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Zein Al-Maha Oweis gives three books to get beginners started on their reading journey.

Reading has always been one of my favourite hobbies. I am forever known for having my nose stuck in a book. While reading is second nature to me, some may find it difficult to find an author or book to get them hooked. That’s why I have composed a list of the three books which have helped me get into the groove of reading. Because of these amazing stories, I became hooked to the world of reading romance, fiction and fantasy. These may be familiar to you but, I hope they get you started on your journey to becoming avid readers such as myself.

1. The Chronicles of Narnia

 As a child my mother would always read my sister and I bedtime stories. One of my favourite series to date is C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. I loved reading them and listening to the BBC Audio series. It helped ease my night terrors being visually impaired and becoming accustomed to night blindness. What I love about this series is that the characters evolve with every turn of the page. At times, I would open my closet and climb inside of it to see if it would lead me to another world because of these books. They are an easy read and have illustrations to help your imagination wander along with Lucy, Susan, Edmund, and Peter. Lewis allows the reader to learn new words and yearn to read more. This was one of the first series I read that ignited my passion for reading, and I believe it could do the same for others.

2. Harry Potter

 After graduating from my masters, I was in a bit of a funk and lost my zest for reading. During this time a friend of mine decided to visit me in London while doing an internship abroad and asked me to take her to the Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour. Being an eager Harry Potter fan, I jumped at the chance to join her. Once there, we were able to take part in the House Sorting at Hogwarts. During this my friend asked, “Zee have you read the novels?” I looked at her and said, “No, just watched the movies…” My friend made me buy the entire series and told me that this would help me get out of my reading funk. So, I grabbed a cup of tea, sat down with the first novel and began reading. What a series to help get you out of a funk! I was hooked from the first page, as I love when authors use descriptive scenery to create a real picture in your mind. If you are a fan of the  Harry Potter movies, I would definitely recommend reading the novels. You can even buy the books in the colours of your Hogwarts Houses. 

3. Storm and Fury 

As I grew older and started getting used to being visually impaired, I looked for role models in authors who have Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) such as myself. During my university years, I stumbled onto Jennifer L. Armentrout’s novels. I saw that one of her books was tagged on one of the RP Facebook pages and hunted down her novels to read them. I was able to get my hands on her Dark Elements series and absolutely fell in love with her writing. Seeking out an author who you relate to can be another route to becoming a book-lover. I finished the series in two days. It led me to reading all her novels and one of my favourites which I would urge you to read is Storm and Fury. I have never read a book with a character, let alone the main heroine, who has RP. And what's more, this heroine happens to be relatable and kicks ass. It soon became my favourite series. Armentrout is a master of words and grabs your attention from the first word. She can make a reader cry, laugh, gasp, and even ask yourself why while reading. She has you guessing as to what will come next and takes you on an adventure like no other. If you love paranormal, science fiction, or romance genres, she is definitely the author to help you jump start your reading hobby.


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