COLUMN: A bad case of reader’s block

We might gravitate towards the same type of books repeatedly, never venturing into unknown territory

“I don’t know what I want to read!” is a refrain I hear often in my life.

I say it, my sons say it and people coming into the library say it (with the hope that I can help them.)

Most of us at one point or another have probably experienced what I like to call reader’s block. That feeling of wanting to read something but you just don’t know what and sometimes nothing sounds appealing.

My sons can often be my biggest challenge as they seem to think of their mom as the magical book fairy, who makes the perfect book appear at will.

What they don’t realize is that for every book that they love I probably have six more in the book bag that just don’t make the grade.

Right now I am suffering from a bad case of reader’s block. Everything I pick up just seems unappealing.

I will read a few pages, just feel blah and yet another title ends up on the discard pile. If you feel the same way, fear not, help is on hand at your local library.

It can be a little daunting when someone stands looking at you expectantly, hoping against hope that you’ll be able to give them that perfect tome that will kick-start their reading again.

I often start with the question “Well what do you like?” as at least it gives me something to go on.

Sometimes it can be a process of elimination, figuring out what someone doesn’t like first. It can be helpful getting an outside opinion on what to read as sometimes we can box ourselves in a little.

We might gravitate towards the same type of books repeatedly, never venturing into unknown territory.

Having someone make suggestions that are completely different from this norm we’ve created can be refreshing.

I love the look of surprise people get when you introduce them to something new.

Many diehard fiction fans would never dream of looking in the poetry section for example. You never know what you might discover and learn in the non-fiction section.

I often encourage people to just try, the nice thing about the library is it costs nothing to try.

If you can’t decide what genre is for you then we have many collections of short stories, poetry and essays to get you started.

You might like to try The Year’s Best Science Fiction, by Gardner Dozois or Family Furnishings, by Alice Munro or I Am An Islander by Patrick Ledwell.

Our Okanagan Regional Library website (www.orl.bc.ca) is also a great resource. Not only do we have links to readers’ advisory websites such as Novelist but there are suggested titles built right into our catalogue. It is a great place to start your search.

So for those of you who are experiencing a little reader’s block why not come down to the library for a little inspiration. We might take you into uncharted waters but you never know you just might like it!

Adele Meadow is an Assistant Community Librarian at the Summerland branch.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Kelowna Capital News)
B.C. Labour Board orders Peachland cannabis company to reinstate laid-off employees

The B.C. Labour Relations Board determined the employees were laid off due to their plan to unionize

File photo
EDITORIAL: The power of a single vote

In the Oct. 24 British Columbia election, every vote is important

RCMP stock photo (Black Press)
Kelowna RCMP investigating unexplained death of cattle

Cattle found dead near gravel road, east of the Kelowna Airport

The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen is launching an initiative to provide horse-assisted therapy to frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic (Black Press file photo)
Community Foundation of South Okanagan Similkameen to provide horse-assisted therapy

Therapy sessions will be offered to frontline workers during ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Curtis Sagmoen
Public warning issued to North Okanagan sex trade workers

RCMP warns workers to stay away from Salmon River Road area

Two pigs roam the Salmon Arm Walmart parking lot during a prior visit photographed by Danielle Burgi. (Danielle Burgi photo)
Pigs trot over for a visit at Salmon Arm shopping centre

Employees say this was the second drop-in from the temporarily free-range porkers

Penticton law courts. (Black Press file)
Osoyoos man in court for alleged shooting

The Oct. 11 shooting left a man with non-life threatening injuries

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Princeton man on motor scooter refuses to provide breath test to police

The scooter did not have a license plate and was not insured

Most Read