7 Ways To Switch Up Your Reading Experience

For the past couple of days, I kept getting this idea in my head for a blog post but I wouldn’t write it down and forget about it again after a short while (note to everyone out there: write down your blog ideas – you’ll need them at some point). Finally, while making myself breakfast this morning the idea popped up again and this time I actually wrote it down? And that’s how you guys are finally getting this blog post! ๐Ÿ˜€


How about we start this list off with something most of you guys probably expect to hear from me at this point: audiobooks! If you’re a regular reader of The Caffeinated Bookworm Life you might even be tired of hearing me talk about audiobooks at this point but I just love them so much? And to me, they are a fantastic way of switching things up.

I’ll even listen to an audiobook while reading along in my physical copy of the same book. It’s mostly about experiencing the story I’m consuming in a different way – especially with rereads! I feel like at this point, I do most of my rereads via audiobooks.

And if you’re someone who struggles with audiobooks, give it a bit of time. Try different narrators, try different speeds (that was a big game changer for me, personally!) and don’t give up after the first try. It took me a little bit to fully get into them too. And same with Sandra who now loves them.divider (1)

Travel Book With Friends

This is something I just very recently tried and I absolutely loved it! I had gotten my UK copy of Ace Of Shades pretty early thanks to the publisher and had asked both Sandra and Caro if they wanted to read it after me, which they did so I send them my copy after I finished reading and they both left their notes and tabs in there too.

Honestly, there is nothing more fun than being able to flip through that copy after and seeing what each of them wrote into the book and we actually enjoyed this so much that we’re planning on doing more traveling books in the future! ๐Ÿ™‚

Just in case you’re not familiar with the concept, you basically just read the exact same copy with other people and leave your notes and comments in the book as you go. Once everyone is done reading, the book goes back to its owner.

Read A Webcomic, Graphic Novel, etc

To be honest, I have only ever read one graphic novel and that mainly just because it was part of The Lunar Chronicles and I already felt attached to these characters and their stories. But it was a great reading experience none the less and I can’t wait to hopefully read more in the future!

With webcomics, I also just recently gave the first one (Heartstopper by Alice Oseman) a try because I saw someone rave about it on Twitter. But both of these have been fantastic ways to switch up my reading a little and give me renewed motivation to read more which is always fantastic. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Buddy Reads

This might be somewhat similar to traveling books since you’re reading the same book with someone else, but this time around you’re actually reading it at the same time as the other person so you can talk about it immediately which makes reading a less solitary activity.

I’m still trying to figure out the best way for me to do buddy reads as I often end up not actually talking about what I’m reading much which I feel goes against what a buddy read is supposed to be. xD But it’s still super fun knowing that someone else is reading the exact same book at the same time as you and that you can talk to them about it!

Annotate / Don’t Annotate Your Book

Annotating! One of my favorite things to do with my physical copies! But if it’s something you do all the time anyway, maybe don’t annotate the next book you read. Just read it. Or you can try and annotate less – basically, do the opposite of what you’d usually do.

I’ve been annotating my books for quite a while now and I love looking at the books on my shelves and seeing them in their read states! Plus, using tabs can be another way to mark things without actually writing into your books if you don’t like doing it but still gives you that exterior ‘evidence’ of your books being read. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Read A Book In Another Language

For those of you guys who speak more than one language, try reading a book in any of the other languages you speak! And if it’s the first time you’re reading a book in a different language try going for a book that you know and love!

I know it took me quite a bit to actually start reading mainly in English because I used to think my skills weren’t good enough to understand an entire book written in a language that wasn’t German. Especially because I often felt like I didn’t understand everything I read in English class during my junior and senior years in high school.

Turns out, my English skills were more than enough to read my beloved young adult books!

Switch Up Your Genre

This is hands down something I try to make sure to do more often than not to make sure I don’t fall into some kind of rut that I can’t get myself out of.

I mainly reach for fantasy and contemporary novels within the young adult category, so I try to make sure that I don’t just read one or the other. If I’m feeling super adventurous I might even pick up a sci-fi or maybe even a middle-grade book. I know. Especially with middle-grade books, I often find that they are so much fun and the narrators do such a fantastic job that I feel this renewed love for reading! Highly recommend giving them a try!

