Reading Slumps

I totally just made those definitions up. But I think every reader has been stuck in a reading slump before! I know I’ve had my fair share. What can we do to get out of one?

First, you can go to the Online Resources tab on our website and scroll down until you see Novelist. From there you can search your favorite book, author, or series and come up with lists of title-, author-, and series-read-a-likes you might enjoy. You can even search by genre and age. You can also check out Select Reads under the same tab on the website that is similar.

If you don’t have an account with Goodreads, I definitely recommend that you make one! It’s kind of like Facebook for book lovers. You can read synopses of books, add them to various lists, and get recommendations based on the ratings you give books you’ve read. There are also blogs, author interviews, and trivia you can browse through to find your next great read.

Try rereading your most favorite books; you can’t go wrong there because you already know you’ll love it! Maybe it will spark your interest in something new!

Try short story collections, poetry, novellas, or graphic novels. These are quick reads that you can breeze through just to keep you reading. Plus, if you’re on Goodreads and participate in the yearly reading challenge, these reads are a great way to boost your numbers!

Take a list of books you’ve been meaning to read, write down each title on a slip of paper, and put those papers in a hat or a jar. Draw one at random and force yourself to read it. Even if you wind up not liking the book and quitting halfway through, you’ll be ready to either draw another title or pick another title for yourself.

Browse most popular books, get recommendations from your friends, or start reading reviews online. The Library also has magazines that you can check out dedicated to popular book and new release reviews. You could also check out what the Library book clubs are reading for the month; if you sign up and come to a discussion, you’ll be able to be around book-minded people like yourself who will be able to point you in the right direction.

Still having trouble? Ask us for help! We LOVE recommending books to patrons! It’s our job to know all kinds of books, and we handle tons of books on a daily basis. Chances are we’ll be able to find something for you!

Good luck and Happy Reading!

Show Us Where You Read!

Calling all readers! Let’s have some fun!

Show us where you read!

Share a picture of where you read to our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages and be sure to tag us! They can be pictures of you reading, or the view from your favorite reading spot… the possibilities are endless! Let us know what your favorite books are, what you’re currently reading, who your favorite author is, and more! Tag us in your recent library haul; what awesome books, audiobooks, and movies did you find? We can’t wait to interact with you!

If you haven’t already, be sure to follow us!

Search Aurora Public Library District on Facebook!

Our handle is @auroralibrary on Twitter!

Look for @auroralibrary on Instagram!

Keep up-to-date on all things library-related, interact with like-minded library lovers, comment, retweet, and like posts, and even ask questions. We would love to hear from you!

Happy Reading!

How to Knock Off Titles from Your To Be Read List

If you’re anything like me, you’ve got a To Be Read list a mile and a half long. You also probably bump books lower on the list when more intriguing ones catch your attention, or pick up books that aren’t anywhere on your list at all to be read first. I’ve had books on my list for years that I still haven’t gotten around to reading yet because I get distracted by other books. So is there any hope for us to tackle our To Be Read piles? Will we ever reach the end?

Probably not. But we can try to knock some out!

Read Shorter Books First

You’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll breeze through the smaller books and then you’ll have time to tackle the larger tomes at the end of your list. Plus, if you’re participating in a yearly book challenge — like the one on Goodreads — you’ll read more books faster!

Prioritize Your List

Are you really going to read those classics you should have read in school but never got around to it? I promise your ninth grade English teacher will never find out! Also, the longer the book has been on your list, the least likely you are to ever read it. Cross it off your list for now; you can always go back and add it again!

Don’t Buy Any Books

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought a book with every intention to read it right away, but something else distracts me and it winds up on the back of the bookshelf. Take advantage of the Library’s physical collection and digital collection on OverDrive. So even if you don’t get around to reading the book, you didn’t waste any money on it!

Check Your List Often

This is an easy one for me because I use Goodreads, which allows users to add books to a Want to Read shelf, as well as shelves that show Completed books, Currently Reading, Favorites, and more. I will periodically go through my Want to Read shelf and read the little synopses of books I had added and delete those that don’t catch my attention anymore. You can look up book blurbs and go through your own pile or list to decide what stays and what goes.

Listen To Audiobooks

Do you have a long commute? Is it hard to do chores in silence? Instead of cranking up mindless music, download some audiobooks that you’ve been meaning to read. This still counts as reading the book! You can always pause or go back to a section if your mind wandered and you forgot what you were listening to (guilty). You can knock out twice as many books this way.

If none of this works, I fully support your decision to quit your job and become a hermit so that you’ll have all the time in the world to read the mountain of books on your list that seems to get higher and higher with each passing day.

