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Search tags: Reading-for-Pleasure
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url 2016-08-28 19:31

As a kid I read a lot and as an adult I still read a lot. No one had to tell me reading was fun. But I think I missed out so many different things that could have enhanced my reading.

Couple of years ago, I started doing school visits, told stories to children and of course met some creative, craft-loving, singing-dancing mums and aunts and grandparents who inspired me to make reading absolutely more fun than anything else.

So here are some ideas on how to make books, stories and reading the centre of your universe.

Source: www.chitrasoundar.com/11-ideas-to-make-reading-the-centre-of-your-universe
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text 2015-01-04 14:54
Reading isn't a challenge, it's an invitation: why I'm going for fun, not challenges in 2015

Reading Isn't A Challenge It's An Invitation

Last January I was signing-up for the 2014 Audiobook Challenge. I set a goal to read sixty  audiobooks and write  thirty reviews.


I had a lot of fun with the books but I found that, in the end, there wasn't any challenge. I never once found myself thinking "I better read another book or write another review or I'll fall behind and fail." Instead I relished the luxury of allowing myself to read so many books and I found that capturing how I felt about the books in a review afterwards extended my contact with the book and deepened my pleasure.


Nevertheless, it was fun to keep track of what I read and to share my thoughts with anyone who wants them, so I'm grateful to the challenge for that.


We're four days into 2015, I've already finished my first book, the excellent "The Foxglove Summer" by Ben Aaronovitch, and I was looking around for another challenge. I saw blogs debating quality against quantity, new against the familiar, classic against contemporary, even one which suggested that I target my reading depending the ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or age of the writer. None of them called to me but they did make me think about what I want to get out of reading in 2015.


The answer was simple. I want to set my imagination alight, to escape into other people's thoughts and worlds, to see my own world afresh through the eyes of others, to meet characters I care about or hate, to be excited, afraid,  amused, perhaps even a little in love. I want to read to be more myself and to become someone so different I couldn't imagine them without the author's help.


There is no challenge in any of that, only opportunity.


The Last Battle by C S Lewis

One winter, when I was nine, way back in 1966, my parents thought that I had run away from home. I'd left the house on Saturday morning without saying where I was going and I hadn't returned by dark. They set out on fruitless search for me. By the time I arrived home they were agitated and angry and demanded to know exactly where I'd been. If I had been a more grown-up nine-year-old, I might have considered my response more carefully, instead I answered, "I've been to Narnia with Aslan for the final battle." My parents were not assuaged. They thought I was being flippant when, in fact, I was being literal. That morning I had gone to the Public Library to see if "The Last Battle" had come in. I picked it up and read the first few pages standing near to the librarian's counter. She had suggested that I'd be more comfortable in the Reading Room. I was. So comfortable that I forgot where and when I was and read the book cover to cover without stirring from my chair. At least that's how I remember it. I suppose I must have taken care of basic bodily functions like drinking and going to the toilet, although food and drink were not permitted in the Reading Room and I don't remember leaving it.


The point is, reading "The Last Battle" wasn't a challenge, it was an imperative. It was the only place I wanted to be and it absorbed me totally.


What I want from my reading in 2015 is to find as many occasions as possible where I can read with the intense concentration and deeply felt pleasure that my nine-year-old self achieved.


Of course, I am not a child any more. I read differently now. How I read each new book is affected by the thousands of books that I read before it and by the real-life experiences that have made me the man I am.


I have responsibilities that mean I can seldom spend a whole day reading a book.  I have people in my life that I want to spend time with. I have places that I want to see.

I'm not looking to escape from my day-to-day life but to enrich it.


So in 2015, I'm going to follow my nose when it comes to reading. I have series that I want to continue with. I have old science fiction favourites that I want to revisit, and I'm on the look out for voices that are fresh to me and will take me places I've seldom been before.


The only "challenge" I'll set myself, is to review as many of them as I can so that make myself pause and savour what they meant to me.



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quote 2013-09-21 01:49
He was no longer sure, he had in fact never been sure, whether he liked his life because he really did or whether he liked it because he was supposed to.
Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. pg 21

Hi people, welcome to a special edition of #FridayReads!

Since I do not have much to say, since my last update, I just wanted to share a quote from the book I am currently reading which is Americanah. Growing up, I never really taught about anything relating to African literature, African history or African philosophy in school-- even though, I spent 19 years of my life in the mother continent. FYI, I am 23 yr/o. Furthermore, my parents and my ancestors are East African; therefore, it really feels like I missed out on an integral part of learning about my identity. Anyways, Americanah is a refreshing read because every three pages I find a little gem that I can relate to or that speaks to me. 

On that note, I would just have a few last things to share with you. 


If you haven't seen my update on my absence, please check out my blogpost here.


I've recently read this article on Nigerian Literature, from the renown Francophone Magazine Jeune Afrique. Si vous parlez le francais, vous pouvez le retrouver ici

K, that is it from me. xox, S.

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text 2013-08-17 01:54
#FridayReads August 16th & On reading
What Do Women Want?: Adventures in the Science of Female Desire - Daniel Bergner
Hana-Kimi (3-in-1 Edition), Vol. 1: Includes vols. 1, 2 & 3 - Hisaya Nakajo

Hi invisible readers,


I apologize for failing to post #FridayReads last week. I just missed the date and I didn't have any particular reasons.


Personally, this week has been a little tough as I sought to restart my job hunting efforts. Let's just say that unemployment can take a toll on one's wellbeing.


However, this is why I enjoy this book blog. Even when I leave really negative reviews, the whole process of reading is highly external and escapist. By reading I am immersed in a reality that is not full of job ads and uncomfortable networking requests. Instead, I am transported to India (Life of Pi) to the musings of an optimist (The Silver Linings Playbook), to a young high schooler crushing on her favourite athelete (Hana-Kimi) and even, to the solemn reflections of a butler (The Remains of the Day). I appreciate that graduating has given me the opportunity to rediscover the pleasure of reading.


And in spite of the feelings provoked by the immersion in these new, fictional worlds, the whole process remains external. There is no such thing as failure when being a reader. Reading slumps, difficult passages, sudden neglect of books are not a reflection of the self; unlike, say bad grades at school or the anxiety of not getting call-backs. Whatever I read or say does not reflect who I am or my place in this all-to-injust society. Of course, someone may state that one's failures are not a reflection of who one is as a person but I think that the 'to-do-is-to-be" mindset is already too ingrained in cultures.


Onto reading itself. I am so grieved that I have misplaced my copy of the Great Gatsby.  :( Until, I find it I will focusing on reading other books such as What Do Women Want? Adventures in the Science of Female Desire, by Daniel Bergner. I have also finally finished my super secret series-- Hana-Kimi. Feel free to check out the review here.


In the meanwhile, you can expect the following upcoming reviews:

  • Arise Magazine and New African Woman
  • The Silver Linings Playbook (the movie)


I will probably also be writing an article about "good writing," and "writing bad reviews." I know that this Friday Reads was slightly different because I began with a reflection on why I enjoy reading for pleasure. 


That's it from me. xox, S.

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