Two entries this week for a very good reason… #500booksofsummer is almost over! This year I had the joy (and free time?! I guess?!) of already having read (or listened) to 42 novels. F o r t y t w o. It’s only the end of the July. How do I do it?
I MAKE TIME.
It’s as simple as that. Most of these books were read during my spring semester. I’ll be honest, many of them are audiobooks. I listened to them to and from work, while I cooked, and folded laundry, but never while I graded… that’s just crazy. Don’t discount an audiobook: it’s still a story that you have to concentrate on and imagine.
Now, I’ve read 42 books, but only about 10 or so were actually great. The more books you read, the more duds you find. I quit a few books because they were positively terrible, and that’s okay to do — especially (I think) if they’re audiobooks. Just download a new one and get started. Life is WAY too short to keep reading a garbage book.
In your busy days, I encourage you to read 20-30 minutes before bed (something we always tell our students to do, but we never quite do ourselves…), start listening to audiobooks, and use an e-reader.
Everyone hates on audiobooks. It still counts. If it’s the only way you can have time to read, absolutely it counts. If you are trying to fill your ears with something other than Beyonce and the news in the mornings on the way to work, absolutely audiobooks count.
Audible is EXPENSIVE, but if you listen to the books at 2.0 speed (not quite as crazy as it sounds), you can listen to one very quickly and just keep trading your books out, getting the most out of your $14.99 a month.
There are a few ways to work the system, so figure that out for yourself. Modern Mrs. Darcy (a lady who reads A LOT OF BOOKS and gives a lot of book reviews as well) has an article about how to get the most out of Audible.
My local Pioneer library has a deal with Overdrive, a system/app that lets members check out ebooks, audiobooks, and videos — obviously all digitally. I AM IN LOVE WITH IT. About twice a year when I’m positively swooning over some book they bought me, I post about it… I love digital formats of books. I know, I’m an English teacher. It seems sacrilegious. But it is not. I have a Kindle Paperwhite and I use the bajeebers out of that thing. I’m able to read quicker and compete with myself for best time! I love it.
Check with your local library to see if
- They have a digital access app or program where you can check out ebooks. This will help you choose a book because you don’t have to pay for it, it’s instant access, and you can just pick another one if it doesn’t work out!
- Their digital access app or program lets you check out audiobooks. Books on tape is a thing of the past. With digital audiobooks, you can play with the playback speed and listen to them ANYWHERE.
- The app/program will let you RECOMMEND books. This is super important. I’ve saved literally hundreds of dollars on BRAND NEW books because my library lets me recommend books to purchase. Three or four of the books on my list were books that were digitally checked out to me on the day they were released. So there’s at least $100 there because new hardcovers are $25 or MORE, and probably marked up even more than that because I would have had to go TO a bookstore on the day they were released to get it…
I love Goodreads. Not only can I keep track of the books I read and want to read, but I can also keep track of what my friends read and recommend. The book reviews are linked with Amazon, so if you like something, you can go right on over and buy it from there. I’ve found that some people leave garbage reviews, so if you get on there, please leave a good review. I try to leave ones that expose literary existential crises for what they are, and if there’s a lot of profanity or sex, I like to leave that in my reviews as well. I think it’s helpful to know what you’re getting into before you devote many hours of your life to it.
If all else fails…
My number one advice to start reading as much as you can this year would be: start reading as much as you can this year. If you don’t like a book, start another one, but keep reading.
I’m in the market for a place where I can look at a book review that will tell me whether or not a book has sex or crude language in it. There are a few books that I was knee deep in and then BAM too much for this old gal. There are lots of websites for movies and games, but not for books. Any ideas?
Check out my TPT!