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Ashley Atkinson
Editor, Branch Out

Be an Adventurous Reader!

Be an Adventurous Reader!

Adventure Begins at Your Library

By Will Osborne, Adult Services Outreach Coordinator

Stuck in a story slump? This summer is all about adding adventure to your life through books and your local library. What better way to do that than embracing the brave person you are and trying out these tips to bring some excitement back to reading!

Try a book in genre from what you normally read
Solve a mystery, go to space, experience a true story – books are as varied as the world we live in. Next time you are at the library, browse in a section where you normally do not venture to. Many books have overlapping genres – you may be surprised what you find!

Update your reading location
Sometimes, a change of scenery is all you need to reboot your reading experience. Take your book to somewhere new. A nearby park, café or one of Fairfax County Public Library’s (FCPL) 23 branches are all places that can provide the peaceful atmosphere that may be difficult to find at home or during your commute. Find a branch near you at

Join a book club
Reading is often a solitary activity, but it does not have to be! Reading with others – friends, family or your local book club – often generates enthusiasm and enlightening conversations. Everyone approaches books with their own unique experiences. You may get something more out of your read than with reading alone. Visit to find book clubs and discussion groups at a library near you.

Take a journey with eBooks and eAudiobooks
Remix your reading experience by trying a different format. Listening to a book provides a different experience by using alternative parts of your brain than you might with traditional means. EBooks and eAudiobooks are available to all FCPL cardholders via Overdrive and the Libby app. Learn more at

Use one of the library’s online resources for recommended reads
FCPL has a plethora of online resources – including some to help you find your next read! Gale Books & Authors and Novelist Plus are just two options that provide summaries and read-a-likes for hundreds of books. If you want a book that has similar characters, pacing or mood to a favorite, these resources will give you the information you need! Find them and more at

Ask a librarian
Library staff are trained in advising readers and can help you find your next great read! Simply ask at your library’s information desk or try our online reader’s advisory service My Perfect Read for suggestions. They will be sure to find you something you will enjoy. Visit for more information.

Participate in a reading challenge
If you are a goal-oriented person, setting a reading goal is a good way to expand your literary horizons. Many websites, such as Book Riot, offer reading challenges and benchmarks for what to read. This can be a number of books to read within a period of time or a challenge to read a variety of books. You can also participate in FCPL’s Summer Reading Adventure – aptly titled “Adventure Begins at Your Library” – and receive prizes for completing the challenge! Check out all our reading challenges and learn how to sign up at

Fairfax Virtual Assistant