4 Ways to Find More Time to Read

One of the most common questions I get it HOW DO YOU READ SO MANY BOOKS!?

Left to right.

hahahahaha. Ahem.

It is natural for me because reading is one of my favorite hobbies. It serves as entertainment, distraction, escape, and personal growth. Reading has always been encouraged in my family. We often trade books and talk about what we are reading.

But I know that is not reality for everyone. Often people grow up only reading the books school requires or going to bed with no stories read to them or generally reading not being a value. When people with these reading histories ask me how I read so many books, they are often asking how I find the time to read so much.

I want to share a few suggestions on different ways I have fit reading into my schedule during different seasons of life. Reading looked different when I was a parent to school-aged kiddos compared to my current empty nest life. When I was a full time grad student also working full time, fun reading looked really different to times when I was between jobs for a several weeks. Vacations vs. work days. Winter vs. summer. All of these are variables that impact reading, but there are some common tools and tricks that might help you find more time to read.

Timers

You will be amazed at how quickly you can get through a book by reading only 20 minutes per day. Set a timer for 20 minutes and over a couple weeks you will be able to get through a 300-page book. If you don’t think you have 20 minutes in your day, I gently suggest that you look at the report on your phone that tells you how much time you spend on different apps, particularly social media.

If you truly don’t have 20 minutes, what about 10 minutes? I have family members who spend more time than that on the toilet everyday.

Identify small pockets of time

A corollary to the 20-minute suggestion is to identify pockets of time where you wait. These could be small pockets of time that occur naturally throughout your day. Car pool lines, picking up groceries, waiting for dinner to cook / water to boil, while the coffee percolates.

You also could manufacture small pockets of time for you to fit some reading in. Arriving to an appointment extra early, placing your dinner order at the restaurant instead of calling ahead. Yes – generally being “inefficient.” But is it truly inefficient if it is building in time for a hobby that brings you joy?

Different formats

If you find yourself without time to pick up a book, maybe switching to audiobook would work for you. Are you in  “Mom’s Taxi” years of parenting? The car is a great place to engage in audiobooks. A Kindle is a great option for readers on the move. Often a book is cumbersome to carry around, but a Kindle can hold hundreds of books and easily fit into a purse or briefcase.
Perhaps the fiction books you are reading are not really landing with you lately or you lose track of fiction books on audio. Switch to non-fiction. Putting down romance for historical fiction or sci fi might reignite your love of books. Burnt out on non-fiction self-help? Pick up memoir to break out of your rut.

Keep a list of suggestions

What happens when you identify small pockets of time, set your timer and then can’t decide what to read? Plan ahead for this eventuality by keeping a list of book recommendations. You probably have come across suggestions in magazines, podcasts, this blog, friends, and more. Keep these suggestions in 1 location so you can grab a title when you are stumped.
Some readers like a simple notebook to list their To Be Read books. Others use a Word document or Excel list. I use the app Goodreads. You can read more about this decision here.

Your Turn

If you are a regular reader, how do you make time in your day? If you are not, what is keeping you from reading more?
By |2021-09-12T19:58:05-04:00September 14th, 2021|Mental Well-being|0 Comments

The Push – A Book About Motherhood…and SO MUCH MORE

I know not everyone is a book nerd like I am so I usually save my 5-star book announcements for Sustainable Sue Bookmobile  subscribers. But this book is so much more than a great read – I had to share it with everyone.

Books can make you think and feel things you don’t want to or did not even know existed in your mind and heart. There are times that books make you reconsider what you thought, approved, and wished for. Sometimes books help soothe the rough edges on feelings that you did not even know were there. The Push by Ashley Audrain is that book and more.

The Premise

Here is the Goodreads description of this novel:

Blythe Connor is determined that she will be the warm, comforting mother to her new baby Violet that she herself never had. But in the thick of motherhood’s exhausting early days, Blythe becomes convinced that something is wrong with her daughter–she doesn’t behave like most children do.

