On why your reading speed doesn’t really matter

 

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Ads about speed reading, ads everywhere….

On the last few weeks I have bumped more than once on advertisements about speed reading. Posted everywhere on social media, I imagine they’re targeted to people who read a lot. So, some of you have also come across such ads.

Promising that “you can, too, read one book every day!” or “how to read all the Great Classics in a month!”, they tend to actually make a lot of people feel bad. Should I be reading like a madman? Should I be reading 300 books a year? Do I need to feel bad that I don’t?

Of course not. And the reasons are very simple.

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Not everyone reads at the same pace.

 

Some people are inherently better than others at reading faster. And, yes, many of them have the ability to retain all that information. Others read at a slower pace, sometimes finding it helpful to revisit some sentences (or even paragraphs. And both reading styles are absolutely fine.

 

Let’s talk about time.

 

Ahhh…time. The thing we always chase, the thing we seldom find. It’s very hard to find adequate time for yourself.  It’s understandable .Whether it’s school, work, family or any of the above combined, there’s not much free time in your life.

But, for the sake of the argument, let’s say you actually find a couple of hours a day in which you can unwind or do personal chores. Even when you find some little precious time for yourself, you have to be relaxed enough to be able to concentrate on your book. You couldn’t possible read War and Peace after 10 hours of work, an hour on commute and three hours of doing chores, could you? ( If you can, I beg you to show me how you do it).  So why on earth would you be so hard on yourself for not reading a book a day?

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Reading is meant to bring joy, not stress.

I sometimes feel that us readers forget the most important thing about books: they are there t make us happy. It can be one book a month, or a book a day. Does it matter?

If reading 300 books a year brings you joy, then that is absolutely great. It’s marvelous. To be honest, I’m both happy and jealous for you. But if something like that sounds even remotely stressful, then relax and remember: reading is supposed to bring you joy. It exists to make your life better, not to make you worry about not reading enough books, or not reading fast enough.

What is important is that you do, indeed, read.

No matter the pace, you’re doing it. You’re making time for your book, and that is enough. You have nothing to prove to others, no challenge to complete, no reason to feel anxious about it. After all, it doesn’t matter how slowly you’re going, as long as you don’t stop, right?

So, enjoy yourself at your own, comfortable pace. Books are and always will be royal friends. They will still be there, waiting for you, until you make time for them!

The 7 1/2 deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (…and why I’m obsessed with the book)

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1800s. The  Blackheath Manor is filled with guests.

A grand party is being held by Lord Hardcastle and his family. But Evelyn Hardcastle is going to die this evening. And she will keep dying every evening of the same day, until Aiden Bishop manages to solve the mystery of her murder.

But there’s more rules to this sinister game.

Aiden will wake up on the same day over and over, but inside the body of a different person each time. He has eight days. Eight chances to solve this and get away from this hell, or his memories will be reset and the hell will start all over.

An original, captivating mystery

This book will keep you on your toes all the way to the end. Refreshingly original and inventive, the plot is constructed in such an intelligent way, that it resembles an elaborate labyrinth. This is Agatha Christie meeting Groundhog Day, assisted by Arthur Conan Doyle. The plot is an unbelievable puzzle, whose pieces the reader thinks they are putting together, only to find out they were wrong. This happens again and again, keeping the reader constantly surprised, their brain gears twisting through these 400 pages.

The book is filled with interesting characters constructed in unbelievable details. Tailored in a way you can never be sure whether to like or hate a character, you will strive to understand whom to trust, and what role each of them can play in this sinister game.

Mystery at its best

The 7 1/2 deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle is a masterpiece of the mystery genre, one of the best ones I have personally read through my life. Never dull for a second, it kept me entertained to the maxim, and at the same time it felt like it delivered a lot of hard life lessons on my plate.

Strongly recommended for the fans of mysteries, but also for anyone looking to try a book of this genre. This is a book you will get obsessed with , losing sleep over finishing it. And it is definitely worth it!

For the fans of all-about-Dracula : Dracula, Rise of the Beast

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Who doesn’t love a good horror story?

The heart beats faster,  your hands tremble, and every little sound in the house makes you jump. Nevertheless, you still love it. Does this sound familiar? If so, you love a good horror story. Most bookworms do, which is why we feel so happy when we find a good horror book to read. And who is one of the most prominent figures in horror literature?

