There are so many ways to get books these days, from the local bookstore to the grocery store to your smartphone or laptop. But one place that will never go out of style is the library. While many people forget that the library even exists, there are so many reasons why it is still the place to beat when it comes to finding great reads.
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To be a librarian, you have to have a Masters in Library Science or some equivalent degree title. That means that these women and men know what they’re talking about when they say that a specific book is the source of information, or the best book in one particular genre. They know the library like the back of their hands, and they can help you hunt down just the book you’ve been looking for, even if you have no idea what it’s called and can only give them a vague, incorrect description of the jacket cover.
2. Thousands of Books in One Place
Even if you have no intention of reading the entire section on Automotive Repair, the fact of the matter is that (aside from a huge bookstore) the library is going to have the widest selection available. You can find about a thousand books in any given genre, and you can drop the kids off to play in the kids section while you go peruse the adult romance section for your next late night read. You can get access to entire series, and even put books on hold that aren’t even published yet. You can be the first one to read a book, and responsibly return it to the next person in line. You can request any book you want in the world for free and the library will order it and let you rent it. How fantastic is that?
3. Libraries are Free (Duh)
So many people just plum forget that libraries are sources of free entertainment. They don’t have just books- they have audiobooks, magazines, CDs, and movies! You can spend hours in a library just thinking about all the wonderful stories you can read, music you can listen to, and movies you can watch all snuggled up at home. If you find a book that you want to read, but don’t care to pay $30 for the hardcover version, go put it on hold at the library. If you’re not the first in line, you may have to wait a couple of weeks to get the next copy but you’re going to save yourself so much money. You can pick up every bit of work by your favorite author without ever worrying about your spouse finding out about all the money you spent, and your kids can read all the awesome books they want without you having to rack up a bill at the bookstore. Libraries are amazing resources – use them!!
There are tons of options out there for a person who is looking for a device to read and store e-books. There are very similar devices, devices that function as a tablet, and even smart phones and laptops that can become e-readers. This article will help you decide which option is the best one for you.
For many, the debate comes down to two of the biggest names in the industry: the Barnes and Noble Nook or the Amazon Kindle. The Kindle was really the first of its kind, and has been a pioneer for the e-reader world. Kindle Marketplace has thousands and thousands of books, and even free options. While the devices are similar in some ways, each seller has provided different levels of e-readers. For example, there are the “simple” e-readers that are just ink and screen appearance, and there are tablets from each seller as well. Some have backlighting and some allow you to play games and search the Internet while still storing and keeping your e-books for future use. While there are pros and cons to each, it has been our experience here that the Nook is much cheaper, has better support, and has cheaper books. Many people who love their Kindles disagree whole-heartedly, and Amazon does have a ton of offers that Barnes and Noble does not, like a subscription book service that is quite like Netflix for books. Do your research, you may learn something that works better for you.
Under the category of e-readers comes a unique category that allows you access your e-book collection from your multi-use device, like your smart phone or tablet. Some people prefer to buy the e-reader devices specifically for reading, while others prefer to be able to do everything from one device. The downside to using your smart phone or tablet for reading is that 1: They are smaller 2: You get distracted much more easily. E-Readers are usually about 8-10 inches diagonally (like a TV measurement), but phones are only about 6-8 inches. That’s a lot of squinting. On an e-reader, you don’t have incoming calls or emails distracting you from reading directly on your screen. However, you are carrying multiple devices which can take up more space in your bag or in your hands. In our humble opinion, however, buying the separate e-reader, or getting a larger tablet from Samsung or Apple makes it a lot easier on your eyes and lets you do multiple functions from the same device so you don’t have to feel bad about spending money on a singular function item.
Price is probably the deciding factor, and the cheapest options are either using your current smart phone, tablet, or laptop to read e-books from (costing you nothing in equipment costs), or buying the simple versions of the e-readers that are just ink and screen rather than backlit or colored. The most expensive option would be to buy a large tablet, but those can be used in many other ways to offset the cost.
It’s almost a New Year, and for book lovers that means another 365 days to read, add to the To Be Read List, and drool over all the beautiful books on the shelves. If you’re hoping to get a head start on your reading list for 2016, here’s a list of all the books you might want to check out before the year begins. At the strike of midnight, you can be ahead of the curve and already start reading the future classics.
Are you a Game of Thrones fan? Prepare to enjoy (or hate) the sixth installment of the Song of Fire and Ice series. This book has been voted the most anticipated book of 2016 by multiple sources.
A follow up the Red Queen book that won her the Goodreads Debut Author of the Year for 2015, Victoria Aveyard is going to release the exciting sequel. There is much hype surrounding this book, so if you haven’t read the Red Queen, you should do so now before this one gets released.
