Here’s Why Libby Will Be Your New BFF

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Growing up, I was that little girl who would come home with a Scholastic catalog marked all over with the books I wanted my parents to buy for me. When we had a reading assignment in elementary school, I had to control myself to not finish the book all at once and instead follow the class as we read it chapter by chapter, together. I just loved reading so much.

Fast forward just a *few* years and I admit I’ve had my ups and downs with reading. I’ve had moments when I didn’t read for months and it was not until I started reading frequently again that I realized how much I missed it. The past few months have been great from a reading standpoint, but with that, there has been a small problem rising: reading more means spending more. Don’t get me wrong, I want to support all the authors but I also have savings goals I want to hit. So, what are my options?

Amazon Kindle Unlimited is not for me. 

While I absolutely love my Kindle, their unlimited reading service is just not for me. I tried though! I cross-referenced my reading list with titles available on the service and very few were available, so it’s not worth it for me.

Meet Libby, your new BFF.

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Free books you can borrow online and send directly to your Kindle? Sign me up! Libby is an app that connects with your local library and allows you to borrow books and audiobooks. Sure, there might be a hold on some of the books you want to read but hey, they are free and will be available to you eventually. 

I first learned about Libby recently, thanks to the wonderful Janssen from Everyday Reading and I was surprised that I had not heard about this before! I mean, I knew I could rent books for free at the library, but I thought I had to go back and forth every time and that seemed like a lot of effort for me. Plus, I really do enjoy reading on my Kindle so I didn’t want to deal with hard copies either.   

So, what do you have to do?

    1. Get a library card! I just did a google search based on where I lived and it was super easy. I did have to go in person to show proof of residence, but I didn’t mind it at all.
    2. Download the app and sign up using your library card.
    3. Search for books and start borrowing! 

The only downside of Libby is that there likely will be a waiting list on the most popular books, as the library has limited online licenses available. For example, I am currently on a 6-month wait for Where The Crawdads Sing, but was able to get Next Year in Havana right away. I don’t mind the wait as I always have such a long list of books to read, I am bound to find one from my list that is available right away. Since they give you estimates on when the book will be available, you can place multiple holds and plan ahead! I currently have 6 books on hold that have varying waiting times (anything from 2 weeks to 6 months). Honestly, it’s kind of exciting to plan it like that, but maybe that’s just me? Either way, I love that this is something I can use for free, so absolutely no complaints here.

Had you heard of Libby before? Was I just living under a rock? 

Also, I have no friends over at Good Reads so if you are into that, let’s be friends!

 

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2019 Book Challenge: 5/15 Reads [Book Reviews]

No matter how much I love reading, I always go through some dry-spells here and there. Some longer than others but regardless of time away from books, it’s always so refreshing when you get back to it. I have a goal of reading 15 books this year, here are the 5 books I’ve read so far, in order of when I read them and not how I necessarily rate them. According to Good Reads, I am behind schedule, but I think I can still pick it up. 🙂

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One Day in December by Josie Silver 

If I had to pick the least favorite from this list, this would be it. It’s not necessarily a bad book, maybe I was just annoyed at the main character and for me, it’s hard to look past that. I can enjoy a little serendipity magic here and there but for some reason, the predictability of this book did not hit me the right way. It gave me a little bit of “Carrie and Big” vibes from Sex and the City and I honestly didn’t love that couple. I know a lot of people enjoyed this book (and looove Carrie and Big), but it’s ok, can I respect that!

 

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The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

I am a sucker for good YA, I don’t think they get enough credit, in my opinion. Sure, they can be light and easy reads, but every now and then you find one that makes you feel all happy and hopeful inside. This is one of them. I loved how you are able to get inside the mind of the main two characters and see how they perceive the same exact day through the lenses of their preconceived world views. It also explains a thought that connects love with the dark matter of the universe and I think it’s truly magical – probably because love and astronomy are two of my favorite things – but still, uplifting read in my opinion. 

 

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The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

This is the kind of book that gets turned into a fun romantic comedy-ish, you enjoy it and move on and there’s nothing wrong with that. Although it was quite predictable, I really appreciated the diversity and unique stories that we got exposed to, in addition to the main storyline. I felt like it painted an accurate, balanced picture of today’s world and I respect that. I also can always appreciate a solid male character that is respectful as he is sexy, especially when they care so much about their family like you will see in this book. 

 

Field Notes on Love

Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E. Smith

Ah, to be young and take chances, what a wonderful thing. I really enjoyed this YA, mostly because I felt like I was truly in this journey with the two main characters, discovering new things with them. Their traveling mostly happens in a train from New York to California and that was something I had never really thought of doing. I probably pictured it all more glamorous in my head than it probably is, but still, anything that has to do with travel and discovery will likely strike me the right way. The book also talks about success, performance, self-confidence and how you perceive your talents. It’s spoken to more as it relates to a student’s project, but you can make so many connections to your own life with it, regardless of your age or skillset. 

