As we start a new year, we tend to make ourselves little promises and new year’s resolutions to better ourselves, and a very common one is when we want to get our heads into a good book and return to the world of reading. This guide will take you through some of the ways you can get yourself back into the written word once more or maybe even delve into a wonderful literary world you’ve never properly experienced before until now.
The First Chapter
As children, we’re heavily encouraged to read for obvious reasons relating to our development and study, but once you’re an adult finding chances to truly sit down and immerse yourself in a book become few and far between. Maybe you’re busy with work, maybe you’ve been distracted by other things like television or games, maybe you’ve been raising a family. Heck, it’s possible you’ve just never considered reading books as a possibility until recently, and you’re not sure where to start.
Thankfully, these days reading has changed immensely from the days of having to find a local library, register with it and go through the rigmarole of remembering to return books, late fees or even such hazards as putting a book down somewhere and forgetting where you left it; in this age of ebooks and even readers on our smartphones, our entire library can fit in a pocket or a small bag weighing no more than a single hardback.
Kindling a relationship with books
The obvious place to start is to pick an e-reader, and the obvious selection is market leader Amazon with their Kindle range. There’s a reason the brand has almost become a defacto name for eReaders in a similar way ‘Hoover’ is to the vacuum cleaner; their devices are lightweight, stylish and most importantly easy to use and has almost certainly the largest library of books available. Currently, their Kindle devices come in four flavours:
This is the cheapest and most straightforward of Amazon’s devices. Rather than using what you might consider a ‘traditional’ display like a tablet, Kindles use e-ink, which can be viewed from most angles, doesn’t suffer from glare and can be read clearly even in low light conditions. It can also last for weeks on a single charge, so there’s no need to run back to a charger if you’re in the middle of a particularly deep session.
The best selling device, this Kindle is an upgrade on the previous model due to its signature paperwhite technology, it also ups the resolution from 167ppi to 300ppi, and it also has a built in light making it easy and comfortable to read with no matter the conditions. The Paperwhite also comes in a 3G model that will let you download new books even when you’re away from a wi-fi hotspot.
The Voyage includes everything we’ve said so far, but the backlight is adaptive, meaning it’ll change automatically depending on the level of lighting around you. It makes this particular Kindle easy to read in no light all the way to having the sun pouring down on you on the beach, for example. It also features a technology known as “PagePress” which turns the pages for you when it detects a pressure on the bezel, so you can use this one with just one hand.
The newest member of the Kindle family, the Oasis is the first Kindle to be waterproof, meaning you can take this one to even more places – including the bathtub – without having to worry about damaging your device or losing your library. What’s more, it comes with Audible built in, meaning you can also store some of your favourite audiobooks on it as well. It’s also bigger in all the important ways, with a 7” screen and the largest storage capacity of any of the rest of the Kindle range with both 8GB and 32GB available, at least double the 4GB capacity of the other models.
Best book picks
Of course, now you may have an eReader, you’ll want some books for it. There’s absolutely masses to choose from, so obviously it’d be impossible for us to even begin to go through them here, but here’s a list of some highlights you may want to consider.
How Not to Be a Boy
Robert Webb is probably best known for his role as Jez in Peep Show, but the man himself is a far, far cry from his character in the sitcom. Part memoir, part rumination on masculinity and what it means in today’s society, How to be a Man is both funny and challenging and serves as one of those rare biographies that isn’t just a dry retelling of a celebrity’s life.
Ten Things Video Games Can Teach Us (About life, philosophy and everything)
Jordan Erica Webber and Dan Griliopoulos use their experience as games journalists to take a look at ten philosophical concepts viewed through the lens of popular video games. It’s a great introduction to these concepts told in a way that’s relatable, fun and certainly might make you look at your favourite games in a whole new light.
Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman are often considered two of the best modern authors of fantasy, and back in 1990 they collaborated on this book Good Omens. It’s recently been thrown back into the limelight, as Gaiman and Pratchett’s daughter Rhianna are to bring a new TV mini-series based on the book as an Amazon BBC co-production. So grab this comedic tale, about an angel and demon who become unlikely friends and allies as they try and prevent an apocalypse, now so you can be ahead of the curve when the David Tenant and Michael Sheen starring series launches in 2018.