My schedule is slammed and my calendar is always nearing capacity, but as an avid reader, I always make time for books. Right now, my reading hobby looks different than it has in the past. With two boys, my hands are (quite literally!) full, so I mostly read from my smartphone using the Kindle app.
As my reading journey continues to transform through the different phases of my life, I have picked up multiple hacks that make my reading hobby sustainable and attainable:
- Goodreads: Goodreads is my social media platform of choice. It’s an app that allows you to search for books, rate them, track your status, create reading goals, and much more. It also allows you to add friends and follow along with their reading journeys. My favorite aspect of the app is seeing a book’s star rating. I always reference this when picking my next book. I also love my ‘year in books’ recap at the end of each year. It provides such a sense of accomplishment reviewing all the books I’ve read throughout the year.
- Libby: Books can be expensive! Let’s say the average cost of a book is $15, so if I purchased books and completed by 2023 goal of reading 35 books, this hobby would cost me more than $500 a year. Introducing Libby: the app that makes my reading hobby affordable! It’s available through your local library and allows you to borrow bestsellers for free. You might have to wait a little while to read them, but they’re free and available through your phone or tablet.
- Library Extension: Here’s another money-saving tip. If you come across a book you really want to read, before clicking purchase on Amazon, download the library extension app for Chrome or Firefox. It automatically shows you if any copies of the book are available at the library.
- Kindle Unlimited: Who doesn’t love unlimited books? Kindle Unlimited has hundreds of books and audiobooks available for a relatively affordable monthly subscription. You can find good deals on signing up for the service, but after a while, I just read all of the books I was interested in reading, and then cancelled the subscription. Now I am getting served ads to re-join for three months free, so I might take advantage of that sale. (Books I loved on Kindle Unlimited: The Maid’s Diary; The Housemaid; The Inmate. Books I want to read on Kindle Unlimited: West with Giraffes; The Song of Achilles; Magnolia Parks.)
- Airport Read And Return: I work at McGhee Tyson Airport, so I have to mention this hack. If you don’t read on electronics and prefer physically holding books and flipping pages, buy your books at the airport and then return them after you read them. The airport shops have all the hot bestsellers, and once you’re done reading it, you can return it to the airport and get 50% back! Hack about this hack: they also re-sell the returned books for half price, so if you’re lucky, you can find a new novel for half price too.