The man, the myth, the legend : Dracula

Everyone knows the beloved figure. Starting with Stoker’s depiction of the historical figure of Vlad III of Wallachia as a blood-sucking, immortal creature (or does undead sound better?), readers all over the world get fascinated with stories about him. Do I need to say more?

Dracula: Rise of the Beast

This is a collection of horror stories about both Dracula and his historical counterpart, Vlad III of Wallachia.

Five different stories from different authors attempt to get the reader acquainted with both the historical figure and the legend. Using historical facts about Vlad III and lore from Romania and the surrounding countries, the authors  give their own perspective on the man, the myth, the legend.

Whether we follow the story through the eyes of Countess Elizabeth Bathory, a Jewish leader of Budapest or a French servant, there is always suspense in every narrative. The reader follows along different parts of the same figure’s life, all stemming from the authors’ imagination, but all thrilling nonetheless.

An anthology of horror stories you need

The stories are smart, incredibly well researched and carefully constructed, shrouding Dracula in a proper air of mystery, as is well deserved for this legendary figure. Each part of this book is completely different from the next one, which adds more interest to it.  Although the stories come from different authors, the whole anthology seems to bind together remarkably well, retaining the same atmosphere along the whole book.

Recommended for all fans of “everything Dracula”, this is a book you will want to add to your collection. However, it is a good collection of horror stories for everyone else,as well. You don;t need to be fond of vampire stories in order to enjoy this book, and that makes it all the more interesting.

Cosy Mysteries : Cherringham , A dinner to die for

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How do you feel about cozy mysteries?

I find them quite charming.  They’re easy to read, with a compact plot and, if written well, very enjoyable. Which is why I opt to read at least one cozy mystery book per month, usually between books that are considered “heavier reads”. This month’s cozy mystery book was Cherringham: A Dinner to Die for.

Welcome to Cherringham!

The little village of Cherringham lives a quiet life. Everyone in the village knows the Spotted Pig, the beloved restaurant which is a meeting spot for all the locals. However, Cherringham finds itself in quite a stir when a new restaurant opens up. Its chef, Anna, insists someone is tampering with her work, trying to drive her customers away and destroy her reputation. She also seems quite sure that the culprit is the owner of the  Spotted pig. Their hidden mutual past certainly points to that direction.

But are things really that simple?

Jack, a former police officer, and Sarah, a local, have handled mysterious cases before. This time the situation escalates quickly, and they will have to investigate before things get out of hand. Much as everyone likes the owner of the Spotted Pig, can he actually be the person sabotaging a fellow chef? Is this personal? Or can there be another explanation?

A fast paced cozy mystery  book.

A quick and pleasant read, Cherringham is quite entertaining. It is well written and easily read in a day. With interesting characters along the way of the plot, the book lets the reader put the pieces of this well constructed plot puzzle together. All in all a good addition to the cozy mystery variety, it is recommended for the fans of the mystery genre.

Children’s Book : Simon and the big,bad,angry beasts

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We all get angry sometimes.

So do the children (even more so, to be precise). But that doesn’t mean we should let ourselves become unpleasant to others. After all, actions have consequences. Which is why a book about anger is very useful (and, in all honesty, not just for children).

Simon finds himself angry at times.

Whether it’s losing at games or being told no about something he really wants, he can’t keep calm, and he can’t keep his anger under control. One day, when he gets angry, an angry animal appears next to him. He thinks it’s great, and every time he gets angry it becomes worse.

Every time, a bigger, angrier beast appears next to him. What he hasn’t realized, however, is that the beasts scare his friends and family away. Nobody wants to play with “Simon the Terrible” anymore.

Anger & its consequences

This is a wonderful allegory about anger and its consequences. Beautifully illustrated, the book helps children understand that tantrums and outbursts, if not treated with mindfulness, can chase people away. It teaches us that tantrums are not pleasant, neither for others, nor for ourselves.

What is more, along with the story come notes for parents and teachers, as well as exercises, so that the book can be used for discussing the topic with children.

Phoenix Fire : The fantasy book that just stands out!

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Ahh…the joy of reading fiction!

I’ve read them, you’ve read them. Basically, most of us bookworms have: fantasy books. What do they usually include? Vampires, ghosts, the typical supernatural creatures. Oh, and a hint of romance. They’re good, or we wouldn’t be reading them.

But what if you found a fantasy book that gets more original than that?

