August 20, 2013

The Bare Necessities

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week they post a new topic/top ten list and invite everyone to share their own answers. I'm so obsessed with lists - so it makes perfect sense that I'd love this feature!

Top Ten Things That Make My Life As a Reader & Blogger Easier

Okay, so I had to start with Goodreads because joining this site is what ultimately led me to start my blog. I first discovered Goodreads in 2010, and I immediately created an account. A website devoted to books? You better believe I was interested. I used it sporadically in 2010 - not really interacting with anyone and just adding read books to my shelves.

Then, in 2011, I finally started using it to keep track of what I read. That led me to adding friends, reading others' reviews, and finally... joining the book blogging community! I probably go to Goodreads at least once a day. I use it for so many things: checking a book's rating,  tracking my reading progress, seeing what my friends thought about books I'm considering reading, adding books to my wishlist, etc. I could go on and on! This is absolutely one of my reading and blogging necessities these days.

 

While my Kindle certainly deserves its own spot on the list, in many ways, the Kindle app makes my life even easier. I love that I always have my books available on the go. I'm rarely without my iPhone, so it's been invaluable to have this app always within my reach. Whether I'm waiting for a meeting to start or standing in line at the grocery store, I can read a few pages without anyone even realizing it!

3. iPhone Camera
I'm addicted to taking pictures of books on my camera phone while out and about. I love browsing around the bookstore, but I usually end up looking at way more books than I can ever buy in one trip. If there are some books in my stack that aren't already on my wish list, I'll snap a quick pic so I can do some research when I get home and decide if it's a book I really do want to own. I'll spot books in a magazine, at Target, on Twitter... and it's so easy to just add them to my Books album on my phone. Once I add them to my Goodreads wish list (or decide it's not the book for me), I just delete the pic and snap some more!
Source
3. My Local Library
I am in love with my local library system. Y'all, I can't even begin to tell you how fabulous each of these libraries are, and the one pictured is the branch closest to me. The selection here is so awesome, and I'm constantly surprised by how many new releases are available on their shelves. My other favorite part is how easy it is to request a book if my local branch doesn't have it in stock. Consistently, as long as there isn't a waiting list, I'll have the book waiting for me on hold within a few days. Not to mention the fact that the library is clean and nice - a place where I'd actually want to sit down with a big stack of books.

My library also now offers ebooks and audiobooks for download online, and I'm in love with this option. While their online catalogue is still growing, I'm still so excited that this option is still available and is so easy to use! I love the library - it's introduced me to so many authors I may never have discovered before and gives me the opportunity to try books that I might be too unsure of to buy. 


4. Feedly
I wasn't really fazed when everyone was all in a tizzy about the end of Google Reader because I had been using Bloglovin' for as long as I've been blogging (which goes back longer than this book blog). However, all of the posts comparing different readers made me investigate some of the other options. I've only recently tried out Feedly (as in, within the last few days), but I'm already obsessed with so many of its features. It's clean, pretty easy to navigate and has some functions that were lacking in Bloglovin' but I've found really helpful now that my reader has gotten so out of control. It may look organized on the sidebar, but don't let it fool you. That's with a lot of "Mark as Read" clicks because I let it get crazy this summer!


6. May Books
I'm addicted to May Books in general, but I most often use my two blog-related ones. May Books are 5x8 in size, and they have soft canvas covers with stitched spines. You can completely customize them - from the pattern on the outside to the type of pages inside. I'm in love with monogramming things, so it only stands to reason that I'd love customizable notebooks, too. The two pictured here are ones I designed for my blog!

The chevron one is a calendar that I use to plan and schedule blog posts. There are month-at-a-glance pages where I can pencil in what I've got to post each day, which makes it easy for me to tell where there are holes in my blog content. I write down my scheduled posts on the weekly pages, too, but those also include release dates for review books I've got or just new releases I can't wait to read!

The zebra one has blank pages, and I use it to jot down all my ideas. Ideas for discussion posts, notes on a current read, brainstorming a new feature... this one has a little bit of everything! While I could probably keep track of this info on my phone or computer, there's just something I love about putting pen to paper.


7. Twitter
Oh Twitter! While it can be a total time suck, it's also helped me get to know my blogging buddies better and often helps me find new books and/or blogs that I ought to be reading! I'm still terrible about promoting my blog posts on Twitter, and I often feel like I have nothing important to say... but I still love it to keep up-to-date on what's happening in the blogging and publishing world.

