Birthday time! I have turned 25 (the horror, the shock, etc.) and since there is a trend on the #internet to share X number of things you’ve learned (x equals your age) I thought I would join in! Here are 25 things I’ve learned, book themed obviously. Some are tips for younger me. Some are just reminders to myself.

1 Did you know you can walk and read at the same time?

Only do it on sidewalks though. Do not read and cross the road at the same time.

2 Audiobooks are a thing

If you don’t want to read a physical book while walking, get some audiobooks. Audiobooks are great, you can listen to a book while walking,  riding a bike, cooking or doing anything else!

3 Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter is the best thing to happen to this planet

I have listened to these audiobooks at least three times by now. He is just the best. Never doubt they will cheer you up.

4 Separate your ‘to be read’ books from the ‘read’ books on your book shelves.

It might help you buy fewer books, knowing how many you still have to read. (Can’t promise it will actually help though, due to the next point)

5 Do not enter a book shop if you don’t have money to buy anything

I have no self-control when it comes to buying books. It is a problem, I know. So by now, I am fully aware that if I enter a book shop, I will either buy (too many) books or leave feeling sad and bookless.

6 Get a library pass

You know where you can enter and leave with as many books as you please? THE LIBRARY. It is amazing. I love it so much. Thankfully there is a 10 book limit, but I still manage to have at least 9 books at home anyway.

7  Start a book club

Book clubs are the best. I joined one in Rotterdam for a while (@Bored to Death Book Club, I am coming back I promise!) and then I decided to start my own. It is a great way to interact with people about books, knowing they enjoy books as much (or more) as you do.

8 You are not obliged to finish reading every book you start

Hard to do, but you can actually stop reading a book. Nobody cares and it gives you more time to read stuff you actually enjoy.

9 Get Goodreads

It is great to keep track of what you’ve read and what you would like to read in the future. (It does however also enable your book shopping addiction)

10 Keep you ‘Want to read’ up to date

Once you start using Goodreads, remember to clean out you ‘want to read’ shelve every now and then. You, unfortunately, can’t read them all.

11 Do not go onto bookdepository.org unless you want to spend money on books

Same as the bookshop point, but this one is online and therefore 24/7 available. STAY AWAY.

12 Always take a book with you

Horror scenario: you have to wait somewhere and you don’t have a book to read while waiting….

13 Keep an open mind when seeing a book to movie adaptation

A movie is a different medium, so you should treat it as a separate thing.

14 Clear out your bookshelves

You don’t need to keep copies of books that don’t make you ‘happy’. Think Marie Kondo and donate them to people who might enjoy having them on their shelves.

15 Sharing is caring

Never miss an opportunity to introduce other people to books they should read.

16 Sharing is letting go

Not every book you loan to other people will come back pristine. Just remember it comes back a little more loved.

17 You can read outside

Is someone complaining you don’t go outside enough? Take your book and find a spot in the shade!

18 Finding a good coffee cafe to read is like finding a second home

So keep looking until you find the perfect (leather) couch to sit on for an hour or so while enjoying your coffee.

19 Writing a review is hard

So take your time. It is worth mulling over books and their meaning to you.

20 Bookstagramming is also hard

But when the likes start coming in, it sure feels great!

21 Start writing

You know what is, if possible, even more fun than reading stories? Putting your own stories on paper. So keep it going!

22 Writing in Dutch will not go well if you keep reading in English

After spending almost half you life reading English, it is time to go back to your own language. Get into that Dutch literature, it is (hopefully) not that scary!

23 If you want to expand your horizons, you need to choose your books accordingly

There are a lot of interesting narratives to explore. So pick books that are about people who are not you.

24 Be unapologetic in your enthusiasm about books

I mean, they are the best thing paper, ink and human creativity can produce. (Ok, art is also cool, but isn’t a book ‘word art’?)

25 Read every day

It makes you happy.