08/09/2018

WHAT MAKES A GOOD BOOK FOR ME


I guess it's a given really, as an English student, that I love reading. To be honest, for the past few years, I've barely read a thing mainly because of full-time studies and the whole 'getting a boyfriend' thing. But now Jamie and I have found comfort in sitting in bed together reading away on an evening. Forgive us for sounding like we're 60-year-olds, but at least I have the excuse of being an English Student, right? Anyhow, I have started to discover over the past few months exactly what it is that draws me into a book. When I was younger all it took were a few words leading to a romance for me to click 'To Read' on Goodreads. Nowadays, I would much rather share my time out a little more wisely - I don't want to waste my time on a book that I won't enjoy so, by finding out what I like in a novel, I can make better decisions on what to read next. 

Short chapters.
I don't know why but I feel a little ashamed to say this. As an English Student, I feel as though there's an expectation for me to love sitting down with books thicker than my skull but, honestly, give me a decent novella and I'd be all over it. I can be a bit of (a lot) an impatient person so starting a book with 600 pages ahead of me fills me with absolute dread. Although, this is often made a lot easier for me if the chapters are short. And Good Lord, those books that have one-page chapters... well they really were sent down from the heavens. I'm the kind of person that I would call a 'Perfectionist Reader': I don't fold the pages, I take it nowhere near water, I never break the spine and I always have to close at the end of a chapter. I have no idea how people can close the book halfway through a chapter without a burning desire to know what happens - especially before bed - how do you sleep?!

No triggers.
As someone who suffers from anxiety and is quite the sensitive flower, I can sometimes be intimidated by books that I think will trigger upset. I've put off books in the past - such as Thirteen Reasons Why and It's Kind of a Funny Story - because I'm aware of their potential to make me think about things that I shouldn't really be thinking about. However, there have been books that, despite potential triggers, I have read and enjoyed. Books such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting and This Is Going to Hurt all tackle subjects that I am rather sensitive to yet I rated all three of them 4-5 stars. I can get along with books that show sensitive material and, in a way, I hope that exposing myself to these things can only be strengthening but, right now, I will still be scouring through reviews to avoid what I can. 


Funny.
I'm sure every other man and his dog would agree that a few ounces of humour are what makes a book brilliant. From my recent reads, Adam Kay and David and Ben Crystal entertained me with their wit and ability to make two rather niche subjects extremely exciting and interesting. I tend to read these books a little quicker too and they seem easier. Of course, I'm only human for wanting a little laugh before bed at night. Adam Kay's writing, in particular, opened my eyes to how brilliant and uplifting it is to read books by comedians. Adam Kay, once a Doctor, is now a TV comedian and his funny bones (ha... get it?) certainly show in This Is Going To Hurt. So much so, I found myself re-reading certain diary entries aloud to Jamie before we'd burst into a giggle together. 

A beautiful cover.
There, I said it! I, Alice of The Rose Glow, am inclined to read a book if the cover is beautiful. I also confess to having read books in the past that have pretty faces - such as How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff - only for them to turn out not so great. However, in more than a few cases, these desirable covers have delivered right through to the pages. A few of my favourite books such as Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe and I'll Give You The Sun have covers to die for. Admittedly, it's not the be-all-end-all when I'm deciding what to read next. There has been a tonne of books that I've enjoyed yet hated the cover of, The Great Gatsby being one of them; there's just something so satisfying about reading a piece of art inside and out. 

It benefits my studies.
As I mentioned earlier, I'm an English Language Student, and a pretty eager one too. As I am so interested in the subject of English Language, I decided that I really wanted to do some wider reading. There's already a mini collection of books on the subject in my home and, at the moment, I've decided to kind of alternate between the fiction and non-fiction. A few on my bookshelf include You Say Potato (being the only one that I've completed so far), 500 Words You Should Know, and Mother Tongue. Once I'm through those books, there are lots more that I intend to read - I actually have Goodreads shelf full of them - from Txting: The Gr8 Db8 to Euphemania to Spell It Out. Hopefully filling my brain with lots of interesting bits and bobs about the English Language will benefit my studies and give me more understanding. 

What makes a good book for you?


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2 comments

  1. I loveeee when books have short chapters, it's like a little milestone which motivated you to carry on reading! In English we're reading Handmaid's Tale which has incredibly short chapters and I'm loving it!!

    www.ellacharlottejones.co.uk

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    1. They're the best! I'm now tempted to read The Handmaid's Tale haha! x

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