 

It may seem like this contradicts the May Books item on my list since I just said I like writing things down on paper. While that's still true, there are a few things I prefer keeping up with on my phone using the iPhone Reminders app. Using this, I keep up with two important lists: 1) books I've read and need to review and 2) books I've added to my shelves that month. Since these typically change frequently, I like having them saved on my phone rather than on a piece of paper. One quick glance, and I know exactly what reviews I ought to be writing!

I used to have the monthly Audible subscription, but I ended up canceling it after about six months. But let me explain why! I don't have that long of a commute to work (the only time I typically listen to audiobooks), and I went crazy when I first joined and bought a bunch of audiobooks during sales AND racked up a ton of classics that were free with a Kindle/Audible promotion.

When I looked at my Audible account and realized I had more than enough books to last me at least a year of listening (at the pace at which I listen to them), I figured I didn't need to keep doing the monthly thing. However, I'm still in love with this app and the website. Whenever I run out of the books currently on my account, you better believe I'll be back to stock up again.


10. Book Light / Kindle Paperwhite
Okay, no post would be complete without mentioning my e-reader. It's made my life easier in a bunch of ways, including the fact that I'm now able to carry so many books with me at a time and can easily stash this in my purse for on-the-go reading. But I'm including on the list today to highlight the light feature (as well as including my trusty book light) because that's what keeps this night owl up reading at all hours. It doesn't matter what time my husband wants to go to bed - these two things allow me to keep turning the pages for as long as my eyes and brain will let me! And, you know, when I ignore the fact that I have work first thing in the morning. Either way, yay for nighttime reading!

42 comments:

  1. I love the idea of those May books! And they are super cute! May have to look into those! ;-)

    My TTT

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YAY! I love introducing people to May Books :)

      Delete
  2. Let's see how long I spend on May Books, now. Super cool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! SUCCESS. Enjoy the May Books :)

      Delete
  3. The Audible and Kindle apps are on my list, too. I like that they make reading anytime, anywhere completely possible. I also have an audiobook app from my library--and I bet yours has one, too--from which I can get free eaudiobooks.

    Going to look at the May Books now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally agree on both! I love that I can read on the go without a problem. It's so nice to know that I've always got that easily accessible because I always have my phone with me. And I love being able to get audios and ebooks from the library!

      Yay May Books :)

      Delete
  4. May Books look really pretty *stares at the website and all of the prettiness*

    GoodReads and Twitter are definitely part of my bare essentials of being a book blogger/reader. Great list! :)

    My TTT

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are definitely really pretty :) Some of my favorite things to buy! Yeah, I can't imagine blogging without Goodreads and Twitter!

      Delete
  5. May books look beautiful! :-) I didn't expect my iPhone to be handy for blogging! But it really is.. Great list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay for May Books! And totally agree on my phone :) Never thought I'd use it as much as I do!

      Delete
  6. Oh my goodness May Books!! I went on their site awhile ago, and was going to order some calendars/notebooks, but I ended up deciding to do it at a later time and then I couldn't remember the site. So thank you!! I'm so excited now.

    And then the library. I only recently discovered how incredible they are, but now that I have - I'm definitely never going to stop utilizing them. I'm so obsessed, and like you - I'm constantly surprised at what a great selection they have.

    - Tabitha @ Tabitha's Book Blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! I love that you forgot what they were and I've helped you find your way to them again. SUCCESS.

      And I'm SO with you! Can't imagine not using the library now that I'm so addicted to :)

      Delete
  7. Are May Books not the most awesome thing ever? I have one that I use for all blogging notes that I love! I think I need to make a new one soon because I love them so much.

    My TTT List

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES! So glad you agree with me on the glory of May Books!

      Delete
  8. I've been using Bloglovin', and I really like it, but maybe I should look into Feedly. I've heard it's great, but I haven't felt the need to leave Bloglovin'. And yay for libraries!! I didn't think about including the iPhone Camera, but I love that, too! And definitely Goodreads. When I started using it, I also used it pretty sparingly. But what I discovered the yearly reading goals, I really got into it. And now, with blogging, it's my best friend. And I need to go check out May Books. I'm very curious about that!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used Bloglovin' for YEARS. In fact, I never used Google Reader. But after trying Feedly, there's no going back. I love some of the organization and sharing options that aren't as developed.

