Summer Reading Challenge

Summer Reading

This year I was introduced to a new app, ‘Goodreads’. A coworker mentioned that they were getting book recommendations from this app and it was free…and that’s really all I needed to be sold on it!

I used to be an avid reader. When I would go camping, I would sit in my tent and read all summer. I would read by the pool, read in the bed, read in the tub. Anytime I was able to, I’d be reading.

Fast forward a few years and I didn’t think I had the time to read, much less the time to find my next book. I would read Harry Potter over and over instead (not that I regret that…and it still happens). Between working, relationships and just trying to live my life I found that I had not read anything in about 5 years! A younger me would never have believed it.

Back to Goodreads – it is a free website that does offer a free app as well. After logging a few books as ones I have read, and reviewing them on a star system (5 stars) I was able to get recommendations. The sign up process was super easy and now it also sends me email updates based on the alerts I set up. One of my favorite features is how Goodreads links to Amazon, so any books I check out with my Kindle sync to the app and it tracks my progress.

Goodreads also holds a yearly reading challenge (and I love a challenge!). You can choose how many books you want to read in the year, log the books and track your progress towards your goal. This is just what I needed in order to get back in the swing of things. I set my goal as 20 books for the year, which I thought was pretty reasonable with the idea of reading at least one book a month…and that seemed like it was going to be a stretch with my scheduling in the past.

I finished my 2018 Reading Challenge goal of 20 books by the end of July! This has made me so happy – not only have I found some amazing new authors and series, but I also tested myself through some stories I never would have picked (and some I didn’t even want to finish).

Reading has given me a whole new perspective and appreciation for my free time. Even when I go to the gym there have been days where I chose to bring a book and read it on the treadmill in order to still get in my exercise and enjoy my book.  When Chris wants to watch a movie that I am not a fan of, he is still happy if I am reading my book in the same room where he is watching his movie. I can read to wind down my day when we are lying in bed before going to sleep. I can read on my lunch break instead of watching reality TV shows (still a favorite thing to do, but not as productive).

I also want to note that I now appreciate an e-reader (I have a Kindle Fire). I can check out books from our library on my e-reader or purchase them and read them right away versus a trip to the library (which I still love to make). This was great and perfect for the series I started where I would finish one book at 9 pm and couldn’t wait to start the next…

I should have set my yearly challenge higher, but I am still very happy that I have read even 20 books this year…and I still have many on my recommended list that I can’t wait to get in to.

Do you have a favorite series, author or genre? Let me know in the comments below!

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