Dune remains one of the quintessential Science Fiction Novels

Even nearly fifty-five years after its release, Franz Herbert’s 1965 science fiction epic Dune has proven its ability to withstand the tests of time. Dune‘s themes have greatly inspired countless science fiction writers and their stories.

Franz Herbert’s 1965 science fiction epic, Dune
Franz Herbert’s 1965 science fiction epic, Dune

What made Dune so special?

Rather than focusing on many of the tropes that’ve plagued Science Fiction novels, Dune was more interested in looking at human’s and their decisions. Herbert wanted to create a universe that was similar to the one we live in.

One of the more prominent themes in Dune is environmentalism. After all, Dune is set on a distant planet where overcrowding has caused a shortage of its resources… Sound familiar? Herbert hoped to inspire people to support environmental movements to save the Earth. Dune has been cited as the “first planetary ecology novel on a grand scale”. 

Another of Dune’s primary focuses is around empires. No matter how successful an empire may seem on the surface, greed and inequality are inherent qualities that perpetually plague them. Without going any further to avoid spoilers, Herbert makes it clear that he believes all empires past and present will ultimately face a similar fate.

You need to read Dune ASAP!

After all, with a blockbuster adaptation of the novel releasing soon, it’s the perfect time to see for yourself what the hype is all about. When the adaptation was first announced, I (like many Dune fans) was apprehensive. We’ve seen how difficult the source material is to transition from book format. But as soon as Denis Villeneuve was announced as the director, my fears subsided. I knew the project was in as good of hands as possible. You can watch the trailer for the upcoming book here!

The Challenge Of Breaking Up With A Book

Woman Standing in front of books
Picking the right book can be a real challenge! It’s time that we no longer feel bad if we want to “break-up” with a book!

Life is full of choices! Sometimes they decisions are significant and sometimes they’re relatively inconsequential. While our initial decision making process might take seconds or minutes, changing our minds can be an entirely different story. Humans are incredibly stubborn!

Knowing when it’s time to move on from a past choice is a very difficult task.

Personally, the idea of giving up on any of my past decisions or commitments is nearly inconceivable. I try everything in my power to force things to work out, even though I’m ultimately causing myself so much more work and pain in the process!

Giving up and letting go of book is no different

It’s always felt like the ultimate sin as a reader. Is there anything worse?

Most of us have probably experienced that feeling of a “slow burn“. For those who haven’t or aren’t sure, the best way I would describe the concept is it’s a prolonged moment or experience that takes some time to capture your interest or to get going, yet it ultimately turns out to be one of the greatest situations or moments you’ve experienced.

For me, this is one of the main reasons I find it so hard to give up on a book. What if within the next 5-10 pages, a previously un-captivating or un-interesting book turns into the most magnificent or breathtaking journey? I find this is especially true when I’m reading a book that’s been widely regarded and revered as a classic!

But still, sometimes no matter how much time or effort you invest into a book, you just aren’t able to or unwilling to go a page further.

There can be any number of reasons why a book might not be for us. The style of the author can be confusing to understand or the book was originally published in a different language so the translation doesn’t read the exact way the author wanted it to. Alternatively, the book’s subject matter itself might be really difficult to get through or the main character of the story might be so hate-able, that it’s impossible to have any interest in continuing. Or, a book just might be boring to you.

I think it’s time we finally realize that this is okay!

There is nothing more damaging towards aspiring reader’s interest in reading, then trying to push through an unfulfilling book.

Take the books everyone is forced to read in primary or secondary school. I would argue that only a small minority of students actually take the time to read the books they are assigned. While I personally appreciated the books I was “forced” to read in school, I know many didn’t like them. I can’t tell you how many times I bring up my passion of reading and people tell me they lost all interest in the hobby because of the books they were forced to read in school.

I want to make it clear, I think mandatory reading in school is incredibly important! It introduces themes and ideas to students in ways they probably hadn’t thought of before. It also helps develop critical thinking and analysis skills. But I think there are ways it can be improved, to encourage students to have options in reading what they actually want to read.

One teacher I had in high school actually handled this idea wonderfully! He provided his students with a list of 30 books each quarter and the students were required to pick one book from the list, to read and write an essay about. The teacher made sure to include books from a wide range of time periods, authors and themes. This set-up was ideal for everyone, because it allowed us to pick a book we were interested in!

In 2021, let’s spend our time reading books we ENJOY.

Learning lessons is an important part of life!
Take this year to learn from the past! Treat yourself by reading books that you will actually enjoy.

No matter the reason, we should accept some things just aren’t for us. Life’s too short for us to spend it on things we aren’t fond of!

Especially if you’re like me and you have a 2021 Resolution to read a book every week, breaking-up with a book is an important skill to learn.

Just for fun, I want to include a list of some of the books I’ve been unable/uninterested in finishing. There are even some bonafide “classics” in there! 