Or is it all in Blythe’s head? Her husband, Fox, says she’s imagining things. The more Fox dismisses her fears, the more Blythe begins to question her own sanity, and the more we begin to question what Blythe is telling us about her life as well.

Then their son Sam is born–and with him, Blythe has the blissful connection she’d always imagined with her child. Even Violet seems to love her little brother. But when life as they know it is changed in an instant, the devastating fall-out forces Blythe to face the truth.

The Push is a tour de force you will read in a sitting, an utterly immersive novel that will challenge everything you think you know about motherhood, about what we owe our children, and what it feels like when women are not believed.

The Impact

This book made my insides shrivel up in a way that few books ever have.

I am a childless by choice step mom to 2 kids who had just turned 4 and 6 when I met them. My husband and I had some tough conversations in the first couple years of our relationship and marriage about whether we would have kids together. I had a several reasons against having a biological child. Here are a few of them.

  1. Post-partum depression runs in my family. I already lean on meds and therapy to keep the ship afloat. I have taken enough biology and human physiology classes to understand the hormonal chaos that pregnancy and early motherhood wreck on a woman’s body.
  2. I could not imagine how I would manage all of my big feelings while abstaining from caffeine, alcohol, vigorous exercise, and SSRIs for 9 months while incubating, then indefinitely after. I know zillions of women do this every day and have for millenia, but I am a research study with an N of 1. I knew my best coping strategies – healthy or unhealthy as they were.
  3. I loved our life. We had the kids 3-4 days each week, every week. We could do things like the zoo and practices, then drop the kids off at their mom’s house and spend whole days riding our bikes or touring through wineries near the mountains.

But I felt selfish and less than. It seems like I was bombarded with messages ranging from evolution to pop culture about how motherhood is a woman’s purpose in life.

So if I did not want to be a mother (a “real mother” as some women called it, separating out my step-mothering from what they did), what kind of woman was I?

This book explored all of these ideas and more from the perspective of Blythe and flashbacks to her mother ‘s and grandmother’s lives. For the first half of this book, I pretty much decided that I could not rate this book. I felt so strongly about it – loved and hated it, but I would never be able to explain the real truth behind why I loved and hated it so much. I did not want to try to explain all of these big feelings in a book review blurb.

But I decided that I was going to swing for the fences and be honest about the complicated feelings I had about motherhood. As much as I can do that today. As the layers of the onion are peeled, there may be more to share with you in the future.

This is the power of books – it is not just a story. It is how that story makes you think about your life. It can help heal, restore and reframe what we always thought was true.

“A library is a hospital for the mind.” Anonymous

Your Turn

I need people to talk to about this book. If you have read it and want to swoon together, comment below or come find me on social media. I have been pressing this book into everyone’s hands – and now yours. Go read it RIGHT NOW and come back to help me process this.

I know you will want more after you finish reading it. You can listen to an interview with the author here and hear a bookish podcasters talk about it here.

By |2021-05-18T08:47:01-04:00May 18th, 2021|Mental Well-being|0 Comments

Ways to Improve Physical and Mental Health

Spring forward and the vernal equinox sure help me improve mental and physical health! It’s that time of year when we start to come out of hibernation. I have a bit more energy to tackle, well – anything. If you have been around here for a minute, you know how much I love books and gardening. These are a couple of my favorite hobbies. I want to share with you why they also improve mental and physical health in hopes you will be inspired to add a hobby to your life. 

Benefits of Books

While self-improvement and memoir are in my top favorites to read, fiction is what is my favorite for escape, relaxation and general enjoyment. Research proves this is not just in my head. Reading fiction can

  • Reduce stress by 68% – demonstrated by lowered heart rate and muscle tension
  • Enhance “Theory of Mind” which is the ability to understand other’s mental states and show increased empathy. 
  • Increase your life span. According to Social Science and Medicine, those who read 3.5 hours per week had a 17|% lower risk of dying in the next 12 years. Reading MORE than 3.5 hours per week lower their risk by 23%. 

