The Sword and Laser discussion

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Improved version of Reading Goals thread

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message 1: by Gard (new)

Gard Skinner (gard_skinner) My issue with the RG thread is it doesn't say how they will do all those things. I'm accomplishing my goals this way:

1. Already chucked my cell phone (8+ hrs per week retrieved) (seriously, I did)
2. Going to give up Twitter as soon as my follower count is higher than my brother's (56 to go, I just have to win first because he's my little brother)
3. Better lamp by bed: $20

OK, now how could all of you really scrape some time to hit those goals? Give me more ideas please.... thanks


message 2: by Aaron (new)

Aaron (syar) Gard wrote: "2. Going to give up Twitter as soon as my follower count is higher than my brother's (56 to go, I just have to win first because he's my little brother)"

If you want to build your twitter followers why don't you just post your username on here and I am sure the S&L group can help you out with that :)


message 3: by Hesper (new)

Hesper | 85 comments You can read on your phone, you know. Most libraries are registered with OverDrive, making bringing a book along everywhere so. much. easier!

You can also read on your laptop.

Unless you don't care to read on your electronic devices. In that case, ignore the suggestion.


message 4: by Gard (new)

Gard Skinner (gard_skinner) I haven't gotten hooked by electronic reading, but without the phone bill a Kindle is an easy purchase. Thanks Hesper, good stuff


message 5: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2354 comments I've never understood the idea of numeric reading goals.


message 6: by Hesper (new)

Hesper | 85 comments I love e-reading, and most of it happens on my phone. But wait! Did you just say you actually canceled your phone. Like, you are phoneLESS?!? I thought you meant that figuratively.

Wow. I just... I can't even comprehend, lol. That is impressive! Barring apocalyptic scenarios, I could never survive without mine. I call it my Omni-Tool for a reason.


message 7: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 1212 comments As my life gets crazier and crazier, I depend more and more on audiobooks for my book consumption. I am one of those people who will read pacage labels if they're the only reading material available.

I'm up to 126 books this year and I think about 70 of them have been audiobooks. I got a smartphone in June and I now use it for audiobooks.

I'm intending to work on my backlog this year. I love ebooks and audiobooks, but it is way too easy to get suckered in by a really great price. Without those piles, you don't realize just how big that backlog is.


message 8: by Gard (new)

Gard Skinner (gard_skinner) Omni-Tool, that's a term that's going to get stolen by a wireless marketing team-

yeah, I did turn my phone off. This is about the 4th time since a boss back in the 90s made me carry one around. This time, though, I think I can stay quit.


message 9: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2262 comments I use the Kindle App to read on my phone and that's a big plus. Best bet is to delete all the time wasters like Facebook and Twitter from your phone.

Next year I am going to try and read about half of the S&L picks, plus some of the back list. I am not going to try and read all the picks as some are always hard to get hold of and would go against my 'no full price new books' pledge:)


message 10: by Rynn (new)

Rynn (rynn1010) | 28 comments Gard - you are an inspiration! I wish I could trash this hand held hell hole. I'd love to go back to my childhood when time literally floated free in front of me, and I never felt the same anxiety I do now.

Now I'm really thinking of how to get rid of this disease.


message 11: by Drew (new)

Drew (fudderduds) | 18 comments I started listening to audiobooks on my commute and I started giving myself daily reading goals. I make myself read ~17% of a book every day. I usually choose books that are just under 500 pages so I make myself read about 85 pages a day. The 85 pages are usually read within two one-hour blocks that I read every day (one after I get home from work/school around 5 pm and another around 11 pm before I go to bed).

The audiobooks are different, I listen to as much as I can while driving to and from work/school, my commute is about 45 minutes each way, so I get a nice 90 minute listening time 3 days a week with an optional weekend hour of listening, depending on how much I like the book. This differs for each book. I recently listened to Redshirts by John Scalzi and listened to that in 2 days.

Because of my daily reading goals, I have stopped my habit of rewatching TV shows on Netflix. I used to marathon watch hours of sitcoms on Netflix before I realized that I had hundreds of books on my to-read list that I would never get to.

I have also purchased a new lamp for my nightstand so I can have better light to read in bed.

I've past my 2013 reading goal of 30 books, I am currently sitting at 40 with about a week to go and I think I can finish two more books by midnight on the 31st. My 2014 reading goal will be 35 or 40 books. I know that it's possible for me to reach it, but I won't be able to be as lazy with my reading in the summer months like I have been in the past.


message 12: by Rachel (last edited Dec 26, 2013 07:40AM) (new)

Rachel (thesummerqueen) | 8 comments Maybe this is just a symptom of having a job where I'm not constantly contacted or getting e-mails from work all the time, but I LOVE my phone BECAUSE it can help me read more - whether by audio or the Kindle app.

