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?