Underlining a book while you read can be very useful. It can help to cement key ideas in your mind and allows you to build a collection of your favourites lines for days when you are bored or in need of some inspiration.
However, just be sure to only do this to books you own, I’m not sure your local library would appreciate all your marginal remarks.
Underlining works really well for both fiction and non-fiction reading. If you’re reading a book about human anatomy you can likely see the benefit of highlighting key terms or interesting facts. But underlining a meaningful quote from your favourite novel is special too. If a book has provided the call-to-action you needed, writing a 'note to self' in the margin helps you plan and also leaves you with a treasure to find the next time you open the book up.
Underlining literature is not just a mundane task they made you do at school for essay writing, it can be an excellent tool for personal reflecting. Dare I say it can even be fun...
Yes, it’s perfectly OK if you’re the type of person who 50+% of the time only buys books they’ve already read. You want to save your coins for something you know will be good, and it’s true that not every book you enjoyed necessarily deserves a place on your bookshelf.
This doesn’t mean that you don’t read a wide variety of books – you might choose to just borrow books you’re interested in and then buy them later if it’s worth it. Sometimes I’ll only commit to buying books when I’m already quite familiar with the author’s style or I’ve read some of their other books in the past. When I stumble upon a gem I’ll buy it, and I like it this way - it ensures that my bookshelf only contains books that I’ll really be excited to pick up.
You don’t have to finish reading every book you start. Time is precious and you shouldn’t feel obligated to finish a book just because you bought it or because everyone raves about it. If it’s not something you’ll like to continue reading, leave it at that and used the saved time for something more worthwhile.
This being said, you should try not to just abandon books because they involve deep reading or a lot of focus. Persevering through a tough read really sharpens your brain and makes you a better reader.
Patience pays off if you’re learning something useful. But if you’re really not getting anything valuable, feel free to move on, even if you only realise this when you’re already half way through. I’ve never had any regrets on the few occasions I’ve had to do this myself.
Books, especially fiction books, can get you really involved. You can find yourself completely wrapped up and engrossed in another world for a few hours, a few days, even weeks. Sometimes it’s almost even sad when you get to the end. You’re like, “OK…now what?". The plot and characters linger long in your head even though the words have finished. If someone in the book died, that might be another thing altogether. You need time to grieve...
Whatever the case, reading a new book immediately might seem like just too big a step. When you’re still entangled in one story, how can you just jump into a new one? Having book breaks is completely fine. You might need a few days or weeks before you feel ready to embrace a new hypothetical situation. All this said, if you’re the sort of person that can switch from the end of one book series to the start of another within one hour, that’s great. How do you do it?
The final reading habit we’ll talk about is re-reading. If you’re a bookworm I guarantee that you’ve read at least one book more times than you’ll probably be willing to admit. That’s impressive. If the book is good, then feel free to read it as many times as you want.
Each time you read a book, you get something new from it.
Very often, when I read a good book (for the first time), I’m already planning the next time I want to read it again. I know there’s useful stuff inside, and that I can’t absorb it all in one go (even if it feels like I’m getting all). A couple of the books I read at the beginning of this year were books I already read last year, but they just had to be read again, this time more closely.
Maybe you like re-reading a particular book because it makes you laugh out loud every.single.time. Maybe re-reading a certain book fills you up with sweet memories. Or maybe you’ve read a book countless times because it motivates you and encourages you to keep your eyes on the prize. Whatever the reason, when you find books like that, keep them close to hand. References them freely and frequently. Books like that are gold.
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