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As you may be aware I love books. LOVE EM! When I speak about books with people nearly everyone says the same thing to me; ‘I’d love to read but I don’t have time’. I absolutely get this. Reading is always the first thing to go when I get busy, but I do have some tricks for staying on track. Today I’m going to tell you my tips for keeping Reading in my life.

My Reading Background

I always loved reading as a child but I definitely fell out of the habit of reading in my 20’s. I did my Masters at night so I didn’t have a whole lot of time for personal reading. It was only when I began training as a Coach that I started getting into it again. Coaching was so new in Ireland at the time that a lot of the material was coming from America in the form of books. Anyway, my newfound habit didn’t have much of a chance to settle in as a while later, I found out I as pregnant.

Ironically I didn’t read one pregnancy book, not one! Its still a joke in my boob club today, I still think it would have ruined the surprise for me 😉 Anyway, like many first-time mams, I had grand delusions of hours of ‘me-time’ while the baby snoozed in her Moses basket on the porch. I was, dear reader, wrong! Not least because I don’t have a porch!

My Maternity Reading Revival

I got one of those babies that abhors sleep, so I soon had my ‘reading time’ delusion knocked out of me. The irony was, it was during my maternity that I missed it most. It was weird not having grown up conversations during the day and being alone, in the sense that you have no-one to talk to for so long, was very isolating. To be honest, I feel like reading is part of my own self-care routine. It helps me de-stress, unwind, learn, laugh and relax. I needed reading back. I decided I needed to get creative. These are some of the steps I took to fall back in love with reading.

Paper Books Sourcing

So I have a ridiculous amount of books that I buy with full intentions of reading. I love paper books, but its hard to keep them organised when catering to a junior. I stopped using Amazon and started using a site called Book Depository. They have a huge selection of books but the best bit is, FREE POSTAGE! There is nothing more frustrating than picking some nice books and then getting whacked with a massive postal charge.

Most of my paper based books are on Personal Development.

LIBRARY!

I don’t mean to shout but when on earth did I forget about libraries! I went and got me and AJ new library cards, and I LOVE those guys. I have a few years, (decades?), to go to clear my own backlog, but I will be using the card regularly with AJ as she gets older. They also host amazing events, particularly for kids. And the best bit is, they will order in a book for you. I have one friend who frequently gets notifications on her phone to say her book has arrived, how high tech! Anyway I loved our libraries as a kid and if you need somewhere to hide for an hour for FREE, get back in there!

I’ll use the library for Childrens books. And hiding.

IPad: IBooks

I know its a luxury but to be honest my IPad is worth it for books alone. IPad comes with IBooks installed already and similar to the Apple store you just buy books and read them. The SUPER cool thing about IBooks is that it reads PDF documents as books as well. I’m able to keep larger reference PDFs for work in an IBook folder which is great for looking back on.

It also means if you download a free eBook off someones website etc it will read beautifully like a full book in the IBooks App. I don’t buy many books via IBooks though as I think they’re pricey.

Mostly I use IBooks to read the free ebooks people give away on their websites.

IPad: Kindle

Inside of the Kindle App

So Kindle is the system that reads EBooks sold by Amazon. Most people associate Kindle with the reading device, however they also have an app to use on your IPad. So if you buy a Kindle book on Amazon it downloads directly to your IPad.

The great thing about Kindle is they do great sales. If you follow an author you love they will generally tell you if they’re having a 99p book day on Amazon and I grab them then.

My Kindle app is mainly full of Chick Lit. Thats how I roll.

Book Bub

I also signed up for a list called BookBub .Once a week I get an email of any book deals that are available that week based on preferences I picked. The best thing about using my IPad as an E-Reader is that all of the deals are accessible to me. If you only use Kindle you can’t avail of the IBooks offers. Again a lot of great deals for 99p.

My Book bub recommendations are mainly non-fiction

Audible

An Audible Book

I had a great chat with a colleague about using Audible when I was on maternity. Up until then I basically felt it was cheating! However pounding the footpaths for a few hours a day with a wee baba with colic soon changed my mind. I downloaded a book called Think and Grow Rich. It had been recommended to me loads of times but it felt too chunky to get started. After a rocky start with Audible I started listening to this and it was a Game Changer. The actors who read the book and the nuance of having someone else read it… just brilliant. I probably walked hundreds of kilometres those first years and all the time I was listening to books.

I will add that I listen for info not pleasure! If its an American book I will listen to it at 1.5 speed which is just about normal Irish speed! It will pick up exactly where you left off.

Its expensive and I am currently on a year off while I catch up with myself. I found the best value was to buy 12 credits up front. Every book is worth one credit so thats 12 books a year.

I mostly listen now on my walk to work or if I’m doing a job around the house. Painting or washing up or something. My husband recently bought me a pair of Air Pods so they have been an absolute game changer as well.

In summary

Using the Ipad is great, especially for travelling as you can fit so many books in there.

Listening is reading too. If you feel a bit overwhelmed at the thought of starting reading a book, listening to someone else reading it to you will achieve the exact same results, maybe better. I find I often take more from a book especially when read by the author.

Shop around and use the library if you need to. Oh and the library will get you in an audiobook too. Theres no reason for reading to cost anything. Even borrow a book off your mate

ENJOY IT! Reading is supposed to be fun. Theres no right or wrong thing to read and if anyone ever makes you feel like that tell them where to go. There is a book out there for everyone and just keep going until you find the thing you love!

Also theres no such thing as a ‘proper book’ any more. If you like magazines, or blogs, or even listening to podcasts, they all count. Theres no such thing as ‘bad reading’.

Books make great gifts! I posted earlier this year on the value of a Thank You and a few months ago I got sent a few books by a pal. I loved it! It was a lot of fun figuring out what made him think of me when he chose them.

Books also look great. They make a house a home in my opinion

 

I hoped this was useful. I’d love to hear any thoughts or information you might have. As always if this topic or any other interests you please get in touch for more information on working with me at sharon@sharonhughes.ie or in the comments below!

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