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Books To Read When You Don’t Know What To Read

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ven for the most avid book lover, there can be times when it is difficult to find time in a busy schedule to enjoy a book. Maybe your interests have changed and you are spending your leisure time on other activities. If you have realized that you need more balance between active pursuits and sedentary hobbies, you may need to decide what new books are available and figure out what classics you have missed.

When you haven’t read in a while, you may not realize what books have become available during your break from reading. You can obtain book suggestions from many different sources, including clubs, online outlets, newspapers and periodicals, and friends and family members. 

Millions of books are available in English, and even more if you add all of the other languages that have appeared in print. If you stopped reading for a day even, you would never be able to catch up. Estimates of the number of books published annually run from 500,000 to 1,000,000. Self-published authors bring the number to about four million new book titles each year. That is over seven books every minute. Read on to learn how to be more selective about your reading material choices.

What should I read if I haven’t read in a while?

There are various things that can affect your time spent reading. Some of the most common excuses are not having enough time or not being interested in the current selection of books. Physical limitations such as poor vision can make reading an experience which is not as enjoyable as it used to be. Of course, taking a break from reading can be as simple as having other activities which are of higher priority at the time. 

Time Constraints

Today’s world can be busy. Whether you are involved in a career and balancing home life with commuting or enjoying activities with friends, carving time out to sit down with a good book can seem to be a challenge. Dealing with such constraints relies on a decision and a determination to set aside time for reestablishing your love of reading. 

Some of the ways to find reading time include reading while carpooling or commuting. Waiting in the doctor’s office or in a long grocery checkout line may be a good time to make productive use of the wait by reading. Maybe you are waiting to pick up youngsters at their school or soccer game. It is important in each of these instances to be prepared. Load a book on your mobile device, or slip a paperback version into a backpack or purse. If you enjoy a long soak in the bathtub, bring along a book to read while you soak out the stresses of your day. 

The technology of today allows for audiobooks to be accessed almost anywhere you receive signals. Plan ahead by downloading your audiobook on your phone or other mobile device and listen to authors reading their own works or voice actors reading favorite literature selections. You can enjoy a book while exercising, jogging, or engaged in similar activities. 

Vision problems

Physical problems with the way your eyes function can be due to aging. If you have medical problems such as cataracts or macular degeneration it can seriously interfere with your reading enjoyment. Eye strain from poor lighting, overuse, or medical issues affects your ability to sit down with a good book. 

Instead of giving up on the  enjoyment of reading completely, speak with your vision specialists and put their recommendations into practice. Cataract removal is a relatively easy procedure and doesn’t even require a hospital stay in most instances. Some advancements have been made in the area of macular degeneration. While it is not curable, the progression can be slowed significantly. 

What are some benefits of reading?

Reading adds many benefits to your daily life, including stress relief and entertainment. A list of some of the benefits of reading will vary somewhat, depending upon who is making the list. Here are just a few which will be applicable to almost everyone from young children to senior citizens. 

Reading teaches empathy

Reading creates empathy by presenting readers with scenarios and ideas outside of our own environment. Books teach us how to relate to other people by allowing us to experience the walk of the narrator. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. 

Reading is a good example for children

Parents who want their children to learn to read early should set an example by modeling the behavior. Read to your children or, as they are able, ask them to read to you. Not only will it enhance their intellectual ability, it will help them to experience a world that is beyond what you are able to provide. 

Reading lowers symptoms of physical and emotional stress

Becoming absorbed in a story has the ability to transfer the reader to a different world and leave the monotony of day-to-day life behind. Research shows that reading decreases stress, lowers heart rate, and reduces blood pressure. 

Reading gives incentive to overcome challenges

When you become immersed in a book about heroes who have been able to overcome challenges, it can encourage you to overcome some challenges in your own life. The right book can lead you to determine never to give up and stay positive. The book can be a self-help volume or a romance novel. 

Reading imparts knowledge

Regardless of the type of the books you prefer, you can learn facts about people, places and things which you might not have known previously. By choosing a variety of topics to read about, you will have more knowledge and will be able to engage in conversation with a wider range of people. 

Reading improves sleep

When you spend a few minutes at bedtime reading,  it becomes a bedtime routine which tells your body it is time to slow down and sleep. It is important to tell your brain that it is time to de-stress, calm racing thoughts, and prepare for restful sleep.

Reading improves concentration and the ability to focus

Reading, even light-hearted book topics, requires focus and concentration. Instead of relying on gadgets which shorten attention span, books require you to practice paying undivided attention so that your ability to concentrate increases. 

Reading is free entertainment

Because you can obtain books at low cost or none at all, through libraries, you can indulge yourself with the great entertainment they provide. Instead of watching a television show or movie where the scenes come from the minds of the producers, directors, and actors, why not read and let your own mind create the scenes? 

Reading exercises your brain

Reading requires you to remember characters and how they interact with each other. As you read, your mind forms connections between the characters and the settings in which they operate. If you lay the book down between reading sessions, you must maintain the memory of what the characters were doing before you last read. Memory training is something that will stand you in good stead throughout your lifetime. 

How can I get help picking the right books for me?

Choosing books is a highly personal process, but there are so many choices that you may need some help narrowing down your reading list. The things that interest you can change significantly over the years. There are several authorities which you can rely on to help you choose what to read next.

Bestseller lists: Newspapers, bookstores, magazines, and book clubs all have suggestions about worthwhile books to read. Some of the lists are genre specific, and others are sorted between fiction and non-fiction. If you are a member of a book discussion group, it can help to point you in the direction of certain types of books. 

Libraries: Your local librarian keeps his or her fingers on the pulse of the best sellers countrywide, as well as books which fit the reading needs of the local community. The more the librarian knows about your needs and preferences, the more likely it is that your preferences will show up in the selection of recommended reading material. 

Television, social media, and magazines: Books can be recommended by a social media platform post, by book reviews in magazines, and even from a television show. Interviews about people who are in the news for a variety of reasons may speak about a book which sounds interesting. You may also look for background material on a figure in the news to determine whether or not you can believe their opinions. 


It is probably as important to read for your mental health and brain function, as it is to worry about a particular topic or subject. Yet, reading should be for enjoyment, never a chore or a duty. Enjoy the search for a new genre or relive your appreciation for one you know well already.