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  • Writer's pictureMaggie Maggie

Some Thoughts on Books

I think my current reading habit started when I was a kid. From a young age, my happiest weekends in the mountains were spent being driven by my parents to the district market, visiting the biggest bookstore and buying a book.

When I grew up, I spent almost 10 years away from reading. The books I read in my 20s were only meant for checking-in online, to make myself look intellectual. Trendy European and American novels were part of my travels. Books in those years were nothing more than accessories.

In my late 20s, I fell in love with someone who loved to read. When visiting their home, I saw the whole family spent every morning talking about the books they had read. Literary books, non-fiction books, history books... Although no one in the family was doing research or were academics, they read books out of pure excitement and curiosity about the world around them. From then on, I gradually returned to writing, and reading.

What I see often in the books I read is that there is always a book that changes the author's perspective and mindset about life, thereby changing the way they live. In recent years, although I have not found that "book", the books I do read have contributed to removing the looming obstacles on the path that I am on.

I selectively broaden my reading range, select quality books from quality authors, quality publishers, follow authors talking about their past experiences and people they have known, their current thoughts. In this way, I feel like I have more intelligent guides to help me take another step forward.

I have some small tips I've applied in my own reading and choosing books to share with you:

* Choose reputable publishers: a good quality publisher guarantees good books and good translation quality. Most of the non-fiction and technical books in Vietnam are usually translations. A good publisher will have connections with prestigious global authors and publishers to bring back highly specialised works. Choosing a good publisher will help you to avoid wasting time and money buying the wrong books.

* Choose reputable authors: when I start reading a good author, I often read more books by the same writer as well as learning about that author's professional and academic past; I also watch their lectures in the present.

* Expand your horizons: except for those who have a good mindset and have wide and deep social relationships that help them acquire knowledge through systematic communication, the vast majority of our day-to-day interactions involve everyday stories. This restricts us from expanding our knowledge. Books - and now audiobooks as well as the internet, are a huge and inexpensive source of libraries of content. I think opening ourselves up to new, interesting topics helps us exercise our brains and get us out of our "little village pond".

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