Happy Tuesday!! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday theme (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) asks us to share ten bookish discoveries we made in 2019. In the same vein, today I’m going to share eight helpful bookish hacks I discovered in 2019. These might seem simple or obvious, but sometimes you just need someone else to point it out to you for it to make a difference. In no particular order, they are:
1. Listen to audiobooks on double time speed. When I first started listening to audiobooks on my phone, I used to wonder why the different speed settings existed and who would actually use them unless a recording was unusually slow or fast. And then I started listening to books on double speed… and I’ll never go back. It’s a little funky at first, but as soon as you get used to it it’s magical. You get through so many books that way!!
2. Read books you are genuinely excited about. This might seem super obvious, but it bears repeating as a former college English major who was assigned to read many books that I would rather not have read. Unless you’re actually in school and are assigned books to read (or are part of a book club or something), you can read whatever books you want. The more excited to read a book you are, the faster you are likely to read it.
3. A little Goodreads review goes a long way. I usually don’t get around to reviewing books until a while after I’ve read them, and I used to have problems remembering my thoughts on them… that is, until I started leaving short reviews on Goodreads right after I finished reading something. Even just a little Goodreads review is enough to jog my memory when I go to write actual reviews for this blog.
4. Scheduling blog posts ahead of time might just be the best thing ever. I’ve been scheduling posts in advance for years, but last summer I really took advantage of this feature and scheduled an entire semester’s worth of posts ahead of time over the summer. I don’t know how I would blog without it!
5. It’s okay to put books down and return to them later on. Some people talk about how difficult it is to put a book down even if they’re not enjoying it because there’s this pressure to finish every book that you pick up. However, I think putting a book down is a lot easier if you give yourself the option to pick it up at a later date. Sometimes it’s just not the right time to read a book for scheduling reasons or otherwise, and it’s perfectly okay to give it another down the road. (This recently happened to me with The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I first tried to read it a year ago but didn’t have enough time, so I picked it up again this past winter break and finally finished it.)
6. The best way to maintain a bookstagram feed is to take a bunch of photos all at once. In 2019 I switched to a very specific theme that only involves photos taken against one wall of my bedroom at school. I’ve never had such a specific theme before and I was worried about maintaining it while on winter break. Before leaving for winter break I woke up a bit early to take a bunch of photos in front of the wall, and based on my feed you would never know that I’m not in that apartment!
7. When in doubt, return to old favorites. Rereading is reading, too. Towards the end of 2019 I reread some bits of The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien again and it was just so much fun. Despite Lord of the Rings being my favorite series, I was surprised by how many small details I had forgotten since my last reread a few years ago. If you’re stuck in a book slump, try returning to some old favorites to get you back into the swing of reading.
8. Books are an excellent medicine. I’ve always appreciated the way books can help people through specific experiences and challenges in life, but I felt it most strongly in 2019. Some really great books helped me through a really $#!%& time last year, and it’s amazing to look back and see how those books worked their magic.
What do you think of these helpful hacks? Have any others to recommend? What bookish discoveries did you make in 2019? Let me know in the comments section below!