This is Phoenix Fire

bibliophilephoenixAva has spent all her life in foster care, trying not to get too attached to people. Getting attached hurts. Loving people hurts. Not to mention the fact that if she opened up to anyone, she would have to talk about her weird flashback-like seizures she gets from time to time. Everyone would think she’s crazy.

 

Or is there a hint of truth behind everything that’s happening to her?

When Nick and Cade step into her life, she realizes that she has family. When she starts falling for Wyatt, she understands she has lived before, loved before, and come back to live again. It is not all sweet and great, however. There are dark forces encircling her newly found family, and Ava founds out she bears the burden of saving them all. Can she open up and reveal her true self? Is she strong enough for her destiny?

 

An epic fantasy book

that transports the reader to a different realm. Unique in its characters, this is a supernatural story completely different from  your average fantasy books. There’s more than vampires and werewolves. There’s a new kind of hero, one that can live again and again to fulfill a purpose noble and true. And, if the title isn’t a good enough hint for you: yes, there are phoenixes (and they are absolutely awesome!).

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Three siblings, thousands of lives

Follow along a story of three siblings that have lived, tried and failed, only to come back and do it again, and do it better. The story will have you guessing all the secrets the family keeps, as you will be constantly getting glimpses of the past, trying to put the pieces together. It will make you gasp, laugh at times, cry.  There is love, there is loss, there is strong dilemma in between, and there’s a lot of frustration as you empathize with so many characters in this story.

A love that lasts through centuries

bibliophilephoenix3What would an epic story be without love? One of the things that make this book stand out, is definitely a connection between two creatures that have lived again and again, falling in love only with each other. A love that  is forbidden by rules on both sides. But it is not and cannot be ignored. In a world facing so many problems, a world that Ava will have to save , she’ll also have to figure out if she can really trust her instincts. Is Wyatt really as innocent as he looks? Are his intentions pure? And what is it that really connects these two in all their lives?

 

Suspenseful, well written and beautiful, this is a story that teaches us not everything is black and white. Various shades of everything in between come out, and you can only hope that the heroes will find the strength and determination to choose wisely.

 

Strongly recommended for the fans of fantasy, this is the book you need if vampires have tired you and you need something fresh and well written.

You can find the book directly on Entangled Publishing site : https://entangledpublishing.com/phoenix-fire.html

About the author

D. Grimm’s first love in writing is young adult fantasy and science fiction, which is to be expected from someone who looks up to heroes like Captain America and Wonder Woman, has been sorted into Gryffindor, and identifies as rebel scum. Her patronus is a red Voltron lion, her spirit animal is Toothless, and her favorite meal is second breakfast. Her office is anywhere she can curl up with her laptop and at least one large-sized dog.

You can learn more about her upcoming novels at www.sdgrimm.com

 

The Pact, by SE Lynes

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An overprotective, anxious mother, trying to keep her daughter safe from the world.

A teenage daughter who feels suffocated from her mother.

An aunt who gives up everything in order to take care of her sister and niece.

And, above all, a pact among sisters, made over twenty years ago.

Fifteen year old Rosie’s family is very different from what you would call normal. For one, her father died when she was six. What is more, her mother’s aunt lives with her and her mother. The three of them seem to be moving on, or at least “coping” with their lives, as they put it. Rosie’s mother, Toni, is fiercely overprotective. But that can’t lead to any harm.

Or can it?

Rosie is confused. Jealous of her more loosely monitored friends and burdened by her father’s death, she just wants to be normal. She wants to go out, have a social life, a boyfriend. And some part of life that is just her own.And who’s better than hiding things, than a teenager with an over-controlling parent? Maybe the solution would be to start hiding things from her mother and aunt. Maybe she can keep one little thing for herself. One little secret, that’s all she asks for. What harm can that do?

A suspenseful thriller

Full of the right secrets in the right places, The Pact is the story of a different family.  Hurt, dysfunctional, but still coping, the family of three try to survive on their own. But their story hides too many secrets. In their effort to do good, they might be harming each other more than what they can imagine.

Three narratives. Three different characters.

Each woman tells their sad of the story. Each one of the broken heroines fills a peace of the puzzle for you. By the time you are halfway in the book, you will not be able to put it down. You can practically sense the sorrow, the agony, the fear. But you can also sense the good moments, too, and by the time you;re close to the end of this story, you will be wishing for a good resolution to it all.

Strongly recommended for the fans of thrillers, The  Pact keeps you in a tight grip, refusing to let you go, even when you’ve finished the last sentence of the last page.