Why I Love Reading Books

I think it's no surprise that I love books. More than a lot of things and many people in fact. But why exactly do I love papers with ink on them so much?

As a kid, I've always liked reading even before I realized I did. I buried my nose into all kinds of books.

Mainly because I enjoyed learning, and I still do. I'm all for gaining as much knowledge as I can. I especially want to know more about subjects that fascinate me.

Being able to escape from the real world was always welcome for me. Sometimes we just need to get away, be distracted for a little while.

At some point, I wanted to write my own books. As much as I love reading other people's stories, there's nothing quite like telling your own.

Of course, I love words. That's why I'm a writer. Reading books ignited my passion for writing stories.

In elementary school, I had a much smaller vocabulary. Younger me wasn't as confident with the English language as I am now, even more so when it came to writing in it.

I can still recall a memory of myself in class. I always asked this much smarter student how to spell certain words I didn't know at the time.

Interestingly enough, my first language isn't English. I grew up in a Cantonese speaking household. Back then, my parents didn't speak much English. So for several years during my childhood, I felt more comfortable with Cantonese, my mother tongue. After all, it was what I spoke at home.

Only after reading a bunch of English books did my communication skills improve. Over the course of my elementary schooling, I saw my grades in Reading, Writing, and Oral Communication increase little by little.

Nowadays, I still crave exposure to new ideas and beliefs. I may not agree with everything, but at the very least, I get a chance to see the perspectives of others. More importantly, I try to understand.

I owe writers and authors a lot. They keep inspiring me to speak, to share.

Frankly, I have little desire to spend my money on anything that is not a good book.

A Q&A About Book Genres

Questions. Answers. Book genres.

What’s your favourite genre?

That’s a tough one. As of right now, I have to say thriller. Any type. Legal, medical, even political. I’m not the biggest fan of politics, even though I took a class in high school. Shudders.

Least favourite?

Romance. Or anything remotely resembling it. Thanks but no thanks. Maybe when I have a boyfriend, I won’t roll my eyes while reading romantic scenes, but I can’t make any guarantees.

What genre(s) do you write?

Realistic fiction because contemporary young adult is all I know how to write.

Which ones do you read?

Almost everything. You name it, I probably read it, unless the book involves two main characters falling in love within the space of two pages.

What do you want to read more of?

Historical fiction hands down. I don’t read enough about history, but whenever I do, I tend to enjoy the story.

Read less of?

Chick lit romance. Duly noted.

The first genre you fell in love with?

Realistic fiction in general. I went through middle grade chapter books like a girl with nothing better to do. Because I had nothing better to do.

Any you’ve fallen out of love with?

I used to read manga and comics. I haven’t fallen out of love with them per se, but perhaps I’ve fallen more in love with other genres. Maybe I’ll pick them up again in my retirement.

The genre associated with your favourite book or author?

Young adult fantasy and science fiction. I’ve come to appreciate these books more than I used to when I was a narrow-minded kid.

The genre associated with your least favourite book or author?

I kid you not, it’s a young adult fantasy and science fiction. Huh.

The most hit or miss genre in your opinion?

This might explain my two previous answers. Fantasy and science fiction by far. The author either hits the mark or misses it completely for me.

An underrated genre?

All of them. Sports fiction specifically.

Most challenging genre to read or write?

An epic fantasy because I don’t have the chops to pull that sort of book off. Exhibit A: what’s world-building…

As always, I’d love to know your answers in the comments below. Or you could write a blog post answering the questions above.

Completing The 30 Books Challenge

1. A book you love:

Morning Star by Pierce Brown

I love this book with all my heart. And I’m trying to make other people love it too.

2. A book you can’t forget:

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

My grade five teacher recommended it to me. Bless her for doing so.

3. A book that motivated you:

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King

King makes me want to be a better writer.

4. A book that made you think about life:

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

It’s thought-provoking.

5. A book with a colour in its title:

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

I adore Brown and his brain.

6. A book with a number in its title:

Zone One by Colson Whitehead

I had to read it for school, but I liked the modernized zombie tale.

7. A book everyone needs to read:

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Timeless classic. What more can I say?

8. A book that was recommended to you:

All the Rage by Courtney Summers

A good friend of mine made me pick this one up.

9. A book you didn’t expect to like as much as you did:

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Because of the hype surrounding Maas and her work, I thought I wasn’t going to like her novels. But I enjoyed ToG so very much.

