questionsis there a book out there for me?


how old are you, and what topics do you like?


As a kid I was a voracious reader. I literally had a book in every room in the house that I would read whenever I was in that room. I would cut class to sneak into the school library where I would crawl under a desk and read. I most was reading classic far above my "age group", reading the Illiad and the Odyssey and all of Dumas in grade school for pleasure. I also read a lot of lighter fare, I was horse and dog crazy, so I read the Black Stallion, the Golden Stallion and the Island Stallion series along with weightier fare like Black Beauty (scarred for LIFE) and James Harren's All Creatures Great and Small series. In high school I discovered sci-fi and wolfed down Bradbury and Asimov and their peers. But over the years I have started spending more time doing art, which took time away from reading. Little by little I quit. And now that I have to wear glasses I find myself alienated from the story by them. I enjoy the occasional large print book, but otherwise read online. tbc


@kamikazeken: Mid 20's, and as far as topics I would say stuff like LOTR/Harry Potter or similar fantasy as far as movies that I enjoy.


Anyway, I do think that you could enjoy reading for pleasure if you found the right material. I would say reading books from which movies were made that you enjoyed would be a good start, but probably not books adapted from movies (book first, movie second = more likely to be good). Two that I found really enjoyable were The Princess Bride and Jurassic Park. JP was a real page turner for me, I read it in an afternoon, like I used to do when I was a kid. When I was younger I did finish a book even if I didn't like it. But I was reading a dreadfully slow moving fantasy trilogy one day and I had an epiphany-- no one was making me read it. I could quit at any time! So I quit forcing myself to finish books I wasn't engaged with after that. I can say that nothing will expand your vocabulary or improve your grammar as painlessly as reading for pleasure. I recommend it to under-educated co-workers when they ask me how to improve their chances for promotion.


@moondrake: I agree. It's important to find the right material. The Princess Bride and Jurassic Park are good. I find Cricton novels (he wrote Jurassic Park) to be fairly quick and enjoyable reads.

@lichme - You might want to start with a YA adult book first. These tend to have single plot lines and can be easier to follow if you're not a regular reader. The Harry Potter books, particularly the first couple are great about that. The Hunger Games books might be another good place to look. I wouldn't start with the Lord of the Rings books, but you might give The Hobbit a go. It's a little less complicated and single story driven. Also, fewer unusual and strangely similar to half the other names in the book names.


In the past I loved John Sandford's "Prey" series. I have since lost the time to read, but might find it again when my youngest is out of the house.


You might like the SF book, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. It's not heavy reading, but there's still some areas in it that you have to take some time and wrap your mind around.

There's some other books in this series, but this one is the best.


I absolutely LOVE the Space Trilogy series by C.S. Lewis. It's Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength. They're set on Mars, Venus, and Earth, respectively. It's intense, deep, and it draws you in...nothing he describes is like anything I know, so it keeps me entertained and thinking, trying to imagine exactly what he's talking about!

I believe there IS a book or an author or a style out there for you! There are so many genres, unique writing styles, and topics that I'm sure there are ways for you to ease into it and really become an avid reader. Maybe try graphic novels, too? So there are accompanying pictures to help interest you? There are some pretty complex stories out there in graphic novel form, it's really becoming a more widely used and accepted medium these days.

I hope we helped you with some directions!


Actually, @lichme, we have (somewhat) similar backgrounds, and I like best the subset of science fiction called "Hard Science Science Fiction" which appeals to me because there's no stupid dragons (sorry, dragon lovers) or goofy hand-waving where there should be a solid respect for physics and mathematics.

Larry Niven, Fred Pohl, Vernor Vinge (who wrote about the computer world we live in, except he wrote it in 1981).

"They had discovered Mr. Slippery's True Name and it was Roger Andrew
Pollack TIN/SSAN 0959-34-2861, and no amount of evasion, tricky
programming, or robot sources could ever again protect him from them."

There's also Cyberpunk (which once upon a time was new), and I recommend (if you can find it) the English version of Mirrorshades (it's an anthology).

Science and logic are good.


Provided that there isn't a psychological reason (for want of a better term) that you cannot garner pleasure from reading, I am certain that there are many books that will give you pleasure.

I've read pretty much everything mentioned above (though NOT To Kill A Mockingbird or Dumas), and I've enjoyed almost all of it.

I probably love SciFi most, especially the hard SciFi that @shrdlu mentions (James P Hogan is another example, probably one of my favorites). But I also like the softer stuff that she doesn't like all that much, including stuff with dragons, like McCafferey's Pern books (which I mention not because they are favorites but because they were the first dragon books that came to mind as I wrote this).

