By Lorie Ham
According to the online literary magazine LitHub, 35% more people are reading during the pandemic, which makes a lot of sense. Reading is something safe and fun that you can do at home. Thanks to libraries, and the ability to buy books online, you may not even need to leave your home to get a new book to read. Books can also be a way to “travel” to places you have never been to, learn new things, and get to know the perspectives of others.
But how do you decide what to read? There are many sources out there for book recommendations. There are Facebook groups for all genres of reading where your fellow readers share about the books they’ve discovered. There are online magazines and blogs such as LitHub, where you will not only find reviews and book lists, but also author interviews. If you are a mystery fan, Kings River Life has book reviews and giveaways every single week. Goodreads is also a great resource for finding new book ideas. In addition, they provide a way for you to keep track of what you are reading, your reading goals, and connect with others who like the same type of books you do. You can also find book reviews on Amazon, and they have book lists with suggested reading.
Once you have picked a book to read, there are also many choices when it comes to getting the book. Of course, there is Amazon—they have a great selection and good prices. However, if you are looking to support an independent bookstore there are options there as well. One great option that brings together independent bookstores from all over the country and makes them searchable in one place is Bookshop.org. If you are on a budget and looking for used books, check out Abebooks.com. Abebooks also makes bookstores all over the world searchable, focusing primarily on used books.
If you are an ebook reader, you really should check out BookBub! Sign up for a free account, set your reading preferences, and then get sale prices on ebooks that match your likes sent to your email everyday! Some books are even free.
Speaking of free books, there’s always the library. Most libraries are now offering curbside services where you can order a book sent to your nearest branch, and then when it arrives they will notify you and you can safely pick it up curbside. If you are an ebook or audio book reader, you don’t even need to leave your house! You can check out both formats right from your computer, phone, or tablet, through various aps. The Fresno County Library uses both Overdrive and Libby aps. Check out your library’s website and social media to see what they have to offer. Most library websites also have book suggestions for all ages, and some are even doing virtual programs.
Do you have a favorite book you have read during the pandemic or favorite place you like to get books? If so, please share on our Facebook page—maybe it will be just the book someone was looking for and didn’t know it!