Letter to My Big Sister
Nahau Rooney: A life of achievement & controversy

How to find the best books

BooksJUSTIN KUNDALIN

PORT MORESBY - Notice I didn’t write “How to find good books” but “How to find the best books” because no one has all the time required to read both the good and the best.

To me, I like to read only the best books that are most enriching for me.

Until now I’ve always told students to read books but I haven’t really shared how they should find the best books for them.

But I’ve decided to take some time to share with PNG Attitude readers some tips on how to find those best books that will nourish our souls. So here are five introductory principles:

Read the introduction. Authors seek to create catchy titles to grab the reader’s attention but many writers provide introductions to their books which contain a condensed account of the context and content of the book. These are frequently of great importance in finding that best book.

Look at the sources the author used to write the book. There have been times I’ve learned a great deal by looking further into the sources referred to by the author. I always consider my reading time to be a learning time.

Read books that challenge your thinking. I really understood what this meant when I studied the philosophy of science this year. If you read the first few paragraphs or pages and they don’t challenge your mind, you may be reading the wrong book, not one of your ‘bests’. I might add that I don’t mind reading boring books where they help build my learning and understanding.

Does the introduction connect to the conclusion? Sometimes introduction and conclusion don’t seem to concur but instead the book goes off along a different trajectory.

Are your imagination and emotions captivated by the book? Sometimes readers don’t feel connected to what they are reading. Smart writers will engage the attention of their readers and connect with readers. Books take us on a journey and readers are like passengers. Writers should never leave them behind. A best book is like that. It takes the reader on the journey until the destination is reached.

At some later point in PNG Attitude I’ll continue to present a few more tips on how to find best books.

Sharing these principles doesn’t meant I’m an expert in this area. I’m still a ‘work-in-progress’ because life is all about learning and learning doesn’t stop until we finally kick the bucket.

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