Burn Your English Textbooks: Read to Keep Your Heart Beating

It wasn’t until recently that I thought there might be something wrong with my impulse to read widely. Do you ever have one of those moments where you feel like you just woke up and everything you know is different? I had a chill come over me in the last month when I started paying more attention to what books I was buying and borrowing and realized you could say absolutely nothing concrete about the person who was reading them. I have a pretty elaborate system wherein I determine whether or not to read a book, and from there, to borrow it from the library vs. request a review copy vs. purchase new at a bookstore or used bookstore vs. buy from Amazon. And then there’s the second or two when I can’t remember if I’ve already purchased the books. Ultimately, however, it’s hard to say what kind of reader I really am. This revelation has made me rethink the supposed merits and drawbacks of reading widely and of reading narrowly, of having tightly constrained “canon” vs. a free for all, and what is best when using reader’s advisory to help readers find their next favorite reads.   To give...

20 Best Books to Read in Your Twenties | Books for Twenty-somethings

Now that I am on the final leg of my twenties, I look back at the younger reading me and wonder what books I would have given her to guide her through her first full decade of adulthood. I admit I’m turning into an elder of sorts, giving reassurance and guidance to my younger friends as if I’ve got all the answers. I don’t, and every time I approach an advice-type situation, I fall back on books. So consider the following list a reader’s advisory for the twenties, handpicked novels, books, and comics that should help a reader navigate the rocky post-college years, entry-level job situation, student loans, career indecision, “adulting,” love, and, perhaps most of all, friendship. You can get by on very little when you’re in you’re twenties. You can forego buying a car, renting a swanky apartment, spending money on the new work wardrobe you really need, Hulu Plus, and coming up with ways to avoid that wedding. But I truly believe that without friends who are going through the same experiences, it’s not the same. Read on for a list of non-fiction, novels, comics, of all shapes and sizes reflecting diverse voices and disparate twenties experiences....

7 Bookish Alternatives to the Goodreads Reading Challenge

Follow my blog with Bloglovin I am blown away that my article on “5 Reasons Not to Do the Goodreads Reading Challenge in 2016” has become my most viewed and most commented-on blog post so far in 2016.  It seems that there are others like me who wanted to live off the Goodreads grid and take a year off the Goodreads challenge. This makes me feel like less of a misnomer and more of a community member. If you’ve found this post chances are you’re looking for alternatives to the Goodreads Reading Challenge. Maybe you still want to challenge yourself to read more books or read more widely. Or maybe you want to stay connected to the bookish world even though you’re not participating. Friend, I welcome you to try out some or all of the following seven bookish things to do instead of the Goodreads Reading Challenge. You can cut the chord (er, the progress percentage bar) and still stay connected to the book world, accomplish your personal reading goals, and challenge yourself to grow as a reader. Read on. Do an alternative challenge Goodreads is an amazing way to push yourself to read more books—but it’s not so great at helping you...

5 Ways to Reach Your Year-End Reading Challenge Goal

There are just a few days left until the clock strikes 12:00 am on January 1st and we’re ringing in a new year. For many readers and bookworms now is the time that panic sets in. If you are freaking out over how to reach your Goodreads reading challenge or other personal reading goal, chances are the end of December is a time of anxiety and angst. It doesn’t have to be. Whether you’re 1, 5, or even 10 (yes, 10! I know you people are out there, and I salute you!) books away from having read that magical number of books in your Goodreads or personal reading challenge, it’s possible. You can do it. You can do it! And here’s how. Here are my five ways to read more books during crunch time when it counts. 1. Rescue and finish abandoned books (the low-hanging fruit method) I’m the worst at finishing books. Even though I, like most people, have issues with abandonment on the emotional level, I totally have no bad feels about putting a book down, returning it to the library, or leaving it at 63% read on my Kindle. This year I realized that these are the low-hanging fruit...

5 Reasons Not to Do the Goodreads Reading Challenge in 2016

This year was a very strange reading year for me. I read more than I ever have before—I’ll finish out the year with 60ish books marked as “read.” My professional world started to center on books, too—writing for Book Riot, Kirkus Reviews, NoveList, Psych Central, etc…my writing career was (is) headed towards “books” as my niche specialty. I also bought a ton of books, invested in bookshelves (which I promptly filled), and even got some awesome review copies. But something felt off. Starting in August I felt this kind of choking anxiety as I realized I was sick of books. I didn’t want to think about books at all, didn’t want to describe books, write about them, write descriptions of them, or even look at them or read them. Yeah, I was having an off year of reading. And now, as I wrote on Book Riot, I’m trying to bounce back. One of the ways I will try to “bounce back” is by not doing a Goodreads Reading Challenge like I’ve done in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. My colleague at Book Riot, Jess Pryde, wrote a really insightful article reflecting on her time this year when she did not set a reading challenge on...

Greetings Fellow Reader!

Welcome to Broke By Books, a blog by Sarah S. Davis, where the guiding mission is to spread a contagious love for reading through helpful, thought provoking, and enjoyable writing about books. Please join me in growing an inspired, engaged, and fearless reading life.

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