Do you ever just look at how many books someone’s read this month, or what their Goodreads goal is, and just melt into a puddle of despair crying HOOOOW?! Same. I’m that puddle. But instead of wallowing in misery that it’s highly improbable we’ll ever get around to reading all the books on our shelves or finally conquer our TBR, I’m going to give some VERY HELPFUL TIPS about how you can read hundreds of books each year. It’s pretty much foolproof.
My reading habits have remained mysterious to this very day, but NO LONGER ARE THEY A SECRET. I’ve #exposed all those other readers out there who read 200+ books a year, purely for your benefit. Shh… don’t tell them I spilled the tea. So take a seat, grab a notepad, and get ready to learn all about the secret lives of these speed-readers.
Read multiple books at once.
You might think I mean flicking between a few different books at once – perhaps one of them is an audiobook for your commutes. Perhaps one is a physical book you only choose to read before bed. But no, I’m talking about reading multiple books AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. How are you meant to read two or more books at once when you only have two eyes, you ask? GET SOME MORE EYES. I recommend at least eight. It’s the only way to ensure you will have maximum retention of the novels and be able to smash through your Goodreads goal.
What, like, growing more eyes is hard? AMATEURS.
Don’t sleep. Just drink more coffee.
Okay but like, sleeping is SO last century. All that time wasted with your eyes shut and your brain making you hallucinate for eight hours a night when you could spend that time doing MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THINGS? I think I’ll pass. Think of what you could be doing in that extra time. Reading. Uh, drinking coffee so you can continue reading. Writing reviews. Reading. I mean, the possibilities are endless.
So get yourself a good coffee machine or a Starbucks rewards card, choose your weapon (latte, cappuccino, espresso, light soy pumpkin spice frappuccino) and get ready to have some serious sleep deprivati— I mean, BE PRODUCTIVE.
Find a job where you can read books at work.
Some people are lucky enough to have jobs where they can read or listen to audiobooks on shift. Some people have JOBS. FULL STOP. Because not all of us are currently studying communications and are told on a daily basis that there are no job prospects for them on the horizon. Haha ha ha. Ha. But even if you don’t have a job where you can read on shift, you can make your own business! Open an online store and listen to audiobooks while you create designs. Pick apples from your orchard with a book in one hand while you do it. I don’t know what you’re into, but YOU CAN MAKE THIS WORK. I BELIEVE IN YOU. As long as your business isn’t harvesting the souls of innocent unicorns.
Cancel that Netflix subscription and get Audible instead.
Hear me out… I know that you’re probably binging something at the moment and you’ve been watching so much of it that the theme song of your life is the same as that of One Day at a Time, but TRUST ME ON THIS. That corporation is just wasting your time for you. Imagine how many audiobooks you could get through instead of binging a series of Brooklyn 99! Probably half of one, because audiobooks are SUPER LONG! But unless you’re counting watching Shadowhunters as reading The Mortal Instruments and using it to get you closer to your Goodreads goal, it’s probably not helping your productivity.
Realise that characters are your only REAL friends. Don’t go out with anyone else. The characters will get jealous.
Who’s still going to be there for you, even when you’re grumpy and caffeine-deprived? Who’s going to still love you, no matter how many times you throw the book across the room and scream HOW COULD YOU HURT ME LIKE THIS?! The books will. Maybe not all the characters, because they have a terrible habit of dying right after you’ve fallen completely and helplessly in love with them, but THE BOOKS THEMSELVES. Those glorious stacks of paper and ink, making their way into our hearts with 26 letters and gorgeous covers.
So why would you choose to go out with anyone else when your books are right here, waiting for you? They’ll never go and see Black Panther without you, when you explicitly said you wanted to see it. They’ll never accidentally spill tea on your favourite hardback. They will always, ALWAYS be there for you… until they get sick of you being clingy and hope you bleed to death from paper cuts.
And now for some mini reviews of books I’ve read recently!
This was such a beautiful, heart-wrenching read that I’ve been dying to read ever since I heard about it last year. The Astonishing Colour of After is a book about grief, love, and learning where you belong when it feels like the world has been ripped from under your feet, and it was just incredible. The exploration of Chinese / Taiwanese culture, the realistic portrayal of family relationships, and the discussions surrounding mental health and suicide were just some of the aspects of this novel that made it one of the most unforgettable books of 2018. The only complaint I had about this novel is that it felt a bit too long and some aspects did drag a little, but I adored the vast majority of this beautiful novel.
The gorgeous, lyrical prose was undoubtedly my favourite aspect of this novel. It was so incredibly well-written, with colour permeating the narrative and a magical-realism element that set this novel apart from a lot of other similar books on the market. What else make this an unforgettable read for me was seeing this biracial protagonist learning more about her cultural heritage with her extended family she wasn’t too familiar with. Seeing their relationship grow, as well as Leigh’s understanding of the Chinese / Taiwanese, was such an important aspect of this novel and I loved being taken on this exploration of herself and her family background with Leigh. If you’re looking for a moving, heartfelt book that blurs the lines of reality and magical realism, The Astonishing Colour of After is simply a must-read.
Thanks to Date a Book and Hachette Australia for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
A lot happened in this short novel, but it was quite an enjoyable, quick read that I devoured in one sitting. Piecing Me Together is the story of a young woman of colour who’s trying to find her place in the world, and it discusses issues like family relationships, self-love and the ingrained racism in society without being overwhelming. It would have been so easy for this novel to just be an Issues Book, however it wasn’t. It was the story of Jade and her life, and she was such a well-developed, complex character that drove the story and made it one that I wanted to keep reading. She was also really easy to connect to, which made Piecing Me Together an enjoyable read despite there not being a lot of action.
