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17 Ways To Find Good Books To Read

17 Ways To Find Good Books To Read

Finding good books to read can at times appear to be a troublesome prospect. However, in this age of global Internet communities and online sharing, you’re never far away from an incredible find. Courtesy of the Internet, and traditional means, here is a list of ways to find yourself an incredible new author. Outstanding? Indeed, sir/madam.

1. The Book Seer

    Ask the Book Seer what to read next, and based on your preferences, he’ll kindly suggest a similar author and book.

    2. Goodreads

    meet your next favorite book

      Goodreads is a nifty community website which allows you to connect with literature fans around the world. Millions of books are rated on Goodreads; sign up, read the reviews, see the high scores, and find good books within minutes.

      3. Head for Nobel Prize Winners

        Anyone who’s won a Nobel Prize in Literature knows what they’re doing. Think Jean-Paul Sartre (pictured above with Simone de Beauvoir and Che Guevara in 1960), Albert Camus, Pearl S. Buck, Alexander Solzhenitsyn and many other luminaries. Here’s the official list.

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        4. Take a Look at Best Books Ever Lists

          There are plenty of them, but this Top 100 Books of all Time list was voted for by writers from around the world. You can find the list here–100 books is sure to keep anyone busy for a considerable amount of time.

          5. WhichBook

            Another impressive online resource, WhichBook “enables millions of combinations of factors and then suggests books which most closely match your needs.” Handy.

            6. Avoid Best Sellers

              This may sound like odd advice, but the books you see at the top of the charts may not exactly be riveting reads. Books can succeed merely on an authors name, or through a massive advertising campaign. If you really want to read a best seller, check out a few reliable reviews beforehand (from critics and readers); otherwise, give lesser known authors a try.

              7. Penguin Classics

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              Penguin classics

                The Penguin’s Classics selection is very impressive indeed and can easily fill a bookshelf with great novels. What’s just as good are the suggestion lists you’ll find at the back of Penguin books which offer new titles for you.

                8. Head to Bookstores

                SONY DSC

                  Commercial and independent bookstores often have well received old and new texts placed around the store, so have a read of their synopses and see if any of them are for you. You can also try reading several random pages as this can be a good indication of the quality of writing.

                  9. Talk to Staff

                  librarian

                    Staff do tend to be big literature fans, so if you’re after something on a whim, talk to them for their recommendations. They should well versed on the quality of recently released books, so ask for guidance on new or old authors.

                    10. Ask Friends and Family

                    Ask Friends and Family

                      Chances are, someone in your family or circle of friends is a literature fan–ask them for any books which are must-reads. They’ll probably even lend you some for free.

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                      11. Study Literature

                        Take up a free online literature course and you’ll soon have canonical literature to read and deconstruct for essays. It’s a great way to come across new authors and texts, as well as allowing you to achieve something. Sites such as Learn Out Loud have free courses, whilst Bibliomania offers free study guides.

                        12. The Library

                          The benefits of a library are much like those of bookstores, except everything’s free. Talk to staff for ideas on what to check out, or simply pick an interesting-looking book at random. The joy of libraries is the ability to be able to sit down and read a large portion of the book in the building. There’s no sales pressure as with book stores, and if you enjoy the text, you can rent it.

                          13. Head for obvious Classics

                            You may have heard of 1984, The Old Man and the Sea, Crime and Punishment, and Mrs. Dalloway, but have you read them? Think of all the canonical literary classics you can and head out to read them–your local library will more than likely have them in stock.

                            14. Go to Book Fairs

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                              There are plenty of them in local areas, as well as national events. You can go along to these literature conventions and meet authors and talk to them directly about their book(s). Head straight to the source to see if you’d like to read a new book. The Publishers Association book fair list is a good place to start, but there will be more localized events if you do a community search.

                              15. Watch Films

                                Although it’s frowned upon by some literature fans, watching films is a great way to discover excellent books. A large proportion of the movies you see will be adapted from a literary text. Hunt down the book and read it beforehand (or after seeing the film) to offer a new perspective on the story. Ken Kesey’s brilliant One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest is a perfect example–you’d be surprised how much the text differs from the film.

                                16. Join a Book Club

                                  Check your local community for book group meetings. You’ll meet with fellow literature fans, pick a novel to read, and then report back after a few weeks. This is also a good way to meet like-minded people who can share their favorite books with you.

                                  17. Write Your Own

                                    Everyone has a novel in them, and a book will mean a great deal more to you if you’ve written it yourself. It doesn’t have to be a full scale novel of 70,000 words; novellas can be 20,000, and short stories can be even less. There are regular, online community-supported writing projects, such as National Novel Writing Month, where you can gauge your progress and have local meetups with fellow writers for a moral boost.

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                                    Alex Morris

                                    Content Manager, Copywriter, & Blogger

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                                    Published on November 14, 2018

                                    Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                                    Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                                    With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

                                    For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

                                    In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

                                    Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

                                    Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

                                    It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

                                    For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

                                    Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

                                    Symptoms of Fatigue

                                    Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

                                    • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
                                    • mental blocks
                                    • lack of motivation
                                    • headache
                                    • dizziness
                                    • muscle weakness
                                    • slowed reflexes and responses
                                    • impaired decision-making and judgement
                                    • moodiness, such as irritability
                                    • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
                                    • reduced immune system function
                                    • blurry vision
                                    • short-term memory problems
                                    • poor concentration
                                    • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

                                    Causes of Fatigue

                                    The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

                                    • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
                                    • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
                                    • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
                                    • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

                                    Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

                                    Medical Causes of Fatigue

                                    If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

                                    Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

                                    Anemia

                                    Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

                                    Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

                                    There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

                                    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

                                    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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                                    This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

                                    Diabetes

                                    Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

                                    Sleep Apnea

                                    Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

                                    Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

                                    Thyroid disease

                                    An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

                                    Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

                                    • Lack of sleep
                                    • Too much sleep 
                                    • Alcohol and drugs 
                                    • Sleep disturbances 
                                    • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
                                    • Poor diet 

                                    Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

                                    • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
                                    • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
                                    • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
                                    • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

                                    Psychological Causes of Fatigue

                                    Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

                                    • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
                                    • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
                                    • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

                                    How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

                                    Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

                                    1. Tell The Truth

                                    Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

                                    To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

                                    Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

                                    The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

                                    One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

                                    • How you feel
                                    • What time of day it is
                                    • What may have contributed to your fatigue
                                    • How your mind and body reacts

                                    This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

                                    2. Reduce Your Commitments

                                    When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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                                    If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

                                    When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

                                    Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

                                    3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

                                    If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

                                    Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

                                    If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

                                    Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

                                    Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

                                    4. Express More Gratitude

                                    Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

                                    It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

                                    Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

                                    5. Focus On Yourself

                                    Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

                                    There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

                                    But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

                                    We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

                                    6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

                                    Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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                                    Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

                                    The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

                                    Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

                                    7. Take a Power Nap

                                    When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

                                    Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

                                    This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

                                    8. Take More Exercise

                                    The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

                                    Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

                                    The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

                                    You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

                                    9. Get More Quality Sleep

                                    To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

                                    Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

                                    My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

                                    10. Improve Your Diet

                                    Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

                                    Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

                                    On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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                                    To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

                                    Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

                                    Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

                                    11. Manage Your Stress Levels

                                    Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

                                    When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

                                    Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

                                    My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

                                    12. Get Hydrated

                                    Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

                                    Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

                                    If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

                                    The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

                                    The Bottom Line

                                    These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

                                    If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

                                    Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

                                    Reference

                                    [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
                                    [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
                                    [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
                                    [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
                                    [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
                                    [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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