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May 06

Stuck in a Rut by Genesis Gaule

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on May 6, 2022 at 4:29 PM by Genesis Gaule

I recently fell into a reading rut--that overwhelming want-to-read feeling but everything I picked up was quickly abandoned into the maybe-later-pile. As an avid reader, this can be disheartening. But have no fear! If you’re feeling the same way, here are a few tricks I use to help cure the reading blahs.

Wander the shelves

When I’ve hit a rut, my first course of action is to browse the library stacks, new arrivals, best sellers, and displays. Even if I don’t find anything, exploring the stacks can be fun in and of itself. As you wander, flip through books with interesting covers or intriguing titles. Keep an eye out for Staff Picks and Featured on Our Blog shelf tags to point you to the cream of the crop.

Genre jump

If you’re feeling like you keep reading the same story over and over, it’s time to genre jump!

Are you a regular fiction reader? Try a biography or true crime tell-all. Pick up a book of poetry or dive into some mythology or folklore. More of a history buff? Try one of these suggestions of novels for nonfiction lovers from readerslane.com.

I find book club selections push me beyond my typical preferences in a thought-provoking way. Check out our Book Club Picks that run the gamut from fiction and mysteries to self-help, history, and biographies.

Find a read-alike

Or perhaps you remember a book you loved and want to read more like it. Here's a few sites to help you scratch that itch:

  • Check out our staff-picked “If you liked…” lists or ask a staff member for recommendations.
  • What Should I Read Next?, TasteDive, and Library Thing are also great tools to find read-alikes. Simply type in a book you like and it will generate suggestions of similar reads based on genre, topic, and even hand-picked user lists. 
  • Whichbook is a unique book finder that allows you to find books based on mood/emotion or character/plot or even geographical areas.
  • You can also find a read-alike from a TV show you’ve enjoyed with these lists from NPR and BuzzFeed.

Pro tip: See a book title on one of those sites you’d like to read but we don’t have yet? Request a title for us to purchase! If we do, you’ll be contacted when it arrives.

Read something light or short

Sometimes the rut is a matter of weight. If starting that 8 (or more) book series you’ve been meaning to read or that new self-help book your friend has been raving about feels like a chore, try reading a cozy mystery, fluffy romance, or YA novel instead. Even a collection of essays or short stories could be just the thing to relax you back into reading. 

Or reread a childhood favorite or one you vaguely remember from school. A familiar story read through new eyes can be an invigorating nostalgic jolt to power you through to your next read. 

Try an audiobook

Sometimes your eyes just need a rest. We have a wonderful collection of audiobooks both in physical CDs or e-audio through Overdrive.

All else fails, embrace the rut

I know it seems counter-intuitive, but if reading isn’t bringing you joy right now it is ok to take a break. Focus on a different hobby, spend time outside, or watch that tv show or movie languishing in your watch list (or check out one from the library). Once the joy of reading has sparked in you, it never truly leaves. Trust that it will rekindle when it's ready.

Mar 17

Get to Know Each Other by Charlotte Helgeson

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on March 17, 2022 at 3:16 PM by Genesis Gaule

Curiosity is probably my strongest characteristic. It shows up most strongly when I meet new people. Sometimes, I meet them in person at the library or when I’m traveling. Even more often, I meet new people in books.

There is never the awkward stumbling through an initial conversation. No wondering if I’m saying something offensive or confusing while reading. The author introduces me to someone new and away I go into finding out all about them.

warriorsMy curiosity leads me to ask questions, even when reading. “Why would he do that?,” will send me back through the pages to catch what I must have missed. Fictional characters’ actions are often well explained in a book. Then there are the historical books which sometimes give one view of a moment in our past. I especially enjoy histories of groups of people like Warriors in Uniform: the Legacy of American Indian Heroism by Herman Viola. It had personal stories and the history that put their stories into context. I enjoyed a lot of the pictures also.

