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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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                                    Last Updated on April 6, 2020

                                    How To Be Successful In Life: 13 Life-Changing Tips

                                    How To Be Successful In Life: 13 Life-Changing Tips

                                    What is success to you? How to be successful in life?

                                    To some, when they think of success, they imagine wealth; others want power; some just want to make a positive impact on the world.

                                    All of these are perfectly valid, indeed success is a concept that means different things to different people. Though no matter what success is to you, it almost certainly isn’t something will come easily.

                                    There are countless guides and books to being successful, however, as success is personal and unique to each individual. The advice contained in these books can often not be relevant. Therefore following the advice of a single individual can often be unhelpful.

                                    With this in mind, considering the advice of a great many people, people whose ideas of success were different both to each other, and quite possibly, to you can be a good alternative.

                                    What follows is a list of 13 of the best pieces of advice from some of the most successful people who have ever lived. If you want to learn how to be successful, these tips are essential:

                                    1. Think Big

                                      From Michelangelo Buonarroti, Great Renaissance Artist:

                                      “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.”

                                      There are few artists as influential as Michaelangelo. Today centuries after his death, his work still inspires and connects to people. His work is world famous, just think of his statue of David, or the Mural in the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.

                                      Imagine then, if he decided not to work as an artist.

                                      Being a successful artist has always been extremely difficult, imagine if he decided to give up this ambition in favour of something easier?

                                      Oftentimes, people often decided to put their dreams aside for something more “realistic”. To give up their dream for something easier. This quote teaches us the danger of such a point of view.
                                      Instead be ambitious.

                                      2. Find What You Love to Do and Do It

                                        From Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul:

                                        “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”

                                        This is a good quote to remember and think about when you’re at work.

                                        Imagine being as successful as possible in your current job. Ultimately you’ll probably find yourself working extremely hard and this it will take up much of your time.

                                        If it’s a job you hate, then being successful at it might only mean filling your life with something you hate to do. What’s the sense in this?

                                        Instead, why not focus on doing something you love? When you’ve found what you’re passionate about, you get the motivation to keep you moving. Success at this means the fulfilment of your dreams.

                                        Not sure what your passion is yet? You should learn about this Motivation Engine first.

                                        Even if you’re not successful, you still filled your time with something you love to do. Many successful musicians spent years of their lives doing unpaid performances, the only reason they kept playing was because they loved to perform.

                                        3. Learn How to Balance Life

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                                          From Phil Knight, CEO of Nike Inc.:

                                          “There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”

                                          All too often, people think that to be successful, they need to make the object of their success their life.

                                          If a person thinks their job will lead them to success, then they may spend countless hours per day, and well into the evening working hard.

                                          However this comes at the cost of rest, your health and having an enjoyable life. Ultimately they may burn out and cease to be successful at their job anyway.

                                          If success comes from having a strong social life and a good group of friends, their job may suffer; meaning that they may lose their job, and then be unable to afford going out with friends.

                                          In these ways, success, as Phil Knight says above, is helped by balance. Think of it as a balance between rest and work, or work and play.

                                          To achieve that balance, this Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life can help you.

                                          4. Do Not Be Afraid of Failure

                                            From Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motors:

                                            “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

                                            There is a story, it’s unconfirmed whether it actually happened, yet the message within is none the less true:

                                            Thomas Edison inventing the lightbulb was the result of several hundred failed attempts. In an interview, he was asked “How do you feel after all of your failed attempts?”

                                            His response was great, “I didn’t fail, I learned hundreds of ways not to invent the lightbulb”

                                            He saw each “failure” as a lesson. From that lesson he learned what won’t work, and also might work instead.

                                            Each failed attempt, each rejection, were key steps on his path to success. It is easy to feel like you should give up after a failure. But perhaps in that failure is a lesson.

                                            Pay attention to your failures, study them. Perhaps then you’ll learn how to succeed.

                                            If you find it difficult to fight your fear of failure, here’s a guide for you: Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It Step-By-Step)

                                            5. Have an Unwavering Resolution to Succeed

                                              From Colonel Sanders, Founder of KFC:

                                              “I made a resolve then that I was going to amount to something if I could. And no hours, nor amount of labor, nor amount of money would deter me from giving the best that there was in me. And I have done that ever since, and I win by it. I know.”

                                              This, in many ways relates to the above quote about learning from your failures.

                                              It’s the easiest thing in the world to give up from a failure. The only way to push on is if you have the true burning desire to succeed, to not be moved or dissuaded from your goals.

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                                              If you are not truly dedicated towards success, then each failure will hurt more, each set back will slow you down.

                                              Success is hard; without the unwavering desire to succeed, this difficulty may seem insurmountable. With the desire, it is merely an obstacle to go through.

                                              6. Be a Person of Action

                                                From Leonardo da Vinci, Renaissance Genius:

                                                “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

                                                Though it was said hundreds of years ago, it works just as much today as it ever had. It applies to literally any successful person.

