So…I’ll never post this over at big places like LinkedIn, because it’s around my superpowers…and I don’t often give my superpowers away. But, for my fab 13, I’ll share. Only for you, my peeps!
One of my biggest competitive advantages is that I…read. A. Lot. I have a library card for 2 counties, thanks to my Indiana state PLAC card (best $65 bucks I spend every year). Lately, because it’s summer reading high season for me, I’ve been posting my stack of library books over at Instagram, to which one of my friends says he will henceforth just take his phone to the library, to check out what I’m reading, so he can check out the same. (I get it – considering thousands of new books are published each and every day now, it’s next to impossible to keep up!)
So, I figured I’d share a post on how, exactly, I find library books to check out. I’ve got a solid methodology that has taken years of refining. This recipe I’m about to share has been streamlined and honed over several decades, since I received my first library card around age 5.
How to Find Library Books (AKA My SuperPower):
1. Make hunting for books a ritual – for me, I hunt books on Sunday morning while I’m watching one of my favorite TV shows (CBS Sunday Morning). I just have my iPad out, and while I’m watching, if they mention a cool new book or author, I go to my library site and see if they have a copy of that book. If they do, I put it on hold. If they don’t, I….
2. Request the library to purchase a copy of the book. Note I said suggest to the LIBRARY to purchase it, not me. While I love to buy great books as gifts, I rarely, if ever buy them for myself. (How I decide which books to buy for myself is an entirely different methodology and one I won’t discuss in this post.) The bottom line: spend the library’s money – not your own when you’re exploring a new book. (Arguably, it’s your money, since you’re paying taxes to fund your public library…but I digress.) There’s another advantage to you requesting the library purchase a copy of that new book you want to read – you’re up FIRST in the cue to GET the copy of that new book. Fresh copy. Just for you. Dig!
3. Go to the library when you have holds up – I usually set land speed records getting in and out of the library, because my sole purpose in going is to pick up my holds. I don’t walk around in the library and waste time. In. Out. Done. I shop for the books I want to read online and during the week, every week. While I think wandering around a library might be an OK way to waste time, I don’t like wasting time, period. So, you’ll rarely catch me among the stacks unless I’m hunting for something in particular.
4. Have a method for requesting books instantly – I’m listening to a podcast and they mention a book. As soon as the car is stopped or I pause walking, I pull up the library website, and hunt for the book. Not there? See 2 above. If there, I put it on hold, then keep on trucking. I’m guessing your local library system also has some type of mobile site or app you can access from your phone. Always be hunting for good books, and better yet – make the process for putting them on hold easy button for yourself.
5. Know how you best read – For me, I love to wad a bunch of books together, then dip in and out of them all at once. Maybe you only love to read while on vacation – great! Make loading up your Kindle or app on your iPad part of your packing ritual. Maybe you love to only read one book at a time, like my mom. Cool – keep that puppy until you’re done. Whatever method you use, make sure you set yourself up to maximize your own reading rituals.
6. Last but certainly not least, know this: you are not required to read a book from cover to cover. I’m really not sure where it came from that one is absolutely required to read a book from cover to cover, but I don’t. Nor should you. If a book resonates with you – great! Read on. But if you’re just not that into it – life is too short to labor through it. Books are journeys, and not every journey is for every person. I’ve written here before that my friends all have different reading habits as well – like reading the first 100 pages of a book, and then discarding it if it’s not working. Or reading the last chapter first. Whatever methodology works for you. The important bit here is to pay attention to how you read, note it, and then learn how to maximize it.
There. Again, this is one of my very top secret powers in my arsenal, and you’ll never see it on any other site than this one – so thanks, my fab 13 for stopping by – and I hope you share my superpower now…..! : )