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Top 5 books that will get you back to reading

When was the last time you picked up a great book? If you’ve found yourself in a reading slump, we have got the 5 books that will get you back to churning and turning the pages you once loved.

Are you feeling like you’re stuck in a reading slump? You’re someone who absolutely loves to read but… who’s got the time!? Life, kids, Netflix, and well… pretty much anything really, can easily get in the way of keeping a consistent reading habit. But, if you’re looking for some guaranteed good reads to pull you out of said slump, we have got you covered. Here are our top five books to get you back into reading (and perhaps mitigate the guilt you’re feeling for spending wayyy too much time in front of a screen!).

1. Normal People – Sally Rooney

You’ve probably already binged the entire series. You loved it. Soaked up every single minute of Connor and his chain, the drama, and the overall love story. But what about the book? As with most book-to-movie conversions, there are always tiny details missing. From plot points to great lines, to entire scenes that just didn’t make the final cut. Which is exactly why, if you’re stuck in a reading rut, stick to something you kind of already know (and love), or at least something you’ve already watched! P.S. If you loved Normal People, you’ll be happy to know Sally Rooney also has two other novels – Conversations With Friends and Beautiful World Where Are You? So you can keep riding on that great reading momentum you’ve just built.

2. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous – Ocean Vuyong

If part of the reason why you’re in a bit of a reading rut right now is because you’re yet to be impressed by a fantastic piece of fiction, look no further than this amazing novel by Ocean Vuong. This poetic novel is an incredible book that, and I can confirm, will leave you hanging on each and every line. Why? Simply because of the way the words sound on the page, and just how beautiful the story is. This book is basically one long letter from a son to his mother, who coincidentally cannot read. An intertwining narrative unfolds, built on a foundation of feeling, family history, raw emotion, and like I said – beautiful language. You will be impressed by this book.

3. The Neverending Story – Michael Ende

If you’re someone who now has the theme song to this famed 90s classic stuck in your head, this may just be the book for you. The combination of a childhood story and a dash of fantasy make for a winning combination. Reading this is all about leaning into one of the true benefits of reading – escapism, and also feeding off the nostalgia of childhood. Just like Bastian, you’ll be invested in this fourth-wall breaking, epic tale of heroism, and one which places you, the reader, at the helm. Not really a fan of the film? No worries! Any childhood classic is a great place to start when it comes to pulling you out of that reading slump.

4. Wild – Cheryl Strayed

Since it’s been (more than) a while since we’ve crossed borders, reading a travel memoir might just be your ticket to getting you back into reading. This part-biography, part-travel memoir is the kind of book that will draw you in from the beginning. For fans of audiobooks, this is absolutely one that I would recommend you plug into. Swapping between images of sweeping vistas, stories from the hiking community, and well… the kind of dramatic breakdown that prompts someone to hike 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). You’ll laugh, you might cry a little bit, but you’ll also love it a lot.

5. Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert

Before you skip this paragraph, know that this book is nothing like Eat Pray Love. This book is a love letter to your creativity. It’s beautifully written and something that is absolutely sure to inspire you to live your best creative life in a post lockdown world. This is also not the kind of book about writing and creativity that will leave you feeling small and that anything and everything you’ve ever thought of… kind of sucks. It’s pretty much the exact opposite. This is all about encouraging you to be the wonderful person that you are, and nurturing your Big Magic – no matter what that looks like!

That book on your bedside table (bonus suggestion)

You know exactly what I’m talking about. Maybe you got it last Christmas, or your birthday, or you picked it up from your favourite local bookstore that one time many moons ago. This is the exact book you should pick up. It’s seen you through many long nights, acted as a sturdy shelf for your phone and other random belongings. It deserves a turn to do what it was born to do… be the book of your dreams. So our challenge is, there’s never been a better time to read that book that’s been waiting ever so patiently right beside you this whole time.

So what are you waiting for? Drop past your favourite local bookstore – we recommend Macleans Books, Harry Hartog or Qs Books, and get the heck out of that reading slump and dive into a great story. The one thing to remember though? Make sure you’re not too hard on yourself. Life is tough and busy, and you’re doing your best. Books and reading will always be there, ready and waiting for you when you can turn the pages again.

Words: Laura Kebby | Photography: Zoe Lonergan

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