 

Daisy Jones & The Six

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This book is truly something. You’ve probably heard all the buzz around it already but I think it’s worth the hype. I wouldn’t say it is my favorite book of all time, but it’s definitely my favorite from this list. Daisy Jones & The Six is beautifully raw and perfectly broken, with characters that make you feel a rollercoaster of emotions. It also has a way of conveying a whole music album just through words. How I felt I was in a music performance when I was just reading words on paper (or my kindle) is beyond me and anyone that can achieve that has true talent.

Have you read any of these books, what did you think?

Not exactly sure what the next 5 books will be, any recommendations? For the next 5, I am looking for a more historical fiction vibe, but open to anything if you think it’s worth it!

Just Read: Lo Inevitable del Amor

Como lo prometido es deuda, aquí estoy nuevamente escribiendo en español. Hacía tiempo que no me leía un buen libro en español. A Nuria Roca la “conocí” cuando estudié unos meses en Francia. Estuve una semana de visita en España y decidí comprar varios libros contemporáneos para sentirme más a tono con la vida Española. De hecho, me envolví tanto comprando libros que después me di cuenta que dos de los libros que había comprado tan emocionada no eran ni siquiera libros originalmente escritos en español.

Sin embargo, encontré uno que hoy día sigue siendo uno de mis favoritos. “Los Caracoles No Saben Que Son Caracoles” fue el primer libro que leí de Nuria Roca y desde entonces me ha encantado su forma de escribir y su sinceridad al crear sus personajes.

Lo Inevitable del Amor” tampoco decepcionó. Esta vez, Nuria escribió este libro junto con Juan del Val. A el en verdad no lo conozco, pero juntos crearon algo bien chévere. Me encanta darme una escapadita a España, aunque sea a través de unas pocas páginas. Siempre le he tenido cariño a esa cultura, ¿Asumo que la llevo un poco en la sangre? Bueno, eso son otros veinte…

Aquí les dejo algunas citas de “Lo Inevitable del Amor”, se los recomiendo si quieren una lectura llevadera, con un poco de risa y hasta un poquito de suspenso.

“Y a mi mente sólo vienen las partes mejores, aquéllas en las que no aparecen ni el aburrimiento ni la rutina. Sólo las risas y los besos y la pasión… La nostalgia convierte los mejores recuerdos en presente. Es así de perversa.”

“Allí, en aquella habitación, mi madre amó a Gene de esa forma en que sólo puede amarse la primera vez. Que no es ni mejor ni peor que las siguientes, pero que ya no puede volver a ser como esa primera vez.”

“El desamor siempre nos duele en la tripa, en las entrañas de nuestro ser, justo ahí, en el centro de lo que somos. Ese es el sitio en el que duele el desamor.”

“Nunca se dan los besos suficientes, siempre se dan de menos por muchos que se den. De eso tienes la certeza cuando ya no puedes dar más.”

En fin, es uno de esos libros que te hace sentir distintas emociones. Por lo menos eso pienso yo. De vez en cuando es bueno emocionarse, sentirse triste y feliz a la vez, todo por un libro.

Just Read: Someday, Someday, Maybe

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After binge-watching all seasons from Gilmore Girls this summer, I was still hungry for the simplicity and comfort of the show. The logical next step, of course, was to read Lauren Graham’s debut novel: “Someday, Someday, Maybe”. It did not disappoint. Not only did it have me laughing in my morning commute, but it also made me cry happy tears (thankfully not in my morning commute).

I absolutely loved being granted special access to Franny’s struggles and deepest thoughts. There was something so raw and special about seeing her fight to stay real, even when she was not aware of it. Lauren captured some truths about self-love and confidence that not too many feel comfortable sharing. We are all caught in the race of “Who is doing best?” or “Who is more successful?” that we rarely ever stop to think what does it all even mean. Franny was certain that everyone else was in on a “secret” that she had still to learn, when in reality, we all deal with the same issues, in one way or another.

I must admit, sometimes I get really tired of pretending and I’m not ashamed to say it. We all do it at some point and it can be as simple as putting up a good face at a special event, when you’d rather be somewhere else. I also find it hard to believe that all women love waking up every morning and putting on makeup. I personally hate it, but we do what we have to do, right?

Another element that I loved about the story was Lauren’s ability to transport us to New York in 1995. It was so refreshing to see how life was for everyone in this city I see everyday. No overpowering technologies or social media channels, more concrete plans, less distractions and more determination. Running into people on the street was always interesting, since you truly had no idea what they were up to unless someone told you. No social highlight reels thrown at your face to make you believe all of these fantasy lives wee see every time we scroll down.

I want to keep reading real, simple, raw and uplifting books. They just help keep everything in perspective when your life gets so consumed on the little things that don’t always seem so little.

Any recommendations?

Yes, I Get Excited For Books

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Call it whatever you want to call it, but I love the feeling of getting a new book in the mail, especially a book that I’ve been waiting to read for a long time.

Allegiant, the third book on the Divergent series by Veronica Roth, was released today.

It’s the first time in my life I read a book the day it was released and let me tell you, the feeling is pretty sweet.

I have a Kindle and it’s useful when I travel, but nothing beats the wonderfulness of holding a brand new book in your hands and knowing that the rest of the world is also reading it for the first time with you, today.

If you are into the whole young adult fiction genre and enjoyed the Hunger Games series, you definitely should start reading the Divergent series. You can thank me later.