Calling all book nerds! We’ve got something you need to read. To all Agatha Christie, James Patterson and J.K. Rowling fanatics, we at College Magazine understand how devastating finishing a book feels. With this list you’ll learn how to access endless stories for free and how to get the inside scoop on your favorites.
1. Deal Some Books
Love books, but can’t afford to buy them…all of them? Have the world of books at your fingertips by volunteering at a library. Yep. Libraries still exist, my friends. With the simple swipe of your library card (remember those?) you can borrow any book and get all the deets on the latest book releases and book events. Is J.K. Rowling coming to talk about her latest Harry Potter book at your library? You’ll be the first to know, and you’ll definitely score an inside seat to meet her.
2. Become a V.I.P to an Exclusive Club
It’s the best of both worlds. No, Hannah Montana isn’t coming back, but joining a book club where you can make friends and talk about books is a serious win-win. Chat about the latest James Patterson novel and cry together over the ending with your new friends. Book clubs are the perfect place to discover new reads and authors.
3. Make Your Phone on Fire
Don’t worry, your phone won’t literally set on fire, but it may feel that way when you download the free Kindle reading app. With the Kindle app, you can purchase e-books and access them right on your phone. Don’t wait for that new best seller to ship to your apartment; Tap through the pages instantly and tuck your phone back into your pocket while on the go.
4. Watts that Pad?
Love books? Love writing? The free app Wattpad allows you to tap into your creative side by publishing your work online for people to read all over the world. “Wattpad lets writers comment and vote on each others’ work, and seeing what other people have to say about what you write is pretty inspiring… It feels good to know somebody else has been following your story and wants to find out what happens next,” Bradley University senior Emily Yuill said. With thousands of stories of every genre available, never fall into a plot hole trying to find a new book to read again.
5. The Book is Always Better Than the Movie…But Watch it.
Books tend to be better than the movie. But who didn’t love seeing the magic of the Harry Potter world on the big screen? “Seeing the characters on screen come to life helps make books more comprehensive,” Purdue University senior Holly Maize said. “It helps put pieces of the book together.” Plus, movies means having a safe place to wear sweet memorabilia. Before the movies, you would’ve gotten strange looks as you strutted your Hufflepuff robe and matching striped scarf through the mall. Now, thanks to the movies, no one gives you weird looks as you wave your wand around in the theater.
6. Get on that Reading Rocket
Blast off on a reading adventure when you set goals for how many books you want to read in a month. Yes, a month. No, this doesn’t includ any reading for your classes. I’m talking about books you actually want to read. I mean, unless you’re actually into that Lord of Flies book you need to read for your English class. Start off small and then challenge yourself to more as your words per minute increase.
7. A Little Birdy Told Me…
Get the latest 50 Shades deets by following E.L. James’s Twitter to learn what’s up with Mr. Grey. Following authors and publishing companies on social media let’s you receive updates on release dates and first looks at new trailers for the movie version of your favorite novel. Get 50 shades of information on the next steamy adventure…if that’s what you’re into.
8. Blog It
Love raving about the latest New York Times’s best sellers or ranting about how your favorite book of the month didn’t make the cut? Write about it. Creating a blog allows you to keep track of all your book fanatic obsessions and then share those obsessions with other people who are just as crazy as you are…about books that is.
9. Book Store Blues
There’s nothing bad about book stores, except that they can tend to lean a little on the expensive side. Best way to avoid overpriced pages? Score a job at a book store. Receive discounts and read new books on your breaks. You might even turn down a paycheck because you know that cash will flow right back into the store to feed your obsession.
10. Keep Your Librarian on Speed Dial
I mean come on. Librarians are surrounded by books 24/7. Of course they know what books might interest you if you ask. Even better, they can keep you on the “in” whenever the next mystery-thriller coming out. If you play your cards right and are nice enough, your librarian might even let you keep a book past the return date.