Grab Your Coffee And Let's Talk!

As I was writing this post, I slowly realized that this might also be really helpful for those among you guys who might feel a reading slump approaching them, so if this is you please give these tips a try? I wouldn’t want you to fall down the reading slump hole!

What are some things you guys like to try to switch up your reading experience? Do you maybe even have a routine in place to make sure you don’t get into a rut? Let me know in the comment below – I’m super curious to hear about it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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37 thoughts on “7 Ways To Switch Up Your Reading Experience

  1. Ohhh I didnโ€™t know your first language is German as well!! Itโ€™s so nice to meet fellow German-speakers here. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I love buddy-reading books, and I only recently read Heartstopper as well & loved it, itโ€™s so cute! Have you read Solitaire as well?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a brilliant post Swetlana (also, a little bit of a tangent here but I definitely agree with you about needing to write thing down. I’ve probably forgotten so many posts I could have written because I didn’t make a note as to what my ideas were at the time).
    Every so often I feel the need to switch-up my reading experience (for me though it’s mainly when a specific genre gets a little tired) and I will definitely be making a note of these suggestions. I’ve never tried listening to an audiobook before but I want to, I just need to find a perfect audiobook to start off with, and I love your idea about sharing books with friends and seeing their notes as you read along. That’s such a brilliant idea and it seems like a lot of fun as well.
    Great post. I’m glad you ended up remembering this one and posting it in the end. ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Beth! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed it! ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

      Hahahaha, same! And the worst thing is when you get them in the middle of a shower. A+ timing, a+ timing!

      Oh, finding a good one to start off with can be a bit difficult! I went with Aristotle and Dante because Lin Manuel Miranda was narrating it and I knew his voice and liked listening to it! One of my favorite narrators is Fiona Hardingham! She does the And I Darken books, Sabaa's series and a SHIT TON more (I just checked with audible) and I love the way she narrates! And Steve West is pretty good too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thatโ€™s all right! ๐Ÿ™‚ Iโ€™ll check out audible for sure, and actually Iโ€™ll check out some of the books Fiona Hardingham and Steve West have done too in that case. Iโ€™ll just want to find a book/narrator Iโ€™ll enjoy so I get the most of the experience you know?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Cool! I do several of these things, e.g. Read graphic books, audiobooks, switch up genres. I cannot do buddy reads because I do not like having to wait on others, lol. But, it’s a good opportunity for those working best in partners and/or groups.

    Thanks for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the idea of doing a buddy read! I wish I could do the traveling books thing but sadly thatโ€™s probably not in the cards for me since most of the bloggers Iโ€™m friends with are international, alas.

    I never thought about annotating books before. I guess I always saw it as a school-related thing, and even then I hated doing it because I hated writing in books. I have done it with some nonfiction books to remember things that I wanted to write down later, but Iโ€™ve never tried it with fiction. Maybe Iโ€™ll have to switch things up and give it a shot sometime.

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel you on the international friends part! I’m so lucky with Sandra and Caro because they both happen to be German too. But I wish I could do it with a bunch of my other friends too but yeah, shipping would probably be ridiculously expensive.

      OH, it was the same for me, actually! It took me quite a bit to be comfortable writing into my books. And a bit longer to be comfortable writing in my hardcovers. You could also use sticky notes to write on to start off because that way you’re not writing on the actual book pages right away. ๐Ÿ™‚


      1. Ooh, sticky notes are a good idea. Again, I really like the idea of annotating books for some reason, but I also feel like I don’t know what I would write? But perhaps I’ll experiment with the sticky note idea and see how it goes ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh this is such a great post! I LOVE the idea of doing traveling books, I wish shipping costs were a bit cheaper so it would be easier to do that. I’m not one to write down in my books, but with little sticky notes or something, that would work out very well for me, I think haha ๐Ÿ™‚
    I love to switch things up all the time – I’ll read a contemporary, a fantasy, a sci-fi, well even if I mostly switch between the first twos, I love it because it keeps things interesting and also keeps the slump away for sure, at least for me ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Marie! And I honestly wish so too! I once send a friend a book I had gotten for her because it was so cheap via Amazon Germany and then the shipping ended up being 7โ‚ฌ (which was more expensive than the book and if she had gotten it shipped to her via Amazon Germany) and that was just to France. Who knows how expensive it is sending a book anywhere outside the EU.