Source: Dr Caroline Leaf

Benefits of Gardening

Gardening can be equally healthy – both mentally and physically. You don’t have to have an elaborate or expansive property, even a simple container garden on the balcony of an apartment can bring you benefits. 

Benefits of Hobbies in General

While books and gardening might not be your jam, I cannot encourage you enough to find your jam. Hobbies give you a respite from the grind. You are more than the sum of your work hours. Whether that work is something that gets a W2 or not you need a hobby. 

  • Stay at home moms need time to give to themselves just as generously as they give to all of their people ALL DAY (and sometimes night) LONG.
  • CEOs need to take off the high heels and put up their feet to just be, not to solve all the problems. 
  • And where are my teachers? Sheesh, you are the CEO, mothers, tech support, and educators that the rest of us can’t even pretend to keep up with. 

It is more important to find some kind of hobby that to find the perfect hobby. No matter what you try, the simple pursuit of a hobby is what will reduce your need to escape your life. 

Extra Credit

Hobbies are just as important as laughter. If you want bonus points towards creating a life you don’t need to escape, check out this “No’s of Hobbies” podcast episode. 

By |2021-03-21T12:11:15-04:00March 23rd, 2021|Mental Well-being|0 Comments

Fundamental Reading Question #2: 4 Books Everyone Should Read

This is part 2 in the Fundamental Reading Question series. You can read about Question 1 here.

I love to be bossy. I do not consider “bossy” to be an insult. So when my friend, Genay, tossed Fundamental Reading Question 2 at me, I immediately opened my mouth to tell her what I thought everyone should do.

But when I opened my mouth, I was speechless. Crickets.

Here is the question that stumped me. Fundamental Reading Question #2: What books should everyone read?

I have been procrastinating writing this post because of that word SHOULD. There is nothing about a Sustainably Productive life that includes the word SHOULD. Yet, I love talking about books, and I love this Fundamental Reading Question.

So with apologies to Genay, I am going to give an answer a bit tangent to this second Fundamental Reading Question. Here are 4 categories of books everyone should read.

Books That Feel Familiar

Reading is not just a hobby for me – it is an escape, a comfort, a respite, and a joy. Definitely something that can help make my life Sustainably Productive. While I rarely re-read a book, but I do have themes that I tend to gravitate towards.

I will read anything about World War II and am fascinated by the politics of the time and how the Third Reich unleashed its hate and fury on the world while good people stood by and let it happen. I will read about concentration camps, resistance groups, both sides of the war, the years leading up to it, the chaos of the whole decade, and the rebuilding after. This topic feels familiar to me and is always a go to topic I pick up when shopping at used book sales.

Taking a very hard turn from WW2 is Little House on the Prairie (LHOP). These are comforting to me, and I recently found Caroline – same stories as the Laura Ingalls Wilder series, but from Ma’s point of view. I watched LHOP growing up and started rewatching last year when it came to Amazon Prime. It is familiar to me. Although revisiting it as an adult makes me cringe at some things we thought were ok to allow on TV in the 70s, the idea of homesteading and family is familiar and comforting.

I have a couple favorite authors that are familiar to me as well. I will read anything by Fredrik Backman or Jodi Picoult. Although their recent releases were misses for me, I will give them a pass. It was a pandemic year after all.

Find a familiar genre or author that you gravitate towards. If you get in a reading slump, return to these. It never fails.

Books That Come Recommended

I will forever and always read what Laura Tremaine tells me to. She is a fellow booklover who has similar reading taste as me. What she recommends, I know I will like. With the exception of A Man Called Ove, books she has disliked have also landed on my Abandoned Books list. [I am not sure how you can’t love a curmudgeon, but I guess Laura is allowed to be wrong once.]

The flip side of this is a podcaster who has the opposite reading taste from me. I know if she recommends something, I will not like it. This is actually helpful because I know what NOT to read – or at least prioritize lower on my TBR. Conversely, when she hates a book, I put it on reserve at the library.

