How to Read Fiction Again

By Sidney Williams

I used to read all sorts of fiction: science fiction, fantasy, the YA assortment, cozy mysteries, slice of life, comics…a bunch! But lately, I’ve found myself struggling to read anything that’s not a cookbook or directly trying to communicate real-world information to me. So this week, I’m going to try shaking it up, and exploring fiction. 

To start reading fiction again, try picking out a couple of genres with easy entry points. For example, comics and cozy mysteries, and then replacing some nightly screen time with reading.  

Of course, getting back into a hobby looks different for everybody, but this is the strategy that I think will work best for me. You may need to choose different genres (sci-fi perhaps?). You may need to schedule specific times (I just picked night time because I know that’s about the only time I can be sure I’m sitting down and doing next to nothing). But really, the main thing that you need to focus on is finding a way to get started, and then get excited. Unfortunately, that’s not always easy.

Fiction, unlike informational pieces, is not inherently problem based, so you can’t just pick a book based on what problem you want to solve. This is what I think my main problem is. I see all the options of things I could read with no definite “right” answer, and I freeze up. And even if I choose a genre, not only are there a million subgenres, there’s also a million books within each subgenre. That is why I suggest picking two genres, that immediately cuts down the pool of books that you’re looking at, but it still lets you switch it up if you get tired of one genre’s tropes. Now comes actually picking your books, BookPeople of Moscow has you pretty well covered as far as that goes. Over the last few months we’ve been posting articles about our recommendations left and right, however, in the interest of easy to pick up books I’ll immediately suggest Bre’s Short (Under 200 Pages!) Reads for the Post-Holiday Slump and Richie’s Celebrity Obsessed: My Month(s) Reading Celebrities' Favorites. The idea is to pick something that doesn’t need a crash course in lore to get into and excited about. 

I’ll use myself as an example. The two genres that I chose to look at were Marvel Comics (specifically Spider-Man), and Cozy Mysteries. In many ways I am in a very good spot to start this project, I already had the books in mind that I wanted to read, it really was down to me making time for them, but I remember a few years back when I didn’t already have a plan, and how I went about finding one. As silly as it sounds, finding the right book to read is effectively finding what feeling you need.

For me, when I picked up Spider-Man I was feeling nostalgic for my childhood where there was always a “good guy” and I was always a nerd feeling like I lacked representation, and who better to scratch those itches than Peter Parker? For the most part, comics are super easy to pick up, the overarching stories are usually split up into bite-sized almost self contained episodes, and they’re only about 20 pages a piece, so making the time to look at some pretty pictures and dramatic textboxes is usually pretty easy. 

Plus, there’s TONS of collections of the most interesting and famous stories that can get you hooked for short bursts of time, personally, my favorite Spidey arc is the one covering the last days of Gwen Stacey this can be found in epic collection The Death of Captain Stacy, and its follow up Spider-Man or Spider-Clone? 

My other genre, Cozy Mysteries, was chosen because I was a Scooby-Doo kid and I really wanted a little puzzle where the good guy always won in some witty or clever way. I like the mass market series of these books where they’re small enough to fit in a purse and require no more brain power than the average Saturday morning cartoon. There’s a million of these series, covering anything you could be interested in (owning a bookshop, being a baker, just needing the money, etc.). The best part for me is that you can start a series and just keep reading (the series I’m going to recommend has thirty entries!) so if you latch onto a character you can REALLY latch onto a character. 

The series I recommend to anyone interested is Janet Evanovich’s Plum series, the main character is hilarious and well written while being extremely engaging and intriguing. This series in particular is a great example of yet another strategy for getting back into fiction: audiobooks! All of the Plum series is cataloged by Libro.fm (which you can learn about in my article here) and so it’s very easy to get invested while completing your morning commute. 

The process for rekindling the love of a hobby is different for everyone, however, it really does come down to picking an effective reentry point and making the time to reenter. Luckily, as far as picking a reentry point, BookPeople has you covered, beyond the genres and books suggested in this, and our other articles, we have a page of staff picks, and our staff are always excited to share their recommendations. So, now “all” you have to do is pick your time and go for it! Happy reading! PS I’ve linked to more books in this article that I’m going to list down below!

