Reading might be your first choice of entertainment but there are times when none of the books are your TBR pile excite you. You start to realize that, more often than not, you abandon the book before you get to the happily-ever-after. Or every book feels like the same story. Perhaps you’ve gone to the bookstore and walk out empty-handed because none of the books made you think I have to read this.
We’ve all been there. At first you might believe that you’ve outgrown your favorite author or that romance books no longer interest you. That’s very possible.
Or, it could be that you are in a reading rut. You are not getting the reading experience that you expect. If that’s the case, you need to make some tweaks.
Here are a few suggestions to mix things up:
Revisit your favorites
Which book got you into reading romance? These days most romance readers will say it’s Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. Revisit the book that got you interested in romance novels or read through your keeper shelf. Decide what it was about these books that captured your imagination.
Bear in mind that the story which prompted your interest in romance novels may not appeal to you today. Not only does the way we tell a story change, but also romance novels reflect what’s happening in society at the time the book was written. You might wonder what made you love that book but chances are there’s something about that story that spoke to you. For example, you might hate how the office romance written in the 1980s unfolds but you adore the fairytale retelling.
Read a different story length
Do you like Harlequin novels because they’re quick reads that focus on the romance? Then try a contemporary romance novella or a short story. If you think the struggle in those stories resolve too quickly, then try a Harlequin romance mini-series. You will still have a quick read with a satisfying ending but you also have the option to dip into that world again and follow another couple’s journey to happily-ever-after.
Perhaps you aren’t finishing books because you want a longer romantic journey with more obstacles. Or you want a complex world populated with intriguing characters. Look for a stand-alone romance single-title. If you’re used to books that are 200 pages and less, go for a book that has a slight bump in page numbers. It might take some time getting used to the pacing of the bigger book.
Read a related sub-genre
Loved erotic romance but want something a little different? Try a sexy contemporary romance. While the focus isn’t on the physical intimacy, it still makes sex a priority in the relationship.
Are you Regency’d out? What attracted you to the time period? Was it the elegance and refinement? Look for a book set in the Georgian or Victorian period. Or does delving into a different time period add another layer of escapism? Try a historical set in a different part of the world. Vikings, anyone?
Implement these three steps the next time you think you’re in a reading rut. There’s no guarantee that you will like the new story structure or sub-genre but it will give you a better understanding about what you want from your next romance novel.