If you are looking to find reading mentors, I recommend starting with Anne Bogel. She has a podcast, a blog, seasonal reading guides, and a reading challenge. Something for everyone for sure! Along the same theme of accessibility for all, her podcast is set up to understand what her guest likes and dislikes in books, then Anne gives recommendations. So if the guest loves sci fi fantasy and so do you, maybe you will like the recommendations Anne gives the guest.

I would love to be your reading mentor! You can also sign up for the Sustainable Sue Bookmobile and I will send you a notice whenever I finis a 5-star read.

Books That You May Not Like

It is ok to abandon a book. Can I let you in on a secret? I have even thrown a book or two because I did not like them that much. Think of it this way – if you don’t identify what you DON’T like, it is hard to identify what you DO like. You may find you like a certain genre, but hate another. You may not be able to read a THING about the Depression Era, but futuristic sci-fi is what keeps the pages turning. Books you don’t like is a category of Fundamental Reading Question #2 because it means you are trying new things.

Speaking of sci fi fantasy – I just cannot. I read The Ocean at the End of the Lane because everyone else did. Same thing with The House of Salt and Sorrows. Caving to peer pressure and picking these books up did improve my reading life though. I learned that I do like fantasy (hello, Harry Potter!), and I do like sci fi (looking at you, anything by Blake Crouch). But I need to keep those separate – it is the combination of sci fi fantasy that is not my jam.

Books That Make You Question

This category of books you should read will probably be the hardest to approach – more so than even reading books you don’t like. Books that make you question what you have always known as fact can rattle the foundation that you were raised on. Here are three suggestions on where you can start.

  1. American Dirt. Anti-immigration comments and views of children torn from their families at the border break my heart. The “helpful” advice, “Go back where you came from” is unacceptable. Read American Dirt and ask yourself if you are the kind of person that you would force another human being to return to a country where they will most likely be killed. American Dirt is a story about why a family fled their home and what hardships they encountered on the way to America. There is controversy about the fact a white woman wrote the story of these Mexicans fleeing from Acapulco, but don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater by skipping this read. It is an entry point for those who need and want to learn more about immigration stories.
  2. And the Band Played On and The Great Believers. No one deserved to be dismissed like gay men were during the AIDS crisis. These two books are heart breaking and at times outrageous examples of how terribly people can treat other people. Yet both books do have hope as there are good people who stood up for what was right, not what was easy.
  3. Nickel and Dimed, Evicted, and Hillbilly Elegy. Minimum wage is a hot debate right now. Cost of living keeps going up while basic wages don’t. Sure most teenagers don’t need to be paid $15/hour for their summer jobs, but some entry level jobs support families of 4 or more. Americans living below the poverty line cannot solve the problem by working harder and saving more. I admit I am a bleeding heart liberal, but I was raised to believe hard work can solve all of your problems. These 3 books were startling eye openers about poverty and the factors that often create a perfect storm.

I would like to offer the old saying: you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got. Ignoring other people, lifestyles, cultures around you out of ignorance is not ok. I encourage you to pick up one of these books to see where you might some similarities to your story. We are all more alike than we are different.

Your Turn

If you choose to pick these books up I would love to hear about it. Just a reminder I am an affiliate of Bookshop.org and will earn a commission if you click through any of the links in this post and make a purchase. In the meantime, think about your answer to Fundamental Reading Question #2. Tell me what books do YOU think everyone should read?

By |2021-02-13T10:31:26-05:00February 16th, 2021|Mental Well-being|0 Comments

Fundamental Reading Question # 1

I have recently been introduced to a couple book-related questions, and today I want to ask you Fundamental Reading Question # 1. But first a little about why I love even the EXISTENCE of fundamental reading questions. 

My Bookish History

I have always been a Bookish Person. I come from a bookish family. When my sister and I were in elementary school my sister read the most books in the whole school for a book contest where we were rewarded with a balloon for each book we read. When it came time to release the balloons, she had so many I thought she would float away. [Note: This was the 80’s. Please don’t yell at me about the negative environmental impact of releasing those balloons. The 80’s had a negative impact on us all in so many ways.]

