Like many people, I love to read. And like many people, life gets in the way. Between work commitments, frequent soccer chauffeuring and loads of laundry, there is not much time left in the day. I dream of lazy Sunday afternoons lounging by the fire with a good paperback and mug of hot cocoa. In reality, I am more likely to be catching a chapter snippet while sitting in the carpool lane.
Nevertheless, I set a goal each year to read at least 50 books. And most years I actually accomplish that. No, I have not figured out how to create more hours in the day (still working on that…) But I do leverage several (FREE!) apps to make reading more convenient. And for this working mom, more convenience = more likely something might actually get done.
Here are five apps I use to read more:
- Kindle– First, you have to forget that books were ever written on actual paper. I will probably get some hate mail from librarians for that suggestion. I am ok with that. You are likely reading this article because (a) you do not have time to go to your local library (b) never lug around actual books. If this is you, just bite the bullet and go digital. You will never go back. The best way to do this is with the Kindle e-reader app. It works on any tablet (not just Kindles) and allows you to sync between multiple devices. Huge help if you go back and forth between phone and tablet frequently.
- Goodreads– Think Facebook for readers. Goodreads is a social media site that shows what your friends are reading and also suggests books you may like. It is a great place to get inspiration for your reading list. It also allows you to track the books you have read. This is how I stay accountable to my “50 books a year” goal.
- Overdrive– Even though I live two miles from my local library, I rarely could get a book back on time. They could build a new wing just from the Fontana family fines. Now that I have switched to e-books, no more fines! (I guess the library addition will need to wait) Overdrive lets you borrow e-books for free from your public library’s digital collection. The interface is not as smooth as the Amazon website, but I will gladly deal with a few more clicks to save a few bucks. Tip: See if your state also has an e-book collection on Overdrive. Since both the Ohio library system and my local library have collections, I have double the e-book choices. Winning!
- Audible– While not technically reading, Audible offers a variety of audiobook choices. I load my phone with audiobooks before a long run or car ride. Multitasking = a mom’s best friend.
- Feedly– Finally, I use this aggregator app to cull content from my favorite websites and blogs. It automatically shows any new content, including title and a short blurb, in an easy-on-the-eyes format. Gone are the days of wandering from site to site looking for interesting articles. It’s like having my very own personal assistant whose job it is to make my web surfing more pleasurable.
Any other good reading apps I should check out?