By nature, I’m not an especially jealous person. However, people of the world who function well on very little sleep I tip my hat to you all. In fact, I have a great friend whose motto is, “You can sleep when you die.” Carpe diem. I love this quote and the lifestyle of making the most of the one gloriously fabulous life we all have. In fact, I am such a loyal supporter that I want all my friends to know I’ll be right there by your side for all your adventures, just don’t be surprised if you see me catching some zzzzzs on the zip line.
My inability to run with the late night crowd leads to all sorts of problems, from silly word mishaps when reading with the kids at night, to being 10 years behind on SNL skits of Sarah Palin. Of course, there are others who can relate, including this list of unfortunate situations from lack of sleep.
The question is, what’s an early bird to do?
We want to read, but since we can’t hang with the night owls, we don’t have a lot of extra time to explore junky material. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wasted daytime hours buying a book, or renting from the library, only to find it’s a dud for my tastes after only the first few lines. This predicament is how I became friends with the The Big Four, as in the world’s top publishers of English writing. Fortunately, these companies must be up at night, because they have all taken note of the digital age and their half-awake readership. By signing up on their websites, we can get a daily dose of new book excerpts and insider tips delivered free to our inbox. To which I say: Word Up.
#1 Penguin Random House
First Look Book Club is sponsored by Random House, and you can sign up directly through their site. However, I like the options available from the Westerville Public Library Book Club, because they help you customize your hook in to the dearreader network. The First Look peek at new book excerpts is my favorite of The Big Four.
These two publishers offer a free e-book for signing up, so there’s no risk if the writing turns out to be a bust.
Being “in” with The Big Four keeps one up to date on new releases, but there are other great services which complement reading on the run. One of those is DailyLit, a program which sends you full length book excerpts in installments. Their book catalog includes the classics (free) with some newer material to try. If you’re short on time, here’s your chance to read Pride and Prejudice all the way through in 127 five-minute increments. My favorite part of the service is that they let you pick your schedule, and it’s easy to freeze delivery or skip ahead to the next section. I hope they continue to expand their book collection.
While I need some rest to read, our kids sure don’t. They could stay up all night with their heads in a book – which is why we love this timer we found last year at Barnes & Noble. It’s also great for documenting the minutes for school reading logs. I think it would be a nice touch to add to a book gift too.
Product and image from Amazon.com
Finally, here is a free website I’m excited to try, but haven’t used yet. What Should I Read Next allows you to type the author, or title, of a book you loved, and returns suggestions for other books you might enjoy.
Of course, word of mouth can lead you to the best reads too, which is why I have “All The Light We Cannot See” queued up for when I can wrap my hands around a larger chunk of time. In the meantime, daily reads are keeping me from giving up on literature. Thanks to DailyLit, I’m working my way through the book Emma now, in honor of a lovely Emma that plays on the high school team my husband coaches. She has a lot of power in her pitch, and also great character…which is what you want to be immersed in whether in real life, or between the pages of a book.
P.S. If you know someone who needs more wind in their sails, please share Windlasse.com with your friends. Free updates by e-mail delivered almost EOD (every other day). You can unsubscribe at any time.