Choosing which books to read

It seems obvious that we choose what to read every now and then. We can read blog posts, journal and magazine articles, especially if they are job related, but we sometimes choose fiction books to read. Just for fun, which is a bit weird, as reading almost anything may well be helpful for an EFL teacher.

It is not surprising that taste vary from person to person. Some people don’t believe all the rave reviews and take this process seriously. They may look for recommendations of experts, which means that they follow advice of someone they trust or read a variety of reviews in reliable sources. This may take ages and what I find demotivating is reading a lot about the content of the book at this stage. I prefer to learn about the characters gradually as the story unfolds.

Some people prefer to ask friends for advice. They may use social networking sites. They may say something like ‘I’m going to another city next week. What can you recommend to read for a two-hour flight? Any ideas?’ and they would get dozens of suggestions, which might be irrelevant as their online friends may just share what they read recently. What I mean is that they are not likely to know what your interests are so what’s the point of asking them? On the other hand, if they ask one of their close friends, someone who knows them and even shares their preferences for books, they may get some sound advice and get a book they will find appealing. I also like the idea of book clubs as this can motivate people not only to share some books but also share their opinion. Having said that, I’ve never been a member of such a club myself.

Some people have a collection of books, so-called libraries, and they like rereading books that they own. These people like books of certain genres and they don’t experiment much. Moreover, don’t try asking this type of people for a book to borrow. They are not eager to share. It is too stressful for them as they seem to worry that other people might not want to take their books back. Anyway, to my mind, keeping reading the same books, no matter how good they might be, is not likely to be exciting.

I prefer more adventurous ways of finding new books. For example, when I’m on holiday, I go to bookshops and look around some strange places like flea markets. In other countries I often see new books by unfamiliar authors that attract my attention. My daughters sometimes lend me something to read. In that case, I read book reviews and look at book covers to work out if this is something I may well enjoy reading. To be honest, it usually works well. That’s how I try to keep up with the latest tendencies, find new books and also come across something classical that I have missed. I sometimes check this website to find some suggestions for me and I am also happy to share the books that I liked using it:

As for the sources of free books, here is the link to the website where you can find a great variety of classical literature of different genres:

I’m sure there are plenty of other ways to choose something to read. Would you like to comment what works for you?