10. A book that made you cry:

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

It didn’t directly make me cry, but I was holding the book while I cried. Does that count?

11. A book that reminds you of your childhood:

The Giver by Lois Lowry

I was a naïve child.

12. A book you have reread or would reread:

Thirst No. 4 by Christopher Pike

I reread the fourth book prior to reading the fifth in order to jog my memory. The second read through was just as good, if not even better than the first.

13. A book that was turned into a movie:

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

I read the book before I watched the movie. If you know me at all, you know I’m firmly in the camp that the book was obviously better.

14. A book you wish was turned into a movie or TV show:

The Escape by David Baldacci

This needs to be made into a movie.

15. A book you couldn’t put down:

Endgame: The Calling by James Frey

Action-packed fun.

16. A book that kept you up at night:

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

I remember finishing the novel late at night and being blown away by the ending.

17. A book you travelled with:

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

I carried the novel in my bag with a water bottle I didn’t close properly. Safe to say water and paper don’t mix unless you’re painting with watercolours.

18. A book you wanted to toss across the room:

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Because of how it ends.

19. A book you received as a gift:

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

From my one and only older brother. Thanks.

20. A book you gave or would give as a gift:

The Elements of Style by E. B. White and William Strunk Jr.

I would give it as a gift, especially to someone who likes writing.

21. A book you think is underrated:

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

I don’t see or hear many people talk about Norris and her books.

22. A book that lived up to its hype:

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I didn’t think it would, but it did.

23. A book that broke your heart:

House Rules by Jodi Picoult

It was my first Picoult novel. I’m happy to say it was not the last. I really felt for the characters in this one.

24. A book that restored your faith in humanity:

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Young, awesome characters tend to restore my faith.

25. A book with a pretty cover:

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

It’s my aesthetic.

26. A book that reminds you of summer:

Atonement by Ian McEwan

The novel takes place in the summer.

27. A book that brings back good memories:

A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

Technically it’s a play I performed with some of my best friends in high school.

28. A book that makes you happy:

Nevermore by James Patterson

I enjoyed the entire series.

29. A book you will never get tired of talking about:

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

I could go on and on about this gem.

30. A book you wish you wrote:

Carrie by Stephen King

If I had to be honest, I wish I wrote every novel King wrote. Carrie is no exception.


This post contains many affiliate links to Amazon. If you buy through them, I earn a commission at no extra cost to you.

My Writing Journey

I don’t remember the day I learned to pick up a pencil and put it to paper. Oh, how I wish I did. Being able to write changed my life.

I’m beyond grateful for getting an education. Because of it, I can read and write not just my name but also anything I want.

Before I fell for languages, English especially, I enjoyed and even excelled in mathematics. Mainly because it was so simple, straightforward. It was black and white. You were wrong or right.

Early on, I did better in math than in reading, writing, or oral communication. But throughout elementary, I must have read a boat load of books in my free time. Somewhere along the way my love for reading manifested into something more.

I went back to visit my elementary school teachers, and one of them still remembers how I used to write stories all the time. Although I don’t remember writing a lot as a kid, I recall reading anything in sight. 

In grade 8, I took on a full-length novel. Granted it took me about 2 years to finish the first draft because I took extended breaks along the way. But one of my proudest accomplishments to date is finishing that novel. It come out to 70,000+ words.

I started taking writing more seriously when I was in high school. Especially after I entered my first writing contest when I was in grade 9. I must have been about 13 years old, going on 14. 

I never thought twice about the contest until I heard back from them. Actually my English teacher got the news first because I put her name down and the high school I attended. So she pulled me aside during my math class. I thought I got in trouble. Little did I know my world was about to be rocked. 

She showed me the congratulatory letter with my name on it. I almost didn’t believe her. I never told my teacher that I had entered the contest. Come to think of it, I didn’t tell anyone.

Not only did I get the short piece published, I placed in the top ten of my age division, which happened to be the highest honour for that particular competition.

Later, I applied for my high school yearbook committee, specifically the journalism department. I got rejected. 

I think I owe that yearbook team a big thank you. Had it not been for them, I think I wouldn’t have started blogging, at least not as early as I did anyway.

Out of boredom, I created a blog in April 2013 at 15 years old. I guess I thought blogging would be the logical next step. 

I made it a habit to write every day in early 2015. Took me long enough.

I also got into journaling that same year on my birthday (August 22). I love having a place to write down my thoughts and feelings, worries and concerns. I know no one will read it. And so I can be brutally honest. 

