Tools for your happiness.

There is something magical about books. They enrich our lives in so many ways, no matter what your interests or lifestyle. Today there are even more ways to enjoy a good book apart from the traditional published version available in print. Now ebooks can be downloaded onto an electronic reading device, and online books accessed with a few keystrokes on the computer. In addition to varying formats, books are also more mobile than ever before. Rather than lugging a heavy tome to a favorite reading spot, we can take along a reader or pull up a favorite title on any public access computer. Almost anyone can read whatever they like, wherever they want, at their leisure. So then it becomes a matter of which books to read, and that is an individual preference for each of us.

Pick your genre.

With numerous genres, or types, to choose from, you can enjoy topics that appeal to your unique taste. Generally, books are divided into the categories of fiction and nonfiction. Whatever a reader’s lifestyle, hobbies, or problems, there are plentiful options, including print and ebooks, on a full range of topics. If you want to learn how to cook Italian fare, you’ll find countless Italian cookbooks by famous and up-and-coming authors. On the other hand, if you can’t get enough of historical romances, look for your favorite period novels.

Store your favorite books.

As you buy new or used versions of your favorite reads, you will want to decide how to store them. Ebooks are readily stored online or in an electronic reader. Print copies are a little more cumbersome, but for many readers, they are well worth their weight and storage space. If you buy cheap books, you may decide to resell them or trade them in at bookstores that host exchanges.

See what others say.

After finishing a favorite story or how-to volume, it’s fun and interesting to see what other readers think. When you visit a book review site, you can read responses from others who have read the same book to see what they think. In some cases, you can participate in discussions with the authors, if still living, or other fans of the genre or story that has intrigued you. Often, you can post your review or personal comments to start a dialogue about your meaningful reading experience.

Join a reading circle.

To extend your reading experiences, consider joining or starting a reading group. Sharing the experience with a group of dedicated enthusiasts reinforces the joy of literature, no matter what form it takes or the genre represented. A readers’ club may be able to purchase cheap books from a local bookseller at a group discount. Occasionally, local authors are willing to come and discuss their publications with a reading group, deepening the pleasure and understanding that comes from a love of reading.

National reading book clubs.

Local reader groups may be satellites of a national reading group, which provides an even more extensive opportunity to connect with like-minded book fans. Some clubs are theme-based, while others are dedicated to certain authors or genres. Becoming part of a national reading group extends the conversation about a favorite work around the country. Videoconferencing and webinars bring authors into the discussions for even greater enjoyment.

Literary conferences.

A conference is another great way to savor your favorite type of reading. By attending a conference, you will meet those who share your literary interests and possibly engage in titillating discussions about the meaning of a particular work or passage. Intellectually stimulating and emotionally pleasurable, conferences are the epitome of a reader’s literary dreams. Sometimes a famed author will be the keynote speaker, and sessions may be led by scholars or fan club members who are especially knowledgeable about the topics.

Give the gift of reading.

In addition to enjoying an hour or two of daily reading, enabling others to enjoy quality book titles pays the pleasure forward. You can share your favorite pages to an elder in a nursing home, school children, or even in one of the new business book lunch groups that are sweeping the nation. Donating time to help students practice reading is a valuable gift to the child and the school. Contributing money toward the school library or public library helps to keep free reading available to all.

Whether you are a fan of online books or the old fashioned bound variety, a true bibliophile finds ways to incorporate all manner of books to read for a variety of purposes. Just as important, dedicated readers will reach out to share their love of reading with others, contributing to a literate society that cherishes classic works of literature along with self-help volumes of pop psychology. There is a book for each moment of the day. It is up to readers to select and savor the best moments our lives through the insight and enjoyment of a lifetime reading habit.