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Other people want to start this hobby


Reading is one of the oldest and most popular pastimes. Whether you are reading about history, novels, science fiction...etc there are many incredible books out there worth reading. I particularly like Ayn Rand and her two masterpieces Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.

Below is a terrific introductory article where you can learn the basics and how to get started. You can help grow our learning community by contributing your knowledge to the article. Just click on the edit tab in the wiki article below.

Use the white subtabs above to navigate the other Reading resources. We have a Reading forum where you can get your questions & doubts answered, a page with Reading how-to videos, a page with the best handpicked links to other sites, and a page with the best Reading books and products.

Good Luck and Have Fun!
Duncan Davis



Reading is a common hobby and one that can trace its origins back many hundreds of years. A love of literature later in life may be sparked by an interest in reading children`s literature as a child. One of the great benefits of reading as a hobby is that it can be taken up and put down whenever a free moment presents itself. When reading paperback books, it is easy to take the reading material on holiday or on public transport with very little inconvenience. One great advantage is that it allows the human mind to create its own view of the world portrayed in the book, something that can be disappointing when a book is made into a play for television or into a film.

To begin your new-found hobby in reading, you should visit your local library. A library card can be had for free, and the library has its own built-in search engine, the librarian. He or she will be more than happy to help you find something to read, but it helps to have a general knowledge of how a library works.

The Library

Books are basically found in two categories, fiction and non-fiction. Fiction means that the story is made up and non-fiction is true. With the exception of most fictional works, books in the library are categorized according to the Dewey Decimal System. The Dewey Decimal System is very precise, and the following information on it is quite basic.

The main categories are as follows:

000 – Computer science, information and general works

100 – Philosophy and psychology

200 – Religion

300 – Social sciences

400 – Language

500 – Science

600 – Technology

700 – Arts and recreation

800 – Literature

900 – History, geography, and biography

So, if you had just finished reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, for example, and wanted to know more about Mark Twain, the author of the book, you would look in the 900 section, under biographies. Actually, you would look in 921, to be exact. This is the Dewey number for all single person biographies. Collective biographies, such as those of all four of the Beatles, would be in 920. Although 800 is listed as literature, it is found in the non-fiction section of the library. It is where you would find poetry, plays, Shakespearean works and the like. Also, 398.2 is the classification for fairy tales, almost always found in the non-fiction section of the library.

Now that we have had our short tour of our local library, let us discuss genres of books. The word genre simply refers to a category of some sort of artistic endeavor (in this case writing) that has a specific content or form. While this list does not comprise the entire list of genres of books, it does represent the most popular ones.


We would like to stress that even though some of these genres are written for juveniles, there is no such thing as certain books for certain people. There are many adults who enjoy what is classified as children’s literature. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series is a wonderful example of that. By the same token, there are many children and teens who enjoy what would be considered adult literature, such as Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Following the explanation of each featured genre, we supply a basic list of books that represent most aspects of the subcategories, to get you started. These lists are by no means the be all and end all, they are merely a suggestion.



These books are called classics because they have stood the test of time and are still standing. Many classic works of literature have been made into movies, many of which are much beloved, but the movie never tells what the book does. If you enjoyed Gone with the Wind, for example, why not try reading it the way Margaret Mitchell intended for the story to be told, instead of Hollywood’s version? These books often are the base of other great pieces of literature. Other popular classics are:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley



Fantasy is characterized mainly by the presence of things that could never happen in real life, such as magical beings and talking animals. Today the most popular fantasy books are J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series, a series of seven books about a young wizard named Harry Potter and his adventures.

Some great fantasy novels are:

The BFG by Roald Dahl

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie

The Shannara series by Terry Brooks

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

Ye Gods! by Tom Holt

On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

M is for Magic by Neil Gaiman

Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin


Historical Fiction

Historical fiction tells a story that is set in the past. That setting is usually real and drawn from history, and often contains actual historical persons, but the principal characters tend to be fictional.

Some recommended and popular historical fiction titles are:

Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener

The Wishing Game by Patrick Redmond

Sharpe by Bernard Cornwell

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

Laura Blundy by Julie Myerson

My Antonia by Willa Cather

The Earth’s Children by Jean M. Auel

Empress Orchid by Anchee Min



Horror’s primary trait is that it provokes a response, emotional, psychological or physical within each individual which causes someone to react with fear. One of the most famous horror writers is Stephen King. Nearly all of Stephen King’s horror novels have been made into movies, and if you have seen the movie and enjoyed it, the book is, by far, much more scary. If you are ready to delve into the world of the creepy, scary, and monstrous, here is a list of works to get you started:

It by Stephen King

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft

The Store by Bentley Little

The Keep by F. Paul Wilson

Fear Street series by R. L. Stine

The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen

The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe



Mystery is a loosely-defined term that is often used as a synonym for detective fiction or crime fiction—in other words a novel or short story in which a detective (either professional or amateur) investigates and solves a crime.

