Sunday, January 8, 2012

Guest Post: Anthony Garcia

Curling Up By The Fire would like to welcome Anthony Garcia, who is a writer for the site Online Graduate Programs: Perspectives on Graduate Education. As someone who went to graduate school (M.Ed.) and then deferred attendance for a PhD program due to time constraints, there is certainly a lot of interesting information on this site; students who are currently enrolled in graduate programs or those considering graduate programs should check it out.

How to Keep Your Reading Lists Interesting

For millions of people reading literature is a favorite way to pass the time. If you are an avid reader, you know how exciting it is to find that perfect book that keeps you enthralled from beginning to end. Yet sometimes it can be hard to find your perfect novel or piece of literature. What can you do to keep your reading list interesting enough to maintain your attention? If your choice of novels has become thin and your love for reading is suffering from boredom, don’t let it deter you from searching for new exciting options! After all, as the Franklin Institute points out, reading is food for the brain!

Search by Author
Nearly everyone, from students in graduate programs to professionals, has a favorite author for any genre of reading. However it's easy to start out very excited about an author’s works, and then become bored once you have read all of their books on the genre or subject in which you are interested. Luckily this can be easily remedied by using an online search engine to look for similar authors. This will give you a detailed list of books that may be akin to those you are interested in, and quite possibly will introduce you to new authors that you’ve never heard of before.

Step Outside the Box
Do you have a specific genre of book or style of writing that dominates the majority of novels you read? Perhaps you have found yourself reading nothing except fantasy or crime dramas lately. Try choosing a book that is outside your usual preferences. Not only will this mix things up for you, it may also open a whole new area of reading for you  to enjoy – providing you with new books, new subject matters and new authors. The more genres you find that you enjoy, the more books that become available to entertain you.

If you have tried this tactic, but couldn’t find a book that excited you don’t get discouraged. Simply move on to another genre until you find something different that you like. Start out with the total opposite of what you normally read. For example, if your forte is fantasy opt for a realistic fiction novel instead. If you’re a big horror buff, give a romance novel a try. While reading the new genre look for similarities between your usual areas of reading, and notice the differences as well.

Visit the Bestseller List
If you haven’t found a decent book that captured your attention in ages, consider scouring the bestseller list. These books found their way on to the list because essentially millions of people bought them and critics loved them, so why not give them a shot? Any book with that many readers deserves a fighting chance, and you may just discover that the bestseller list becomes your favorite tool for revamping your own reading list. The best thing about this tactic is that there is no division between genres, so you will be able to browse the biggest hits in many various genres all in one place.

The relentless pursuit if novels can become tiring in itself. If you have discovered that you are quite simply bored with the entire search, take an alternative approach. Instead of looking for a full length novel, break it up by throwing in some short stories or poetry. Taking a time out from novels to enjoy an author’s collected short stories, or to delve into some poetry can be incredibly refreshing for the modern book lover. Spend some time getting familiar with these little gems in between long novels to refresh your love of literature.

Love the Book
No matter how you keep your reading list interesting, remember that you read because you love to do it. If any book bores you there is no reason to suffer through it, put it down and grab another one! From learning about what others are reading to doing random off the shelf book selections, there are a million books to be read and just as many different ways to find them!


  1. Great guest post Anthony! I'm in a online graduate program so I completely understand the time restraints. Thanks for the tips. I'll keep them in mind when I'm stuck on what to read next.