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Welcome to Alone With Books!

The aim of this website is to provide quick and useful advice on books and reading. This ranges from summaries of books so you can decide whether you want to read them or learn more about the themes behind them; best of articles that detail the best books in a category or the best works by an author and tips on how to get the most out of your reading.

We want to inspire you to read more books and get the most from your reading. Books are a brilliant source of knowledge as well as providing hours of entertainment and nourishment. This site will feed that and provide you with all the resources you need to enjoy your reading.

The goals of Alone With Books can be summarised by these four bullet points.

  • To act as a resource for people who love to read.
  • To provide authentic and concise summaries that give you a flavour of what the book in question is about and the themes that underpin it.
  • To provide advice on how to get the most out of your reading. Whether that’s how to read 100 books in a year, reading faster or taking more in from the books you read.
  • To give you an overview of the best books in certain categories and the best books by certain authors

About me

A headshot of me

Hey, I’m Tom Stevenson from the UK and I love to read! Reading is a passion of mine and has been for several years. It’s hard to remember a time when I didn’t enjoy reading. Even as a child I loved to flick through books and read as much as I could.

Looking back, there were always books nearby and I picked them up out of curiosity more than anything. While my passion may have receded somewhat during my school years, I did still read most of the textbooks back to front and devoured as much information as possible.

I wasn’t as voracious a reader when I was at university to my detriment but I found it was travelling that reignited my love for reading again. If you’ve spent a long time backpacking, then you’ll know you have a lot of time to yourself. You’re not always out and about doing stuff.

So, to fill the time, I started reading a lot of books. So much so that I was carrying around 8 books with me at one point as I was reluctant to part with them. I ended up shipping them back home from Australia which cost a decent sum.

Here’s one of my bookshelves where you can see some of the books I’ve read and that are reviewed on this site:

my bookcase, with three shelves of books on it
My bookcase!

And here is another of my shelves that is full to the brim with books!

my other bookcase with two long shelves of books
My other bookcase!

As you can see I really love books and anticipate that these shelves will start to fill up even more in no time. In fact, I’ll probably need a lot more shelves in a few years!

What’s The Deal With Book Summaries?

The aim of the book summaries, such as my Meditations summary, is to provide a concise overview of the book in 10 minutes or less. There are three takeaways, which tell you what the book is about and the key themes behind it.

One of the worst things about reading is picking up a book and discovering after 50 or so pages that you’re not enjoying. You’re then left with the decision to either carry on reading till the end or cut your losses.

With a summary, you can get an insight into the book and the author and find out whether you might enjoy it or not. Hopefully, you’ll also learn a few things from the summaries as well!

If you want to read a lot of books, as I do, then these summaries should help separate the wheat from the chaff and help you decide which books are worth your time. You might also discover a few books you’ve never heard of but are intrigued to read.

We’ve also compiled a collection of best of posts, such as a guide to the best books on climate change, that let you know the best books on a certain topic or the best books by a certain author. These are great if you’re looking to read up on a subject or you’re looking for more books by an author you enjoy reading.

Where To Start on Alone With Books?

If you want to browse some of the summaries that have been written on the site, then the index should be your first port of call.

If for whatever reason, you fancy reading the boring legal stuff, then the privacy policy, affiliate disclosure and terms of use will be right up your street.

The best of category is for those of you who want to browse through different areas and get a wide range of recommendations on various topics. While you can check out our reading tips if you want to get the most out of your reading.

You can also check out my Medium account, where I write a variety of different articles on topics such as life, self-improvement, politics and books of course. You can catch me over at The Travelling Tom, which is my travel blog and documents my travels around the globe!