This month, I had the opportunity to go on Global News and share my most anticipated books of 2020 for National Reading Month, along with tips to help children and teens pick up a book. One of my passions as an educator is to inspire children to read for both meaning and enjoyment. With that said, here are my 5 tips to get back into reading - and stay committed...as well as some new releases and books to look forward to.
1. Always have a book on you.
Whether its an eRead, an audio book, or a tangible copy in your vehicle. Instead of aimlessly scrolling through social media sites as you hunker down and partake in social distancing, you can be reading to help pass the time. I've recently adopted audiobooks when I'm cooking or walking, and I find it makes the more mundane parts of your day quite enjoyable.
2. Set an attainable reading goal.
Read one book a month, or read for 15 minutes a day. The average 300 page book takes approximately 5 hours to finish. With fifteen minutes set aside in the morning while you have your coffee or in the evening before bed (which will actually help you sleep better), you can easily finish a book in about 20 days.
3. Quit Early
If you’re not completely invested in a book by the 1/4 mark, abandon it. Life is too short to settle for mediocre books
4. Swap TV Time
During this isolation period, I know it's so easy to resort to watching hours upon hours of TV...flying through series after series...but borrow 30 - 60 mins of this time and devote it to reading a book. I've always found that it takes me about 50 pages, or 30 minutes, to really be invested in a story. It's like starting a TV show and watching 5 minutes... you've barley been introduced to the characters. Take the time, and I promise you, it will be so much easier to swap your TV time to read. On average, people watch between 3-5 hours of TV per day, so don’t say you don’t have time to read! Reduce your screen time by 30 minutes a day and try reading instead. We want to model the importance of reading to our kids.
5. Have your next book ready!
Its great to jump right into your next book. There are so many awesome instagram accounts dedicated to sharing new and noteworthy books. I always know which book (or in my case...books) I'll be reading next. With so many amazing companies providing free listening and reading experiences during this self-isolation, you have many to choose from! I've been recommending libro.fm for listening, and scribd for e-books!
Upcoming and Noteworthy Books by Canadian Authors:
1. The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel
I have seen this book all over Instagram and in everyone's hands in passing this month. I've read a few of John Green's books including Finding Alaska and The Fault in our Stars. I know I'm not the targeted audience for YA, however I do love this genre. I listened to this on Audible, so it may have impacted by opinion, as the multiple voices were read vastly different than I would read on my own. The main character suffers from an anxiety disorder. Listening to the narrator gave me anxiety, which proves Green's ability to force the reader into the characters shoes in a compelling and powerful way. At the heart of this story is the mystery of a billionaire, which Aza and Daisy attempt to solve in order to earn the large reward. I didn't think the two themes blended at all. I found the story to lack a solid plot line. Events were unrealistic, characters were self-absorbed and narcissistic, and the unending references to Star Wars was enough to make close this one and never return. Sadly, I wouldn't recommend this one to anyone. For some of my favourite Young Adult reads, check out the link.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy of A Map for Wrecked Girls by Jessica Taylor. I absolutely love young adult literature (YA), and I think only recently it became mainstream for this genre to allure adults as well. I think it's the escapist appeal and how it evokes nostalgia. What drew me to this book initially was the relationship between the two sisters. This is a tale of survival and love, and the cataclysmic event that ripped their bond apart. As an older sister, I had a hard time reading and trying to understand how they could treat each other the way they do. It almost seems artificial at times, until you realize what lies at the complexity of one bad decision. What I love about this book is the element of suspense. It had me turning pages well into the night.
Photographing books, one day at a time.