Category: Technology

How to read a book every week by ignoring your responsibilities: seven tips

Inspired by “How to read a whole damn book every week” by Kevin Nguyen, who has great bookish tweets

Ever notice that most “how to read more” articles are really basic? Smug too, but that’s inevitable. The GQ article above was better than most, but let’s talk about some ways to increase your book consumption that you might actually not know about.

  1. Ignore your children. Or, insert your own very-time-consuming-but-somewhat-ignorable responsibility. But for real, kids have to learn how to amuse themselves some time. Plus, it’s good for them to see you reading! (see tip #2.)
  2. Remember, phones are rude, books are intellectual: If you take your kids to the park and stare at your phone the entire time, you’re likely to get judged by other parents. You might even end up the subject of a mommy blog shaming. But reading in front of your kids? That’s modelling literacy, so back off, bitches. Same applies for reading around adults. People might ask you what you’re reading, which is annoying, but they won’t call you rude.

    Not actually rude

  3. Don’t learn how to drive. Yeah, I know that driving is great for listening to audio books. Yeah, I know that you can listen to them at 1.5x speed. Reading is still faster than listening, and reading on the bus will get you through more books than listening in your car ever will – or, ideally, reading books while someone drives you around. Advanced topics include reading while standing on a bus and reading while walking.
    reading on the bus

    An oldie but a goodie

  4. Read in the bathroom: These lists always include a tip about using short blocks of time to read, like the five minutes you wait in line for coffee. That’s great, but did you know if you lock yourself in the bathroom, you can read for way more than five minutes, and no one will question you? Everyone reads in there anyway, and it’s probably more sanitary to have a dedicated bathroom book than it is to check your phone in there.

    Young people: before Twitter, we read books of quotations in the bathroom.

  5. Read while eating: I mean, duh, but it helps to have a plan if you insist on paper books. If you don’t want to break the spine, make sure you have something to hold your book open. There are actual products for this, but anything heavy will work. Like your phone (face down, no checking.)
    book holder

    I just do this with my purse strap, tbh

  6. Read in night mode: If you read on your phone, and you should (basic tip,) see if your app has “night mode”, which means a black screen with white text. Way less light is emitted, so you can sneakily read in places that you’re not supposed to, like at a boring movie (haven’t tried yet) or while laying down with your child who insists you lay beside him while he falls asleep, which takes like 45 minutes (daily occurrence.)

    Overdrive in night mode. Bonus: Guess the book by its second page, first chapter.

  7. Increase the screen timeout on your phone:  While you’re looking for night mode, go into your app settings, and increase the time before the screen blanks out. Mine defaults at 30 seconds, so I increased it to two minutes. Makes it WAY less annoying to read when you’re not timing out on every second page.Screenshot_20170506-112317Okay, your turn: what’s your one weird trick (or seven) to read more? 

Continue reading

Ebook appreciation month #2: One (e)Book, One City

Ebook appreciation month continues!

One Book, One City events predate the ebook, but technology sure makes it easier to get one book into many hands. In my first ebook appreciation post, I told you how publishers put a damper on ebook borrowing, with limits on how many epub files can be borrowed and for how long. But a big event like this means a city (or its library) can negotiate a deal with a publisher to allow unlimited borrowing, and Edmonton is the first Canadian city to do so.

Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper is the One Book One Edmonton selection for 2015. If you have a Edmonton Public Library card, you can borrow it. But, you can’t download it to an ereader, so you’re stuck with your phone or tablet. And it’s being released in six parts. The first one is up till the end of the program on November 16, and subsequent parts are available for a week at a time. Part 2 is only available till October 19, so get on it!

At first, I was put off by having to read on my phone. It’s smaller than an ereader, the battery life sucks, and the back-lighting is harsh. However, the BiblioCommons technology on the back end allows you to do this:

Not only can you easily share quotes to social media, but it’s all pretty. In other words: it’s branded, social media-ready content. What if a publisher could do this kind of branding in an ereader? Or an author? Or… a book blogger? Those who clutch their pearls at the thought of ereading must be strangling themselves over this kind of application, but I think it’s got a lot of potential.

Have you participated in a One Book, One City event? Would you post branded quotes to your social media?