If you're looking for ways to be more well-read, then look no further as I'm here to share some tips. I remember one of my English teachers once saying that the fact she would never have the time to read all the books she wanted to read before she died, made her incredibly sad. Whilst it is true that there is so much out there to read and not enough hours in the day, there are many ways to enjoy the wealth of literature out there from both the past and the present. So here are some of the ways to be more well-read.
1. The Classics
You don't just have to read the 'classics' from the eighteen and nineteen hundreds. From Jane Austen to Dickens and Mark Twain to Nathaniel Hawthorn, the classics are a great place to start and most of you will have been exposed to them at school. There are many modern classics to enjoy too. The trouble is, if you haven't studied literature beyond school then you may not know where to start. Where the classics are concerned, there are many lists online to guide you on your literary journey. This is one of the first ways to be more well-read.
2. Film Versions
I know, this is just one director's interpretation of the text and is in no way a substitute for reading the text itself but sometimes the film version of a novel can give you a great visual representation of the text. Let's face it, we all love to curl up and see the characters in all their glory and there have been some wonderful adaptations of the classics. Don't discount the film version but of course if you can, read the text too.
3. Culture Guides
If you're something of a 'culture vulture' like me, culture guides are also a great way of becoming more well-read. It's not just about reading books. Art, literature, theatre and music are all inextricably linked and like a wonderful web of works, you will be able to find links between many of them.
4. Art Galleries
I love art too and if you visit an art gallery or three, you will soon see that art has influenced literature and literature has influenced art. Therefore, wondering through an art gallery can be great for the literary mind. You can stand and marvel at the ways in which the artists have been influenced by Shakespeare's tragedies or other great literary works.
Watching documentaries about art and history is another great way to become more well-read. They will also be able to point you in the direction of other texts and authors which you may not have heard of before. You can find out who influenced writers and it's a good way to get a contextual understanding of texts.
6. Plays and Audio Versions
Remember not to neglect the great plays. They are just as important as the novel. When you get the opportunity, go and watch a stage version of a play and see the characters come to life. You can also find great audio versions of texts, and they're handy to listen to on your travels.
I know, this is cheating slightly and is no way a substitute for reading the text in its entirety, but if you don't have time to plough through War and Peace or Ulysses, you may want to read a summary before you get down to the serious business of reading them.
These are just a few ways to be more well-read. Do you have any other hints and tips?