  1. Some books I don’t think I’ll ever finish
    1. Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes
      • This book is so incredibly long! Also, it was originally written in Spanish, so the translation was really tough to read at certain points.
    2. As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner
      • Faulkner’s style has never really meshed for me. He is known for utilizing extremely long sentences, which are also really complicated.
    3. Game of Thrones – George R R Martin
      • I love Fantasy novels, especially when they are apart of a larger series. Unfortunately, the novels just didn’t capture my interest.
    4. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
      • This one just wasn’t for me! I wish it were different, but I just wasn’t able to find any interest in the book’s plot.

I’d love to hear from you about some of the books you broke up with! Comment down below!

As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful day!

~ K

Challenge Yourself! Tips For Your Year Of Reading Resolutions

New Year Resolutions
Tips for your reading resolutions. Try to challenge yourself, while keeping it realistic!

It’s that time of the year again! It’s time for all of us to sit down and create a list of things we hope to change about ourselves or our lives over the coming year.

It’s Resolution Season!

“I want to become super rich”, “I want to easily lose 100+ pounds of weight” or “I want to be the nicest person to every single person I meet”. 

Do any of these sound familiar? I don’t know about you, but these types of resolutions sure sound familiar to me!

Realistically, we can’t expect things to change overnight. Real change can take a long time! Six months, one year, five years… Depending on the type of change, it can take an unspecified amount of time.

Too often, I’ve found myself realizing my resolutions are impossible for me to complete. Because of this, my internal battle for change was over before it even began. It felt like a never ending up-hill battle.

Change is a Journey! It's an uphill battle
The road to change can be a difficult journey! Yet, while it IS an uphill battle, you CAN still conquer anything you put your mind too.

But, fear not… All hope for successful resolutions is not lost!

We CAN create resolutions which we will ACTUALLY follow. While this post isn’t supposed to be a step-by-step guide about setting realistic resolutions, I think it’s important to briefly cover a few of my favorite tips!

  1. Challenge yourself, but make sure you keep your goals realistic!
    • I think it’s incredibly important to always be challenging ourselves. Too often, we can find ourselves in ruts or in moments in time where everything in our lives just starts to blend together. Challenge proves to be an excellent catalyst for reshaping ourselves and our outlooks! Just make sure you give yourself a realistic shot at completing your challenge.
  2. Look at all areas of your life, in order to determine where you want to see changes.
    • There are so many different parts of our lives, it’s almost overwhelming to choose one specific thing that we want to improve on. Resolutions can be made around the foods we want to consume or the amount of fitness we will force ourselves into. Or, they can be around furthering our educations or (at least in a normal/non-pandemic year), the places we want to travel to. Or even, they can be around the act of improving a personality trait we no longer wish to have.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to set your resolutions up for success, take a look at either of these two guides: Medium Guide or NY Times Guide

My Reading Resolutions

Wall of Books
(Not only will this post help provide inspiration for your own Literature based goals, but it will also serve as a way to ensure personal accountability towards my goals!)

In terms of literature, there are quite a few ways you can go about setting up your goals for the year. Personally, I’m of the opinion people learn best through examples, so I made sure to include my literature-based resolutions to hopefully help inspire you.

  1. Read Everyday
    • This is a nice and easy resolution to kick off the list. I didn’t want to constrain myself with any “mandatory” amount of reading per day. Just the act of challenging myself to read everyday is enough for me!
  2. Write at least Three Times per week
    • This blog will be a handy tool for me to complete this resolution, though I hope to create some independent stories as well.
  3. Read at least Ten New Authors (whom I haven’t read anything prior).
    • With this resolution, I’m hoping to push myself out of my “reading comfort zone”. Staying true to the Exploring Lit motto, life long learning includes exploring the different views, time periods and styles of vastly different writers. I’m really looking forward to this one, because there are so many incredibly interesting and unique authors out there!
  4. Finish a book Every Week
    • This is definitely a resolution teetering towards the impossible side. Personally, it’s a goal that I don’t fully expect to hit, but it’s a goal where I will be happy with my efforts, no matter the results! Especially when we take into account the drastic differences in the lengths of some books! I mean, I honestly can’t expect myself to read books like Don Quixote or The Brothers Karamazov in a week. (Both over 850 pages long!)

There are plenty of other potential resolution ideas!

Don’t worry if none of my resolutions sparked any interests or ideas. We all have our unique ways of doing things and exploring the world around us.

Find what interests and motivates you!

Let me know what you think!

There you have it! There are some ideas for literature-based resolutions for 2021! I hope I gave you some guidance on how you can frame your own goals. 

What types of goals have you set for yourself this year? While 2020 was an extremely rough year for many of us, I believe that we have the power to improve ourselves and our mental states over this coming year! 

Leave a comment down below if you have any thoughts.