The topic of books and reading is my main niche because it’s so juicy.
Not only does it come naturally to me to write about it, since I’m a huge library mouse and I read all the time, but you can do so much with this topic, aside from recommending or reviewing books.
A while ago, I wrote an article answering the all-time top Quora questions on the topic of books and it was very well received.
As a books and reading journalist, and the editor of a publication for book reviews, reading tips and reader stories, I feel confident doing this again.
So this time, I’ll be answering five of the most popular questions on the topic of reading, which have been asked in the past week.
Is your habit of reading related to growing up in a house with books?
My personal experience would indicate that that’s the case indeed. My mum, especially, is a huge bookworm and has always inspired me to read more. I grew up not only surrounded by books but also with bedtime stories every night.
Until I started reading books myself, my mother would always read me something before bed. From fairytales to short children’s books, and even mythological stories, I remember being fascinated by the process of reading in itself.
But, to answer the question in a more objective way, this is a case of the mere-exposure effect, a psychological phenomenon that makes people develop tendencies for certain things if they’re familiar with them.
What book life lesson can you share with the world today?
Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Hector Miralles and Francesco Garcia is one of the few books that changed my life almost entirely.
The lesson I’d like to share here is that everything you do in life, even the smallest actions, count towards a purpose. And as long as you have a purpose, you will be fulfilled. You just need to open your eyes to your own purpose.
It doesn’t have to be a hugely meaningful purpose. Taking a break for a day is a purpose. Cooking a healthier dinner tonight is a purpose. Taking a nap is a purpose. Taking a deep breath right now is a purpose.
This change in mindset gave meaning to everything I do and helped me see the more hidden aims of my every action.
If a book is old (decades), then does that mean it’s not relevant anymore?
I personally don’t believe so. And I think many people who specialise in literature would also disagree.
Some old books can become obsolete, yes, and some of them do perpetuate mindsets and practices that would be frowned upon nowadays.
But old books are valuable in how they speak of the past from the point of view of the present, and there is also a lot to learn from the writing styles of the past.
What is your favorite sentence in a book?
A bit self-indulgent, but I had to include this question.
My personal favourite sentence in a book is from Korean poet Ko Un’s collection Time of Dead Poets:
Every wave is the tomb of a wave and the womb of another wave. — Ko Un
Do you feel committed to finish every book that you start? Why, or why not?
I don’t know who needs to read this, but it’s time we overcome the determination to finish books even if we don’t want to.
There are so many books out there and the mere thought I’ll never get to read all the ones I’m interested in makes my heart squeeze. I stopped wasting time on finishing books I don’t enjoy a long time ago. It’s not necessary and serves no purpose.
If you don’t enjoy a book, just leave it. Embrace the power of DNF-ing. Find something better.
Are you a passionate reader? How would you answer these questions?
Eliza Lita is a freelance writer based in the UK. She covers books and reading, fitness, lifestyle, and personal development. For more of her stories, please consider signing up for a Medium membership through her referral link.