Happy Reading!

National Great Poetry Reading Day

Saturday, April 28 is National Great Poetry Reading Day!

How can you celebrate?

For starters, you can visit one of the branches of the Aurora Public Library District and check out volumes of poetry by great poets, like John Keats, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Rupi Kaur, William Wordsworth, Sylvia Plath, Alfred Tennyson, Langston Hughes, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Frost, Shel Silverstein, and Maya Angelou, among many others. If you just want to browse the poetry section to see what you can find, start in section 808.1. You’ll be able to browse titles at your leisure and take ones that speak to you. Or, if you’d rather, you can visit the Indiana Digital Download Center and browse our digital poetry selections, too.

One major way that poetry differs from novels or nonfiction is that poetry begs to be read out loud. The only way to appreciate the cadence of the words on the page is to read them out loud and listen. On National Great Poetry Reading Day, gather some friends and family around and read your favorite poems aloud. Or record yourself reading your favorite poem and upload it to social media with #NationalGreatPoetryReadingDay. By following the hashtag, you’ll be able to see other poetry connoisseurs celebrating the day in their own way as well.

You could try your hand at writing your own poetry, too! If you want to follow the exact rules to write specific types of poetry, like haiku, sonnet, or limerick, we have titles with examples and instructions. But one of the best things about poetry is that, as you’re writing, you can decide how you want your idea to appear on the paper. Free verse is exactly that; free! You can choose to write your poem however you want.

Tell us how you’re going to celebrate National Great Poetry Reading Day! I’m going to see if I can find my old stuff from college from that poetry class I took.

Happy Reading!

Why You Should Join Our New YA Book Club.

 

The Aurora Public Library District wants to encourage you to join out new High School Book Club! Below are some reasons why you should join.

1.Book clubs introduce you to books you wouldn’t normally read.

2. You’ll meet people who enjoy the same books as you.

3. You get to freely give your opinion without being judged for it.

4. It’s Free!

5. Everyone is welcome!

6. You’ll become more confident in yourself.

7. You have a legitimate excuse to read all the time.

8. Every book has the power to change you.

9. It cuts out that dilemma of what book to read next.

10. It gives you a chance to visit your local library once a month!

 

 

 

The registration deadline for May’s meeting is on April 24th! If you are wanting to join or have any questions about joining, call us or come in and ask! Be sure to register and pick up our May Selection: The Night CircusIf you have already read the book, great! You’re still able to join!

 

If you still are questioning about joining this amazing group, follow the links below to be persuaded:

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/5-reasons-to-join-book-club

https://www.denverlibrary.org/blog/10-reasons-why-you-should-join-book-club

 

Every Child Ready to Read

Have you ever wondered what you can be doing now to prepare your toddler to succeed in school? Parents want their children to go off to school with the skills they need to do well in a classroom. Although most children do not begin reading until they are school-age, children who show up at school with preliteracy skills already in place will usually be more successful and will come to view school as an enjoyable experience. The good news is that parents and other primary caregivers can engage in a few simple activities to ensure that every child is “Ready to Read.”

Conversations help a child express thoughts, learn what words mean, and gain new information about the world. Listen to what your child says, answer questions, add new information, and listen some more! It is the give-and-take of conversation that helps kids make sense of the words they hear. Talk in the car, during meal times, during a bath, at the store, and everywhere.

Singing helps kids hear the distinct sounds that words make. Songs teach new vocabulary and moving to music helps develop motor skills. You don’t have to be a good singer – just be enthusiastic! Creating simple musical instruments from things in your home makes it even more fun.

Read with your child every day! Create a special place for shared reading and favorite books. After you read together, show your child that reading is important for letting them see you read.

 

 

 

 

Children learn to express themselves by playing. You don’t need expensive toys; in fact simpler is better! Provide old clothes for playing dress-up, use old boxes or food containers as blocks or drape a sheet over two chairs to create a puppet stage for sock puppets. Encourage creativity by asking your child to make up stories by imagining to be someone else. Play comes naturally to young children and is one of the primary ways they learn.

Writing activities help children understand that written words represent ideas, things and events. Set up a writing space with paper, crayons and pencils. Show examples of your writing in thank-you notes, recipes, or notes. Writing takes strong hand muscles, and playing with clay or play-doh is a fun way to strengthen little hands.

 

 

 

Try to work these five activities into the normal flow of interacting with your child and they will begin school “Ready to Read”. For more information, stop by the Aurora Public Library to talk to me – I’d be happy to help get you started on these important practices. I also use these concepts in our weekly Storytimes, so that’s a great time to stop in!

