Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Resourceful Reading

Y'all, in case you haven't yet figured this out, I read a lot. In a book is my favorite place to be. As an avid reader, I obvs need a good supply of reads, and I obvs go broke if I paid full price for all of them. I've learned to be resourceful in my reading, and today I'm giving y'all a window inside how I read!

1). I USE MY LOCAL LIBRARY. I have spent my life being a library lover. I get all I can out of my library card. In fact, I was just there this afternoon. These are my "best practices" for libraries.

  • Step #1 - Get a library card. It may be stating the obvious, but if you don't yet have a card, get a card.
  • Step #2 - Use holds. I love walking the shelves of a library happening upon books. However, I really love the convenience of being able to pre-select what I'm going to read next. It's so easy to select what I want, have the magic library elves pull it from another branch, and the Library Fairy drops it off at my friendly, local branch. This is also a nice option for more popular books. I either put these on hold before they're released and/or as they come out. I then patiently wait my turn!
  • Step #3 - Use the e-reading options. My local library has an awesome collection of e-books and e-audiobooks. The app is easy to use on my phone and on my tablet. 
  • Step #4 - Use inter-library loans. Inter-library loans are an underappreciated benefit of Library Land. Do you know you can actually access every library in the world? If your local library doesn't have a book you want in their catalog, try expanding your search. WorldCat is the most well-known database if you want to try this out.
2). I HAVE A BOOK CHRISTMAS. The first day of the Friends of the Johnson County Libraries Used Book Sale is the very best day of my year. In fact, there are two days I take off work every year - My Birthday and the Opening Day of this sale. Imagine a gymnasium full of tables on tables on tables of books. Imagine that all these books are only $2 for hardbacks and $1 for paperbacks! Right? RIGHT??!? This is the one time a year I buy books in mass, and this is then the bulk source of my reads for the next year. Here's my haul from last year's sale.

3). I GET BOOKS FOR FREE. I've been able to find my way into a world where advanced reading copies (ARCs) make their way to my mailbox. You see, before books get published, publishers want "buzz" to be out there. So, the publishers put ARCs out into the universe to get bloggers, reviewers, and such to read and offer their opinion. I enter a few of these giveaways each week. I never know what I'm going to get, and it's a fun surprise when I go to my mailbox and see a book inside. Case and point? Yesterday, Laura McBride's 'Round Midnight showed up. P.S. Read Laura McBride's We Are Called to Rise soon if you haven't already. 

Lots of folks have been asking for my book pipelines, so here are some of my best:
  • Shelf Awareness - This is a daily email newsletter, and it's my most consistent source of reads.
  • Blogging for Books - This is a new source for me. The expectation is that you read a book, then post a review. You can only receive one book at a time, and then to get your next read, you have to directly link your review from the last book. I am currently waiting on my second book from this source.
  • Book Riot  - Book Riot is a site with all the resources and recommendations on books. They have newsletters for specific genres, and they run giveaways fairly regularly.
  • Goodreads - Goodreads is amazing in all the ways. One of the neat features is they let you know when a giveaway is running for a book you've shelved. I enter all of these because hey, if I want to read a book, why not read it for free?
  • Audible - Audible is Amazon's e-audiobook arm. They run free trials and promotions all the time. If you watch Groupon, they'll have free three-month subscriptions. Also, if you've never tried the service, you may be able to just sign up for free right now. The subscription lets you get one free e-audibook per month. This is a particularly good perk for recent releases.
4). I SHARE WITH FRIENDS. For the last decade (Whoa!), my friend Kristen and I have exchanged books. We used to mail them between California and Texas, then California and Kansas, and now we both live in KC, so we do in-person exchanges. It's an easy way to share good reads with someone. It's a fun way to get a second read out of a book, and it's neat to have someone to discuss the books, too. 

Pro Tip - If you are mailing books, mail them media mail. This rate is significantly cheaper than any other mailing method. When you do this, you can only include books, but it is such a reasonable rate.

In a given year, I spend no more than $100 on books. For the last two years, I've read 120 books annually. In other words, with these methods, I'm able to spend about $1/book!

So, now you know not just what I'm reading, but how I'm reading!