self-help books.
1. We Should All Be Feminists (by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie)
Genre: Nonfiction / Feminism
This is a pretty short book that talks about feminism. It is a light read and can be finished in no time. Nonetheless, it briefly discusses some important issues.
2. Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones (by James Clear)
This is a book that talks about habits. I’m recommending it to you because,
1) It is so organized and tells what to do step by step. It will be easy to keep up with the author’s bits of advice.
2) It is super helpful and practical, and it can, somehow, help you make reading books a habit.
3. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (by Miguel Ruiz)
It is another short and to-the-point book; it is really helpful and will change how you think about things and people around you.
4. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life (by Jen Sincero)
It is a book that mainly talks about insecurity and how to love yourself. I personally loved it and felt its impact on me. Here’s another blog that I found really helpful; you can check it out for more nonfiction book recommendations.
These are tips that helped me get into reading. I hope this guide succeeds in doing the same for you. Reading books is a beautiful and impactful habit that you shouldn’t ignore; you’ll see this for yourself whenever you start to get into books.
I brought to you the books that I personally liked and thought were both entertaining and beneficial. Now, go and explore this massive world and decide what’s going to be your first book to read. Do you have any questions about starting to read books? Make sure to let me know in the comments.