My mom was a voracious reader. Growing up she occasionally worked for a friend who owned a book store. We had a den that was lined on all four walls with books. We had inlaid bookshelves in our living room. She had stacks of books on her nightstand. When I went to be with her as she was dying, I played the audiobook version of Melinda Gates’s book The Moment of Life: How Empowering Women Changes the World as I sat by her bed for hours holding her hand. When it was over I had a 1-sided book discussion that included all the ways my mom empowered me to change the world. Although she was not responsive by that time, I believe she heard every word I said. 

Growing up around bookish family members has helped me seek out bookish people to surround myself with in my current life as well. Knowing we have that bookish common ground gives us a head start on conversation – always a plus for an introvert. 

My Bookish Present

Earlier this year my friend, Genay, asked me a couple questions about reading that we now refer to as Fundamental Reading Questions 1 and 2. Genay is the Founder of Renew Planner and is a deep thinker and sensitive soul. I was not surprised she asked me not 1, but 2 questions about reading that I have never been asked before AND that I had no answer to immediately. 

After Genay knocked my socks off with her questions I had to go back to think about them. Fundamental Reading Questions cannot be left unanswered!

I recently I told you about my 10 favorite books. One of those favorite reads is the answer to Fundamental Reading Question 1 that I want to share with you today. 

Fundamental Reading Question # 1

Here it is – Fundamental Reading Question # 1.

What book changed the way you thought about reading?

The answer to this question for me is Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. This was the first book I read with multiple narrators, each with their own voices and interpretations of events unfolding in a family drama. My memory is of reading it in the car on a ride somewhere with my family on vacation when I was in my early 30’s and not caring that I was being antisocial with my nose buried in my book. I also remember being sad when we got to whatever sight seeing destination. All I wanted to do was read this book. 

This changed the way I thought about reading because I had gotten away from reading in my 20s. I was in grad school at the start and only reading assigned texts and the hundreds of associated journal articles. Then early in my professional career I was obsessed with self-improvement and only read non-fiction. For example, books about communication and emotional intelligence. When I started business school, topics changed to corporate culture and successfully managing people and teams. Needless to say this was not reading for “fun” – more like survival because I was desperate to keep up with my classmates and colleagues. When my mom, sister, and I would get together and swap books, they NEVER wanted the ones I brought to the swap. But reading Poisonwood Bible really ignited my love for fiction and pleasure reading again.

If You Are Not a Reader

I believe books are like exercise – if you don’t like it, you just have not found the right thing yet. I encourage you to keep trying different options. Comic books, thrillers, fiction or non-fiction. Audiobooks, e-books, or traditional. There are lots of entry points.

Here is a truth bomb – I am raising 2 non-readers. Both of my kids hate to read. It is one of the saddest realities of my existence as a parent. But I have not given up on them. They are in a season where they are forced to read what other people (i.e. school) want them to. I am giving them space in this season. Maybe you need some space if you have not found your book thing yet.  

But maybe books are just not your thing – you’ve tried. I accept that for today, but I cannot encourage you enough to FIND a thing. Life is coming at you fast and hobbies give you a much needed respite and recharging. Hobbies can give you a way to connect with people – maybe coming up with a fundamental question of your own.

I will write about Question #2 in a few weeks, but in the meantime I would love to hear your answer to Fundamental Reading Question # 1. What book changed the way YOU thought about reading?

By |2020-12-12T10:14:49-05:00December 15th, 2020|Mental Well-being|0 Comments

Staying in Touch When You Can’t Be in Touch

Isolation is a harsh reality of the pandemic – not being able to stay in touch with those we are in relationships with. Mental Well-being is one of the pillars of Sustainable Productivity and relationships are important to positive mental well-being. Therefore, I have been trying to get creative about staying in touch with those I have meaningful relationships with even though we cannot actually BE in touch.