I haven't set any goals yet, though I'm thinking about what they should be.

One thing about being the socially accepted sex to carry a purse is that it's easy to follow, "if the Kindle (or book!) fits, it ships," so to speak...I read in line or at the gym while on a stationary machine or on public transit...pretty much anywhere I can snatch five minutes of reading time when I'd normally be staring out the window (or watching Faux News, in the case of the gym). I never leave the house without the kindle in tow.

Same goes with loading audiobooks onto the phone or iPod - I got most of Johnathan Strange finished via audiobook while gardening.

I remember Tom saying he read before bed, and I find reading during breakfast and lunch is also helpful in chunking out pieces of a book.

EDIT: Careful about the gym reading though - I was reading "Boink" at the gym for a while and had some people apparently reading over my shoulder and making disgusted sounds.


message 13: by Tina (new)

Tina (javabird) | 602 comments My goal is not so much how many books to read, but how to prioritize the ones I want to read most. One of my reasons for joining S&L was to find out what the good scifi books are, and I'm working through the list of past S&L reads.

I'm a slow reader and read mostly on the bus and during lunch, mostly on my iPad. Audiobooks in between, on the bus when eyes are tired and it's hard to read (and I often fall asleep to audiobooks).


message 14: by Tsedai (new)

Tsedai | 67 comments Reading goals:

(1) Read the Sword & Laser picks for each month. I found S&L last year, and it really wasn't in my plans to read their book picks. I did find a lot of new great authors because of the podcast (Patrick Rothfuss for example), so I would really like to try and follow the book club choices more closely next year.

How will I do this? Buy the book as soon as it is announced, and start reading on the first of each month. Unfinished and secondary books will have to wait (except, perhaps, in March - see point 2). Books for the next month will wait until the first so I have time to read other things.

(2) Read Words of Radiance when it comes out. I have read all of Brandon Sanderson up to this point and I need to stay caught up!

How will I do this? By ignoring the world for a whole week until the book is finished. Like I did with the first one.

(3) Read a good variety of old S&L picks, other fantasy/sci fi, and non-fiction books as my secondary book choice for the month.

How will I do this? By forcing myself to alternate between fiction and non-fiction - perhaps reading fiction during the sci-fi months (get a little sword with my laser... I tend to lean that way), and reading non-fiction with the fantasy picks (mix fantasy and reality). Unless, you know, I get sucked into a really good series. Then I might just end up reading a series. Yeah, I can see this goal not working out so well already...

(4) Finish the The Silmarillion. Whenever I find something more exciting I keep putting this book off. It has been living in my purse for nearly six months, so I read it in fits and spurts, but I never read it at home. It needs to get out and join its friends on the "done shelf."

How will I do this? Not a clue. I keep getting distracted.

(5) Read more John M. Ford because I love the subtlety of his writing.

How will I do this? Raid my bookshelf.

I don't really have a set number goal, though I do suppose if I hit around 1.5 books per month (a more realistic goal than finishing 2 books for me) it would be around 18, which is close to what I have read this year. I guess next year I hope to read at least 20 books?


message 15: by Virginia (new)

Virginia (vlhildreth) | 15 comments My ways to accomplish my goal (which I failed this year):

1. Graduate from college in January - this will help immensely.

2. Make a literal to-read pile.

3. Place my phone BEHIND that pile.


message 16: by Travis (new)

Travis (the_hero_of_canton) | 55 comments Got Audible yearly subscription to read/listen in the car and during chores. Plus a redoubled effort coming in the summer. I would read before bed but then I wouldn't sleep and that's a real problem.


message 17: by Tim (new)

Tim Alm | 34 comments I truly intend to read more than i do. I'm lucky to get one book a month in now. That I am blaming on my current chaotic living situation. I will go back to reading 2 or 3 books a week once that improves.

The problem with audiobooks for me is that I lose focus too easily. That and I listen to music constantly.


message 18: by Harm (new)

Harm (harm82) | 10 comments I will not set intentional goals either, but try to read as much as I can and feel good about myself. I am in the choir of reading on commutes, here I can pitch in a bit over an hour train ride each day. To sum up:
1) Feel good about however much you do read
2) Enjoy the time off computer and online fora

Have a good one everybody and keep the imagination going!


message 19: by Yassine (new)

Yassine (leouarz) | 3 comments Hi Gard!
I am a dad of 2 with a reasonably demanding job so my reading time is definitely limited. I have found that audiobooks are almost the only way I do non-work-related reading. My audible app tells me I listen to 45-ish books a year (and I even listen again to a few ones almost every year, like Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy or JD Robb's In Death series;-))
Hope this may help you "read" more books and, who knows, maybe get you back on friendly terms with your phone? :-)
Have fun!


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