Increase, Track, and Diversify Your Reading in 2021

With a new year comes new reading goals! Do you set a specific number of books that you’d like to read before the year is up? Are you hoping to increase your number of books read? Do you have trouble accessing books easily? Are you looking to stray from your typical genres, discover new authors, and diversify your reading in 2021?

If your answer to any of these questions is “yes,” here are some ideas to help you do all of that and more!

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Ways To Read More
Make It A Habit

Habits are routine behaviors that are performed almost involuntarily. If you make reading a regular practice, whether that be a chapter before you go to sleep at night, reading during your lunch break or listening to an audiobook whenever you’re doing tasks like driving, cleaning or cooking, soon it will turn into a habit that comes naturally.

Always Have A Book On You

One of the best ways to read more is to make sure that you always have a book with you. Lugging around physical books can get heavy and bothersome, but nowadays many of us have access to reading material right at our fingertips through our smartphones. From Audible or Libby, to the Kindle or NOOK apps, there are so many convenient ways to access books any time, any place.

Take Advantage Of Resources

Buying books can get expensive, but you don’t have to spend money on books to enjoy them! Give your wallet a break and instead utilize the many resources available to you. Make use of your library card privileges; download Libby, where you can read eBooks and listen to audiobooks from your public library, and search the Touro College Libraries catalog for academic eBooks.

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Ways To Track Your Reading
Track & Connect Online

Take your tracking to the internet! Goodreads is a social cataloging website and app that provides readers with a place to review books, list books they have read and want to read, and interact with a community of fellow bookworms all over the world. It is free to make an account.

Start A Book Journal

In lieu of, or in addition to, tracking your reading online, a book journal is a fun way to log and personalize your reading experience. Record memorable quotes, jot down your thoughts and interpretations, and note important plot points or facts. Then, get creative and format everything in whatever way you see fit.

Keep A Simple List

Lists are perfect for not only tracking what you have read, but what you want to read as well. You can keep a physical list, or opt for a note-taking app like Apple Notes, Google Keep, or Microsoft OneNote.

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Ways To Diversify Your Reading
Follow Reading Prompts

Are there certain genres you don’t read enough? Do you need help narrowing down your next read? Try following reading prompts! There are so many reading challenges out there that you can search for online, or you can create your own reading prompts and challenge yourself to read books that fall under those categories. Completing a reading challenge will not only give you a sense of accomplishment, it will also aid you in diversifying your reading choices.

Join A Subscription Service

Book subscription services are a great way to discover new books. Best of all, they’re conveniently delivered right to your door! Plus, there are so many different types of subscription services to choose from. Book of the Month is a paid service that gives subscribers a choice from five new releases from varying genres each month and provides subscribers with the opportunity to switch up their genres each month and discover new releases. Book subscription services like BlackLIT, CoachCrate, Coffee and a Classic, and The Wordy Traveler curate books to a specific genre, topic, or perspective. With these more focused services, you can pick something that perhaps isn’t so familiar to you and branch out that way!

Look Past The Big Prizes

When you think about major book awards, both the Nobel and the Pulitzer Prizes might come to mind, but there are many other book awards that celebrate different types of books and authors. Examples of alternative awards are: the Edgar Awards which celebrates mystery books; the Women’s Prize for Fiction which honors women writers; the Hugo Awards that celebrate science fiction and fantasy; the PEN Open Book Award that honors books published by authors of color; the Bram Stoker Award that celebrates the horror genre; the Lambda Literary Awards which celebrate LGBTQ books; and the Morris Award which honors young adult debut books.

This post was contributed by Kelly Tenny, Library Assistant, Bay Shore

E-Reading for the People of the Book: How Jews will Adapt to the Digital Revolution

Print vs. Electronic, the ongoing debate (CC image by Mobil Yazilar)
Print vs. Electronic, the ongoing debate (CC image by Mobil Yazilar)

This post was contributed by Dr. Henry Abramson, Dean of the Avenue J Campus of Touro College:

We are living in a Gutenberg moment, plunging wildly into an unprecedented age of transformation whose dark contours obscure the uncertain future. The Information Revolution dwarfs the 18th century Industrial Revolution, which was really great at making things bigger and faster: airplanes travel faster than horses, microwaves cook faster than campfires, but they are still all about visiting relatives or making dinner. Our digital technology, by contrast, thrusts us into change that is radically new. Facebook, for example, evolved out of the idea of a printed student phone book, using the online format to easily expand and update its content. Now, twelve years after it was first launched by students at Harvard, is it anything like a phone book? Even more, is it anything like anything? And for those born after 1995: what’s a phone book? Continue reading

In celebration of Jewish Book Month: Reverence for books in the Jewish tradition

Jewish Book Month 2104
Jewish Book Month poster, 2014

Reverence and love for Jewish books, as vehicles of transmission of sacred teachings and knowledge and expanding consciousness (mogen gedolut), is found throughout Jewish law and custom.  Many great rabbinic sages note the importance of cherishing Jewish texts, as illustrated by the following remarks: Continue reading

Summer Reading

"Summer" reading (photo by Carol Schapiro)
“Summer” reading (photo by Carol Schapiro)

With fewer (or no!) classes, longer days, and maybe a vacation or weekend getaway on the calendar, summer is the perfect time to fit in some leisure reading. Touro libraries can help you get started. Check out the list below for some summer-themed recommendations, stop by to browse the shelves, or explore the catalog online. Titles in bold are ebooks available immediately for your reading pleasure. Continue reading