Monday, November 19, 2018

Ten Bookish Resources I'm Grateful For

I'm linking up with That Artsy Reader Girl for another Top Ten Tuesday.

In past years for the Thanksgiving freebie I have shared books that helped make me a bookworm and books I'm thankful for. Now I want to talk about other parts of the bookish world that I'm grateful for — how I get books and book recommendations and how I read more books!

1. Book clubs
Besides just being awesome opportunities to discuss a book we've all read, book clubs are great sources of book recommendations! I love when someone else in the discussion has the same likes and dislikes about the book we just read because it means we probably have similar taste, and we can stay afterwards and swap recommendations of some recent favorites.

2. Bookish blogs
For a recent TTT topic, I shared some of my favorite bookish blogs! These are a great way to get book recommendations and also find awesome book-related recommendations, like these gift ideas.

3. Bookish podcasts
I listen to a lot of podcasts, and so I have to enjoy it every week in order to want to still be subscribed. My favorite shows for book recommendations are What Should I Read Next?, For Real, and Get Booked. I also enjoy listening to the Overdue podcast discussions of books that I've just finished.

4. Goodreads
Obviously I love Goodreads for tracking my own reading and sharing my ratings and reviews, but it's also a great source of book recommendations. I like finding new people to follow who have similar literary tastes, and I've filtered my home feed to only show updates that include reviews, so I don't have the frustration of wondering, "But why did you give it 3 stars?" I also like looking through the lists to find books that are highly rated or very popular that I haven't read or books that fit a particular category I want to know more about.

5. Books app
I use the Books app on my iPhone for all my audiobook listening. When I download audiobooks from the library, I drop the files into iTunes and reclassify them as audiobooks so they pop into my Books app. Get an audiobook on CD? I rip the tracks so I can listen to them on my Books app. It keeps track of where I'm at in different books (e.g., the one I'm listening to my son and my own personal read) and lets me listen at 1.25x or 1.5x speed. I'm very grateful to have so much control over my audiobook library!

6. Interlibrary Loan
Sometimes I can't get a book in a digital format or don't want to read it that way (like a graphic novel). If my campus library doesn't have a copy, chances are that some library in their ILL system does. I almost never go to my local county library anymore, even if they have a hard copy on the shelf — why drive there when I can have the same book delivered directly to my campus library within 5 days and can walk to pick it up?

7. Libraries
This encompasses several of the other resources listed here, but I want to give libraries in general a shout-out. I spent almost no money on books despite reading 100+ books each year, and that's thanks to my libraries. Between OverDrive through my county library and hard copies at my campus library, there are few books I can't get my hands on.

8. Kindle Voyage / Kindle app
Before I got a Kindle, I did read one or two ebooks on the Books app on my phone, but my reading skyrocketed once I got a Kindle. I particularly love the newer Kindle I got a couple years ago, which makes it easier to turn pages than my previous model. I also like that it syncs with the Kindle apps on my phone and computer, so I can keep reading wherever I am. I can also brings a dozen books on vacation with me without taking up much space in my suitcase, which is amazing!

9. OverDrive
OverDrive is the primary reason I'm able to read so many books in a year. Anytime I finish a book, I can immediately send a new one to my Kindle or download a new audiobook for my phone. No waiting! And the wish list feature keeps track of the books I want to read, so I can filter by books on my wish list that are available immediately for download. It's amazing.

10. PaperBackSwap
When I can't find a book at the library, or when I love a book and decide I want to own a hard copy, it goes on my PaperBackSwap wish list. When I'm next in line and someone posts a used copy, then I can use one of my credits to have it shipped to me! The books are almost always in good condition, and all I have to do to get another credit is pay Media Mail rates to have one of my old books sent to someone. It's only like $20 a year for a membership, which is totally worth it!

What bookish resources are you grateful for?

Looking back:
One year ago I was reading: The World According to Garp and To Sir, with Love
Five years ago I was reading: The Moonstone and Roots
Ten years ago I was reading: Dave Barry Does Japan

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