It’s the time of year when the reset button gets hit and we are ready to improve ourselves with goals and resolutions. With the turning of the calendar page we can be either excited or overwhelmed with the list of resolutions we have put upon ourselves. Take time this year to be excited, you are about to transform yourself! Set yourself up for success, have a plan a place, and make small changes to achieve your goals.
If you have made a goal to read more and spend less here are some tips for you
I love wandering around bookstores and being wooed by a really great cover or an interesting title. I also love sales and finding a bargain – but I’ve also bought my share of bargain books that have never been read because I wasn’t that excited to read the book in the first place, I was more thrilled with the bargain than the book. Below is a list of ways to amp up your excitement for what you are going to read. You could try these techniques yearly or revisit them monthly or quarterly depending on your overall reading goals.
- Make a list of books you want to read. Ask yourself if you really want to read them. Take 10 minutes to read the synopsis blurb about the book, find the lowest & highest rated reviews containing substance to help make your decision. When you put in the effort with these extra steps – you will find that you are more likely to read the books you are buying.
- Only buy books you will read within 30 days. Yes, Seriously. If you’re not going to read it right away, it’ll build more anticipation at the bookstore than on your bookshelf. It’s not a good deal if it’s not being read. I’ve learned this one the hard way.
- Set a budget or book quantity limit and stick to it,. Such a simple concept that can be tricky. Gift cards for yourself is one way help – especially if you shop online instead of going to stores. Also remember if you are active in a book club, keep that in mind when setting your budget.
- Read a set number of books on your shelf before you acquire more books. Depends what your to-be-read pile looks like, try to whittle it down before you expand your collection. If you have 20 books you need to read, Read 5 and buy new book. My personal goal this year is to bring my to-be-read pile under control.
- If you use an e-reader, there are websites and tools to find when e-books you actually want are on sale. There are several out there, google can help you find them (simply search for e-book deals, sales or price drops.) The one I’ve used the most is www.ereaderiq.com. You add the e-books you want to read to an amazon wish list, (I found it helpful to name it something specific for e-books, but anything goes) make this list your default and set to public, then sign up and link your wish list to the ereaderiq site. This will notify you by email when there is a price drop on a book that you have on your list. You can set the minimum drop so if it is $5 off, you get an email but if it is $.50 off you don’t. Everything can be customized. Similar sites like Bookbub.com, work in similar ways. I mention this one as this is the one that I have used in the past. You can also check goodreads.com under the browse header, they have a deals section that is based on your shelves on Goodreads will show you books that are on your to-be-read list and ones that are similar to other items on your list. Or if you need one more thing to add to your morning review you can check to see what the daily kindle deals are on amazon. Sometimes the deals are flooded with self-published items, this is where reading about the book and reviews will help you select books you really want to read.
- Conquer all the books you own but have not read. Confession: I have several books on my shelf, in my audible library and e-book library that I need to read before I can go book shopping. I have set these unread wonders as my goal for 2018. My plan is to read something I purchased recently followed by something that has been gathering dust or e-dust. This will help with variety. Hope this plan works, I’m still working on plan B.
- If you have an audible account you can return the books you didn’t like, couldn’t finish or bought on impulse. I forgot about this feature and recently rediscovered it. I was able to exchange a book I couldn’t get into because it was a cast of narrators, I returned it and my credit was available for me to select something else. (There are restrictions/limitations and they may vary based on your membership level.) This is a useful feature if you could not finish listening to a book because of the narrator or if it was not at all what you thought it was going to be.
- Get yourself a library card or use the one you’ve got. If your primary goal is your budget, check those books out from the library. They often have multiple copies or formats, depending on your library network. If it’s not available in your local branch it can be shipped in less than a week. You may have to wait longer for new releases but don’t worry, they have plenty of other books to read while you wait. All my new release reads will be coming from the library this year with the exception of the birthday challenge – that will be my book splurge.