Research has proven that if a person has a few healthy relationships, she can reap some or all of these benefits:

  • Lower rates of anxiety and depression
  • Higher self-esteem
  • Greater empathy
  • Strengthened immune system, which may even lengthen your life

But what are we to do when we are living this catch-22. I cannot experience my relationships the same way because if I do, I may pass along a virus. But if I don’t continue relationships, I could end up sick of loneliness. You and I are not the only ones trying to solve this conundrum. The Lazy Genius recently discussed this in podcast episode 158: Staying in Touch When You Can’t Touch.

I want to share with you a way I have started to get creative about my relationship with my nieces. Usually June or July includes a week of Aunt Susan camp. I am visiting them or they come to NC – sometimes both in the same year. This is what it usually looks like:

Needless to say this is not happening this year.

Instead my sister and I got creative. As you know, I love to read. And I love to read to my nieces. Although they are turning a corner away from lap sitting story time, it still means a lot to me to connect with them this way. My sister and I set up an online book club where we all read together once a week. Bonus points for keeping them reading during the summer also!

Staying in touch

Live footage from a recent meeting of our virtual book club.

Every Friday my sister and I schedule a FaceTime call, and the four of us take turns reading. Sometimes a meeting is crashed by either our husbands or our Black Labs. It is only a short session – 15 minutes at the most. But it is a dedicated time we spend together each week doing something we love. Although it is not a substitution for the in person visits we had to cancel this year, but it will do for now.

Instead of complaining about what we could not do, we are attempting to make the best of what we have.

How are you getting creative during COVID? Drop a note to share how you connect with loved ones from afar.

By |2020-07-12T17:10:42-04:00July 14th, 2020|Mental Well-being|0 Comments

Verity by Colleen Hoover

This book was SO DANG CREEPY, and I loved every second of it!

“Find what you love and let it kill you.”

Charles Bukowski

These. People. Are. Nutso. 

I somewhat called the twist, but the way it played out and the ambiguity was just perfect. I did a deep dive into a Facebook page that the author started [search Verity Discussion Group]. The conversations and theories are so good. I strongly recommend joining when you finish reading this book.

Verity Colleen Hoover

I do have two points of warning:

  1. There are some sexy times in this book. It is what is referred to as “open door romance.” If this is not your jam, you can skim past them and still have a good reading experience.
  2. Some people cannot read about anything bad happening to kids. If this is you, avoid this book. It is not a spoiler to tell you both twin girls die. That is part revealed in the first chapter or two. But the book goes over this ground quite a bit so consider yourself warned.

You might want to borrow it from Kindle Unlimited. Currently there is a free promotion. Verity was published December 2018 so there may not be a super long wait at the library either.

If you do choose to read this, I’d love it if you would come back here and let me know what you think!

By |2020-05-30T19:40:16-04:00May 30th, 2020|Mental Well-being|0 Comments

Digital Organizing – Books, part 2

Yesterday we looked at using the scanner to add books, but alas – sometimes technology fails us. Let’s talk about what that looks like and how to maneuver around it.

We pick up this book, scan it…

Sparkly dots? Check. Must mean I am killing it on the scanning. And reading about improving communication? Fantastic! Except….

This was really the book I was trying to scan. We all get a little mixed up from time to time. It happens. My general process is to scan the bar code, flip the book over to check what the cover says matches what the app says I scanned. For this book, when I flipped it over, the scanner did the sparkly dot thing on the cover and corrected itself.

This is another book I tried to scan the barcode (note the sparkly dots trying their darnedest), yet failing and announcing its failure so dramatically, “No books found!” Calm down Goodreads, no need to panic. We have a workaround.

On the landing page / home page / first page you hit in Goodreads, there is a search box at the top. Simply type in the name of the book that did not scan. When you click on the title, you will see the selection’s details as show below for this example.

On the left third of your screen (see below) you see a green box that defaults to “Want to Read.” If it is green, it is not selected. Hover your mouse over the green box to get the drop down list of “Read, Currently Reading, Want to Read” (the other lists of 2017, 2018, etc. are ones I added). Choose “Want to Read” unless this book is going straight into service, then change to “Currently Reading.”

