Simple Pleasures

Reading is one of the simplest forms of escapism. It has so many positive effects I couldn’t imagine life without reading. These benefits ¬†include:

  • transporting us to other times and places at no cost
  • enabling us to see the world and issues from other perspectives
  • inspiring us to tackle challenges and obstacles
  • reducing stress
  • extending our vocab
  • expanding general knowledge
  • improving sleep

If you’re struggling to find the right reading material, here’s a few simple suggestions for finding your perfect match:

  • Good Reads – scroll through shared reviews from thousands of readers to see what’s hot
  • Short stories – always a good option for time poor types. Try Kurt Vonnegut for stories to challenge your thinking, Joanna Harris (of Chocolate fame) for stories to tickle the senses or Roddy Doyle for hilarious characters.
  • Poetry – forget what you never learnt in school. Simply read the words and enjoy them as you find them. Try the interminable Sam Hunt or the soulful offerings of Apriana Taylor.
  • Local literature – New Zealand punches above it’s weight in literary circles. For instantly relatable people, places and issues try Patricia Grace, Emily Perkins, Fiona Kidman, Witi Ihimaera or visit the New Zealand Book Council.
  • Specialist stores – some say they’re a sunset industry but book sellers are staffed by extremely knowledgeable lovers of literature. ¬†Dunedin’s University Bookshop is a mecca for those looking for a literary fix locally.
  • Classics – they are called classics for a reason. Well rounded characters, amazing writing, strong messages. These texts aren’t just for school!
  • Online options – for value for money, you can’t go past bookdepository.com
  • Little libraries – another plug for Lilliput libraries. Swap pre-loved, well thumbed paperbacks for others.
  • Book clubs – get together with a group of friends and make a club to chat about books. Try the Book Discussion Scheme for a formal approach or keep it informal and have one person share a favourite each month/fortnight, whatever you can manage.
  • Young adults – reading is so important for young people – but that’s a whole other post. Meantime, try Taieri Hot Reads where some of my students share their favourites.
  • Personal favourites – visit my reading board on Pinterest.
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