Throughout much of this year, I’ve had a pretty bad case of something that I call book ennui. More than just a rut, I can't seem to get past the first 50 pages of most books (but shout out to the sample feature in the Libby app!). And most of the time, even when I do, it's a slog to finish. I have SO many books under my "Put down but might pick back up later" a.k.a. the pushpin emoji tag in Libby. But if I don't have a book on my phone or in my bag, they (and my soul!) feel empty.
If this ever happens to you too, I’ve complied a list of strategies that have helped me with that deep existential angst of not being able to find something to read. We’ve all been there.
You know you love that story, those characters, the feels you get from reading it. It might be a good time to revisit an old friend.
I read mostly ebooks and paperbacks, but a good audiobook narrator will engage me in ways regular old reading just can’t. I’ve tried books I’ve never heard of just to listen to my favorite narrators (and it doesn’t need to be said that audiobooks ARE reading, right?).
Graphic novels are also a great way to break up the routine and, bonus, also expose you to some potentially interesting or beautiful graphic art.
This time around, novellas and short novels are my best friends for purging my book ennui. I’ve read so many great stories that entertain or enlighten and still finish up in well under 250 pages.
If you normally read from one or a few genres, go to a trusted source (friend, favorite website, local librarian, Libby Life) for something outside of your usual list. Still dubious? Try combining with #3 and read a shorter book.
Books in translation are having a moment right now, and the options for world literature are better than ever.
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