 

A First Date with Death: A Reality TV Mystery (Love or Money Mystery #1) By Diana Orgain Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9798680014592
Availability: Depending on warehouse location, this book could arrive at the store within 3-4 days, or it might take around 10 business days.
This book is non-returnable except in the case of manufacturing defect.
Published: Independently Published - August 27th, 2020

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN EPIC COLLECTION: INVASION OF THE SPIDER-SLAYERS By David Michelinie, Marvel Various, Mark Bagley (Illustrator), Marvel Various (Illustrator), Mark Bagley (Cover design or artwork by) Cover Image
By David Michelinie, Marvel Various, Mark Bagley (Illustrator), Marvel Various (Illustrator), Mark Bagley (Cover design or artwork by)
$39.99
ISBN: 9781302948320
Availability: This book is not at our warehouse, but probably is available from another source. We'll contact you to let you know for sure.
Published: Marvel Universe - January 3rd, 2023

The Spider-Slayers are back! Spider-Man is under siege when deadly robots start attacking every time he appears in public. Who is behind their unrelenting assaults? Can Spidey uncover the truth with Electro and the Scorpion standing in his way? And what side deal has Felicia Hardy, the former Black Cat, made with the Tinkerer?


AMAZING SPIDER-MAN EPIC COLLECTION: THE HERO KILLERS By David Michelinie, Marvel Various, Mark Bagley (Illustrator), Marvel Various (Illustrator), Mark Bagley (Cover design or artwork by) Cover Image
By David Michelinie, Marvel Various, Mark Bagley (Illustrator), Marvel Various (Illustrator), Mark Bagley (Cover design or artwork by)
$44.99
ISBN: 9781302951047
Availability: Depending on warehouse location, this book could arrive at the store within 3-4 days, or it might take around 10 business days.
Published: Marvel Universe - January 17th, 2023

The coming of Carnage! When Venom's offspring transforms psychopath Cletus Kasady into a symbiotic serial killer, Peter Parker makes the hardest decision of his life - and turns to Venom for help! But will Eddie Brock join the fight, or will he continue his single-minded mission to squash Spider-Man?


AMAZING SPIDER-MAN EPIC COLLECTION: SPIDER-MAN OR SPIDER-CLONE? By Gerry Conway, Marvel Various, Ross Andru (Illustrator), Marvel Various (Illustrator), Gil Kane (Cover design or artwork by) Cover Image
By Gerry Conway, Marvel Various, Ross Andru (Illustrator), Marvel Various (Illustrator), Gil Kane (Cover design or artwork by)
$44.99
ISBN: 9781302948740
Availability: Depending on warehouse location, this book could arrive at the store within 3-4 days, or it might take around 10 business days.
Published: Marvel Universe - July 25th, 2023

Collects Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #143-164, Amazing Spider-Man Annual (1964) #10, material from Marvel Special Edition Treasury (1975) #1. Peter Parker's life has never been easy, but it's hard for things to get worse after your dead girlfriend shows up on your doorstep. Uh-oh, we've challenged that infamous Parker luck - which means things will definitely get worse! Spidey…you've been cloned!


AMAZING SPIDER-MAN EPIC COLLECTION: THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN STACY By Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Gil Kane (Illustrator), Marvel Various (Illustrator), John Romita, Jr. (Cover design or artwork by) Cover Image
By Stan Lee, Roy Thomas, Gil Kane (Illustrator), Marvel Various (Illustrator), John Romita, Jr. (Cover design or artwork by)
$39.99
ISBN: 9781302929084
Availability: This book is not at our warehouse, but probably is available from another source. We'll contact you to let you know for sure.
Published: Marvel Universe - October 19th, 2021

Spider-Man sagas don’t get more dramatic than the Death of Captain Stacy! And Peter Parker’s life is about to change forever after Gwen Stacy’s heroic father becomes collateral damage in a throwdown between Spider-Man and Doc Ock.


Something to Hide: A Lynley Novel By Elizabeth George Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9780593296868
Availability: Depending on warehouse location, this book could arrive at the store within 3-4 days, or it might take around 10 business days.
Published: Penguin Books - January 10th, 2023

Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers and Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley are back in the next Lynley novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth George.


One for the Money (Stephanie Plum #1) By Janet Evanovich Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781982108526
Availability: This book is backordered at the warehouse. When you order, we'll contact you with more info about availability.
Published: Pocket Books - July 31st, 2018

Discover where it all began—the first “snappily written, fast-paced, and witty” (USA TODAY) novel in the beloved Stephanie Plum series featuring a feisty and funny heroine who “comes roaring in like a blast of very fresh air” (The Washington Post), from Janet Evanovich, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dirty Thirty.