What does it mean to read from the heart?

We are bombarded with the written word every day. We are thrown little tickers at the bottom of newscasts, huge advertisements on billboards as we commute to work, and then in our email which we get on every device possible. Sometimes all that reading overkill can dampen our spirits for reading for enjoyment, pleasure, escape, knowledge.

There are so many types of readers:

  • Casual readers who may not always have the time and so they pick up the one great book of the year and love every bit of it.
  • There are those readers who don’t really enjoy books but prefer magazines, internet blogs or newspapers. This doesn’t mean they are not readers because they are not reading a traditionally bound book.
  • Some people simply enjoy the artistry and visual format of graphic novels or comics and stick by them through thick and thin! Are these novels? Are these comics? Such a debate in the literary world.
  • Another debate? Ereaders. Are these readers still reading books even if it’s on an Ereader? Of course! It’s just a different format.
  • Then there are those people like me who love to read, every day – will swallow up the written word and will read everything.

No matter what kind of reader you are, or what type of material you identify with the best, make sure you read. Even if you think you don’t have time to read a book, the amount of reading you do throughout your day is worthwhile.  You’ll find that even taking in little bits and pieces of reading every day will help you find a new outlet in the world to strike up a conversation or simply feel like you are involved in the world. I keep a small notebook where I write a note of something I want to visit later when I have time.  This simple technique can help you be a passionate reader again.

Try to remember how you felt when you were learning how to read as a child. Was it a good experience? Hopefully you were able to appreciate how it felt to read your first chapter book and the thrill to read the next one. If it wasn’t a good experience, wipe that slate clean!! Start over!  Even if you struggled with reading in school and gave up on the magic of books, you can get it back.  Try starting with a shorter book, a young adult novel, or a graphic novel and you just might surprise yourself.

Is there a child in your life whom you could share the love of reading and books?   I guarantee you it will be a joy you’ll want to experience over and over.   It might even make you appreciate picture books as an adult!

Since it’s February, and our theme is LOVE, I thought I would share my love of reading with you, most particularly, my love of reading complete escapism books.  They are quick, easy, and allow me to forget the nonsense of the day.  My guilty pleasure is Nicholas Sparks books.  They are formulaic, often tragic or dramatic, but they always leave me feeling that I can believe in love and good in the world.  My other favorite author is Sophie Kinsella who wrote the Shopaholic series.  Her humor is witty and fun and her books always put a smile on my face.

Don’t let the stress of your day dampen your spirits for reading.  It’s the perfect destresser for even a 5 minute alone time moment!

Do you have any romance novels you want to share?  Any books you find to be complete enjoyment?  Any tips on how to rediscover your love of reading?  I’d love to hear them them in the comments or email me! You might also find my personal blog post about reading for enjoyment interesting. 

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5 Responses to Sharing the Love of Reading

  1. Wren says:

    I think the trick to rediscovering reading is finding what you’re interested in. If you pick up a novel because someone says it’s good but the jacket sounds boring to you, of COURSE you’re going to walk away from it (or hate the whole experience and abandon reading again). Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction, something I’d never done before, but I’m hooked. I think it started back when I finally read Reading Lolita in Tehran a few years ago, and then somehow moved into an eye-opener called Burned Alive. The only fiction books I’ve read since then are The Help and The Kite Runner… I think…

    My guilty pleasure is romance novels by Jude Devereaux. I don’t think I’ve read anyone but her in this genre in the last decade, and I’ve read every word she’s ever published. I love her books because she has taken one family and followed them through history, and of course she creates strong women characters (what romance doesn’t?), even if at first they are full of doubt and confidence issues. I pretend that I read them for the social historical viewpoint, but I think we all know that’s not true. If you were only going to read one of hers, I think Knight in Shining Armor has to be it…

    One of my favorite books, which has love stories in it, is Valley of the Dolls. Love the characters and the time period it’s set in. Hated the movies that have been made of it. I’m on my third copy of the book– first read when I was 13– I keep wearing out bindings and having covers fall off! It’s my “go to” when I want something to just dive into, sort of like a favorite sweater….

    But my favorite love story of all time is a three-way tie– either Pride and Prejudice or Jane Eyre or The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. To actually READ, it’s Jane Eyre, I think. If you’ve not visited that book since you loathed having to read it in high school (well, I did!), its well worth another look… and it’s free on e-readers… all three of them are!

  2. Carrie says:

    LOVE Pride & Prejudice, or anything by Jane Austin, really. Such great romance novels! Although I am more for mysteries and suspense, many have a good love story embedded, as well. For instance, I am pretty sure that the Hunger Games trilogy is not considered a romance series, but it has a great message about teen romance as well as a love story throughout.

  3. Wren, you make a great point on rediscovering reading. Learning about what interests you and what you find entertaining is key. You may have to go through a few sleepers or yes, put down a book after 50 pages if you don’t like it. Word of mouth is how many of us discover new reads, yet I would also encourage everyone to find their own tastes as well. There are so many books and authors out there! I love GoodReads for this purpose.

    Wren–you mentioned some of my favorites! Jane Eyre is my favorite book of all time and yes, definitely worth reading out of school. Valley of the Dolls is a GREAT book, full of romance, drama, backstabbing, yet it also has successful, strong women characters.

    Carrie–I think I’m the only librarian who hasn’t read Hunger Games, but it’s on my to-read shelf and the romance I hear is a nice twist in the story.

    I will admit, I do prefer the Bronte sisters over Jane Austen, yet Pride and Prejudice is worth reading out of school, for sure.

    Thank you both for your great suggestions!!
    Jennifer

  4. Anne Boodheshwar Anne Boodheshwar says:

    Wren, if you enjoy Jude Deveraux (and who doesnt! lol) you should try Lynn Kurland…she too has familial ties throughout her books and they are light and fun.
    Jennifer, what are you waiting for?? Read Hunger Games…its about so much more than romance.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Anne–I did finally read Hunger Games and it was FANTASTIC! I can’t wait to see the movie and read the second book!

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