It’s a new year and many people are looking for easy resolutions to make. Or maybe they’ve abandoned the concept of resolutions and would rather just try something new and stick to it if they like it. Either way, there are a lot of ways you can try something new at the library, whether it involves actually reading or just enjoying something bookish.
Yes, this is an easy one. But there are a lot of ways the library can help you read more, whether your goal is to read a book a year or two hundred. If you’re not sure what to read, we have tons of curated lists to help you get started in a genre or topic. We’ve got so many books to read in print or digitally, with your eyes or with your ears, you'll be able to read plenty.
If you’re more into print, we’ve definitely got you covered! Place holds on items, and we'll get them ready for curbside pickup. (And if there’s something you’re particularly interested in reading that we don’t have, you can always suggest it for purchase!)
Try a digital book
If you are a print person but thinking about branching out, the library is a great step to help you try an ebook or downloadable audiobook without having to get a membership or new device. As long as you’ve got a library card, you can create an OverDrive account and download the Libby app on your phone or tablet (you can also read in your computer or phone browser). And once you’ve created the account, you can also see what’s available at some of our partner libraries across Arizona! Check a book out with a single click and read or listen immediately!
Join a book club
The Library is a great place to find a virtual book club to join, whether you’re looking to discuss a specific genre or are interested in discovering more books by members of marginalized groups. There aren’t as many book clubs going on now as there usually are, and we’re holding them online, so you can stay safe and join from the comfort of home during the pandemic—but you can always see what’s available!
Complete the Read Harder Challenge
Our staff love Book Riot’s Read Harder challenge (among other interesting and popular reading challenges) and we’ve got a whole page dedicated to it. We’ll post lists of possible books for each task, and continue to tag books to show up on the page as the year goes by.
Want a different kind of challenge? Check out this master list of 2021 reading challenges!
Watch a book adaptation or reimagining
Everyone loves a good book adaptation, whether it’s in movie or series form. There are a lot of film outlets to watch streaming video, including Kanopy and AcornTV. Did you know there was a series adaptation of Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy airing on Acorn? Now is a great time to start, as there are already several episodes!
You can also check the catalog for Film Adaptations, which pulls in DVDs and streaming video from Kanopy.
Make a For Later Jar
If you’re like me, you add a lot of books to your For Later Shelf: things that sound interesting enough, but you don’t particularly want to check out just this moment. Whether you have fifteen books or movies on it or five thousand, think about trying a For Later Jar (this can also help the Read More task).
- Go through your For Later shelf and write some or all of the titles on small pieces of paper (or space them out on one piece of paper; have scissors handy)
- Fold the strips with titles into any shape you’d like (accordion or sandwich is probably best, but some people like stars and all kinds of other magical shapes)
- Put all of the folded titles in a jar or mug
- If you have a lid, mix ‘em up good! If you are using a mug, give them a little twirl with your fingers
Now, when you’re feeling indecisive about what to read or watch next, grab one off the top and put it on hold (or check it out, if it’s available digitally). Boom! All done.
(Need inspiration? Check out the #tbrjar tag on Instagram)
Install Library Extension
If you use Google Chrome or Firefox, there’s a magical way to help you both save money and use your library more. Once you’ve installed Library Extension your visits to some familiar sites will include a little box telling you whether the book you’re looking at is available at the library. It will pop up on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, and more.
These are just a few ways you can improve your bookish life this year with the library's help. What other bookish goals do you have this year?