“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies.” – George R.R. Martin
I frequently get asked how I manage to read so much on a yearly basis. Yesterday, I officially hit my Goodreads reading challenge of 50 books for 2019! Yay! By the end of the year, I anticipate having read another 10 books or so.
The simple answer to how I do it is… pure love of reading. I love entering new worlds and getting lost in them. It truly is a hobby for me. But there are a few little things that make it a bit easier for me to read as much as I do. So if you love reading and are looking to do more of it… read on.
- Tip 1: Get thee to the library. And get yourself a library card. I get 99% of what I read for free at the library (both e-books and physical ones). Besides the significant amount of $ saved, the zero waste-ness/minimalism of it all, a huge perk of library books is that it forces me to prioritize reading since there are due dates and holds.
- Tip 2: Use Goodreads. I love, love, love Goodreads. Not because it helps me track the books I’ve read (which is nice) but because it is my go-to source to figure out what books to read next. Between the recommendations, choice awards, and favorite book reviewers — I ALWAYS have a hefty “Want to Read” section in Goodreads.
- Tip 3: Get the Library Extension plugin. This tip merges the first two in a wonderful way. When I’m on Goodreads, this plugin shows whether the book I’m looking at is available at my local library! It’s magical.
- Tip 4: Prioritize reading. Have a few minutes to kill? Read a book. Can’t go to sleep? Read a book. Woke up an hour early? Read a book. Also, these days, I very mindfully get into new tv shows because I know that tv is my biggest culprit in cutting into reading time. And ultimately, I enjoy reading a tiny bit more than I enjoy watching tv. Find your culprit and be mindful.
- Tip 5: Read what you like! I’m a grown woman who loves YA and NA — both fantasy and contemporary. It’s the bulk of my reading. And ultimately I read so much because I LOVE what I’m reading and can’t wait to read more of it. I don’t tell myself that I’m supposed to read certain kinds of books. I read what I enjoy. And I’m not ashamed of it. (Please see this. And this.)
And now… here are some of my favorite books from the year:
- The Winternight Trilogy (old Russia and magic)
- House of Salt and Sorrow (a moody manor by the sea, dead sisters, appropriately creepy)
- The Wicked King (book 2 of The Folk of the Air trilogy, twists and turns, human sisters living in the land of Faerie)
- Kingdom of Ash (a fitting ending to the Throne of Glass series)
- Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (East Asian fantasy with a wonderfully complex, power-hungry “heroine”)
- Homebody (because, I, like everyone else, love Joanna Gaines)
- Know My Name (a must-read)