How do I choose books to read?

I like to read books, but my time is limited. Depending on the size of the book, I usually read around 3 books a month. Over time I figured out that it is very important to read books of different genres and styles to diversify my reading patterns and not to bore myself too much. So, here are the categories of books I prefer to read and the reasons for choosing these books:

Social science literature: I am a researcher and I am doing interdisciplinary research using sociology and linguistics studies. Thus, I read a lot of social science books. I love reading Weber, Bourdieu, Barthes, Foucault, Chomsky, Lakoff and many others.

Classics: While I am mostly familiar with the Russian classics, English-language classics is still an unchartered territory for me. I am even thinking of following the book lists used by Australian schools. It is never too late to catch up.

Contemporary fiction and magical realism books: It is a broad category for the books I really enjoy to read at the state of despair and sadness. Somehow, I find that magical realism style of fiction allows me to fully immerse in the story and thus relax and let go of my personal troubles. I will write a separate post about reading fiction in the next weeks!

Art books: I’ve recently got interested in art history and lives of artists. Some time ago I was following a lecture on expressionist art and Wassily Kandinsky. To my surprise, I discovered that Kandinsky wrote a few books about art. I should definitely read his books!

Non-fiction and personal development books: This is not my personal favourite category. Bookstores offer a wide range of non-fiction self-help books that are very shallow to my taste. Yet, occasionally there are interesting reads and I am happy.

Spiritual books: These books are important to me to understand myself and find my place in the world. I do not follow any particular religion or spiritual practice, instead I am interested in variety of perspectives and worldviews.

Australian literature and Aboriginal literature: I must admit, I haven’t read a lot of books by Australian authors and that’s a shame. My goal is to understand my new home, Australia, and its diverse culture and worldviews. I am enchanted by Aboriginal art and Aboriginal history and will read more books on these topics (please send me your recommendations).

Biographies: I just love reading biographies. They are so reflexive and thought provoking. I noticed that many people are quite frank and open in their biographies, take for example Michelle Obama. It seems, people open up much more in writing than they would otherwise in an interview setting.

What books do you read? How do you choose them?

2 thoughts on “How do I choose books to read?”

  1. I’m curious about books used in Australian schools. Would you have some good links for that? here are a few Australian authors I really enjoy, for instance Kate Morton. As for Australian classics, I was very impressed by Patrick White’s The Tree of Man.
    I tend to read a lot of mysteries recently, but only the ones I judge to be extremely well written (Louise Penny, Randall Silvis).
    I read a lot of classics (I’m part of The Classics Club), classic mysteries and others. I love Japanese lit, am actually part of the Haruki Murakami online book club, oops sorry, you already know that.
    I’m actually French, and also run a virtual book tour company exclusively focused on books having some type of connection with France, so I read a lot of French books, or books translated from the French, when publishers send them my way.
    in audiobooks, I actually alternate between classics, French thrillers, and Bible books. Right now, I actually listen to something outside my routine: Vesper Flight, a collection of nature essays by Helen MacDonald. Superb. Ues, I also enjoy nonfiction.
    I also read spiritual books (exclusively related to Eastern Christian Orthodoxy).
    I choose my books among all the above categories, books received for review (I’m very strict what I accept – after 10 years of book blogging, I receive many offers every week), books recommended by other book bloggers. And trying to go through my huge TBR…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emma, our categories are very similar! And I also love Murakami (you already know that ). From my understanding, Australian students read primarily British classics as a part of their curriculum. Thank you for book recommendations!
      You are doing an amazing job with book reviews. I think it is a huge service to the community of writers to review books. I think, it is especially hard to find a reviewer when you are publishing your first book.


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