‘Guilty Pleasures’ in Reading

The idea of a guilty pleasure is one that I think should really be removed from the cultural canon. It says something about the Western world that we can’t simply just enjoy media like books, music, movies , films graphic novels, and all kinds of consumable items without feeling some guilt if we feel like something is ‘beneath us’. What a crock! We shouldn’t be hidden beneath all these layers of irony and ‘aloneness’ so that we strangle the very thing that makes us human – our capability to empathise with other people, enjoy their stories, regardless of their leaning or how we feel about ourselves.

The idea of cultural snobbishness here really speaks volumes about sexism, racism, and classicism in the modern world. Not to get on a pulpit about this, but what’s wrong with reading absolutely anything you like? I remember when the Harry Potter books came out and there were separate printed editions with more ‘adult’ covers, as if this someone make it more acceptable to read Harry Potter as an adult, rather than reading the same book with a cover more targeted towards the target audience. It didn’t even matter anyway – young and old alike read those books, many without any guilt at all. And good for them, I say. No matter what you’re feeling about the books, you can admit that ere shouldn’t be some sort of dividing line between low and high culture, between texts for adults and for young people. Read what you want, and what makes you feel happy – really, this is what it’s all about. The idea of escapism through published works isn’t something evil, and time should be given to every viewpoint when it comes to this. The people who want to escape form their daily troubles and the daily grind should be given their time, and likewise those people who want to feel righteous and like they’re reading something that’s educating and shaking them to their core should read those too. And there should be real interplay between the two crowds! Honestly, if you want to read something, do it.

Nobody is stopping you, except people who have too much time on their hands to dole pout criticism on what you should or shouldn’t be reading. It doesn’t harm anyone else to read what you want and isn’t dumbing down the world as so many would like to attest. Go right ahead.

The Calming Effect of Books

paper-tea-cupHaving trouble sleeping or relaxing? One thing I’ve found that works wonders for me is reading a good book. Just take the novel that you’re reading at the moment and get stuck in – I’ve always found that books have a truly relaxing quality that not many other things have. From my young years when I was opening random pages of Dune to have  a look, to my later years of reading Neuromancer just to get a sense of sameness and ubiquity that would really put me to sleep, I’ve found books to be an invaluable sleeping aid.

There’s even something tactile about them that’s reassuring, friendly and soporific – turning pages, feeling the feel of paper on your hands. Even if I’m going through a second-hand book, it’s easy for me to fall asleep right away when I have good book in my hands. I would really advise you to do the same – grab yourself an excellent book, have a look and have a turn of the pages, really looking at what’s going to help you go to sleep. It’s easy to find a book that’s not even one you would usually read – in fact, they can work just as well. The great idea here is that you’re getting something that would normally b ore you and using it to your advantage – the boredom can really work to your favour, as you’ll be so bored by the book that it’ll put you right to sleep.

The only way this can backfire is if your boredom makes you angry and you get all vexed about how much you dislike it, and then you should really get going on something you like more. A reassuring thing to do is read the book you’ve re-read the most – if indeed that’s what you do – because then you get lulled into sleep by repetition and familiarity, which is what most people love in books.

There’s really something to be said for repetition in literature and its soothing effect on the mind – take a look for yourself, find a copy of something that’s nostalgic and reminds you of days gone by and then just read it! You’ll absolutely love how sleepy and tired it makes you, and it’s a great way to get a good nights’ rest. Take a look for yourself right away – you’ll have an excellent time. It’s easy to do.

Self-Publishing in the World of E-books

PublishingindustriespicAs e-readers and digitally-based writing has become more and more prevalent, so too has the idea that large-scale publishing houses aren’t needed in order for writers to put out their writing. When more and more people have internet connections – or access to internet connections – then it’s truly the case that the availability of books has become more of an issue to do with whether you have access to the internet, rather than heading out to the book store, book fair or second-hand store in order to find yourself some texts. It follows that writers may not need a publishing house to put out their books, as the physical medium of books is slowly becoming something of the past – and it follows that writers may want to put their own books out, seeing as ‘publishing’ via e-book does not actually require any manufacturing costs or a printing press.

When readers simply need to transfer an e-book to their computer or reading device, all writers need to do is figure out some medium to large-scale distribution method – and this is becoming easier and easier. Many online e-book distribution tools are available for personal or business use by a writer – they don’t even need to rely on others to get their e-book out there, all they need is a little web savvy and some software or applications that will help them meet customer demand for their book. There are plenty of sites that are also more than willing to help people put their books out, and will only take a small fee out of their earnings.

Financially, it can be a much better decision to use self-publishing services when writers put out e-books. Self-publishing means that there is either no middleman or a small cut put out to whoever is helping someone distribute their book – and this doesn’t have to be huge, as more and more writers are choosing this method of distribution and the pool of authors that companies can draw funds from is growing ever-bigger.

It’s simpler for readers to get books, as well – they can simply go right to the authors’ sites and grab the book from there. It’s never been easier for writers to get their books out, as well as consumers to give their favourite writers money for their works. It’s an exciting and new time for publishing. Take a look at your options.