Create community, make a writer smile, bring to life the books you want to read and more! Four steps to becoming an active reader:
Step 1: Explore your world
Walk into your neighbourhood bookshop, or do research to find specialty bookshops for your interests. Whether you're into travel, art, Wicca or in search of the best translated fiction there is a bookshop (or two) for you. Take an hour or an afternoon and go to this new place.
Step 2: Be brave and buy it
Some of the most rewarding reads are the smallest, or shortest. If you pick up a book or magazine and you've zipped through a few pages, pop over to the till and take it home with you.
Step 3: Be a fan
If you enjoyed the book, let the author know. You can easily follow the author on social media and say 'thanks for a really good read'. Reviews are great too. Don't worry about using the perfect words - like all of us, writers are grateful for praise.
Step 4: Be a midwife
You may find that an author you know and love is looking for small scale financial backing to bring a new book into the world. Investigate first, but won't it be fun when you get a copy of the book that you made possible? New publishing models, such as Unbound, are popping up all over.
My inspiration for this brief post was discovering, and buying, Rachael Smith's self-published book I Am Fire at Orbital Comics in London in September. I read it and loved it, shared it, reviewed it. I followed Rachael on twitter @Rachael_ and recently contributed a very modest sum of money via Kickstarter so she could publish (and send me a copy of) Wired Up Wrong.
This is not a sponsored post, just being a fan!