Sunday, August 10, 2014

Books, You Guys...


I love to read, always have. Reading opened up new worlds for me as a child. I used to sit alone in my room, laughing, gasping, and crying out loud over the characters' lives in the books I was reading. My mom would check on me, totally confused (freaked out?), when she would hear me emoting from a room away, about nothing that she could put her finger on. If you asked me what book I was reading, I always had at least one that I was excited to talk about.

Then, I became a mom. Now, My List of Reasons I Don't Read is longer than the list of books I've actually read this year...

1. There aren't enough hours in a day to make room for sitting down for an hour of uninterrupted reading. I can't sit in one place for 5 minutes without wiping a nose/bottom, building a train track, riding a beep-beep, making a snack, or answering "Mommy, what are you doing?" for the eleventy-thousandth time.

2. At night, after all of the kid-wrangling is done, I'm tired, so I fall asleep 10 minutes into any book I might pick up, which makes it hard to comprehend a plot, let alone enjoy it. And remembering titles or authors' names? Fuggedaboutit.

3. Since my time is so scarce, I've lost all tolerance for a bad read. Before, when I was reading 10 books or more a year, a couple of turds in there wouldn't phase me. One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch, you say? If you only eat three a year, it does! Stinkers piss me clean off these days.  (and the puns just keep on comin...) I've said it before and I'll say it again: Ain't nobody got time for that, son! If I'm going to commit to a 6 to 10 hour time suck over 2 to 4 weeks of my life (low estimates), I want an engraved guarantee that the book I choose will be good! You can imagine how well this is going for me. It's become a vicious, whining cycle of no reading.

4. And finally, a caveat to #3. It's expensive. If you've read my blog before, you already know that I don't buy a whole lot of books. I got to the library, which should be free, but since I'm an airhead now, that's rarely the case for me. Besides, time is money. The act of going to the places where books are to get them takes a certain amount of sweat equity that, frankly, I'm unwilling to invest. I'm just sayin'... 

Thank you for listening, I feel much better. Now that you've been bored by so patiently heard my tale of woe, lemme tell you about the solution I found to my problem! This site is so cool! I discovered it on another blog that I follow and checked it out for myself. What I found was this:
Do you love to discover new books? Do you review and recommend books online, in print, for your bookstore, library patrons, blog readers, or classroom? Then you are what we call a "professional reader," and NetGalley is for you. Registration is FREE, and allows you to request or be invited to read titles, often advance reading copies, on your favorite device.

Yes, yes, and YES! I'm a professional reader! Sign me up! In layman's terms, I created a profile that outlined the type of reader I am, what genres of books I typically enjoy, and my online presence--basically, I told them who and where I would tell about the books they let me read. Now that my profile is complete, I browse titles of galleys  pending release that are recommended to me or that I search out myself, request the ones that look interesting to me, and wait for approval from NetGalley to download the title(s) to my Kindle. After I read a title, I review it on the NetGalley site (and my own social media, as I choose), and mark it as read.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

Seriously, this is solving most of my current reading problems.

Hard to find uninterrupted time when I'm not exhausted? There is no time limit to finishing a title I choose, nor am I obligated to do so. I have a smart phone, so my Kindle app is not just on the main device, but also on my phone. I can read a chapter while I sit at the bank, at the DMV, or even pop it up while I'm having lunch at work.

Smell a stinker? Stop reading it, immediately! If I start reading a book that's not doing it for me, I feel no obligation to finish it when I didn't lose any money, time, or effort to find it.

Tired of spending money on books or library late fees for books you rarely finish? This is completely FREE! I can read pre-released books all year and, technically, not spend a dime. The only danger I forsee is that I'll fall in love with a title here and there and decide it must become part of my home library. And by that, I mean hard copy. Kindle and other readers are great and progressive, but nothing beats the smell of ink on paper for me. Love me some books. YIPPEEE!!!

Check back here from time to time for reviews on the fun titles I'm reading.  I'm working on a review right now, and have two, unread titles waiting for me on my digital "shelf." Now I make no promises on the number of regular postings I might make (Remember me? The chick with no time?), but now that I have convenient access to what's new on the literary front, I cannot WAIT to exceed my own expectations.

If you're a social media guru and reader on a time crunch, check out for yourself. You might like it. 

Happy reading! 

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