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A Fresh Look at a Classic Series: Harry Potter

27 Oct

It might be hard to believe but I had never read the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling before. Even though I read everything I could get my hands on growing up, this book never came on my radar until the movies came out!

So if you don’t know, the Harry Potter series is a Children’s Fantasy series about an 11 year old orphan Harry Potter who finds out he is a wizard and starts going to a mysterious school for young wizards called Hogwarts. 

It’s a fun series and I can understand why it’s so popular, especially amongst people who read it as a kid. It will make you wish for an owl telling you that you’re actually a wizard to show up at your window and whisk you away to adventure. As an adult, personally I can’t imagine myself being obsessed with the series but it was a very enjoyable read and I finished the series easily. I still don’t understand why people love Snape and Malfoy so much. To be honest, I found them pretty horrible and don’t feel like they really redeemed themselves in the end. Maybe it is because of how they were portrayed in the movies and by such great actors but in the book, not so much.

The series is appropriate for ages 10 and up for sure. It is a great story filled with magic, mystery, danger, great friendships, found family and a relatable set of heroes. 

If you would like to check out the books, we have it at the library and it can be ordered through our catalog and you can check out the ebooks and audiobooks through Hoopla accessible with your library card through the Hoboken website or Hoopla app!

Thanks for reading! 

If you would like to watch the video version of this review and more, follow the Library’s teen instagram page @Hobokenlibraryteens!

If the description of pasties and other treats in the novel made your stomach rumble, you can also read a past review of theUnofficial Harry Potter Cookbook here.

Written by:
Asha Mobiley
Teen Librarian

Tips for Getting Back Into Reading

15 Sep

When you’re a kid, reading can be the easiest thing in the world to fall into. As you get older and have more responsibilities and less time to focus, it can be harder to pick up or finish a book. Sometimes, you have the time but are in a reading funk and can’t get through a book you feel like you should be able to enjoy! Here are some tips that worked for our librarians when they were struggling to read:

  • Reread an old favorite.
    • Sometimes rereading one of your favorite books can be exactly what you need to get back into the reading mood. Rereads are usually easier and use less energy to finish since you already know you will enjoy the book. It can also help remind you what you like in a book and should look for in a future read. You can find read-a-like suggestions from Novelist, which is provided to Hoboken and other NJ residents from the State Library, simply enter in your library card number and you can find suggestions similar to your favorite books.
  • Try out a different genre
    • It can be easy to stick to one favorite genre when you read books but eventually you might start feeling genre fatigue and not even realize what’s holding you back from enjoying your book. Trying out a different genre can help break you out of a funk and open your eyes to more variety of books! Novelist also supplies book suggestions for genres from Science Fiction to Romance.
  • Try out a different format
    • If you usually read print books, try out an audiobook! Usually read big novels, try out a graphic novel! All book formats count as reading in our eyes. Audiobooks make it easy to follow a novel while doing chores, exercising or working. If you have less time to devote to reading, it might be exactly what you need! Hoboken residents have access to digital audiobooks from eLibraryNJ (Overdrive/Libbby), eBCCLS (Overdrive/Libby), Freegal, and Hoopla!
  • Try Shorter Books
    • If you are used to reading 600+ page epic fantasies, try taking a break and reading a short novella or 200 page book! Large books can be fun and immersive but they can also start to feel heavy and can put you into a slump. Don’t be afraid to break up the monotony with a quick read or a short comic! You can find some great comics and shorter reads from Hoopla.
  • Don’t be afraid to give up on a book that isn’t working,
    • If a book isn’t working and holding your interest, DON’T force your way through it. That’s a great way to force yourself into a reading slump. By forcing yourself to get through a book you’re not enjoying, you start associating reading with that negative feeling and make it harder to enjoy books going forward. That’s also the reason we don’t suggest forcing kids to read books they don’t like. Don’t feel guilty for giving up on a book! 
    • Try reading the first chapter of a book to see if it catches your interest. If the first chapter doesn’t draw you in, it might not be the book for you! This technique saves time and energy on books you won’t want to finish.
  • Don’t let others judge you or dictate what you can read.
    • All reading is valid and valuable regardless of genre or format! Whether you are an adult who enjoys middle grade mystery novels or a preteen who likes historical non-fiction, you shouldn’t feel judged for what you like. Don’t try to force yourself to read what everyone else is reading or says you should like. It can be fun to challenge yourself to different genres but never if it’s going to make reading a negative experience for you. 
  • Find book recommendations. 
    • If you get the urge to read but are having trouble deciding what you want or finding a specific subject, look at book recommendations from other readers! Online book communities on twitter, instagram and tiktok are always discussing new and interesting books. Some readers enjoy reading through the New York Times best sellers list. And you can always stop in to your local library to ask a library professional what they recommend or have been enjoying recently! Check out the categories to the right on this blog for Staff Picks in the genres or formats you are interested in.
  • Spend time in your local library!
    • Call me biased, but visiting the library always inspires me to read. We are constantly getting new books in all genres and age groups. It’s a relaxing environment to sit and read, browse the computers or join programs and meet other readers. Have a chat with your local library professionals about what they recommend and what resources they offer that you might not know about. For instance, did you know that you have access to thousands of ebooks and audiobooks for free through the library? The Hoboken Library uses Hoopla and Libby (Overdrive) to offer access to a growing list of books in many formats with nothing required but a library card and phone/computer/tablet with internet access! You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your house to get access to the library’s many books and resources!

I hope these tips helped you get back into reading for fun! Let us know in the comments if you have any more tips to add, have book recommendations or need book recommendations from us!

Happy Reading!

Written by:
Asha Mobiley
YA/Teen Librarian

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