GUEST POST: “What book shall I read?”

by guest blogger Paul Grech

When you’re a reader, people ask you for reading recommendations. This is an underappreciated joy; that of being able to talk about your favourite books in the hope that you eventually receive the very special validation of being told how much it was enjoyed.

Sometimes, however, the book you’re lauding gets dismissed. Woe. Although it is painful, it is an an understandable reaction.

Reading is leisure activity and, so, what most people look for is more books like the ones they enjoyed reading in the past. Why risk investing time and energy in a completely different book only to find out that you don’t like it?

To answer that, we need to ask a more basic question: why do we read? Not everyone is the same but for most people reading is a way of living different lives, in environments that are alien to them and coming across situations that they are unlikely to experience in real life. It is an escape, and a very vivid one at that.

(photo: Michael D. Beckwith, Unsplash)

When planning holidays, some people always opt for the same place. They know what they’re going to find there and are comfortable with that. Most, however, are not happy with that. They seek new sights and different experiences, conscious that this will enrich their life.

Maybe reading is somewhat similar. By way of example, I’ve been dipping into Maria Grech Ganado’s new collection of poems, Framed. Poetry is not what I would normally turn to but this one piqued my interest. There are some poems that have really touched me; bringing forth emotions and thoughts that would have lain dormant had I not left the comfort zone of my favoured genres.

This is one reason why trips to the libraries are great. There you can pick the books that you typically enjoy but occasionally sprinkle your choice with something new. The worst thing that can happen is that when you start reading you find that it is not to your liking. Yet it is just as probable that you will be surprised with an engrossing read that otherwise you would have completely ignored. That spurious choice might open up a whole world of new possibilities for you.

– Paul Grech

Paul Grech has written about players who made the Italian game great in Il Re Calcio e-book series. He is also the publisher of Paġna Mmarkata, a magazine of original Maltese writing that is also a bookmark.