Memoirs are a real person’s retelling of an event or life experience through an emotional lens. Will I learn about the person? Absolutely. Some personal stories are told through important messages they want to share as in Every Body Yoga by Jessamyn Stanley.

How many times have you asked a question like “Is Sam your oldest brother or cousin?” That’s done when in the presence of another person. No matter how many times we visit with that individual, we can’t keep those details straight. A good amount of credit needs to go to people who can remember all the details about a person they meet like Sherlock Holmes does or Detective Vale in The Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman. Yes, that one’s fiction but I’m connected to all the characters. I also ask why about actions or viewpoints and sometimes get answers from living and breathing people though this can be much easier in a book. When searching for an answer in a book, there is no consequence for rereading a page to find the answer like there might be by asking, “What’s your name again?”.

noorAnother way to get to know people who I can’t find in our community is to read their folklore or stories based on them. The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri includes the epics of India as the background. Stories set in a real location in a different time, brings the people of those parts of the world to life. Noor by Nnedi Okorafor is another science fiction novel that uses African culture as a backdrop. In it, I met Fulani herdsman which I knew nothing about before reading this fictional story.

Our Library also has some great children’s biographical picture books. The stories are true but placed in a story format. We even have graphical biographies which are wonderful fun to read.

black leapardWith so many options, you could make new acquaintances every day at the library. It’s OK if you don’t remember the title or the author or the name of the character. Ask one of us and we’ll help you locate it. We love to be asked, “What is the name of the book that has the colorful cover with eyes looking out at me?” We’ll start asking you questions and very likely find your book. “Is it about a tracker?”

“Yes,” you say and we answer with the title or walk you over to find the book. By the way, that is Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James which gives us a look into African history and mythology through a fictional tale.

Curiosity is great. Keep asking questions and discovering who else is out there.

Feb 07

Book Notes 2/7/2022

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on February 7, 2022 at 1:54 PM by Genesis Gaule

Blog Book Notes

2/27/2022


Want to learn a new hobby? Register for Campbell Creates! Join us in-person or over Zoom for Beginner Crochet with Campbell Creates on Tuesday, February 15 @ 6:30 pm. More information...


Bringing Up Bookmonsters by Amber Ankowski

The Joyful Way to Turn Your Child into a Fearless, Ravenous Reader // Teaching your child to read is monstrously important, and there's no better way to do it than with everyday opportunities for laughter and play. The Ankowskis share tips to help you help your child develop an insatiable appetite for reading-- and have a good time doing it!

372.4 ANKOWSKI


How to Tell Stories to Children by Joseph Sarosy and Silke Rose West

West and Sarosy distill the key ingredients of storytelling into a surprisingly simple method that can make anyone an expert storyteller. Their technique uses events and objects from your child's daily life to strengthen your relationship with your child.

372.677 WEST


How to Examine a Wolverine by Philipp Schott, DVM

More Tales from the Accidental Veterinarian // This collection of over 60 stories and essays, drawn from Dr. Schott's 30 years in small animal practice, covers an astonishing breadth of experiences, emotions, and species. Schott has tales of creatures ranging from tiny honeybees to massive Burmese pythons, although the emphasis is on dogs and cats and the interesting, often quirky, people who love them. Schott's candor gives the reader a behind-the-scenes look at a profession that is much admired but often misunderstood.

636.089 SCHOTT


How to Slay a Dragon by Cait Stevenson

A Fantasy Hero's Guide to the Real Middle Ages // Divided into thematic subsections based on typical stages in a fantastical epic, and inclusive of race, gender, and continent, this book is perfect if you're curious to learn more about the time period that inspired some of your favorite magical worlds or longing to know what it would be like to be the hero of your own mythical adventure.

909.07 STEVENSON


If you need help accessing any of these titles or using front door pickup, email or call us and we will be happy to assist you!

View Book Notes PDF archive

Looking for more interesting how-to? Check out this list!