The finale to the popular 5th Wave series will be here in 2016. This is a Young Adult dystopian series for the ages. Parents and their teens will love these books, and hopefully will get to enjoy the entire series on film. Read the first one now before it comes to theaters late December 2015.
4. Fellside – MR Carey
Are you into thrillers? Do you love new authors? This might be just the book for you. Carey has another book, released in 2014, that is already being made into a movie. Hopefully Fellside follows suit.
5. The Seeker – Stephenie Meyer
The queen of all things teen angst, Stephenie Meyer, is at it again with her sequel to The Host. The Host was made into a movie in 2013, as well as Stephenie Meyer’s other 4 books you might know as the Twilight Saga. Don’t just The Seeker by her Twilight fame- these books are solid scifi and have a great story.
6. The City of Mirrors – Justin Cronin
His first novel, The Passage, was a nearly Bible-length tome that tracked a variety of characters through a post-apocalyptic journey to find a cure for a vampire-like virus. The remaining characters are back in this third installment, which Cronin has not confirmed to be the last. It’s a wild ride.
7. In Another Life – Julie Christine Johnson
Voted one of the most anticipated fiction books of 2016, this book follows a woman having a love affair in rural France. Much praise from critics has readers interested and ready for the release in early 2016.
8. One With You – Sylvia Day
If you’re a fan of the Fifty Shades of Grey series, you’ll probably love the Crossfire series. This book is the fifth and (hopefully) final installment of the series, but fans are wishing it would never end.
Now that the holidays are rolling around, you may be wondering what to get your loved ones and friends. If you’re looking for a great way to spread holiday cheer without breaking the bank, and while continuing on a tradition for many years to come, consider making books the center of your giving this year. There are tons of fun ways to gift books to one another, and even more great ways to start a tradition.
Here are a few ideas to spice up your holiday giving.
This is a classic game with one special twist: you only gift books to the person you “draw.” Put names in a hat, and pull names out randomly. The person you pull out is the person you buy a book for. You can either stick to their favorite genre, or give them something new. You can also make it a gag gift, but everyone loves a good book so just find something you know he or she will enjoy!
2. Horror for the Holidays
Many people read the Christmas classics around the holidays, like “A Christmas Carol.” Why not mix it up and read non-holiday themed books, or even take it a step further and read the opposite of happy: horror. Pick up horror or thriller books for you and all your friends, and spend the Night Before Christmas shivering by the fire.
Instead of spending a ton of money on your friends, or even buying brand new books at the bookstore, why don’t you have a holiday book swap? You can drink eggnog, play holiday music, and talk about the books you’ve read over the past year. You can make suggestions for each other, or just offer an even trade- a book for a book. This is a great fun way to get everyone together without spending a dime, and gives you a good excuse to raid your friends’ bookshelves without worrying about returning the book.
4. Spin the Book
Of course, every teenager knows that Spin the Bottle is the best part of every party. Why not grow this age-old tradition up a little bit, and spin a bottle around a table of books instead of pretty lips? Whichever book the bottle spins to face is the book that you get to take home and read. You can wrap the books before so it’s even more of a surprise, or leave them out on the table so people know what goodies are at stake.
5. Bookstore Bash
Lots of bookstores have cafes and let you peruse at your leisure while enjoying a nice cuppa joe or tea or hot cocoa. Meet up with your friends, look through the aisles, and let everyone pick one book that they want to take home. Treat them to coffee and their new book selection, and tell them “Happy Holidays.” It’s a fun way to spend the day, your friends get exactly what they want, and you get to annoy the bookstore staff with your antics. Win win!
Whether it’s a Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Apple Books, or any other e-reader platform you can think of, it’s impossible to have as much selection at your fingertips than you can now with an e-reader. There are so many benefits to e-readers that it’s easy to forget why you even really liked reading physical books in the first place. Paper cuts are history! However, the true traditionalists are trying to keep books in the hands of readers, not because they dislike e-books, but because reading is an experience and a gift. Here are a few reasons why books should be Nooks any day.
Sharing is Caring
Think about the first time you read a really good book. Was it a book you bought for yourself just randomly out of a bookstore? Or was it a recommendation from a librarian, or even better yet a gift from a friend who told you that you “Just had to read it”? The beauty of physical books is that you can pass them on, literally gift them to someone. While you can always tell someone that they have to download the book on their e-reader, there is a special kind of magic in passing around a book from friend to friend, family member to family member.
