Your first book of 2014?

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Your first book for 2014?

Your first book of 2014 ought to be a new adventure, not a usual pick. Will you challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone?  Will it be: fiction, mystery, fantasy, historical novels, biography, memoirs or classics??

Having finally entered the world of tablet reading with the receipt of a Nook for Christmas, I’m expanding my explorations of various genres. I might even venture out of my comfort zone. My favorites have always been non-fiction, history and biography. Perhaps this year I’ll try more fantasy or historical fiction, mystery or classics.

My first book of the year was actually a young reader’s selection called “The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the Impossible became Possible” by Leon Leyson. It’s a memoir written by the youngest Holocaust survivor whose name was on Schindler’s List. It’s the incredible account of a young boy’s true grit in the face of horrific realities in the Krakow ghetto during the Nazi invasion of Poland. Riveting and heart-wrenching, it held my attention until the end. And this was mine for just $0.99 on the Nook!  Here’s hoping I’ll be able to squeeze in time to read more gems like this one during the year.

Well, it’s interesting to realize that the USA does not rank high on the amount of hours per week that people spend reading. In fact, according to the World Culture Score Index, we ranked 23rd in a survey of 30 nations (India at #1 being the highest). Yet we rank sixth in watching TV, and 19th in using the Internet for non-work purposes. Does that mean we do much more reading on-line now? Seems likely.

This infographic was featured in an LA Times article last year.

Readers Round the World

 So what will it be? Is reading a real book going by the wayside? How about book clubs?  Are they also a thing of the past?  I think not. Many libraries feature ongoing book clubs and there are virtual ones as well.  There are now many social networks which share recommendations for what to read next, provide opportunities to hook up with other readers, allow purchase of books at special rates, and even feature ways to keep track of your accomplished reading and your future picks. Two of the most trafficked sites are: Goodreads: “a place for casual readers and bona-fide bookworms alike, Goodreads  members recommend books, compare what they are reading, keep track of  what they’ve read and would like to read, form book clubs and much more;” and  Shelfari: “a community-powered encyclopedia for book lovers. Create a virtual bookshelf, discover new books, connect with friends and learn more about your favorite books – all for free.”  More recommendations for sites can be found at: .      Happy reading in 2014!

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