What I liked most about Piecing Me Together was how it showed the ingrained racism in society, as well as class divisions and white privilege. We desperately need more YA novels by authors of colour, and Piecing Me Together is a necessary contribution. Not every new novel by a writer of colour has to publish the next The Hate U Give. Piecing Me Together was a quiet coming-of-age story that might have gotten overshadowed by some bigger releases, but it’s a necessary and important read nonetheless.
Thanks to Bloomsbury Australia for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
WOW. I’m shook. I had high hopes for The Belles, and it definitely didn’t let me down. It was such an intriguing story that kept me captivated from beginning to end, and it’s 100% deserving of all the hype it’s been getting. It was just a phenomenal read. The Belles is a story about beauty and sisterhood, as well as the sinister undercurrents of a seemingly perfect world. It just blew me away. I’m not a big reader of fantasy, but it was so easy to fall into this story and understand the world of the Belles, and I utterly adored it. JUST WOW.
Although some of the characters got on my nerves at times and could appear incredibly self-centred and childish — to the extent that I wanted to slap them — I didn’t feel as though this hindered the story. It did take me a while to feel for the protagonist simply because she was so selfish in the beginning, but the novel wouldn’t have been the same without those annoying traits in her personality. My favourite thing about The Belles was undoubtably the creepier aspects that come in the last third of the story. What started out as a sweet story about beauty contests and powers turned into something dark and twisted and just so delightful to read. I DID NOT SEE THAT ENDING COMING. I need the second book in my hands ASAP.
Thanks to Date a Book and Hachette Australia for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
This is definitely one of the best books I’ve read all year! Things I Should Have Known is so underhyped, and it deserves all the love and support in the world. There’s autistic and queer representation, and it was just an adorable contemporary story that made me experience ALL THE FEELS. Although some of it was hard to read because of the ableist language used by the characters (which was called out and used to highlight the issues with speaking in that way, especially about those who are autistic), it was such a gorgeous read that was both touching and heartfelt.
I haven’t read too many novels about autistic characters, and although I can’t speak for the representation, I feel as though it was incredibly well-written and we need more of this rep in YA. Or rather, I need to go out of my way to search out more books with autistic rep. The relationship between the protagonist and her sister was beautiful, I adored the friendship between all the characters, and it was so great to see one of the characters realising their sexuality and AHH JUST LET ME HOLD THIS ADORABLE QUEER MUNCHKIN. This was just such a beautiful novel that I need to fangirl with more people about. So please read it if you haven’t already done so!
ANOTHER AMAZING QUEER READ RIGHT HERE. I honestly don’t know why I put off reading this novel for so long. Probably because I’m not a MASSIVE fan of the cover… but I finally managed to look past my disliking of people on covers and read this book. AND WOW. Someone hold me. This book is just so wholesome and important, and if you’re looking for more books with bisexual protagonists, you need this book in your life. Honestly, you need this book in your life regardless. It talks openly about sexuality and mental health, and it’s just an incredible novel. I’d be cautious if you’re triggered by anything related to eating disorders though — just a heads up!
What I loved most about this novel was the way it discussed what it’s like to be bisexual when you’re surrounded by people who seem to think you’re either “too gay” or “too straight” to fit in. I know what that feels like, and I found that portrayal incredibly genuine and realistic. And did I mention she’s a woman of colour recovering from an eating disorder? SO MUCH GOOD REP RIGHT THERE. Etta was written like she could walk right off the pages. Her relationship with her family and her friends, her passions and dreams, and her flaws — all of it made her such a complex and three-dimensional person, and I just loved getting to know her. If you’re like me and have been eying off this book for a while, PLEASE PICK IT UP ASAP. It’s just phenomenal.
I don’t read many memoirs, so I was excited to pick up Before I Had the Words. This is a book about a young trans person and their documentation of their life on YouTube, and although I wasn’t familiar with Skylar and his story before reading this book, I found this to be a powerful and necessary memoir. I read Finding Nevo last year and utterly adored it, and I was pleased to find that Before I Had the Words was just as phenomenal. It was well-written and informative, and is such an open and candid portrayal of what it means to be trans. If you’re looking for more memoirs to read this year, I couldn’t recommend this one enough.
Thanks to NewSouth Books Australia for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
I was so excited to finally read another Gayle Forman book, but unfortunately, I was supremely underwhelmed by her latest novel. Although I Have Lost My Way was atmospheric and character-driven, it was just very slow and not a lot happened. Usually I’m a fan of quiet novels, like We Are Okay and Untidy Towns, however I Have Lost My Way just didn’t have the same effect on me. Maybe it’s because it followed the lives of three characters and it wasn’t long enough to allow me to connect to each of them on an emotional level. Maybe it’s because the story took place over the course of one day and it felt like it could have been a novella instead of a novel. I didn’t dislike this book, I’m just disappointed by it.
One thing I did enjoy about this book was that it took place in New York City—which would have to be my favourite contemporary setting, closely followed by Melbourne and London. It was incredibly well-written and had a kind of alluring aesthetic that drew me in. I adored the setting, and maybe if I’d had more time to get to know each of the characters I would have enjoyed this book a lot more. I Have Lost My Way wasn’t long enough to allow me to develop a connection to all three of these people, which was its downfall for me. However, if you’re looking for a quick read and are a fan of atmospheric stories with multiple points of view, I recommend giving this novel a go!
Thanks to Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned? How do you find enough time to read each day? Do you have any tips on how to read hundreds of books each year, keeping in mind that some of us have already sold our soul to the devil? Definitely not me. Nope. I wouldn’t do that.
Come chat with me!