By |2019-12-12T19:11:16-05:00May 15th, 2019|Environmental Surroundings|0 Comments

Digital Organizing – Books, part 1

One of my favorite things to do when I travel is the Read and Return program certain airports have. On this particular trip, I popped into the shop and bought a book that sounded right up my alley, made my purchase, and tucked into my seat at the gate (and by that I mean sat uncomfortably in a seat surrounded by strangers coughing up lungs). After about 10 pages I realized I read the book already. So I went back and did a regular return and bought another book. Back to the gate and seat made of concrete only to find I HAD READ THAT ONE TOO. I decided this was nonsense, and I needed to get it myself organized.

I use the website / app Goodreads to organize my books. Apparently there is controversy about the reviews and ratings there and who the website is more geared towards – authors or readers. However, organization is about retrieval – it does not matter how easy something is to put away or how pretty it looks when it is put away if you cannot find the thing / information when you need it. I store book information for 2 specific reasons:

  1. I want to know if I have read it so I don’t waste money with repeat purchases. My library also only allows 5 holds at a time so I also don’t want to spend that precious real estate on a repeat read.
  2. I want to know if I have read it so I can talk about it. I refer to my rating and quick Goodreads review to refresh my memory on whether or not I liked the book.

This post is part 1 of 3 to show you how I add books to Goodreads to organize my actual books and the digital record of them. Let’s say for example I went to a book sale and arrived home with 2 bags of books – just hypothetical, of course. Today’s post will cover step one in the process – using the scanning feature to add my new friends to my Goodreads TBR list. It is easier than it seems – WAY easier than scanning my own groceries and saves so much time from entering them by hand typing in the title.

On the screen shot below, you will see the main screen of the Goodreads app on my phone. You will see “Scan” (circled in blue above). Click on that and hover over the bar code on the back of the book you would like to enter.

You know it is working when you see the little sparkles appear as in the screen shot below.

The book you just scanned should show up in the “Scanned Books” tab where you can add them as a batch to your To Be Read list. The picture below shows you what this will look like.

Part 2 will come out tomorrow and will cover what to do when the book you scanned is wrong or Goodreads cannot scan the barcode.

By |2019-12-12T19:11:39-05:00May 14th, 2019|Environmental Surroundings|0 Comments

Book sale!

The only thing better than reading books is buying books super cheap when the money goes to a good cause! Today kicks off a fantastic local book sale.

This was my first year attending after hearing rave reviews and oogling it as I drove by over the past few years. It did not disappoint!

Volunteers spend weeks leading up to the event sorting and categorizing donations. One building has children’s books, another building has “cool and collectible,” and the main building has everything else. I was GIDDY when I arrived and probably had NEWBIE written all over me. It was a delight!

My current strategy at used book sales is to let the books pick me. I know this sounds woo woo (perhaps that needs to be a tag because this will be a recurring theme). This is a survival tactic though. With past sales, I armed myself with a long list of what I was looking for, then basically had a panic attack at the huge tables stacked with hundreds of books simply labeled: FICTION.

So now I arm myself with an open mind and 2 reusable shopping bags. I wander through the stacks, running my fingers over the books and reading titles and reviewing authors. If something strikes me I read the blurb and double check my Goodreads account to make sure I have not already read it. Then I pop it into my shopping bag. Once I have a bag full I check out. Full disclosure: I do carry a second bag, but try to limit it to one bag.

I also keep other people in mind as I wander. Sometimes I see a book that I loved reading and am almost sad that I have already read it because I know I won’t have the experience of reading that beloved book again (I’m looking at you, Poisonwood Bible). Those books I pull out and lay on top of the pile so it stands out to other shoppers. If I see books friends or family would like I drop that in the bag too. For example, my mother-in-law recently retired and has been reading more and is exploring various authors in the category of mystery / thrilled. Lee Childs and Harlen Coben? In the bag they go, please and thank you.

What is your strategy for tackling used book sales?

By |2019-12-12T19:13:44-05:00May 9th, 2019|Mental Well-being|0 Comments

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