      You should definitely try that! I used to do that in the very beginning too! My copies of The Infernal Devices still have my notes written on the sticky tabs because I didn’t want to write on the actual pages. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is… well, REALLY expensive, I can tell, since I once sent a book to Australia ๐Ÿ™ˆ I wish it weren’t so costly. It would be easier to share amazing books with friends ๐Ÿ˜€
        I’ll have to do that someday then, need to find some sticky tabs somewhere haha ๐Ÿ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this post! THE IDEA OF SENDING BOOKS TO FRIENDS WITH ANNOTATIONS IS SO COOL. I think it’s called a round robin, actually?? Tbh I’d love to shove a ton of sticky notes in a book and send it off!!

    Also isn’t Heartstopper so cute!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know. I first heard to it referred as a traveling book by some other German bookworms on Goodreads who had created a group to do exactly that. But I’m sure it differs from country to country! ๐Ÿ™‚

      From what I’ve read so far, YES. I just need to continue reading already – I’m still at chapter 3.


  7. I totally agree with reading in another language. I first read Harry Potter in my native language and this year, I reread it in English. It felt like reading the stories for the first time because my brain process everything slower, just like a first-time read ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The traveling book ideas sounds so awesome! I have to find some friends who would be down to do that! Thanks for the idea, great post ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Swetlana, I am a new reader of your blog! I love this post and the design of your website is beautiful. #goals. Where do you normally get your audiobooks from? I am so not an auditory learner, so I tend to stick to my physical TBR. I like the idea of annotating or maybe taking notes. That sounds like a nice way to engage with the text. I havenโ€™t done that since college. AGES ago.
    *is old*
    By the way, could you write about how you come up with topics that are fresh and new like this postโ€™s idea? Iโ€™m fairly new to blogging regularly and I am still trying to find my own topics/discussions/interests that I can share on my blog.
    Lovely to meet you, by the way.
    โค Dina

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thank you so much! That means a lot to me and I’m so happy to have you as a reader! โค

      As for audiobooks, my go-to is usually audible! They have a fantastic return policy so even if you get a book and you end up not enjoying it, you can return it and pick an entirely new book which has come in handy quite a few times already. I'm sure there are better options around but that's what works best for me.

      I'll make sure to take your suggestion for a future post into consideration (I am in desperate need of some inspiration myself, at the moment) but while we both wait for that to strike, I did write a post on the topic late last year, if you want to check it out: https://thecaffeinatedbookwormlife.wordpress.com/2017/09/07/places-inspiration-blog-post/ ! ๐Ÿ™‚

      And I 100% can relate to trying to find inspiration! I'd also highly suggest checking out weekly memes like Top 10 Tuesday or Top 5 Wednesday for fantastic prompts! You don't have to stick to either of the memes themselves – you can just write a post on whatever prompt has been used in the past. If you check under 'Weekly Memes' up in my navigation, it'll lead you to various posts I did for both T10T and T5W if you need some ideas right away. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thank you, it was lovely to meet you too, Dina! โค


  10. I also do most of my rereads via audiobook! Especially with books I loved as a kid and Iโ€™m not sure Iโ€™d react the same to them now. Itโ€™s such a magical way to revisit old favourites ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Love this post! ๐Ÿ˜Š So many great ideas. Iโ€™ve actually never listened to an audiobook before (since I think I prefer reading books with my own eyes haha, if that makes sense), but Iโ€™ll definitely give them a try in the future! I also love the โ€žswitch up your genreโ€œ tip; I recently read a middle grade book (Ivy Aberdeenโ€™s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake) and absolutely loved it. ๐Ÿ˜

    Liked by 1 person

  12. So many great tips, I like!! ๐Ÿ’— I adored doing our Travelling Book it was great! I also love buddy reads even though I haven’t done that many yet ๐Ÿ˜€
    Normally I’m not that into audiobooks (I’m a very visual person), but during my exam time I’ve actually listened to the audiobooks for the Heroes of Olympus from my library and it really helped me get some reading done!

    Liked by 1 person

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