To begin your journey into the world of murder, suspects, and be-cloaked heroes who claim that their deductions were “Elementary, my dear Watson,” try some of these titles:

The Sherlock Holmes mysteries by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton

The Kay Scarpetta books by Patricia Cornwell

Gone, Baby, Gone, by Dennis Lehane



Romance is a literary genre developed in Western culture, mainly in English-speaking countries. Novels in this genre place their primary focus on the relationship and romantic love between two people, and must have an "emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending."

Many people today glean a lot of pleasure from reading these novels. It is possibly the most popular of all adult genres. Come join Sebastian and Miquela along with all our other heroes and heroines in the bodice-ripping world of romance novels by trying a few of these popular titles:

A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Devaraux

Sizzle by Julie Garwood

Sweet Starfire by Jayne Ann Krentz

The Tawny Gold Man by Amii Lorin

Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife by Linda Berdoll

A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen


Science Fiction

Science fiction is a genre of fiction, usually set in the future, dealing with the impact of imagined innovations in science or technology It differs from fantasy in that, within the context of the story, its imaginary elements are largely possible within scientifically established or scientifically postulated laws of nature (though some elements in a story might still be pure imaginative speculation).

There are many different branches of science fiction, as with most genres. If science fiction sounds like something you would enjoy, and you don’t like the first book you pick up, don’t give up. Try another - this genre in particular is extremely varied, and most people, even if they aren’t fans, can find something they like.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Mission Earth by L. Ron Hubbard

The Naked Sun by Isaac Asimov

1984 by George Orwell

Planet of Exile by Ursula K. LeGuin

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Timeline by Michael Crichton

Xenocide by Orson Scott Card

The Year of the Quiet Sun by Wilson Tucker

The World of Ptavvs by Larry Niven



The suspense novel, sometimes called a thriller novel, is mostly characterized by an atmosphere of menace, violence, crime and murder by showing society as dark. These movies heavily rely on literary devices such as plot twists, red herrings and cliffhangers.

Just like the science fiction genre, suspense novels also have a variety of types to attract its readers. Just because psychological thrillers aren’t your cup of tea, maybe a good crime novel by the well-known Agatha Christie is.


No matter what your taste in suspense may be, try these novels to begin your journey:

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John LeCarre

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming (the first of the James Bond novels)

Sphere by Michael Crichton (this isn’t anything like Jurassic Park, but you could read that, too.)

The Tremor of Forgery by Patricia Highsmith

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

Whiteout by Vicki Delaney

The First Rule by Robert Crais

The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris


Juvenile Fiction

Because children’s literature is so different in that it is written in different forms and at different levels, this article will discuss four kinds of juvenile fiction.

Here are some wonderful examples of books for younger readers.

Chapter books

Hank the Cowdog series by John R. Erickson

Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park

The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

The Littles by John Peterson

Wayside School is Falling Down by Louis Sachar

Picture Books

Me First by Helen Lester

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka

Sam and the Tigers by Julius Lester

The Faithful Friend by Robert D. San Souci

The Dumb Bunnies by Dav Pilkey

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch


Non-Fiction Literature

Since the `70s, the non-fiction novel has somewhat fallen out of favor, but that does not mean you should not read non-fiction for pleasure! There are plenty of non-fiction novels, biographies, and memoirs to keep your interest!

The Last True Story I’ll Ever Tell by John Crawford (Iraq war memoir)

Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry (Manson family murders)

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (education of girls in the Middle East)

The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank

Because of Romek by David Faber (Nazi concentration camp memoir)

Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A. by Luis Rodriguez (memoir of the author’s gang days)

Jarhead by Anthony Swofford (Gulf War memoir)

Of course, there are hundreds of biographies and thousands of other books, covering sports, art, cooking, religion, hobbies, history, and many other topics. The non-fiction section of your local library holds a wealth of information for you!

Books into Movies

Over the past one hundred years, there have been thousands of movies made and a great deal of those movies came from books. The librarians, book shop keepers, and book lovers of the world would agree with us when we say, read the book. It is so much better than the movie. The movie often tells the basic storyline of the book, but can’t possibly go into the rich details that reading the book for yourself, provides. Some movies, like “Matilda,” follow the book fairly closely. Others, like “Jumanji,” are nothing like the book. Please take the time, if you enjoyed the following movies, to enjoy the books even more.

The Harry Potter series

The Notebook

Charlie and theChocolate Factory

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Eat, Pray, Love

Little Women

The James Bond series

Twilight series

Horton Hears a Who!

Ella Enchanted

Riding in Cars with Boys

Legally Blonde

Lord of the Rings trilogy

Apollo 13 (from the book Lost Moon)

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (from the book Who Censored Roger Rabbit)

Memoirs of a Geisha

The Lovely Bones

The Time Traveler’s Wife




There is no greater satisfaction in life than reading a good book. It has the ability to transport you through a maze of emotion, often holding you until the last page. Our elementary school teachers strove hard to expose us to many different genres of books to challenge us, and to help us find the niche that would propel us into a lifetime of reading enjoyment. When we were children, who among us didn’t identify with Stuart Little, Arthur, Hans Brinker or Charlie Bucket? Come and join the millions of happy people who make reading their hobby and find a new character to identify with and call your friend.