For many book lovers, fall represents cool mornings cuddled up in oversized sweaters with hot beverages while reading great book after great book. It represents that time of year when summer activities start to die down, but the holiday season hasn’t picked up yet. It’s a time when the kids are back in school for the day, and yard work becomes less and less important. Basically, it’s the time of year when books wyrms have more free time to spend in long hours of uninterrupted reading, and maybe, just maybe, put a dent in their “to-be-read” piles.
However, non-book lovers miss out on this joy. While I love the fall leaves and pumpkin-spiced everything, I don’t think I’d have nearly the appreciation that I have for fall if I weren’t a book lover. So, for those friends and family members who have yet to discover the joys of fall, we’ve compiled the types of books we believe will help create new book lovers this season. We didn’t attempt to make a list of “books for people who hate reading” like others, because we know that there are too many great books and too many different personality types to cover them all. But we hope these categories and strategies will help to inspire some book recommendations for your loved ones.
1. Easy-to-Read Romances: The Fault in our Stars, The Notebook, The Hating Game
Romances are great books for people who don't love reading because they are often short, they play on feelings and emotions everyone has had, and once you’re invested in the characters, you just have to know if they have their happy ending. However, I go back and forth on recommending the really sad romances to my friends. Take The Fault in Our Stars, for example; it was so sad that if I weren’t already in love with reading, I might not have been able to recover enough to pick up another book. (I pride myself on my heartless ability to not cry for romances, but I definitely shed at least 3 tears while devouring this novel.)
I’d also avoid harder-to-read romantic classics. While Pride and Prejudice is a love story that I believe everyone should read someday, it’s not easily digestible for those who aren’t used to enjoying classic novels. So, stick to something short and more modern for now, and work up to those classic pieces once you've convinced your friends that reading isn't so bad after all.
2. Popular Movies or Television Shows: Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner
These books make it on my list for two reasons: 1) so many people loving them can’t be wrong, and 2) they have movies.
Now let me explain. In my experience, the majority of my friends who don’t like reading lack the ability (or aren't paying enough attention) to create the engaging world of the book in their heads. However, I’ve found that if I recommend books to friends who’ve seen the movie, i.e. “If you liked the movie you should really read the book. It goes so much more in depth on ‘yada yada yada,’ and explains why etc.,” I find that they are invested because they already are a fan of the movie and have the background to picture the world and characters right from the beginning. I also find that they stay invested because they enjoy learning all the details they missed in the movies, and learning even more about their already favorite characters.
3. Books That You Found Amazing: The Book Thief, The Kite Runner, All the Light We Cannot See
There are some books out there that are so good, it’s hard to imagine people not liking them. Books so good you just need everyone else to read and understand them because your world was changed so drastically and you're not sure you'll still be able to communicate with those who haven't read the book. Trust your gut with these books. You know your friends, you know what’s good, and if you’ve discovered a book you couldn’t put down, that left you awestruck and inspired, then trust your instincts and recommend it. Not to mention, when you’re truly excited about a book, it shows, and I find this excitement often carries over to the person I'm recommending the book too.
4. Non-Fiction Books on Topics They’re Already Passionate About: Fast Food Nation, Nickled and Dimed, 7 Habits of Highly-Effective People
Politics, feminism, history, self-help, healthy eating—there are so many great and entertaining books being written about hot topics all the time that will engage anyone who’s already passionate about the topic. If you have a friend who can’t stop talking about when they watched “What The Health,” then casually recommend another food-related read to them like Fast Food Nation. Or, if you know someone who can’t stop talking about their big business plans, then recommend a book like How to Win Friends and Influence People. Once they’ve made it through a couple books and realize reading is fun, then you can start recommending great books that branch further away from their interests.
These are the 4 main types of books that I recommend to the people in my life who don’t already love to read. The most important thing to remember when recommending books to a non-reader is to make sure you’re recommending books that you think they’ll love, and not just books that you loved. If you know your friend watches chick flick after chick flick, but falls asleep during any other kind of movie, then no matter how great the fantasy/sci-fi/mystery/dystopian book you just read is, they'll probably struggle making it through the book because it's not something they already enjoy. Instead, try a romance, and if they finish the romance then maybe try a different genre that also has a strong romantic theme, and so on and so forth
What are some of your favorite books to recommend to non-readers? Let us know in the comments.
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