Is one of your goals this year to read more? With a little bit of planning, moral support and the use of online tools you can achieve your goal in a snap. Begin by setting up your reading history: keep a notebook, a spreadsheet, use the reading history feature in the library catalog (click here to login, click on your name in the upper-right to open your account information, select reading history on the left and opt in), in our ebook app Overdrive (download app in the App or Play stores or click here for web version) or offered by free book sites like Goodreads. Keeping track of what you have read will help keep you going.
Carve out time for yourself to get in a chapter here and there on lunch breaks, while waiting at the doctors and other times you find a little bit of downtime and don’t forget that audiobooks count! Cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham said “does your mind do more or less the same thing when you listen to an audiobook and when you read print? The short answer is ‘mostly.’” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2016/07/31/is-listening-to-a-book-a-cheating/?utm_term=.49a260f65fc8) So listen to a book while you commute to work and read another when you are at lunch or at home. This makes the most of your reading time. AFPL offers audiobooks on CD as well as in downloadable format from Overdrive and hoopla.
Get a spouse or a friend or two to join you in your goal. Striving to achieve goals together is a good motivator. Goodreads has a reading challenge you can join if you prefer to participate with a larger group online. They suggest a book a month and provide a forum for group discussion as well as let you chart your personal reading goal and provide an outlet to give feedback about what you have selected to read.
Join a book club! The AFPL has four book clubs that meet monthly—General Fiction Book Club on the second Wednesday, Romance Book Club on the third Wednesday, Mystery Book Club on the fourth Thursday, and History Book Club on the first Wednesday. Call us at 609-967-7155 to get a reading list and to sign up.
Get recommendations for further reading either by calling us or online from Novelist using your library card. Novelist is a librarian-curated site that will help you find books in series and new books based on books and authors that you love. It will also recommend fiction based on your interests or current mood. You can read book reviews, interviews with authors and get book discussion questions.
Don’t pressure yourself if you feel like you aren’t meeting your quota; the year has just begun and you will have plenty of time. Use the tools we’ve outlined and most of all enjoy your reading time, no matter how much or how little you have!