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Five Types of Books to Read When You Have No Time

Do you wish to read but can’t seem to find the time? Do you find yourself longing to escape into the reading world but can’t find the right book? Or are you just in a regular reading slump and want to be out of it? Whatever it is, hopefully this list can give you some idea as to what to pick up next. Just make sure you’re squeezing in your class readings as well!


1. Read a book by your favorite author

There’s nothing like reading a book by your favorite author; it just feels special. That indescribable feeling of familiarity from their writing style and the memories of their past novels bring you warmth and joy. But… that might just be me. 


Reading a book by an author who you are already familiar with will make it easier to get into that book/novel. Whether your favorite author is John Green, Neil Gaiman, or Margaret Atwood, chances are that you haven’t read them all (unless you’re like me, who has read literally everything by my favorite author, Patrick Ness). 


2. Read a genre that you know you love

Similarly to tip number one, this piece of advice is just going back to what is familiar. If you know that you love young adult (YA) romance novels, then have no shame and pick one up. If you prefer mysteries or fantasy, then what are you waiting for? Having a preference for a genre is normal and everyone has different tastes. I usually enjoy anything categorized in the YA fiction/fantasy genre and have no shame admitting that, but I know that it can be a little juvenile at times. 



Going back to a genre that you love is great because while it may be a book or author that you’ve never heard of before, the story will be just as enticing as your favorites. 


3. Read a graphic novel/comic, manga, or a collection of poetry

Now, this may seem like a cop-out, but it is a good way to get back into reading, especially when you don’t have as much time for a more “traditional” book. Manga is a great reading strategy if you watch anime or if you already read graphic novel series. The style of art and the fast paced stories never disappoint when looking for something fun to read with minimal time commitment. Graphic novels and comics are quick and entertaining ways to invest your time. Finishing a book, no matter the format, feels like an accomplishment in and of itself. So don’t count this option out just yet. 



I added collection of poetry to this tip because they are severely underappreciated. Even I, a self proclaimed book lover, have not read that many poetry collections. This is also the hardest type of book to recommend because poetry can be so divisive with one’s taste. However, if there is someone out there that can’t seem to find any time to read I recommend picking up a collection of poetry and just start with one poem at a time…. Or you can read the whole thing in one sitting. Whatever works for you. 


4. Read a book that is intended for a younger audience

This may seem like a weird thing to recommend, but I promise that it helps. When I say this, I don’t mean go read “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss (although you could if you wanted to). I mean, if you’re always reading dense articles for class, why not pick up a light-hearted novel? Or you could pick something very easy to read that’s intended for high schoolers or middle schoolers, like Percy Jackson, The Hobbit, or The Hunger Games. 


The idea of reading a book written for a younger audience is that it will be fast to read, without any annoying words to look up. With the fast paced plot and charming characters, most YA and middle-grade books are hard to put down. When a book is easy to read, you are more inclined to continue to read it because it is usually not intimidating in size or content. 


5. Re-read a favorite 

Personally, I love The Harry Potter series, and whenever I am in a reading slump I tend to find myself going back to that series or another beloved book of mine (like Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell). Whatever book you choose to re-read, it should be a favorite, so you can have the motivation to finish and make time for it. 


And if by chance you don’t have a favorite book, maybe choose one that is widely loved by the reader population: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, The Green Mile by Stephen King. There are so many loved books out there that you will find the right one for you. 


I know that reading comes second or even close to last on some people’s priority lists, but in all honesty if you don’t have time to read and want to, I have one piece of advice for you: just make time for it. Even if that means reading right before you go to bed, whether it’s a whole book or just a sentence, you still made time for it in your day, and that’s all that matters.



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Michaela Phelan

Mt Holyoke '22

I am an International Relations major who just really likes to read, listen to music, and watch tv.
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