Last year I decided that I wanted to read two books every month….24 books. It sounded excellent at the time but where in the H&M do I find 24 book titles to even read. Here I had this great idea but absolutely no idea where to start.
Where do we all go when we need answers…….GOOGLE. After finding myself on page 10 (you know the search was real because we usually stop at page 2) I knew that my mission had ended before it had started. But one day as I was scrolling on IG I came across this hashtag…#myleikbookshare and here were SEVERAL books that Myliek Teele, the CEO of Curlbox (who is an avid reader by the way) and thousands of people sharied photos of what they were reading……JACKPOT! This is exactly what I was looking for to jumpstart this new lifestyle as a reader.
After I posted “Oh! So you don't read: 5 reasons people fail to pick up a book” I was overwhelmed by the response of people who reached out to look for a place to start. They realized that they needed to step their reading game up, but was looking to me for direction, where to start? What to read? How do I read so many books? (I carve out at least and hour 4-5 days a week btw) but most importantly where in the hell did I find all of these good books to read? After my initial goldmine find on Insta, I have been able to develop some tips along the way to get started with your own reading list, and ladies if you stay until the end I have a nice surprise for you!
1. In what areas are you desire to grow?
As an athlete if my crossover was weak I would be in the gym working on my crossover. As a student when my grade in Sport’s Law was struggling I would be in the library studying. Now as an adult when I lack in a certain area or look to enhance qualities we can’t let it fall by the waist side but instead gain knowledge on the topic by reading on it. For myself I wanted to improve my prayer life last year so I added books about it (p.s Fervent by Priscilla Shirer is THE Bomb.com). Look for books that deal with the topic that you are expect to expand on, you will be surprised by what you will learn and what it can do for your development.
2. Chose from the New York’s Best Seller List
Just any old body can’t make this list, it is filled with quality selections. Take a peak and see if any of the titles interest you, it is a great way to add books to your reading list.
3. Ask the librarian
At my full-time gig, we have a corporate library in which many of my co-workers have never set foot in, but I think it is the best thing since slice bread! But when they do not have the book that I may have went there for; instead of leaving empty handed I always ask them for a recommendation. Literally everything they have told me about has been nothing short of amazing and usually something I would never had picked up on my own (check out “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin).
4. Ask social media
I mean you are on it all day anyway might as well use it to your advantage. Shoot out an tweet or pose the question as your FB status to see what people’s favorite books are or if they have any suggestions. You are bound to walk away with something to add to your list. If you come across someone posting what they are reading take a screenshot (finally use screenshotting for something good) it may be something of interest.
5. What does Amazon say?
I am ALWAYS looking for a good deal and when I buy books it is no different. I usually purchase used books (because they are basically like new and only cost me around $1.99) on Amazon below the selection they give you a slew of recommendations; everything from what people buy along with it, you may also like, and related to items you’ve viewed.
6. Follow the hype
Even though mama always said be a leader and never a follower; we will make an exception when creating our reading list. Some books everybody seem to be raving about are actually good (I heard that Shonda Rhimes “Year of Yes” is PHENOMENAL, I will be following the hype). Take a look at some of the titles people are going crazy about.
7. Consult with Auntie O
Oprah Winfrey has influenced an whole generation through the launch of her book club (seriously every book went from regular Joe’s to New York Times Best sellers overnight). On her website www.oprah.com she has an entire section dedicated to her book club filled with all kinds of goodies (I literally just wrote down five books that I am going to add to my list after visiting).
8. What are your girls reading?
I have received some of the best book suggestions from my friends sharing with me what they are reading at the time. Because we have a personal relationship they are able to tell me what they really think about it and know if I would truly like it or not (and if you’re friends’ don’t read you may want to get a couple new friends…..or you can always send them Oh! So you don't read: 5 reasons people fail to pick up a book)
9. Read more from the author
If you have read a book that you absolutely adore (for me ANYTHING Malcolm Gladwell writes is ammmmmaazing) check out additional selections that they have out as well. They are bound to have the same effect.
Well there it is folks. If you want to read more but have no idea where to start, or if you are looking for some places to receive a couple fresh selections check out these tips to aid you in creating a reading list or just to find something to new to read.
Drum Roll Please……….
I have also created something to aid you in your journey as well…..50 Shades of Melanin Reading Group. This will be a Facebook Group to serve as a community for African American Women to encourage each other to not only read, share thoughts and opinions but to encourage, motivate and inspire!