I have always loved reading. Even so, I’ve had some years when I have prioritized my time doing less important things – like scrolling through Instagram for hours. Since quarantine, I have been making reading a much larger priority in my life. Reading can be a great escape from reality, but it can also be a wonderful way to learn something new and gain insight and perspective into a life different from your own.
In order to prioritize reading, I have learned a few tricks which can make books easier to access, and I want to share these ideas with you!
- Library Apps – I love the app “Libby,” which connects to your local library using your library card number and gives you the ability to seamlessly borrow digital books and audio books (for free of course!). In Miami-Dade County, Libby has a ginormous selection and is so easy to use. With Libby, you can have 10 books on hold and 10 books on loan at a time. My favorite feature is when a hold book is ready for you to borrow, but you aren’t yet ready to read it, you can choose “deliver later.” For example, “deliver after 7 days” effectively puts you next in line, so you don’t have to wait all over again. I primarily use Libby for digital books that I “check out” to my Kindle App.
- Libby, an easy-to-use library app: https://www.overdrive.com/apps/libby/
- Tip: A lot of libraries will allow you to register for a new library card virtually due to COVID! Check out your library’s website for more information.
- Kindle App – So I have a physical Kindle eReader and use it when I read outside, but recently I’ve fallen in love with the iPhone Kindle app. Why? I realized I had a habit of scrolling through social media first thing when I wake up and right before bed. Instead of immediately opening Instagram and scrolling through fluff, I decided I would try scrolling through an ebook using the Kindle app. It has definitely helped to lessen my time on social media. The Kindle app is useful because you can click on a word to pull up its definition and Wikipedia page. You can also easily highlight and bookmark sections of the book to save for future reference. It also links directly to your Goodreads account (if you have one) so you can easily keep track of books you’ve read.
- Kindle App for your phone: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/fd/kcp
- Tip: You do not need an actual Kindle device to use the Kindle app on your phone or computer!
- Audiobooks – Like I mentioned above, the library also offers audio books! You can easily listen directly on the Libby app. I usually listen to these during my long commutes, but since quarantine means working from home, now I enjoy listening to audiobooks while I do chores! Cleaning, cooking, and laundry all become more appealing when you’ve got a great book with you. Another cool thing I found out recently -if you have a book on Audible (an Audible subscription makes a great present for booklovers), and you have the same book on Kindle (purchased or borrowed the library), you can sync them so that you can read the digital book and then listen to the audiobook exactly where you left off on Kindle!! How cool is that?
- Audible, a great gift for book-lovers: https://www.audible.com/ep/giftcenter
- Tip: Your library has free audiobooks collections too!
Having a free and easy way to read (and listen to) books means you have no excuse not to get started! Reading is a great way to learn something new, and develop your personal and professional skills.
If you need a recommendation, this is a perfect time to shamelessly plug a new Bookstagram (yes, an instagram account dedicated to books) that a few girlfriends and I have collectively started called Quote This Book. The goal of this account is to share book recommendations through quotes, to challenge ourselves to read new genres outside our comfort zones, and to continue to learn and grow, which is something this blog, Sophie Explains, definitely encourages!
Check it out! https://www.instagram.com/quotethisbook/