9 Tips to Read More in 2024

Have you ever been in a reading slump or a book hangover? Try one of these tried-and-true tips from our librarians to help you sneak more reading into your life in 2024. And if you’re looking to encourage your little one to read, try these tips, too!

1. Skip the Line with hoopla

Hoopla has some of the most popular e-books and e-audiobooks available on-demand with no holds queue. It’s the perfect resource when you want to browse for something to read or listen to now. Don’t forget to check if that book you’re 43rd in line for is available with your Canton Public Library card on hoopla. 

2. Count the Audiobooks

As librarians, we are often asked if listening to audiobooks “counts” as reading. It sure does! As we read (or listen to) books, we experience new worlds, synthesize and contextualize new information, regardless of whether we listen or read (or both!). 

3. Engage Different Parts of Your Brain with Graphic Novels

According to the Association for Psychological Science, “Traditional text is limited to presenting the same information sequentially. But when we read comics, we simultaneously interpret a multitude of visual information such as setting, mood, time, emotion, dialogue, and action.”

This combination engages different parts of the brain at the same time and encourages understanding of the text via visual processing, critical thinking and more. For example, the text may have a unique, challenging word in it and the visuals provide a clue to its meaning. 

Still not convinced? Check out Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud.

Tip 3b: You can combine this tip with hoopla or Comics Plus, which both offer on-demand comic book and manga access with your library card. 

4. Track Your Books

Using a reading tracker can be a great addition to your reading routine. Some folks like to use trackers to keep track of their to-read list or see how many books they can read in a year. Others like to use reading trackers to start conversations about books with friends near and far. 

5. Move On If It’s Not for You

Take to heart these wise words from Librarian Lindsey: “I think it helps to realize you don’t like a book and to move on.”

There is an old saying in the library world that “every book has its reader”, but the flipside of the saying is that you do not have to be the reader of every book. Unless the book is an assignment for a class or part of a book group you like, if you’re not enjoying it by about 50 pages in… move on! 

6. Picture Yourself in a Picture Book

According to Librarian Erin, picture books “get me out of reading ruts because they are small and achievable, and help me keep reading when my attention span is fried.” Graphic novels can work for this, too (see tip #3). 

Pamela Paul, author of How to Raise a Reader and editor of the New York Times Book Review, writes of reading picture books with little ones:

“First, appreciate what picture books, the real wizards of the literary world, do. With remarkable economy, they excel at the twin arts of visual and textual storytelling. Anyone who has ever read a picture book to a child has witnessed this magic firsthand. You’ll be reading along aloud and the child will laugh, not at anything you’ve read but at something she has read in the pictures. While you are reading one story, told in words, she is reading another, told through art. The illustrator doesn’t merely reflect the words on the page; she creates an entire narrative of her own, adding details, creating secondary story lines.”

You can access this linked article and get full 24-hour access to the New York Times with your Canton Public Library card here.

7. Join a Book Group

Joining a book group is a great way to connect with others over books. The library offers three adult book groups each month. If you already have a book group or a group of friends who might become your new book group, you may want to check out our Book Club-in-a-Bag collection, made up of librarian-vetted kits that contain 10 copies of a book and a discussion guide. 

“Book groups get me to read more variety,” says Librarian Erin. The variety of titles can be intellectually and emotionally stimulating, bringing you out of your comfort zone.

But what if you don’t like the book? (Hint: see tip #5). If you aren’t enjoying the title, you may still want to attend the book club—some of the most dynamic and exciting book discussions we have had at our library book groups have been because many folks disliked the book! 

Tip 7b: If you’d like some delightful drinks or scrumptious snacks for your book club get-together, browse the nonfiction aisles for items with the catalog numbers 641-642; a librarian will be happy to show you there.

8. Spill the Tea with a Celebrity Memoir

“When I get into a reading slump, I like to pick up a celebrity memoir,” offers Librarian Marianne. Celebrities live prestigious and sometimes not-so-prestigious lives, which are often much different from our own. Getting a glimpse into the glitz, glamour and grime can be fascinating. 

Recent memoirs of note include I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy, The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music by David Grohl, and The Woman in Me by Britney Spears

9. Get a Tailored Suggestion with May We Suggest

If you’re looking for a recommendation on what to read next, reach out to us via our May We Suggest service. With this service, you tell us about things you’ve enjoyed or disliked and what you might be looking for, and within two to four days, one of our librarians will email you a tailored list of recommendations.