Books for Non-Readers

While most of us are in quarantine trying so desperately to be productive that we’re readily making bad-tasting coffees, a lot of people thought about taking up the habit of reading while we are at it. But most confessed that they just CANNOT make it through with a book. Sounds like you? Well luckily, this blog lists the solution to all your problems (maybe even excuses) stopping you from joining the reader’s cult, while recommending books catered to your specific problems. 

1. “I Don’t Get Time to Read.” :

Honestly, you can be busy doing nothing but find yourself not having time to read. And it’s really okay. What you need is a book that keeps you interested—- a book that from its very first page gets you hooked. Once you get hooked to a book, the reader cult bears witness that you will want and want to make time to read and you will. And the book recommended to hook you up is :

‘Thirteen Reasons Why’

(Jay Asher)

“When you mess with just one part of a person’s life, you mess with their entire life.”

The Netflix series is getting worse with seasons but this book is actually good. And no, it’s not about a moody teen with suicidal tendencies making tapes to spook people who had hurt her feelings; in fact, the novel is not as much about Hannah as it is about the other thirteen. As a psychological thriller, it lets you see yourself in all those varied characters and see how your slight irresponsible actions or even the lack of courage to act can leave a deep impact on other’s lives.

Set within 24 hours the story of two whole years progresses like any good mystery novel. It is a page-turner and once you’re engrossed in it, you can’t find any rest till you’ve finished reading the whole book.

2. “The language/vocabulary is difficult for me”:

School taught us to sit with a dictionary while reading and mark difficult words, but when you’re reading for pleasure new words are a nuisance. The key is to skim through the text. You don’t need to know what every word in a certain line means, you only need to know the collective meaning of the line. Use the dictionary only when without knowing a certain word the whole line doesn’t make sense. In case of difficulty with language, peep into the first few lines of any book that catches your attention and then make your selection of what you want to read. When in doubt, Children’s literature serves best. Thus recommending: 

‘The Little Prince’

(Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)

“The grown-ups’ response, this time, was to advise me to lay aside my drawings…and devout myself instead to geography, history, arithmetic, and grammar. This is why, at the age of six, I gave up what might have been a magnificent career as a painter.”

Narrated in the manner of a bedtime story for a kid, this beautiful tale filled with innocence is actually a humorous shade thrown at the adult world with all its materialism, mock worthy seriousness, hate against people’s individuality and attempts to eradicate creativity in order to make an echo chamber out of its population. The book talks about bonds made across time and space and the reader too ends up bonding with the Little Prince and the pilot who’s actually the fictional version of Sir Antoine himself.

3. “I am unable to follow the action in the book”:

It’s easy to lose track of the action in the text. The images playing in your head while reading start to get all blurry till you cannot focus anymore. Watching movies can help with this one. Reading after you’ve already watched the book’s movie helps you form clear images in your mind- as now Harry Potter is already Daniel Radcliffe, Jay Gatsby is Leonardo DiCaprio and you know how the actors speak, how they react and most actions have been already played in the films so you will be able to follow them. You can choose your favorite movie to read, yet recommending:

‘The Hunger Games Trilogy’

(Suzanne Collins)

“The damage, the fatigue, the imperfections. That’s how they recognize me, why I belong to them.”

A lot of movies fail to focus on the symbolism and motifs that make the book beautiful but ‘ The Hunger Games ’ enriches them with good visuals, gripping sound design and true-to-character actors. The ending to ‘Mockingjay Part 2’ takes a leap from the original ending of the book and shows a valley covered in yellow dandelions where Katniss and Peeta play with their kids, who are oblivious of being born in a new free world formed out of war and sacrifice. Dandelions symbolize hope and the movie takes time to focus on that; this alone speaks on how the movie seeks to do justice to the book.  For a new reader, a three-part series might be a heavy task but Collins makes it worth it with well-presented themes of revolution, freedom, class disparity and exploitation of media to serve the capital among many others. Even the first book does well on its own. 

4. “I’m still confused on what to read”:

Let’s trust J.K Rowling on this one;

“If you don't like to read, you haven't found the right book.”

So just ask your friends to lend you the books they like and try to be patient with it through at least its first chapter but if the book fails to talk to you, you can always return it back and ask for another one. Try PDFs or this free app called 'Media 365 reader' where you can find a lot of non-fiction and classic novels from the late 1800s to the early 20th century. The idea is to date books until you find your right match. Maybe going genre-wise could help:

• Nonfiction: ‘The Diary of a Young Girl’ by Anne Frank (Diary/memoir); ‘Astrophysics for People in a Hurry’ by Neil deGrasse Tyson (Science); ‘Zero to One’ by Peter Thiel (Entrepreneurship); ‘The Occult Witchcraft and Magic’ by Christopher Dell (History).

• Mystery: ‘The Lost Symbol' by Dan Brown; 'The girl on the Train' by Paula Hawkins; ‘The complete Sherlock Holmes’ by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

• Romantic young adult: ‘Everything, Everything’ by Nicola Yoon; ‘Looking for Alaska’ by John Green.
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