“Books I Think You Should Read”

Book lists are everywhere, telling people of a certain propensity to read these exact books and their lives will be enriched. Sometimes the lists are just the favorite books of the author. Usually they are littered with affiliate or gimmicky referral links and sometimes, even a reminder to buy the author’s book at the end. This video book list does something unique that has been on my mind when I’ve read or seen these book lists.

Thomas Frank, the vlogger, does include affiliate links and a mention of his own book in the description, but he also mentions that not only should you grab techniques from these self-help books he recommends, he says you should get out there (hopefully, you know we mean the real world with sunshine and birds) and find out what interests you and chase it.

My problem with book lists lies with the way they tell people who like certain things to read certain things. I know I read more than average when I say I read about two books per week but I know exactly what kind of book interests me. I can’t fit recommendations I find in a mailing list email into my “to be read” list because it’s thousands of books long, books that I’m genuinely interested in reading but I know I’ll probably never get to the end of this list because it is always growing. Something I hear people say a lot of is that they don’t have time to read or they don’t enjoy it. Well, if you rely on people to tell you what to read, you’re never going to enjoy it or even know what you enjoy! If you experiment on your own and find what interests you in fiction or nonfiction, you’ll be enjoying what you read and you’ll unconsciously make time for reading wherever it may fit. I even fit audiobooks into car rides and exercising.

I highly recommend you sign up at https://www.goodreads.org or a similar book recommendation website to record what you read and how much you like it. The websites will give you a list of books you may like based on what you’ve recorded. You can also do this in a paper notebook and take your list to a brick and mortar bookstore to get recommendations [and human interaction].

Good luck exploring!

Edit: I found in my mailbox (guess I should check the newsletter section more) this article about a Brooklyn woman who created a nifty little website called bookshelf.website. It is full of book lists or “book mix-tapes” as she calls them. Check it out!