A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO READING
Reading is proven to improve our mind’s functioning and also reduce stress. While a lot of people are habitual readers and find no difficulty in reading even a 500-pages novel, many struggle to even start reading.
Here are four ways to get into reading, if you are a beginner English books reader:
1. Short stories
These are usually less than 100-pages, or even 50-pages, and can be read online, free of cost. Some local (Pakistani) bookstores also sell the paperback version of renowned short stories. You can always go with this option if you are not comfortable e-reading.
Some short story (English) authors to look at:
- Franz Kafka
- Neil Gaiman
- Edgar Allan Poe
- Fyodor Dostoevsky
- H.G. Wells
2. Goodreads Reading Challenge
For those who aren’t aware, Goodreads is an app with a database of every single book to have existed. You can find ratings, reviews, genre, length etc., about books, here.
Every year, Goodreads holds a reading challenge, which allows you to set a goal for the year and add to the challenge as you read books. Setting a goal is a great way to motivate oneself to read. I, too, found myself reading more books after enrolling for the challenge. GR also allows you to add friends and keep track of their challenge. A healthy competition is always great!
3. Abridged versions
A lot of people get into a habit of reading after reading classics. However, classics are no easy read. The language is fairly difficult and is loaded with literary devices.
Abridged versions are simplified, shorter forms of the same classics. At the end, you get the gist of the entire story and are familiar with what it is about.
Sometimes, there are illustrated abridged versions of classics available too, which make the reading experience even more enjoyable.
Some celebrated classics, which have abridged (illustrated) versions:
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
The choice of genre plays an important role in whether or not someone enjoys reading. If a beginner starts with dark academia or high fantasy, chances are they will not even get to the climax, let alone complete the entire book.
For beginners, YA contemporary fiction is recommended. This genre has a lighter mood/tone and is written in a plainer language, usually revolving around the protagonist’s daily life. Some such YA authors include:
- Holly Bourne (ex: It Only Happens In The Movies)
- Jennifer Niven (ex: All The Bright Places)
- John Green (ex: Paper Towns)
- Jenny Han (ex: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before)
- Jennifer E. Smith (ex: Field Notes On Love)
- Kevin Kwan (ex: Crazy Rich Asians)
Beginners, searching for YA series, can look at these authors:
- J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter)
- Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles)
- Sarah J. Maas (ACOTAR)
- Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games)
- Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen)
- Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson)
If you are a regular reader, let us know, how or which book got you into reading at @femmerang on Instagram!
Sanya Mithani is a content writer at Femmerang. She’s a lifestyle Instagram blogger passionate about books. Follow her on Instagram @bookshelf.and.closet.