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Get Out of a Reading Rut and Fall Back in Love with Books

by  | July 2

As bookworms who work in publishing, we’re surrounded by books all the time. Our to-be-read piles are constantly growing, on the verge of toppling over, but sometimes we find ourselves trapped in a reading rut. There are a number of reasons that you can find yourself in this situation: maybe you’ve been reading too much of the same genre one after another, or you’ve been trying to power through that book you have to read for book club, or you’ve been trying to expand your reading horizons by trying a new genre, and it is just not working. Whatever the case may be, it’s okay to find yourself in a slump. We asked some of our writers to share a genre and/or book that has helped them find their way back to loving their next read.

Sing to It

Sing to It

by Amy Hempel

Carrie’s Recommendation: Short Stories

Short stories are a great way to get out of a reading rut. Finishing one story in itself is an accomplishment, so you don’t have to read the whole collection to feel like that fiction-loving part of your brain has switched back on after a hiatus. Short stories also offer a totally different experience from novels, since the format means we are getting a plot and character development in a shorter work—it’s exciting to watch all this develop, and to come away with a rich and full reading experience from, sometimes, just a few pages. Recently, I read Amy Hempel’s Sing to It, which has some extra-short stories in addition to a few that are of a more traditional length. It is a brilliant collection, and the format meant I got to be involved in many stories in short order and feel their emotional impact in a big way. It definitely helped re-ignite my love for fascinating characters, and challenged me to pick a next new book to start reading.

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

by Douglas Adams

Maddie’s Recommendation: A Return to Old Favorites

When I find myself in a book slump, I tend to turn to old friends. Oftentimes, I get myself in a slump by not having enough to read, or having too much to read. Because of that, I usually pick up a book on my Kindle that I know I like and that I love to read over and over again. Usually, that ends up being The Hitchhicker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. There is nothing like a wacky space adventure to pull you out of a reading slump. I mean, honestly, this book has everything from alien poetry to depressed robots to existential questions to galactic police, as well as all-around great imagery, unique prose, and genuine humor. It’s a wild ride from start to finish, and every time I read it, I’m reminded why I truly love immersing myself in stories.

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The Accidental Beauty Queen

The Accidental Beauty Queen

by Teri Wilson

Saimah’s Recommendation: Lighthearted Stories

Whenever I find myself in a reading rut, it’s often because I’ve been reading a lot of books from the same genre. My favorite ones are psychological thrillers, magical fantasies, celeb memoirs, and lighthearted fiction. It’s often the nonfiction titles that slow me down: I’m the kind of girl who likes to escape the real world when I read, to step into someone else’s adventure. So after reading a bunch of nonfiction, my favorite subgenre to pick up is romantic comedy. I know I can always finish a cute rom-com story in a day or two, and that helps renew my love of reading. A recent favorite is The Accidental Beauty Queen by Teri Wilson. Fans of The Parent Trap and It Takes Two (or other twins-swapping-places stories) will enjoy this read. Charlotte loves her job as an elementary school librarian, and she’s content to experience the adventures of life through her many books (#same). Her twin sister, Ginny, on the other hand…is an Instagram-famous beauty pageant contestant who is not giving up until the title of Miss American Treasure is hers. When Ginny drags Charlotte along to a pageant for support, Ginny gets some sort of horrifying allergic reaction—and Charlotte suddenly finds herself walking across the pageant stage as her twin.

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