However, I also enjoy mystery novels, historical fiction, some romance novels and non-fiction like Hofsteader's Godel, Escher, Bach. It boils down to anything that I can get lost in, even if only temporarily.

Don't give up your search: you will find much stuff to love.


I am the same way, not a reader at all. Everyone else I know reads (my SO has over 800 books) and they will ask me what I'm reading and I'll have to explain to them I don't read. If they don't know me that well they look at me like I have 3 heads, then I have to give them the same line I've been saying my whole life: "I just don't read, I know how to read, I just don't do it for pleasure". I thought I was one of the only ones.


@lmensor: You're both in company with about 80% of America, in fact. A fair number of people will read a book or two a year, usually whatever the flavor of the moment is (Currently The Hunger Games, the latest in a short history of Young Adult fiction catapulting itself into the mainstream). Relatively few people actually read regularly. In fact, it usually takes only a few hundred books sold to climb to the top of a best seller list.

It's hard to make a recommendation to a non-reader. I like a lot of stuff in the vein that you describe, but I lean towards epic series of novels. I'd hesitate to recommend Game of Thrones to you, even though you could get your feet wet with the HBO series(if you haven't already) to see if you'd like it, because it's almost certain to prove exhausting. You might try Terry Pratchett, who writes fantasy/comedy in a very consumable 200-300 pp format. Neil Gaiman, Haruki Murakami, Kurt Vonnegut are all also very readable, and hover in that general genre, too


But I would also caution against holding yourself to the genres that you think you like. I normally finish every book that I start, whether I like it or not. Sometimes, this pays off by the end(Hello, Sound and the Fury) and sometimes it doesn't(Hello, everything else Faulkner ever wrote). There are very few books I've started and didn't finish, and most were due to putting down too long to pick back up from where I stopped.

However, I'd recommend that you throw my policy out the window. Go to the library and check out ten books(Or whatever your maximum is). Get as many different types of books that you can find; Take recommendations from friends and librarians and strangers on the street. Try and stick with shorter books. The maxim "Don't judge a book by its cover" doesn't mean you can't pick up a book with an interesting looking cover. Read the first 10-20 pages and if you haven't been hooked, move on. You'll find yourself absorbed in books that you never thought would interest you.


And, since I can see one of my bookcases from here anyway, I'll give you a few suggestions to get started. Also, Monday was World Book Night, when 500,000 books were given out all over the country to people just like you; People who want to read, but don't necessarily know where to start. I gave out "The Brief Wondrous life of Oscar Wao", which I think is fantastic and pretty readable. I have some copies left over, so if you want to PM me your address, I'll be glad to send you one.

The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway (Hemingway is readable and renowned, probably the easiest to get into of anyone considered a classic author)
Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut (I think all of Vonnegut is easy to read, but this is maybe his most accessible. I think his short fiction is better than his novels, so you might also try a collection)
Good Omens - Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
After Dark - Haruki Murakami (Murakami does fantasy of the sort without magic and dragons. This one is great and light.)


@lichme: the "game of thrones" books should entertain you.

I also recommend "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire hunter". the title scared me off for a while, but I finally read it 2 months ago and it was frickin' awesome!

I also got a good read out of bill o'reilly's non-fiction book "Killing Lincoln". I can't believe how many details of such an important event were left out of history classes in HS and college.


@baqui63: That's funny, the Pern books are the ones I quit because they were just too slow for me. Not a lot of people have actually read Dumas, which is sad because he's very readable. Between the many versions of The Three Musketeers and the excellent Man in the Iron mask, his works are pretty widely known. But there are plot twists and quirky humor in the books that haven't ever made it to the screen and make the books quite enjoyable.


@moondrake: the first 3-4 pern books were fun. after that they just were slow and jumped around. I felt like she kept writing them because they were popular. There are of course other dragon books that are much much better. I tend to think of those as Fantasy instead of Sci-Fi, I'm less into the science/robots/technology of Sci Fi and more into the magic/swords/dragons of Fantasy.



As I wrote above, the Pern books aren't among my favorites, just the first dragon books that came to mind.

Ok, you've convinced me: I appear to have a copy of the Man In The Iron Mask in one of my downloaded book collections. Once I dig it out, I'll send it to the Kindle app on my tablet, though I'm in the midst of some heavy reading for work and a re-reading of Princess of Mars so it will likely be a few days before I get to it.