Books- How I Found Them

Yes, I am a bookworm. Here is the question: how did you first come across the books you read. There are multiple ways that has happened. Let me give some examples below: some are books I didn’t like.

Required Reading

This was one of the things I disliked the most about high school and college. There is an easy chance not to like them- for one thing, you are not able to read at your own pace and for certain books, you end up being close-minded to. What are some of those required books?

  1. Lord of the Flies
  2. Of Mice and Men
  3. The Great Gatsby
  4. Romeo and Juliet
  5. Macbeth
  6. Julius Caesar
  7. Taming of the Shrew
  8. And Then There Was None
  9. Illiad
  10. Odyssey
  11. Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Well, as you may notice—-most of them are sad or tragic stories. In high school, I was close-minded to tragedies especially towards Shakespeare. Only just a select few of the required books were loved or liked: Taming of the Shrew, And Then There Was None, Illiad and Odyssey. While by the time I read Uncle Tom’s Cabin, I already fell in love with tragedies: yes I loved Uncle Tom as a character, but didn’t like the story.

Musicals

Yes, this is true. Some books were read because of certain musicals. If I had literally just seen some of these books on the shelf, they would easily be ignored. The perfect example is Les Misérables- that unabridged book is over 1000 pages, which is why it is something that could be walked away. My love for Les Mis led me to wanting to read future books.

Recommendation

Some books I read were recommended either by my family or a bookstore. Due to Les Mis, my dad recommended Tale of Two Cities. Tale of Two Cities happens during the French Revolution, which was before Les Mis happened. Due to loving Tale of Two Cities, my dad recommended Great Expectations. One semester in Spanish, we did a project, where I choose to do it on Don Quixote after my dad recommended it. Something still confuses me about that book: it is a tragicomedy.

What about bookstores? Park Road Books is really talented at recommending books. The best example is A Darker Shade of Magic, the first of the Shades of Magic series. They also recommend Spinning Silver- this is the only retelling I read: this is based off of Rumplestelskin (you probably know what I am talking about). I do get nervous with retellings- that wasn’t the case for Spinning Silver- based on the summary, I knew it was very original.

Choosing Yourself

This is where I can include another independent bookstore- Malaprops. You are sitting at this shelf with books wrapped up, and all you see are adjectives- you choose the book based on the wrappings.

Due to Les Mis, a number of other classics were books I choose myself. I wanted to read Oliver Twist because that story was what inspired the Les Mis musical. Due to loving Les Mis, I discovered Hunchback of Notre Dame- another Victor Hugo book.

A lot of Dickens books were starting to be read because of my love for A Christmas Carol. I grew up on the George C. Scott movie- yes, two Dickens’ books were recommended due to Les Mis. However, the others in someways got inspired by the first book as well as loving Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. Nicholas Nickleby, David Copperfield, Bleak House, and Hard Times I choose to read due to just seeing them on the shelf. One day in the bookstore, I did not know what classic to buy: that is how I found Bleak House and Hard Times.

Some of the other books were just found on the shelf. Uprooted, Land of Stories, Avalon, and Sister’s Grimm are examples of that. I think that also applies to Lord of the Rings. I literally think J.K Rowling drew inspiration for Harry Potter from Lord of the Rings. I do think I also just saw Percy Jackson on the shelf: love Greek Mythology after all.

Movies

Why am I saying this? Some books wouldn’t have been discovered if I didn’t watch the movies. Harry Potter, Narnia, and Princess Bride were first discovered by movies alone. A Christmas Carol fits this as well- watching the George C. Scott movie over the Holidays is a family tradition.

So how do you discover the books you love?

4 thoughts on “Books- How I Found Them

  1. I tend to discover a lot of books via Goodreads. They give pretty good recommendations based off of the books you’ve read, and you can also see the different books that other people are reading so it’s kind of cool! I also get a lot of recommendations from my grandma; she tends to give me books for my birthday and I’ve enjoyed a vast majority of them!

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    • Park Road Books and Malaprops are two of my favorite bookstores.

      Park Road- gives incredible recommendations based on other books you love along with authors

      Malaprops- has the “blind date with a book”. All you see are the adjectives, and choose a book based on those.

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  2. I was not a fan of required reading in school at first. as I read at a slower pace than others. So I learned to use the weekends to catch up and even read ahead . And I fell in love with books like “The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter”, “To Kill A Mockingbird” & “The Catcher In The Rye” and my thoughts on required reading changed because I do not know how I would have found those books without them being assigned reading. And when I was older I found one of the last truly great independent book stores that enticed readers with live readings by current & celebrity authors. I moved out of my home state 5 years ago and that store is one of the only things I really miss. I spent entire Saturdays there just reading, browsing and wandering through their two story set up. Utter bliss.

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    • Required reading can be a hit or miss for me. Some I disliked and some I did like. What are some of the required books?

      1. Romeo and Juliet
      2. Macbeth
      3. Julius Caesar
      4. Of Mice and Men
      5. Lord of the Flies
      6. Great Gatsby
      7. Frankenstein
      8. The Giver
      9. Taming of the Shrew
      10. Odyssey
      11. Illiad
      12. And Then There Was None
      13. Uncle Tom’s Cabin- this was a required college read

      Well, I was little more close-minded to books in high school. I was 100% convinced I would never love a tragedy. Then, Les Mis entered my life and changed everything.

      I still am around those two independent bookstore: still live in Charlotte so have access to Park Road Books. Due to living close to Asheville- I still can visit Malaprops.

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