Do You Bookclub?

15451058┬áThe start of a new year is a great time to find motivation to do all sorts of projects that you may not otherwise think about. That includes promising to do more reading, too. Lately book talk has revolved around Emma Watson starting a book club on goodreads that anyone can join. Not only is this fantastic motivation from a celebrity but she’s ready some pretty amazing books, too. She clearly states that the club is going to focus on books about equality, as it pertains to her work with UN Women. The book club holds the logo “Feminism is for everyone” and the first book up for discussion is ‘My Life on the Road’ by Gloria Steinem.

I have been wanting to expand my reading and so I joined the reading group and I also picked up the book this weekend. I haven’t gotten very far into it yet, but I’m excited. The group has over 80,000 members which does make for incredibly busy discussions. I don’t plan on participating a great deal but I will lurk and read some of it. A lot is nothing to do with equality or women’s rights at all, but are Emma stalkers, hoping that she’ll open communication with them.

We need more book clubs like this. They don’t necessarily have to be the exact same subject, but we (society) needs to be encouraging people to read and we need to offer motivation for people to branch outside of their comfort zones in what they read – without judgement. I don’t care what people are reading as much as I care that they ARE reading.

The club seems to be very well rounded. There are some members who have read thousands of books and recorded them to Goodreads, and others who have only one or no books recorded. I’m interested in seeing what books make the list, and what others think about them.

How about you, do you belong to a book club?

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Reading Challenges for 2016

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Each year I like to challenge myself with reading books. The past few years have felt less like a challenge and more like a goal I knew I could easily reach. My first year completing was 2013, and I set my goal to 30 books, and ended up reading 36. The following two years I set the challenge to 50 books and read a total of 52 books for the year. This year, 2016, I’d like to really challenge myself, and so I’m setting my goal to 65 books for the year – and I’d like half of those books to be audiobooks.

You may think that sounds a bit strange, purposely listening to audiobooks rather than choosing to read the books, however I think it’s a great goal for myself. These days I spend a lot of my spare time knitting and while I’m good at knitting, and reading, I’m not (yet) good at doing both at the same time. There are actually people who can do that, read and knit at once, but I am (so far) not one of them. I’d like to be able to fill that spare time with audiobooks.

Where to get these audiobooks was my next decision. There’s Audible which is one of the largest suppliers, but I’m not sure if I want to dedicate $14/m to a subscription or just pay as I go. I believe the $14/m only gets you a single book a month, and that’s certainly not going to be enough for me. Audiobooks are typically more expensive than regular books though there are free versions out there. The problem with free versions is you never know if the reader is going to be someone you can tolerate, and depending on the software you use it’s very easy to lose your place. I’ve signed up for kindle unlimited to test out the audio narration whispersync feature, I’m hoping it may be a good alternative to someone like me who doesn’t mind spending money on books or subscriptions, but who has a limited budget.

Have you set up a reading challenge for yourself this year or do you prefer to just take books as they come? Let me know in comments!

First Reads at GoodReads

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One of the best features that GoodReads has is the ability for authors and publishers to give away copies of their new books. Some are signed, some are limited editions, and all of them have been released within a 6 month period from the ending date. It’s not only a fantastic way for readers to score some advance copies from their favorite authors and discover new authors, but it’s a great way for writers to interact with fans, and to get their name out.

The contests work as free publicity, thousands of people see your book there and enter the contest. Maybe a handful like it enough that they buy the book even with the contest going on. Either way, it’s win win for everyone involved.

Every so often you can also catch a great giveaway over on The BiblioSanctum which is one of my favorite book review sites. Have your own recommendation? Why not mention it in comments below!