11. Talk to Your Professors About Books
Speaking of great resources for learning about new books to read…talk to your professors. You’d be surprised to learn the long list of books your professor can rattle off at the top of his or her head. Tip: You probably want to ask a professor with an expertise in your area of interest. I’m sure your classics professor has a very different opinion on books than your chemistry teacher.
12. Book Swapping
Too poor for the book store or too lazy to venture to the library? Swap your book with a friend. Not only do you both save money, but you can read another book that you’ve been dying to get your hands on. “If my friend hasn’t let me borrow his book, I might have never picked the book off the shelf and read it,” Maize said. Typically, friends share similar interest, so you know you’re getting a novel that has potential to keep you hooked. Plus you have a person to talk to about the crazy plot twist of your favorite story.
13. Thrift Shopping/Yard Sales
Macklemore made thrift shops cool again in 2012, and four years later anything “vintage” is a must. That means scoring a used-up, maybe highlighted with some notes, 50 cent book. Talk about beating the bookstore. Though they may look a little torn and worn, just think of them as thoroughly loved books by readers like yourself.
14. Russian Book Roulette
While we do not encourage playing the actual game, Russian book roulette is a great way to find an unexpected new read. Just spin around in an aisle at the bookstore (a library or thrift shop would also work), come to a stop, point and choose a book at random. You’ll have your eyes closed when you’re spinning, so don’t worry about making awkward eye contact with those around you.
15. Find Your Place
As a book enthusiast, you feel tempted to read everywhere you go. Still, reading proves difficult with people constantly interrupting you. Like, excuse me, can’t you see I’m in the middle of Harry being inducted into Gryffindor? “Everyone needs time to themselves, even if it’s 20 minutes to a few hours at a place they like,” Maize said. To avoid interruptions and thoroughly enjoy your book, find a place that’s just for you to feed your reading addiction–libraries and corner coffee shops are good places to start.
16. Create a Book Nook
So no coffee shop really captures your aesthetic just right. Easy fix: create your own reading corner like your fourth grade teacher did in elementary school. Turn your closet into a coveted nook of books. A classic Pinterest DIY, remove the door to your walk-in closet and replace it with a comfy bench, some stylish pillows and some shelves for your Hunger Games series. Leave home without actually leaving home, if you know what I mean.
17. Audio Killed the Author’s Penmanship
Video killed the radio star, the Kindle killed the Nook and audio stories made reading books so 20 years ago. Why just read Sherlock Holmes when you can listen to someone else explain elementary to his dear Watson in a cool, savvy British accent? You’ll find yourself sher-locked as you close your eyes and listen to the soothing sounds of a murder plot unfolding in your ears.
18. YouTube Red What You Read
What’s the one greatest part about books turned into movies? The playlists. Unfortunately, not all of our favorite books turn into to stellar movies with awesome soundtracks like The Fault in Our Stars. This means it’s up to you to create a list of music to set the scene of when the two love interests first meet. Will they jam out to Beyoncé? Or will some soothing Charlie XCX blast from the speakers?
19. Dear Diary
Dear Diary, chapter five paragraph two of 50 Shades of Grey was really steamy…remember it for later so I can reread it. If you’re a book nerd, you have guilty pleasures of your favorite scenes in your E.L. James novels. You read them over and over again until you can even recite your favorite Christian Grey line, “I’d rather planned on having you for dessert.” *Swoon* Don’t lose the best spot in the book. Journal it so you can record it forever.
20. Weighting Down Words
The wind begins to pick up while you’re in the middle of reading a book and enjoying the great outdoors. Suddenly, your book’s pages fly up in front you of causing you to lose your place and now, you don’t feel like enjoying much of anything anymore. But with your handy dandy transparent book page holder, you’ll never have to worry about keeping your thumb on the page again.
21. Strap it, Don’t Pack it
Flaunt your book nerdy-ness and use a book strap. Backpacks and books may make carrying books easier, but strapping your books together looks much more fashionable. Carry your books over your shoulder or swing them around in your hand. If you ever find yourself in a bind (pun intended), your book strap makes a good weapon to launch at your attacker. Talk about making a statement.