Okay, so now you have this huge, long list of books and blogs you want to read and you are a little overwhelmed because really who has the time to read 224 blog posts per day while keeping up with War and Peace?
Lucky for you, one of my obsessions that goes well with reading is organization.
It is impossible describe how much I am obsessed with Goodreads.com, so instead…let me tell you a little story.
Once up on a time, a very smart, yet sometimes scatter-brained princess used to keep a list of books on a fake, digital yellow sticky note in Outlook Notes that would sync to her old Blackberry. In it was a long list of books she would see at bookstores or get recommendations about from other highly intelligent princess. The problem? This beautiful princess was not always specific or had what you would call, memory issues. Sometimes she would actually write the whole title of the book and sometimes spellcheck would ruin said title. Sometimes she just wrote a description of the cover (i.e. the yellow book, cute cover, animal…hedgehog something?) Disaster. One day the pea-brained princess found Goodreads.com and lived happily ever after with her nose stuck in five thousand books.
I wish everyone in my life used Goodreads daily. With linking to Facebook, you can see what every friend, person you didn’t really know well in high school and even your crazy aunt is reading. You can create virtual bookshelves to list what you want to read, what you’ve read and what you are currently absorbed in. Personally, I am obsessed with getting recommendations. There are lists of similar books to ones that I love and you can view similar authors for new ideas. Once you rate a book, the system will give you recommendations based on what you really love. My to-read list has grown by miles and it is a little embarrassing how exciting this for me. Did I mention you can join online book clubs? (Hello, Oprah). I’ve even joined a reading challenge for the year and you can view my status in my left navigation pane. (I know there is nothing more important to you on Earth so please, try to keep up.)
I beg of you, join Goodreads. Then “friend” me and try not to notice when I stalk your bookshelves.
If you cannot tell, I kinda like to overextend myself. This statement is never more true than when it comes to blog reading. I have not counted how many blogs I have feeds to. If I do, I am pretty sure I would start hyperventilating because I know I could never, ever catch up.
One reason I have so many blogs to read is because of RSS readers. Demons.
A RSS reader is like a tiny, online library of just things you want to read about. It stores them all so you can read everything new that you care about and even go back to old posts, all without going directly to the website (remember those memory issues?). I’ve used quite a few RSS readers, from Google’s to Outlook’s and so forth. Right now I am using the free version of FeeddlerRSS on my iPad. I cannot tell you if it is a great, amazing reader or not but I can tell you that I dig it. When I’m looking for an iPad app I typically run a search for recommended apps. Feeddler was on the list and it does the trick. The only downside is that I can only read them when on wireless but I’m pretty sure one could do that for me if I bothered to splurge on the paid versions. Alas, I am quite the cheapskate.
If you are like me none of these words or acronyms make sense to you right now. Don’t be overwhelmed. Basically, know that some kind of organization is the key to maintaining your sanity when you like to read about lots of things. That and asking for help when you don’t understand something. If you like to read blogs but are short on brain memory or time, an RSS feed is completely necessary. I must warn you that you will add lots to your feeds so a quarterly cleaning fest probably necessary. If you are in desperate need of a DIY, cooking, knitting or any other random blog to read, believe me….I have recommendations.
Any guesses on how many unread posts I have right now? Someone pass me a paper bag….