Top Ten Tuesday: Tools For Easy Reading

August 20, 2013 Audio Books, Blogging, E-Readers 54

Howdy Bookworms,

It’s Tuesday! This week the ladies of The Broke and the Bookish have taken a new tack, I shall be listing the top ten things that make my life easier as a reader and blogger. Cool right? Here goes…


1. Kindle Paperwhite. I know that there’s still a lot of debate concerning “real” books vs. e-books. I think you should read whatever you happen to like. I will tell you that for me, the Kindle is delightful. My house is not huge so physical book storage can be a problem. I love that my Kindle easily fits in my purse (even if I don’t want to carry a gigantic bag.) It stores all the books I can handle and I love it! Plus, the e-ink they figured out looks a lot more like a book page than a computer screen. They’re magical.

2. Capital One Rewards Card. Why? I use the card for day to day expenses (yes, I pay it off every month. Geeze, Suze Orman, get off my back!) The points I accrue I cash in for Amazon gift cards. It’s how I fund my reading habit.

3. Digital Library Books. I was SO STOKED when Amazon began allowing Kindle books to be used as library books. There are some drawbacks, of course. Kindle library books are treated as though they’re physical books- if they’ve only got one copy of it, you’re going to have to wait. However. I can still take books out from my local library without worrying about picking them up or returning them on time. No late fees when the title simply expires on the expiration date. Plus, it’s one less errand I need to run. Ain’t nobody got time to run errands.

I love you, my Kindle!

I love you, my Kindle!

4. NetGalley– I’m sure you’ve noticed in many a post that I mention I’ve received a copy of a book via NetGalley. NetGalley is a service that provides “professional readers” (I know right?! I’m a professional reader?!?! Can I put that on my resume?) with advanced copies of books in exchange for reviews. I love this system because it’s very low pressure. I actually like the relative anonymity of the system. I want to be honest about books (though I do try not to be mean.) I find it harder to be honest if I’ve got a rapport going with an author and then the book falls flat for me. With NetGalley, you’re working with the publisher, and not directly with the author which is awesome, because I don’t like conflict. Eeep!

5. Book Lights- This is less of an issue for me now that I’ve got that glorious Kindle Paperwhite (which has a built in glow feature) but book lights are the best. I do the majority of my reading in bed and Hubs typically falls asleep before I’m ready to turn in. Having a light that doesn’t illuminate the whole room is the key to a successful marriage. Or something like that.

6. Goodreads Are you on Goodreads? It’s a social media site dedicated to book lovers. You can track the books you’ve read for the year, keep tabs on ratings, and chat with other users. Admittedly, I don’t do much on the social side of Goodreads. I mostly use it to keep track of what I’ve read, but I love that if I get off my duff, it’s got a ton of other options. (Want to be Goodreads friends? Search for Katie Kelly. Profile pic is Wormy McSmartypants!)

smarty mcwordypants

7. Feedly This is what I use for my RSS feed. It allows me to keep tabs on ALL THE BLOGS! It doesn’t matter the platform you’re blogging on, I see it all on Feedly. Sweet right?

8. My iPhone. I’ve got a WordPress app on my phone that allows me to do a lot of this blogging business on the go. Plus? It’s got an Alice in Wonderland cover on it.

9. Audio Books- It’s wonderful to be able to listen to a book while on a long drive. Radio stations can be unreliable when you’re driving a long distance. It feels like the ultimate multitasking. Yay audio books!

10. Penguins. Not really, I just needed a number 10. But seriously, how awesome are penguins?!?!

What about you, Bookworms? Are there any accessories, programs, or websites that make your reading life go more smoothly? Tell me about it!

54 Responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Tools For Easy Reading”

  1. JoulesDellinger

    I also love my Kindle, but I have the old version that doesn’t have the backlit stuff going on. My kindle case has a pop out book light though, so it’s pretty snazzy.

    I also love for swapping actual books — you list the books you want to get rid of and then other people request them (it just costs media mail postage, but is otherwise free) and then you get credits to buy books with. Right now I have 5 book credits burning a hole in my virtual pocket…

    • Words for Worms

      Now that I have the new kindle, I swap the old one with my MIL. The one thing I’ve never loved about the Kindle is the inability to share books, but with a spare kindle between us, we make it happen!

  2. A.M.B.

    I love my Kindle, too! I was a reluctant convert, but it happened, and now I can’t go back to traditional books with “soft pages” (to quote Harper Lee). My favorite feature is that I can search for words, which really comes in handy for blog posts. As for Goodreads, I know I should be on there, but I just can’t add one more activity to my life right now (the same is true for Pinterest).

    • Words for Worms

      I have a pinterest account that I never really use. Goodreads I only use to track my books, I am not really an active participant. I like that it’s been telling me “Katie, you’ve read 63 books this year” though. I feel accomplished!

      • A.M.B.

        I love that type of positive reinforcement! That’s how I feel when the “Featured Books” page on my blog grows, but that list doesn’t include the books I read but didn’t blog about. So, I guess I can see the benefit of Goodreads even for those of us who can’t commit to another activity.

    • Words for Worms

      🙂 Thanks Andi! I signed up for the card in college not realizing the rewards… It’s been awesome. I can cash them in for all sorts of gift cards, but I always pick amazon!

    • Words for Worms

      I know! I never publicized my Goodreads because I don’t use it for much, but what the heck, might as well, right? I just have to remind people that my star ratings are virtually meaningless. There’s a reason I don’t have a ratings system on my blog!

  3. Ashley F

    Penguins do make everything better.

    I love my eReader but I still LOVE physical books. My eReader is just so incredibly convenient for day to day use, especially given the honkin’ size of some of the books I read.