      Yay for libraries! Oh my goodness, I'm so addicted to Goodreads. I definitely didn't do as much on it at first, but now I'm in love. Also, please check out May Books! I love them :)

      Delete
  9. Book light! Ha! I didn't think of that. :)
    ~Decadent
    My Blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! I definitely thought of that one at the last minute.

      Delete
  10. I'm crazy about notebooks sooo UM I need these May Books! So pretty!!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. As much as I try, I cannot keep anything blog/book related on paper. I'm a slave to technology, Hannah! Those are really cute notebooks too...

    I totally understand the audible obsession. After have a subscription for a year, I accumulated more audiobooks than I can say. I now have an audible lite account, so they don't charge me monthly, just once a year, and I get no credits but I can still shop their sales if I want...which I really shouldn't do. :-|

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! I go back-and-forth. I love having stuff written on paper, but I also end up writing some of it after the fact. The closeness and ease of my iPhone usually makes me turn to that first.

      Oh man! I haven't heard about Audible Lite but I need to look into that. I love the website, but I definitely wasn't taking advantage of it enough to keep paying $15 per month.

      Delete
  12. I take pictures of books too! And then investigate! So funny - I laugh every time I find out more things we have in common. I ended up having a Bloglovin AND a Feedly and use them both for very different things. So weird, I know, but it seems to work, I think. Hooray for Audible, best thing ever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my goodness! I love that! Sometimes I feel weird whipping out my camera phone - like the store will think I'm just taking the picture to buy it online later. Like don't they know I need to do my research?!

      Love that you use both! That's too funny. I still have some blogs I follow on Bloglovin' and I do like that they have the whole following thing be a little more social, but I love that I can do more with Feedly.

      And I knew you'd cheer for Audible! Haha :)

      Delete
  13. So with you on the Kindle and Audible app.

    I heart Goodreads.
    I'm kinda getting addicted to Twitter.

    I looove AOLReader.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay for Kindle + Audible + Goodreads! And I'm so glad you're discovering the fun of Twitter :) It's a (mostly) fun place to be haha!

      Delete
  14. Your May Books are lovely! And I have to jot down my ideas as well. I'm proud of my notebook and it not only helps me with blogging, it also calms me down whenever I start writing in it

    My TTT

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! Yeah, I love having a place to write down some thoughts & get everything out of my system :)

      Delete
  15. I've never heard of May Books, but they look so cute! Next time I need a notebook, I'll have to order one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YAY! I'm totally winning with May Books today :)

      Delete
  16. May Books are super cute! I want to get some now.

    I am with you on the GoodReads and Twitter. Now I need to research some Feedly. Bloglovin' gives me troubles every now and then.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I hope you do! I really love them.

      Yeah, definitely research Feedly! I was in LOVE with Bloglovin' for a while, but now I'm addicted to Feedly. SO MANY USEFUL TOOLS!

      Delete
  17. How adorable are those May books? I think they'd be a great idea for Christmas presents this year. And ditto to the Kindle iPhone app -- I have fallen in love with it this year and don't know what I did without it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I think May Books (they also have May Notes) are great gift ideas! Personalized but still useful :)

      And totally with you on the Kindle iPhone app!

      Delete
  18. Ahh, I also take pictures of books I'm interested in looking up when I'm out and about! My brother gave me a weird look the one day when we were sitting in the doctor's waiting room and I was snapping pictures of books in a magazine, haha.

    Your local libraries look so warm and inviting!!!!

    Ohhh I may have to check out these May Books! They look pretty AND useful!

    Great list! Here's what helps make blogging & reading easier for me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha! Glad I'm not the only one who does this :)

      And yes, I'm very lucky with my library system! It's such a great one!

      And yay for May Books! They're awesome!

      Delete
  19. Ok, I totally have to check out May books! They sound amazing and I've been meaning to get a calendar for blogging stuff FOREVER! Also, I love the kindle app on my iPhone, too! So nice to know I can read wherever I am! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YOU ARE NOW ADDICTED TO MAY BOOKS.

      And I love it.

      Delete
  20. I've grown quite attached to my Kindle app on my phone, too. It's so handy to have a book wherever you are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally agree! So useful & convenient!

      Delete
  21. Uh-oh, May Books sounds FANTASTIC and I want them. I might have to get one (or two) (or more) of my own, just so I can have them sitting around looking pretty ;) But seriously, I'm in love with this list, mostly because I use the same things for my blogging convenience (save the iPhone to do list and Audible).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YESSSS! I love them, and I'm so glad you like the look of them, too. You should definitely order some for yourself ;)

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...