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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

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                                    Last Updated on September 16, 2019

                                    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                                    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                                    You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                                    We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                                    The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                                    Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                                    1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                                    Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                                    For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                                    • (1) Research
                                    • (2) Deciding the topic
                                    • (3) Creating the outline
                                    • (4) Drafting the content
                                    • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                                    • (6) Revision
                                    • (7) etc.

                                    Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                                    2. Change Your Environment

                                    Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                                    One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                                    3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                                    Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                                    Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                                    My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                                    Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                                    4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                                    If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                                    Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                                    I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                                    5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                                    I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                                    Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                                    As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                                    6. Get a Buddy

                                    Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                                    I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                                    7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                                    This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                                    For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                                    8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                                    What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                                    9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                                    If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                                    Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                                    10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                                    Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                                    Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                                    11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                                    At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                                    Reality check:

                                    I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                                    More About Procrastination

                                    Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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