Crafting a Reading List

A person reading a book

You probably have a list (or two or three) laying around of books you should really get around to reading. We get countless recommendations from friends or family, see ads for tv and film adaptions, see references in popular media… There are more books to read then you ever could, and the choices feel infinite. But how do you pick what to read? Create your reading list for a rainy day.

The Catcher in the Rye

1. Revisit the Classics

We’re told classics like Animal Farm, 1984, The Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird are classics, some of the best works ever written, but did 15-year-old you appreciate them? To be honest being forced to read a certain amount and then discuss the texts in a very rigid way can make reading incredibly unappealing. You also probably were stressing about your other classes, college applications, your after-school job…reading became a chore and you weren’t given the time to take in and reflect on the text at your own pace.
You’re also older and wiser. The whirlwind romance of Romeo and Juliet looks a lot different once you have a few relationships under your belt. What, truly, is the difference between old and new money? Once you’ve entered the workforce and worked alongside the CEO’s son, you’ll have a newfound appreciation for The Great Gatsby.

The Wheel of Time

2. Finish a Favorite Series

Did you know the last Wheel of Time book came out in 2013? Or that the latest entry in the Dune franchise was published in 2016? Or that Ann McCaffrey’s children Todd and Gigi are making their own entries to their mother’s world of Pern? Many books have sequels, spinoffs, prequels or additional stories in a shared world. From The Handmaid’s Tale to The Sparrow to The Integral Trees there’s a good chance one of your favorite books has another one to check out.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

3. Catch Up on the Books You Missed

When Harry Potter was first published, many of us felt we weren’t the right age for kids books. 23 years later there’s now a theme park and a stage play and it’s become a central pillar of popular culture. Other series for kids or young adults such as The Maze Runner or The Hunger Games have become massively influential as well.

A Brief History of Time

4. Tackle Heavy Tomes

We don’t always judge a book by its cover, but we definitely do by its size, or at least its reputation. Some people love reading meandering descriptions of forests or every food on the table or a 200+ page chapter encapsulating the final, climatic battle, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. A book that can double as a doorstop might not look like a relaxing Sunday read, but they look a lot less scary when you have plenty of time. Infamously, Lord of the Rings was supposed to be a single book but broken up due to postwar paper shortages. Les Miserables unabridged can easily top 1,000 pages. And while the original edition was only 256 pages, you inevitably ask yourself, how brief, truly, can A Brief History of Time be if it covers 13.8 billion years?

Joy of Cooking

5: Learn New Skills

Sometimes watching isn’t enough, you get the hankering to do some cooking yourself. Who is your muse? Binging with Babish? Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry? Rachel Ray? The Bon Appetit test kitchen? From the classic Joy of Cooking to the modern Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat there are countless compendiums on culinary crafts in our catalog. We have books on any subject you can imagine, from coding to gardening to exercising at home.

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