I’m not sure when exactly I decided I wanted to be a writer. But I continue to hope I’ll be able to write for a living. I’d want nothing more.

In the past and even now, but more so back then, writing was my escape. I loved being able to get away from the real world that sucked at the best of times, and go somewhere else for a while.

At some point I loved stories so much I wanted to tell my own. I wanted to share my story. Which is why I write and blog and do what I do every day.

I think I love the freedom that comes with creating something from nothing. Writing is the one thing I have complete control over. I control what happens and when. I write on my own terms, not anyone else’s. 

In many ways, words changed my life for the better. I don’t know where I’d be or who I would’ve become had it not been for writing. 

Regardless of whether or not I become a published writer, I hope I never stop writing. On my own terms. To please myself. For my sake. Above all, I hope I write for the rest of my life because it makes me happy, happier than anything else in the world.

30 Books Challenge

1. A book you love.
2. A book you can’t forget.
3. A book that motivated you.
4. A book that made you think about life.
5. A book with a colour in its title.
6. A book with a number in its title.
7. A book everyone needs to read.
8. A book that was recommended to you.
9. A book you didn’t expect to like as much as you did.
10. A book that made you cry.
11. A book that reminds you of your childhood.
12. A book you have reread or would reread.
13. A book that was turned into a movie.
14. A book you wish was turned into a movie or TV show.
15. A book you couldn’t put down.
16. A book that kept you up at night.
17. A book you travelled with.
18. A book you wanted to toss across the room.
19. A book you received as a gift.
20. A book you gave or would give as a gift.
21. A book you think is underrated.
22. A book that lived up to its hype.
23. A book that broke your heart.
24. A book that restored your faith in humanity.
25. A book with a pretty cover.
26. A book that reminds you of summer.
27. A book that brings back good memories.
28. A book that makes you happy.
29. A book you will never get tired of talking about.
30. A book you wish you wrote.

How To Remember What Books You’ve Read

Unless you have a perfect memory, it’s tough to remember all the books you’ve read. But how can you keep a record of everything your eyes have pored over or skimmed? 

You want to remember the texts you read, don’t you? Imagine thinking you finished a book but not being entirely sure you did. It almost feels like a bookshelf falling to the ground.

Here are ways to remember the amazing, terrible, and mediocre books you’ve read. 

Use Goodreads. 

Goodreads is a godsend, especially since you can access it on a computer, laptop, or smartphone. I can’t believe I took nearly 18 years to make an account. If you’re looking for an online website where you can track books you’ve read and what you want to read next, get on Goodreads.

Keep a reader notebook. 

On the other hand, who doesn’t love using a physical notebook to record all the books they’ve read. I write down the author and title along with when I started and finished the text. I also tried getting into journaling about the books I’ve read to help myself with writing reviews after I’ve finished reading something. But so far, I don’t find myself reaching for that journal very often. Habits are hard to build.

Create an Excel spreadsheet.

Spreadsheets are fun, doubly so if they’re colourful. If you don’t want to make a Goodreads account but want a digital log, an Excel sheet might work well for you.

How do you remember what you read?

My Reading Journey

I could write a book about my journey as a reader. But I’ll write a short blog post instead.

I loved books as a child. As a teenager, I still do. I might even love books more now than I used to. I don’t see that changing when I turn twenty in August. Gosh, I’m getting old.

I used to read all the time as a kid. I still do. Unlike a lot of other things and people, reading is something that’s remained in my life all these years.

More often than not, I found myself bored at school. But I was never bored during silent reading time. That was my favourite part of the day, lunch and recess included. Breaks suck when you have no friends.

I remember a teacher recommending a book to me in grade five. I fell in love with everything about that story. From then on I vowed not to dismiss book recommendations, unless they come from a source I vehemently dislike.

I also remember those assessments teachers did in elementary where they asked students to read a passage out loud. I was terrified I’d come across a word I didn’t know how to pronounce. I can’t recall if my fear ever came to pass. So I like to believe I did well.

Over the summer when I had more time to read, I went through books quickly. I once binge-read an entire series in the span of twenty-two days.

Then high school happened. If my memory serves me correctly, I read more in grade nine and grade twelve. At least, it feels like I did. I’m not sure what happened in grades ten and eleven. I know what happened. I wrote like a madwoman in ten and started this blog in eleven. Perhaps I’ll write a post detailing my writing and blogging journey.

Somehow I’ve managed to read every single day for I want to say the past two years at least. Probably even longer than that. I can’t remember the last time I went twenty-four hours without reading a book. Which is insane.