Let’s face it- we do a lot of terrible things to our books. We bend their binding, we spill coffee on them, we dog ear the pages when we can’t find our bookmark, and leave notes in the margin or highlight our favorite quotes. You can’t do all those things to an e-book! While some say they like it better that way because they like their books neat and clean, there is an element of history that is missing in an e-book. You can’t pick up a book at a used bookstore that has a tattered cover and someone’s loving dedication written on the inside. You don’t get to see highlights of the best quotes. There’s just something missing. Sure you can highlight things and look up words directly from your e-reader, but you don’t get the satisfaction of breaking in a new book or holding it in your hands while you read.
Studies have shown that people who physically touch something while learning or absorbing information actually retain more of that information after they’re done. This applies to reading as well. We retain more of what we read when we are actively engaged with what we’re reading. It’s hard to hold an e-book and feel its texture- it’s just a plastic screen with words. A physical book can actually help you follow the story line better, retain the story line better, and make more of a physical impact on you. There’s also the magic related to simply having a book on your bedside table to keep you company. Books contain stories that help us exercise our brains; don’t you want to get the best workout possible?
The age-old question: Which one is better? Coke or Pepsi? Apple or PC? Pen versus pencil. Now, we have a new question for this new generation to ponder: e-book or paper book? With the increasingly available “pocket tech” like smart phones, e-readers, tablets and the like, it is becoming much more common to have e-books stored on a device than to bring a physical book with you. While this is great, because many more people are able to access books from a distance, it is hard for traditionalists to swallow. Books are an experience! You can hold them, mark them, smell them, trade them with friends, and buy them in a physical store. For many, the movement to digital e-books is becoming a fight to death, but even more people are willing to follow e-books on their journey to the top. Here’s why e-books just might (might!) be better than paper books.
When you have an e-reader or a smartphone with an e-reader app, you can access and read thousands and thousands of books at the touch of a button. Even classics like Little Women and Moby Dick can be found for free on such platforms. You can carry hundreds of books with you. This means you never have to commit to one book and worry about all the other books you have at home that feel cheated! You can pick up any book from anywhere and enjoy it.
Are you really into that steamy romance novel that you would rather be caught dead than reading? Are you getting all flushed and hope that your neighbor on the subway doesn’t see the cover? You don’t have to worry about that anymore with e-books! You can be reading about someone’s naughty habits while silently waiting for your children to get out of school or in the break room at lunch. Nobody will ever know what a saucy little minx you are!
How much do all of the books you want to bring on vacation weigh? You have a 50 lb weight limit, and if you’re a real book aficionado, odds are 10 lbs of that is composed of books. Lighten the load- go with the e-books. You can even avoid getting sand in your favorite copy of Pride and Prejudice, and you don’t have to worry about leaving books on the plane. Your e-book reader or smart phone is all you have to carry with you- make it easy on yourself and back and lighten the load a little.
Often times, new releases are cheaper in the e-reader versions than they are in the hardback versions. You can even get books that are not available in print for way cheaper than you would have expected. Some libraries even allow you to rent e-book copies from their database for free, of course! A book habit can unfortunately be an expensive one, but it doesn’t have to be so with a e-reader.
The year is coming to a close, and that means that you book lovers out there are probably taking stock of all the amazing books you’ve read, and all the ones you’ve put on your To Be Read list. Don’t lie, we all have a “To Be Read List” that is longer than we’ll ever be able to finish. That’s ok! We’ve rounded up all the books that you should either be able to say, “I read that!” or add to the top of the pile.
Harper Lee’s must anticipated return, after To Kill A Mockingbird, was considered by Goodreads voters to be “fiction novel of the year.” Many people dispute the title, saying the book was subpar at best. Supporters think that the book takes writing back to a time gone-by, and Lee’s ability to write shines through in this book.
The winner for mystery and thriller category goes to The Girl on the Train, a novel about a woman who sees something from her seat on the train that will change her life forever. Readers say that it is addictive, and you’ll be hard pressed to put it down once you start it. You’ve been warned.
Kristin Hannah has done it again. She has written a winner for the historical fiction genre on Goodreads, about WWII and a small French village. Hannah’s writing has attracted quite the following, and much like Nicholas Sparks people await her next release with something akin to worship.
4. Trigger Warning
The amazing Neil Gaiman is at it again. Last year his book House at the End of the Lane won the fantasy genre award, and now his book Trigger Warning has taken the title again. His novels are amazingly illustrative, painting a picture in the reader’s minds. He manages to make a fantasy world come to life- good luck returning to the real world!
Colleen Hoover is becoming a well-known name in the romance sector, and her book Confess has taken the award for best romance book of 2015. Put a talented young woman in a love affair with the man of her dreams, and mix in a ton of mystery around his life, and you have a recipe for success.