    • Ashley F

      Also, for vacation? So much easier to pack. I remember the days of bringing 2-3 books on a plane with me and ditching them when I landed just to make space in my luggage.

      • JoulesDellinger

        Oh my gosh, me too! I read so fast that I’d have to pack a bunch of books in my suitcase for fear that I’d run out of reading material. Now I can just load up the ol’ kindle and even if I run out of books I can download one in a few minutes. Heaven!

      • Ashley F

        I have been known to buy the Hardcover and then download a copy of the eBook as well. It’s the only way I can condone bootlegging the eBook because I’ve paid a boatload for hardcover.

        Dear Publishers, if I buy the hardcover, I should totally get like a $0.99 copy of the eBook as well so I don’t have to lug the book around but can still have it pretty and visible in my living room.

  4. Rory

    This was a hard topic. I use my credit card for day to day expenses too (nad pay it off each month)…but I don’t get anything that I could use for amazon! That would be perfect. The WordPress App made my list too. It makes it easy.

    • Words for Worms

      Perhaps the best thing about the credit card? They allowed me to get it with a penguin on it. I’d put a picture online if it weren’t a boneheaded thing to do security wise.

  5. Sarah Says Read

    Way to totally make me want a Capital One Rewards Card! Lol. I kiiiiind of have a similar system – I save all of my change in a jar, and cash it in at a Coinstar machine for an Amazon gift card 🙂 They don’t collect a fee when you choose that option, and it gives me a good excuse to buy books and dvds 🙂

    What kind of book lights do you/ did you use? I couldn’t find one I really liked so… I use a headlamp! Lol. But it’s a teeny bit uncomfortable on my forehead. Plus I’m sure I look ridiculous.

    • Words for Worms

      SWEET! I love the change jar system. We have one that we cash in every year around Thanksgiving. We don’t really do anything special with it other than say “hey look! $50 in change!” I might need to look into this coinstar deal! I have a little LED clip on light that I like. I think it was meant for the Nook, but it’s a good size and not too bulky. It drove me nuts because I went through batteries like crazy, but again, I’m a heavy night reader.

  6. Liesel Hill

    I’ve never had the opportunity to do the digital library book thing, but I think it’s a really cool idea. I’ll have to try it sometime. And yes, penguins are very cool. 😀 Great list!

    My TTT

  7. Samantha

    I ALSO love my Kindle Paperwhite. It’s amazing. I don’t know how I got along without it. I can read in the sun AND in the dark! 🙂

    The Capital One Rewards card sounds awesome! I never thought of that, but that’s a good way to fund the book habit!

    I will add you on Goodreads 🙂

    • Words for Worms

      Yay for Goodreads friends! I’ve gotten more today than like… ever maybe? I’m bad at social media. I do love my reward points something fierce!

  8. La Coccinelle

    I didn’t realize Kindle had gotten into the library game. I went with Kobo when I bought my e-reader, so I’ve been borrowing e-books from the library for a while. I agree, though… it’s nice to not have to make a physical trip to return a book!

  9. Kelly

    Yes to all of these, even the penguins. I just asked for a Kindle Paperwhite for my birthday (to upgrade my old keyboard-style Kindle that I’ve been rocking for 2.5 years). It’s a little weird how excited I am about the backlight and reading time tracking.

    • Words for Worms

      I tried Bloglovin for about a minute. I’m sure it would have worked out just fine, but like most things, I got bored and Feedly is the one I ended up using.

  10. Charleen

    I gotta say, I didn’t think I’d be seeing a credit card on any lists today.

    Also, penguins DO make your blogging easier. When in doubt? Bring up penguins. Every blog needs a theme to tie it all together!

  11. Tiffany

    I am definitely more of a physical book lover than a kindle. I am reluctant to head that way. Plus I married a guy with more books than I do (which I didn’t think was possible), but I do understand why people have kindles.

    And my job is BORING and audiobooks are my lifesaver!

    • Words for Worms

      I love audiobooks but I can’t listen to them at work. I can’t pay attention to two things at once like that. I’d end up tuning it out like I do music, and that’s a waste of an audiobook.

  12. Leah

    Yes yes yes to credit card rewards, Goodreads, and audiobooks! I just have my credit card to build credit — I always pay it off, too — and I love being able to cash in points for Barnes & Noble gift cards every so often.

    I haven’t gotten on the e-reader wagon yet, partly because I’m afraid I would feel overwhelmed by all the books I would accumulate through Netgalley. I dig myself in deep enough with physical review copies as it is! I’m avoiding the temptation 😛

    • Words for Worms

      Yes, the e-readers make is REALLY easy to accumulate. Not just NetGalley, but there are a TON of classics that are totally FREE on amazon… It’s hard to keep myself from hoarding.

  13. Rhian

    This blog naturally, and I’m not just sucking up either! You can never have too many reliable sources for book recommendations I say.

    I’m on Librarything which I think is like Goodreads. I like it for a whole bunch of reasons, but the feature that is a particular favourite is the series tagging. I’ve found additional books in series I wasn’t aware of. Very cool.

    Count me as another physical book lover. I have read a couple of e-books on the iThing and it’s not quite the same. I flick back to reread bits or check on things, which I can do reasonably easily with a p-book but not so much with an e one.

  14. Ashley

    Great list! One thing to add though–you may see if you have any Little Free Libraries in your area ( This is an awesome way to share books if you can find one. They operate under the take a book/leave a book principle so the books are totally free! I actually own one (it lives in my front yard) and it is so fun to be able to interact with the community through books. I love seeing what other people are reading and making my favorites available for people to pick up.
    : )

    • Words for Worms

      My neighborhood book club has broached the idea of putting together a Little Free Library, though we’ve not nailed down a location… Perhaps I can find one around town and send some of the awesomeness into the world!

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