I began university in 2015. So I’ve had to balance reading for pleasure and reading for school. The previous sentence should read I don’t have a social life. I’m perfectly okay with that. 

Honestly, books got me through some of the toughest times in my life. And I have no doubt they will continue to do so.

Why I Read

I read because I want to. There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing when I’m reading.

It lets me unwind after a long day. I get to relax after a stressful morning or tiring afternoon. My body has a chance to recover while my brain is challenged. Books push me to think. Place myself in someone else’s shoes and see things in a different perspective.

I read for fun. Reading is fun. It’s enjoyable. More often than not, I’d rather stay at home and read a book than leave my house and hit the town.

Authors inspire me to tell my own story. Characters motivate me to be a better human being.

I read to escape. I like getting away from the world I live in. I don’t always want to be where I am. So it’s nice to transport myself somewhere else temporarily.

Reading is something I get to do on my own terms. I choose what I want to read. I decide when and where I read. How I read. 

I read to step away from the screen. To put down my phone. To turn off my computer.

Books are there for me when people are not. 

I read because it’s exciting and exhilarating. My heart beats faster. My mind runs faster.

Time spent reading is time well spent. I don’t feel like I’m wasting precious hours of my life when I read. Instead I feel alive. Like I’m living.

I read because I need to. It keeps me sane in an insane world. 

Reading helps me see the good in fictional characters and makes me believe real people can be amazing too.

How To Decide What To Read Next

Let’s set the scene, shall we? 

You start a book. You finish it. Then you’re faced with the dilemma of deciding what to read next.

I feel your pain. Too many books and too little time means I’ve been struggling my whole life.

Don’t worry. Next time, you can always:

Roll a dice. Especially great if you have a selection of six books to choose from. Number each one and get rolling. It’s not so great if you’re a normal human being with an insanely long to-be-read list.

Ask a friend. Useful when you trust your friend’s judgement, and you’re in dire need of a good recommendation. Not helpful when said friend is drunk, and doesn’t read much or at all while sober. In which case you need new friends. I’m kidding.

Read a review. Unsure about a book? Find a review or two. Unsure about ten billion books? I guess you’ll be spending a few decades reading reviews then. At least when you’re done, you’ll have a better idea of what to pick up? Or maybe you won’t. Then you’re back where you began. It’s not a bad place to be.

So how are you going to decide what book you’ll read next?

    Books Of The Month | April 2017

    I wonder if I wrote more words or read more this month. Either way here’s how my April unfolded.


    What I Finished:

    A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

    One phrase description:

    It gets better.

    Quote:

    “We need hope, or else we cannot endure.”

    My general thoughts:

    I technically finished this in March a couple days after I published my book blog post. I think that’s a testament to how much I enjoyed ACOFTAR, especially the ending. It took me a few chapters to get acquainted with the new world and characters. I’m so used to the Throne of Glass books, and so I found myself comparing this novel to her other works. Personally I like her writing. It’s descriptive enough for me to get a sense of the world but not too descriptive that I get impatient, wishing something would happen already.


    Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

    One phrase description:

    It got faster.

    Quote:

    “Sometimes justice was all about the small victories.”

    My general thoughts:

    I found it hard to get into at first. I needed some time to adjust to the world and all the characters. But the story picked up its pace. I was a bit confused at the beginning. Thankfully things made more sense as the novel went on.


    Last Man Standing by David Baldacci

    One phrase description:

    It got crazier.

    Quote:

    “At some point you have to live your life the way you want to.”

    My general thoughts:

    I had a great time with this novel. I didn’t see many of the twists and turns coming. It had a good amount of action, mystery, and suspsense. I liked that the main character, Web, has many issues. He works through some of them throughout the novel. It made for a more realistic story.


    What I’m Currently Reading:

    Symbol of Treason by Natalya Orekhov

    First impressions:

    Aside from some formatting and grammatical errors, the writing isn’t that bad. Most of the characters seem to have their demons and a less than ideal past. It’d be interesting to see how they deal with their problems.


    What I Want To Read Next Month:

    The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

    Why: 

    I had the hardest time deciding what to read next. I’m going with this one because why not. 


    Next month I hope to start reviewing books individually. I’m announcing this on here because online accountability has worked in the past. Don’t fail me in the future.

    Happy reading in May!

    As per usual, the above are affiliate links, and they take you to Book Depository where you can buy until your big heart is content.