Rona Reads: What I’ve Been Reading + Tips for Book-Nerds As Well As Book-Haters

The whole world is coming to a halt while simultaneously seeming to speed up: It’s corona time, baby! While we’re living in a time that is probably just the beginning of this pandemic, many people are forced to change their daily life and routines due to public life restrictions and the general request to #stayhome. Hence, social media platforms show an incredible amount of people listing things to do at home, preferably for free, like reading. Seems like I’m not the only one eyeing their evergrowing pile of books that “I’m going to read super soon, like also daily, and I’m going to need more books after that”… Ahem.

Whether you’re someone who can’t have enough books and needs more during a time when it might be hard to buy or check out new ones, or you’re someone who hasn’t even read the mandatory books in high school but desperately want to start somehow – I got you covered. Keep reading for some ideas and tips!

My Background on & Goals for Reading

First, I want to share where I stand on the spectrum of people who love/hate reading.

For years, I wanted to do reading challenges, read a certain number of books in a year or month, or simply count how many books I did manage to read. Usually, I started keeping track with a tally chart and ended up forgetting which book I already added by June or maybe August… Might wanna write the titles on that notebook page, too. So I sat down today to make a list of “all” the books I read this year. To my disappointment, I counted two and a half. Oh well.

Seems like it’s too easy nowadays to use the neverending stream of movies, shows and videos on Netflix, Prime, YouTube, and the like. While there are different motives for consuming any media – be it a book or a tv show – in media psychology (see “Medienpsychologie” by S. Trepte & L. Reinecke, published by Kohlhammer, Stuttgart), I mostly notice myself seeking escapism from the real world or simply my daily life and stress. Which is easier to do by pushing a button on a remote instead of actually having to read something.

When I was younger, however, I used to read like there was no tomorrow. Yes, I had access to a tv and a gaming console, but I would spend hours and hours devouring all the books my mam had kept from her childhood, the books family friends with older children wanted to get rid of, and everything else I could lay my hands on. I would read literally whenever I had at least 2 or 3 minutes to spare, not put a book down until it was finished, read while eating and so on. Other kids would get grounded or a TV ban when they didn’t do their homework or misbehaved, I got a ban on reading.
I think I owe my grammar-nazi-like spelling skills (at least in German) to these years, as well as my passion for writing that led me on my current professional path. What I absolutely don’t understand, though, is when and how this reading frenzy got lost. I could be the female Elon Musk now if I had kept that up

I also collected some knowledge and ideas on how to get your hands on more cheap books, as well as tips on how to get yourself to read more.

Book-Lovers: How to Get Your Hands on More Books Without Breaking the Bank

Buying books can get real expensive real quick. Here are my favorite ways to get books cheap or even for free!

Let me know if you have more book hunting tips!

Book-Haters Who Want to Read: How to Start Reading More

Now on to the other end of the spectrum. Like when you have too many books on a “to read” pile and can’t seem to get yourself to start. Or you simply want to make reading a habit (because hey, if it helped Elon Musk become successful, it can’t be that bad).

 

What I’ve Been Reading Recently

To round this whole thing off, I want to share a few books I read recently. While I did find myself reading more in the past couple of weeks, because I have finally settled into a new apartment, new job, and all social obligations are currently canceled, I included books I read last year – since my 2.5 books from this year are maybe a bit weak.

Catching Up On Some Classics

There are many, many books that appear on many, many lists of “Classics You MUST Read in Your Life” – I’m sure you’ve stumbled across one or two of them on some blog or self-improvement website. Some of these books are usually read in school, depending on where you attend said educational institution.
In Germany, sadly, I have to admit that things changed a lot in the past years, and fewer classics are covered in school. An example: One book that was a key part of my finals, the Abitur, comparable to English A levels, in 2015, was read by my mam’s class of a lower educational level school back in the late 1970s. (The German school system is a bit hard to explain here, but I hope you get what I wanted to say: We read less of these books.) So I decided to read some of those classic books on my own as an adult. Also try to re-read some of the books you hated in school, because BOY, sometimes you only start to get them once you’ve escaped the somewhat carefree teenage years.

While I’m typing this… If I had any idea where I put my copy of Goethe’s “Faust”, I would re-read it…

Non-fiction Instead of Escapism

Over the years, I slowly started to get more non-fiction in between all the books I devoured in order to get lost in their worlds.

That concludes the most notable books I recently came across. On to the next one on top of my pile…

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One response to “Rona Reads: What I’ve Been Reading + Tips for Book-Nerds As Well As Book-Haters”

  1. Jean says:

    Uh what a nice blog post 🖤 well done! 🙂 I feel the same about some points you mentioned; I‘m giving myself a hard time for not finishing books and I enjoyed reading some classics, too! I can recommend Penthesilea by Kleist which has been amazing, even though everyone hated Kohlhaas in school! 🙂 Stay safe (and reading) during Corona! 😀 🖤

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