Reading Challenge for 2018

I know it’s crazy to even write the year 2018, but it will soon be upon us! Are you looking for your next reading challenge? Here are some suggestions that might help you get started!

Read a book recommended to you by a librarian. (This is easy because we LOVE to recommend books to you here at the Aurora Public Library District! Or you can always check the blog to see what books we’ve been writing and raving about.)

Read a book that’s been in your “To Be Read” pile for way too long. Or read a book that you own but you haven’t gotten around to reading yet.

Listen to an audiobook. (This is easy for people who love audiobooks, but for those who have a hard time letting go of the words on the page, it can be a real challenge! You can do it!)

Read a book where the main character or the author is different than you; this could be ethnicity, religion, culture, ability, etc. Try to see the world through someone else’s eyes. You could also read a book from a nonhuman perspective.

Read a book written by multiple authors. (See if you can pick out the different writing styles of each author as you go along.)

Read a book written by someone you admire.

Read a classic. Or you could read a book you were supposed to read in school but didn’t. (I won’t tell.) You could even read a children’s book you never got to read when you were small.

Read a book by an author who uses a pseudonym.

Read a bestseller from a genre you wouldn’t usually read.

Read the first book in a series you’ve never read before.

Read a book that was published in 2018 or that is becoming a movie that year.

Read a book that was published the year you were born.

Read a book set in more than one time period.

Read a book based on a true story.

Read a book you love so much, it always makes you smile. This could even be a beloved children’s book.

Read a book that someone close to you loves more than any other book that you’ve never read before.

Read a book set somewhere drastic, like during a war, in the wilderness, or the characters are trying to survive, etc. Read something to get your heart pumping.

Read a book solely based on the cover; literally judge a book by its cover without reading the summary of what it’s about.

Read a book that will make you smarter.

Read a book that everyone but you has read. This could be that book everyone was raving about last year that was made into a movie.

Read a book with an unreliable narrator.

Read a book with pictures! (How fun would this be?!)

Read a book that’s a story within a story.

Red a book that’s won a prestigious award.

I know that our lives are busy and that it can be hard to even find time to sit down, let alone read a book. But even if you cross just a few of these off the list, you’ll come out of the challenge as a better, more well-rounded person than you were last year. But who am I to dictate what you should and shouldn’t read? Create your own reading challenge for 2018 and let us know how you do! I’d love to be inspired by you!

Happy Reading!

National Novel Writing Month

November is National Novel Writing Month! It’s time to buckle down at your computer or with a pen and paper and write that novel you’ve been meaning to write. This is an Internet-based creative writing challenge that began in 1999 with just 21 participants. The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Participants can start as early as November 1 at 12:00 a.m. Your words and work can be tracked on the NaNoWriMo website throughout the month of November.

Some novels completed during National Novel Writing Month have even been published and beloved by thousands. Who knows? Maybe you’ll see your name on the cover of your own novel someday! On the website, you can find your region, which will connect you to local writers in your community to meet up with or be inspired by.

Here are some popular novels you can check out from the Aurora Public Library District today that were completed during National Novel Writing Month from Goodreads:

Wool by Hugh Howey

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Persistence of Memory by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

The Darwin Elevator by Jason M. Hough

The Forrest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Compound by S.A. Bodeen

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

As an aspiring writer myself, I’d like to see my name on the list someday. I think I’ll try to participate in National Novel Writing Month, too!

Happy Writing!

Family Literacy Day!

November 1 is Family Literacy Day! Here are some ways in which you can celebrate as a family:

The most common way to celebrate Family Literacy Day is to read some short books or chapters in a long book together as a family. Make it a habit and read together every night before bed. This can be a great bonding experience for you and your family, not to mention it will relax everyone and prepare you for sleep. Now it’s easier than ever to include the whole family with video chatting features like Skype and FaceTime; family members traveling or who live far away can now interact with each other effortlessly.

You can read traditional physical books of your own or one that you checked out from the library, or you can visit the virtual library on the Indiana Digital Download Center. With your library card and pin numbers, you’ll have access to thousands of books with just the click of a button. You can download them to any kind of electronic device, like a laptop, iPad, Kindle, smartphone Nook, etc., or you can read directly from your browser.

Are you always on the go and don’t always have the time to sit down and read with your family? You can also listen to audio books in the car running errands, going for walks, or while you’re cooking dinner. Family Literacy Day is all about celebrating all forms of literacy, which includes reading comprehension; you can practice comprehension skills by following along as you listen closely. You can check out audio books on CD from the Aurora Public Library District or you can check out a digital audio book that can be downloaded directly to your smart phone or other listening devices.

