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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

LGBTQ Comedies through the Decades: Torch Song Trilogy, But I’m a Cheerleader, and GBF

18 Aug

August is LGBTQ Pride Month in Hoboken and as in June we have lots to celebrate as we look back on the struggles that have been overcome and the many accomplishments of the LGBTQ community.  For this post I wanted to look at three movies that use humor as a way to engage audiences, poke fun at stereotypes, and show the ridiculousness of certain theories/practices.

Torch Song Trilogy (1988)
Torch Song Trilogy is a comedy-drama adaption by Harvey Fierstein of his award winning play.  The film stars Fierstein, Anne Bancroft, and Matthew Broderick.  Torch Song Trilogy is set over three distinct time periods as it follows the life and loves of a witty NYC drag queen & torch song singer as he copes with his ex-lover, his mother and adjusting to life with his adoptive teenage son.  The film and play shed light on issues like gay adoption before they were commonly widely discussed.  Available to borrow from BCCLS Libraries.

In honor of Hoboken’s Pride Month, the Hoboken Public Library, will present a staged reading of the Tony Award-winning comedy/ drama on Saturday, August 28 at 3:00 pm.  The cast features Broadway, Film and TV actors Sidney Myer, Michael Stever, Logann Grayce and Hoboken’s own Florence Pape who will perform this funny and sometimes intense staged reading. Registration is required and seating is limited.

Also for Hoboken’s Pride, singer and musician Andrew Schwarz will present a solo concert titled “EltonJohnish” on Saturday, August 21 at 2:00 pm in the Church Square Park Gazebo.

But I’m a Cheerleader (2000)
Netflix recently came out with a documentary, Pray Away, about the “conversion therapy” movement, but for a fictionalized subversive take on the movement bridging the 90’s and 00’s,  there was But I’m a Cheerleader.  Popular teen, Megan (Natasha Lyonne) loves cheerleading, however, her parents are suspicious that despite Megan’s protests that she might be a lesbian.  They send her off to a summer camp that promises to have her acting more “straight.”  Of course things don’t go as planned when Megan meets the intriguing Graham played by Clea Duvall.  Although the film from 2000, is a lot of campy fun, there is a seriousness to the fact that real people were pushed into harmful “conversion therapy” which still persisted into the early millennium. Available to stream from Kanopy and on DVD and Blu-Ray from BCCLS Libraries.

GBF (2014)
GBF in the mid 10’s, sought to skewer stereotypes of what it means to be gay including the token gay best friend character that had sprung up over the years as the needed accessory for any fashionable straight woman.  Two gay NJ teens: Brent (Paul Iacono), who wants to be outed as a road to popularity and another Tanner (Michael J. Willett), who would prefer to stay closeted, find their roles reversed.  Coincidentally Natasha Lyonne also stars in the film as a teacher. Although LGBTQ rights have come a long way, high school and growing up are never easy.  In the spirit of Mean Girls and Clueless, GBF pokes fun at being both a modern gay and straight teen.  Available to stream from Hoopla.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Information and Digital Services

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