Near the top of my New Year’s resolutions list is to read more books. Admittedly, I was pathetic in that department in 2012, unless you count the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy. Heh.
But in 2013, I’m determined to read more, and I’m looking to technology to help make this happen. If you’re like me and want to read more books this year, or at least, ones that are for grown-ups and don’t rhyme or have pictures, then here are five ways to help you make it happen.
1. Get an e-reader
If you’ve been putting off getting an e-reader like a Kindle or a NOOK because you love the feel of real books, now is the time to get over it and see why there are so many converts. They’re slim, sleek, and mostly, extremely affordable these days. In fact, you can get a used model for as low as $30. Most importantly, e-readers are extremely portable, which means you can pop it in your diaper bag or purse and always have your book with you. And if you tend to be a night reader like me, invest in the Kindle Paperwhite, which comes with a built-in light. Smart.
2. Download the Kindle app on your smart phone or tablet
Don’t want to invest in a dedicated e-reader? Download the free Kindle app, which allows you to read books right from the smart phone or tablet that you already own. While Apple users have the option of utilizing iBooks, I much prefer this app. I’ve found that overall, the Amazon prices are much better than iBooks, and as a Prime member, I get access to lots of freebies.
Another benefit to the Kindle app is that if you do happen to have a Kindle but don’t want to leave it at home, you can continue to read your book on the app while you’re out, and then pick up where you left off on your actual Kindle when you get home.
3. Borrow and lend e-books from your library
A benefit to having an e-reader is that you can borrow e-books for free from your local library, which is an extremely cost effective way to read more. You don’t even have to leave your house since it’s all done electronically. Also, you can borrow (and lend) books to your friends with e-readers. I’ve found that if a friend has read something, then I’m much more inclined to read it myself. Plus, you only get it for two weeks, so you’ve got a little extra motivation to finish it.
4. Listen using Audio Books
While there are a bunch of Free Audiobooks apps, I’m a big fan of Audible.com, which together with Amazon.com offers hundreds of thousands audio books for purchase. In fact, most of the books I “read” last year were audio books that I listened to while I was driving and running via their free app. While you will find some books for free, you will have to purchase most, however, keep in mind that they’re the best versions, read by top-tier actors and authors.
You’ll definitely want to check out their Whispersync feature as well, which allows you to listen to your book and then pick up right where you left off on your Kindle. And right now, you can join Audible.com for free for 30 days and get a free audio book. Awesome!
5. Start or join an online book club
I’ve never been much of a book club person, mostly because it would entail finding babysitter to head out to the meetings. However I can definitely get behind an online book club, especially because it involves platforms such as Facebook and Twitter that I use every day. You gather up a few friends and start your own online Oprah’s Book Club with the GroupMe app, or check out the parenting book club at Alphamom which is quite good.