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.

Spewing Bad Writing Advice

I spew plenty of advice all the time, especially when it comes to writing.

So here goes nothing.

The first sentence of your story should make readers want to read the second. So on and so forth.

Try to establish a conflict or some kind of tension as early as possible. If you can do so in the first paragraph, fantastic. If the conflict arises on page one hundred and ninety-nine, you may want to revisit everything before it.

What's necessary? What isn't?

Clean up your messes. It's fine to info dump everything in your head on the page the first time around, but take care of them when you come back to edit.

If you listen to nothing else I say, for which I don't blame you, hear me out on this: you are not obligated to follow anyone's writing advice. Listen. Learn. But you are your own writer.

What works for you may not work for someone else. Similarly, what works for others might not work for you. So you should do what works best for your own writing.

Make your reader care. Give them a reason to. Many even.

Dare to say something different. Think about what others are saying and say the complete opposite. Play devil's advocate.

Never neglect any element of storytelling. Create a compelling character or twenty. Throw them into a messy situation with conflict. Advance your story's plot at a good pace. Establish setting, location. Think about themes.

When you're stuck, consider the five senses. What can your protagonist see or hear? How do they feel? Does he or she smell something strange? Don't forget about taste.

Be unpredictable. Do the unexpected. Surprise yourself and subsequently your readers as well.

Take writing one word at a time, one day at a time.

Writing an entire novel or 100,000 words can seem daunting.

But writing 1,000 words or one page every day for a year isn't so bad.

I'm a broken record, aren't I?

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.

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.

Confessions Of A Reader

I confess my reading habits, so you can read my confessions.

  • I don’t always feel like reading. I love a good story as much as the next person. But when I’m mentally exhausted and my eyes are struggling to stay open, I’d prefer to do something that requires less effort on my end. I’m a sensitive person in every regard, my eyes are no exception. 
  • I haven’t read Harry Potter. Ditto for a lot of other popular novels. I’ve been meaning to write a blog post on why I haven’t read HP. Long story short, I blame J.K. Rowling for everyone and their dog butchering my name (Herminia).
  • I try to avoid eBooks or audiobooks. Books are great, don’t get me wrong. There’s just something about the physical copy of a novel that I love. And screen fatigue is a real problem. Also, listening to a story isn’t the same as reading it. I grew up being able to hold a book in my hands and smelling it, turning the pages. I want to grow old doing that too. Imagine me as a old woman with gray hair and bad eyes, squinting at tiny words on pieces of paper.

Confess away if you have anything you need to get off your chest. I promise not to pass judgement.

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.

Why I Love Reading

Why do I love to read? Where do I begin?

I love stories. It’s fun to read and experience them.

I like not knowing what to expect, especially when I’m reading a new book from an author I’m unfamiliar with.

I enjoy being surprised along the way. I get such a kick out of thinking through possible scenarios in my head and seeing if they play out in the book.

I love escaping a world that isn’t always pleasant and exploring a new one.

It’s fun to meet characters I can relate to. I love some and hate others. The ones I remember, for one reason or another, are special. They become a part of me.

I love learning. Through books I can learn about anything and everything. History and science. Animals and sports. New words and old ones. The English language. French. German. Latin. 

I have learned about the world I live in currently and the world I want to live in. 

And I’ve discovered a great deal about myself. Who I am, who I want to be. What I value, what I believe in. 

Thanks to reading, I have a better understanding of different kinds of people. 

Books have taught me to see that regardless of a person’s skin colour or sexual orientation, human beings are human.

I hope I always love books, stories, words.

I hope you do too.

Why do you love reading?