Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Right Kind of Phone Books

This year I've been reading books faster than any year in my adult life.  I like to think this is mostly getting better at time management but it's also being interested in all the books to my to-read list as well as having regular access to good books.  Also, I haven't been sewing much this year and just started running regularly again so reading has been my main hobby for the last 5 months.

As much as I like the idea of reading 150-200 books a year, I know reading isn't a race BUT I also know there are so many books I want to read.  In a two week period I added 17 books to my TBR.  I'm certainly not reading 17 books in two weeks so my list keeps growing!

One way I've been getting in more reading time, without feeling like I'm sacrificing time from other things, is by almost always having a digital book on my phone on top of whatever paper book I'm reading.  I didn't have good luck with audiobooks (the one time I tried in recent years...) since I haven't figured out when to block out enough time to listen (I think I got into podcasts first so that's my preferred solo listening).

BUT, I almost always have my phone on me and have found by having a book on my phone, I can sneak in a few more books just by using the time I would have spent mindlessly browsing the internet.

Often this is waiting on Luke, to clean up his room, to finish in the bathroom (when he insists that I sit outside the door), waiting for Matt & Luke to come upstairs after bath and before bedtime, etc.  There are so many times I get a few minutes here are there that it's easy to pull out my phone and get through a few pages when it would be a bit of a pain to tote a book all over the house with me at all times.

I prefer shorter books on my phone, anything too long and the digital page count just seems overwhelming to me, even though they flip pretty fast.  I also don't dedicate much time specifically to reading my digital book so anything too long will take me awhile to get through (a week or two) and it's harder to keep my interest up that long.  I've read a lot of mid-grade and YA on my phone: parts of the Little House series, Caddie Woodlawn, The Face on the Milk Carton series, A Walk to Remember, and Moon Over Manifest, specifically.  On the Little House series and Caddie Woodlawn I had the paper copies and would switch back and forth, reading on my phone in those stolen moments but the paper when I had a longer stretch to sit and read.

Now, I have to say, I don't buy all these digital books.  Our library uses an app called Overdrive where you can borrow books through the library system for 3 weeks, just like normal books, and download them to your phone (or tablet, I suppose).  They automatically return after 3 weeks but you can return sooner.  There are hold lists (I have two on hold right now) and a limit to how many you can check out at a time (10 I think?).  I know people who are big fans of their Kindles or other digital reader but I don't want another thing to keep track of (or buy) and since it's not my primary way to read, my phone is fine.  For long trips with tight packing space I would definitely fill up my phone, reading all digital books would be a lot better than running out of books to read! (Which happened when we went to Europe!  I had to buy a book in Kilkenney, Ireland because I was so desperate for something to read!)

The other day I had to go to the doctor's office to get my TB test read (shocker: I don't have TB) after work and I had completely forgotten, in the morning rush out the door, to grab the book I was reading at the time.  Luke was still with my Mom and doctor's offices always mean some waiting but in trying to get myself, Luke, Luke's breakfast, my water, my hot chocolate, books to return to the library, and a card to mail out the door...I forgot my book.  So while I was at work I downloaded a book to my Overdrive app and I had something to read in the wait.  Which turned out to be much shorter than usual!  Wins all around!

fabric covered books

I MUCH prefer paper books to the digital kind but this has been a great way to get in some extra reading and maybe use my time a little better.  My internet browsing has been greatly reduced by having even better access to books and my TBR has shrunk slightly faster.  Or least stopped growing so fast.  I makes me happy to always have a book on me; I feel prepared for anything!

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