                                                Think about it, picture someone like William Shakespeare:

                                                When we think of the time he lived in, we think of the time in a way shaped by him. When we think of Renaissance era Italy, we think of Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. Or think about the present day, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. Our current way of life would simply be incomparably different if they didn’t accomplish what they did.

                                                You’re probably reading this article on a device by a company that they either founded or companies influenced by them.

                                                All these figures were proactive, they saw ways to do things differently and did them. If they let the world shape them, then they’d simply fit into the background. Instead they shaped the world.

                                                Applying this to you?

                                                Don’t be afraid of going outside the norm. If you can think of a better way to do something, do it that way. If you fail, try again.

                                                7. Cultivate Positive Relationships

                                                  From Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of America: “

                                                  The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”

                                                  The best leaders and some of the most influential people (and Theodore Roosevelt is one of the best leaders and one of the most influential people to have lived) were not those who caused commotions, who fought with people or disregarded people; but were people who were friendly to those around them.

                                                  People liked them. They wanted them to do well.

                                                  This is key to good leadership.

                                                  It’s logical. If someone likes you, they want to help you; if you give them a suggestion, they’ll gladly follow through with it.

                                                  But if someone doesn’t like you, they may either refuse to help or actively get in your way.

                                                  What’s more, it’s always a good idea to cultivate good relationships. You can never tell who will prove to become someone who’ll be able to help you in a big way, or even be a good and supportive friend.

                                                  As such, help people and they may help you; and be good to people, and they my be good to you.

                                                  8. Don’t Be Afraid of Introducing New Ideas

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                                                    From Mark Twain, Famed Author:

                                                    “A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.”

                                                    It is an unfortunate truth that those with the boldest ideas are often disregarded.

                                                    Most of us are taught from an early age to think and do things similarly to everyone else. This can be great to fill an existing role. But to truly do things differently (and all successful people did things differently), you need to think differently.

                                                    If you have a new idea, don’t throw it away because it’s new and different; instead, celebrate it. Your strange new idea might one day be the one that leads you to success.

                                                    9. Believe in Your Capacity to Succeed

                                                      From Walter Disney, Founder of Walt Disney Company:

                                                      “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

                                                      Success has to be something you can imagine yourself achieving.

                                                      It is possible that you will come across those who doubt you and your ability to succeed. You must not become one of these people because the moment you cease believing and dreaming is the moment these dreams fall away.

                                                      Keep dreaming!

                                                      10. Always Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude

                                                        From Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of America:

                                                        “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”

                                                        Like the above quote says, you need to trust in your ability to succeed. This is the only way to cultivate the right mindset.

                                                        Replace negative thoughts with the positive ones. You need to approach problems, not as obstacles stopping you, but merely tasks that need to be completed for you to keep going.

                                                        If you stay positive and think like this, setbacks won’t affect you so much, people’s doubts won’t impact you and even the biggest obstacles will seem like minor problems.

                                                        However with the wrong mindset of doubt, you’ll be much easier to stop.

                                                        11. Don’t Let Discouragement Stop You from Pressing On

                                                          From Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of America:

                                                          “Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”

                                                          It is an unfortunate fact of human nature — all of us in some way, doubt ourselves. This can be made far worse if others doubt us too.

                                                          When surrounded by doubts, giving up can actually seem like a good idea.

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                                                          Don’t pay attention to the doubts. If you are discouraged, ignore it.

                                                          If this discouragement moves into your mind and you begin to doubt yourself. It is important to ignore this too.

                                                          This is How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck and How to Overcome It

                                                          12. Be Willing to Work Hard

                                                            From JC Penny, Founder of JC Penney Inc.:

                                                            “Unless you are willing to drench yourself in your work beyond the capacity of the average man, you are just not cut out for positions at the top.”

                                                            You might have heard the quote that “success is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration” or you may have heard about the 10,000 hours idea.

                                                            Whichever way you frame it, they say one thing:

                                                            True success comes from work.

                                                            You’ll never become successful if you don’t work towards your goal in life and keep working towards it.

                                                            Check out this article and you’ll understand Why Hard Work Beats Talent.

                                                            13. Be Brave Enough to Follow Your Intuition

                                                              From Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple Inc.:

                                                              “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

                                                              In ancient Greece, there was a group of Oracles who lived in Delphi. Everyone who needed advice or to know their future visited them, from the poorest of society to kings. Above the doorway of the temple were the words “know thyself”.

                                                              If you strongly believe and desire something, chances are that you already have an idea how to get there. If not, you may naturally know what things will help you and what things will slow you down.

                                                              It’s like how your body can detect danger even when things seem safe.

                                                              Ultimately then, you need to trust your own instincts.

                                                              Final Thoughts

                                                              What you might have noticed is that many of the above lessons are similar — most are about developing the right state of mind. This clearly suggests that the key to achieving success, in whatever you wish, comes down to the way you approach it mentally.

                                                              Moreover, no matter what stage of life you’re at now, you can still make a difference and pursue success. You can make resetting your life possible when you do this: How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                                                              More Tips for Achieve Success

                                                              Featured photo credit: Ryan Wong via unsplash.com

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