Include fun family games with emphasis on reading, like Apples to Apples, Bananagrams, Scrabble, Boggle, or Headbanz/Head’s Up in your family game nights. A great way to encourage reluctant readers to read is by playing these fun games together as a family. Incorporate learning and literacy into your regular routine by having a family game night once a week.

You could have a book-themed dinner with dishes inspired by your family’s favorite books (Pinterest is a great website for finding recipes!). Everyone can help preparing the food and you could have trivia questions about your favorite books to challenge each other. Why save this fun meal for Family Literacy Day? You could do this once a month with the different books your family reads together each month.

And, finally, make it a point to visit the library together as a family. It is important to instill how imperative literacy is in your children from a very young age so that they’ll always appreciate reading and learning. Visit the Aurora Public Library District on a regular basis as a family because we love to see you!

Happy Reading!

Series Selection

Cassandra Clare is known for her series: The Mortal Instruments, but many don’t know about the series she wrote after that is supposed to be a prequel series to the Mortal Instruments: The Infernal Devices.

Clockwork AngelThe year is 1878. Tessa Gray descends into London’s dark supernatural underworld in search of her missing brother. She soon discovers that her only allies are the demon-slaying Shadowhunters—including Will and Jem, the mysterious boys she is attracted to. Soon they find themselves up against the Pandemonium Club, a secret organization of vampires, demons, warlocks, and humans. Equipped with a magical army of unstoppable clockwork creatures, the Club is out to rule the British Empire, and only Tessa and her allies can stop them…

Clockwork PrinceIn the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends. With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move—and that one of their own has betrayed them. Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, but her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will—the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

Clockwork PrincessTHE INFERNAL DEVICES WILL NEVER STOP COMING! A net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute. Mortmain plans to use his Infernal Devices, an army of pitiless automatons, to destroy the Shadowhunters. He needs only one last item to complete his plan: he needs Tessa Gray. Charlotte Branwell, head of the London Institute, is desperate to find Mortmain before he strikes. But when Mortmain abducts Tessa, the boys who lay equal claim to her heart, Jem and Will, will do anything to save her. For though Tessa and Jem are now engaged, Will is as much in love with her as ever. As those who love Tessa rally to rescue her from Mortmain’s clutches, Tessa realizes that the only person who can save her is herself. But can a single girl, even one who can command the power of angels, face down an entire army?

 

“You can’t be serious —” Tessa began, but broke off as the door to the library opened, and Charlotte entered the room. She wasn’t alone. There were at least a dozen men following her, and — Tessa saw, as they filed into the room — two women.

Tessa gazed at them in fascination. So these were Shadowhunters — more Shadowhunters in one place than she’d ever seen before. She stared at the two women, remembering what Will had said about Boadicea, that women could be warriors as well. The taller of the women had powder-white hair wound in into a crown at the back of her head; she looked as if she were well into her sixties, and her presence was regal. The other of the women was younger, with dark hair and catlike eyes. The men were a mixed group, all in carefully tailored dark clothes: the eldest of them was an elegant-looking gentleman with an iron-gray beard and a steely gaze to match; the youngest was a boy probably no more than a year older than Jem or Will. He was handsome in a pretty sort of way, with delicate features, tousled brown hair and a watchful expression.

Jem made a noise of surprise and displeasure. “Gabriel Lightwood,” he muttered to Will, under his breath. “What’s he doing here?”

Will hadn’t moved. He was staring at the brown-haired boy with his eyebrows raised, a faint smile playing about his lips.

“Just don’t get into a fight with him, Will,” Jem added hastily. “Not here. That’s all I ask.”

“Rather a lot to ask, don’t you think?” Will said, without looking at Jem. He was watching Charlotte as she ushered everyone toward the large square table at the front of the room; she seemed to be urging everyone to settle themselves into seats around it. “Mr. Wayland,” she was saying, “and Mr. Harrowgate, here, by the head of the table, if you please. Aunt Callida — if you’d just sit over there by the map —”

“And where is George?” asked the gray-haired man, with an air of brusque politeness. “Your husband? As head of the Institute, he really ought to be here.”

Charlotte hesitated for only a fraction of a second before plastering a smile onto her face. “He’s on his way, Mr. Lightwood,” she said, and Tessa realized two things — one, that the gray-haired man was most likely the father of Gabriel Lightwood, and two, that Charlotte was lying.”