Other books that won the 2015 Goodreads awards:
Golden Son- Science Fiction
Saint Odd – Horror
Why Not Me? – Humor
Modern Romance – Non-fiction
A Work in Progress – Memoir and Autobiography
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania – History and Biography
Beneath the Surface: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and and the Truth Beyond Blackfish – Science and Technology
The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime – Food and Cookbooks
Saga Vol. 4 – Graphic Novels and Comics
The Dogs I Have Kissed – Poetry
Red Queen – Debut Author of the Year
All the Bright Places – Young Adult Fiction
Queen of Shadows – Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction
What are you waiting for? Get to reading!!
For so many years, chick lit was the best selling genre in book history. Romance, fantastic adventures, loss and grief, “harlequin” novels; they all ruled the shelves at your local bookstore. They still take up a very large part, but now the scene is moving to a new genre: Young adult fiction. These books are some of the fastest selling in history, and often result in highly-grossing movie adaptations as well. What separates chick lit and young adult is that only one is limited to its unfortunate name. Young adult fiction started out as a genre for 9-16 year olds, give or take a few years, but it has turned into something that anyone of any age can relate to and enjoy. Instead of women waiting for the next Nicholas Sparks book and movie to roll out, people are buying books in duplicates because everyone in the family wants to read the latest young adult release. It’s something the whole family can get into, and it’s a really great way to get younger generations interested in reading again.
If you’re looking for a new series, but don’t know where to start, here are a couple of young adult books to get you off the chick lit band wagon.
This book is a cross between the Divergent series and the Hunger Games series. It is dystopian, depicting life after an alien invasion. It follows one girl’s efforts to survive, and the series is currently being adapted to film.
2. Maze Runner
This is one of the rare books that is from a boy’s perspective. It’s about a bunch of young men and women who are trapped in a maze. Every day, they get a chance to run the maze to see if they can find a way out. If they don’t make it back in time before the maze closes, they die. It’s action packed, and also has been adapted for the movies.
This series is written for younger audiences in the sense that the language is simple. The story line, however, is unique and fun and also incredibly intricate. It’s a great read for the whole family, and a fun way to spend a few hours. The first three books were put into a movie in the early 2000s, but Netflix is now taking the 13 books in the set and making it a series.
4. The Infernal Devices
This series is a spin off the City of Bones series that was adapted to movie in 2013. The characters are incredibly well-described, and the plot is equal parts funny and intense. This story is probably for older children, but parents and their young teens can really enjoy the action scenes, as well as the heartbreak, together.
This series is unique in that each book is a standalone, following one character from the same “world” as the others. Graceling is by far the best of the series, and is great for parents of young teens who are concerned with the “damsel in distress” attitude that many books have. Katsa is a protagonist for the ages.
Bookworms Unite! Hey everyone, I’m Tiffany and I am studying for my Masters in Library Science from University of Kansas. I received my Bachelors in Literature Studies, and quickly realized that I didn’t want to be a Literature teacher in high school so I went back to college to do the one thing I’ve always wanted to do: Be a librarian. They seriously have the best job in the whole world! They spend all day touching books and helping people find information. They’re also the ones people go to for a great book recommendation, and they rarely let their patrons down.
From a very young age, I wanted to own a bookstore. I wanted to be like Belle in Beauty and the Beast, and have a huge library with ladders I could slide all around to find my next book. As I got older, my love of reading only intensified, and it was exceedingly difficult to pry me away from a book just to eat dinner with my family. To say I was a bookworm would be putting it mildly. All through high school, I continued to read and read some more, and knew that I wanted to go to college to study something that involved reading.
My literature program at U of K was an amazing experience, one that opened my eyes to books that even I hadn’t heard of or thought of reading. I also had a new appreciation for the art of writing, as I realized how difficult it was to craft a story that thousands or even millions of people would want to read. As I continued to process that, I became more interested in writing. But what I wanted to write about wasn’t dragons or romance or even biographical nonfiction. I wanted to write about reading.
But I had no idea how to do that! As I went through college, though, I was exposed to more and more people who were blogging and starting websites about their passions. Even some of my college professors had us creating blogs that allowed us to upload our homework so they could check it online without needing to check emails or have printed paper.
Once I built my first blog for school, I knew I had found my medium.
What better way to write about your love of reading than in cyber space? If anyone wanted to find something similar to what I was writing, I could provide that information for them. So I started this website with the intention of talking about books, reviewing books, debating the different genres, discussing the newest book technology, and just generally geeking out over books. The website has taken off, and now has thousands of followers that contribute to the community every week. I’m humbled and flattered, but most of all I’m grateful.
Without this community of book nerds, I wouldn’t be able to talk about the thing I love most in this whole world: books.