You know that moment when you have finished a book and have nothing else to read? It’s a bleak, empty feeling. The work involved in filling that void can seem overwhelming. In my life, it has too-often led to a dreaded reading lull where I stay up late surfing the Internet or marathon-watching TV shows I’ve gotten from Netflix.com instead of reading. But I fixed it. I have completely eliminated it. The reading lull is gone. And, naturally, I used technology to do it.
I signed up for BookSwim.com. I was skeptical at first but, one month in, I’m a convert.
It started when I was dropping $60 on three books at Amazon and telling myself that I should really go to the library. The problem with the library, for me, is I don’t have time when they are open. That’s when my kids are in school. That’s when I work! I can’t be dashing off all over town (any more than I do already) or I won’t make any money. We do go as a family occasionally but then I forget to return library books and end up paying a fortune to rent them anyway. So I left Amazon.com and signed up at BookSwim (I chose the 3-books-at-a-time plan for $19.95 a month so I could keep one book while the other two travelled.)
It may have been money that led me to BookSwim but thatâ€™s not what makes me drink. The reason Iâ€™m a happy customer is the book list I created. I spent a pleasant hour on a Sunday afternoon dropping the titles of every book I wanted to read, that appealed to me, was written by an author I like, or got intriguing reviews into my pool of books. It was fun. And then a few days later three books showed up. I read themâ€”or two of them anywayâ€”and shipped them back. BookSwim sent me an email two days later saying they got them, and another email three days after that saying two more books are on their way to me. (So obviously BookSwim has a great deal to learn from Netflix.com about speedy turnaround.) I donâ€™t have to find my must-read list orÂ try to remember the name of that book I want to read. I donâ€™t have to buy 10 books at once and pile them on by bedside table. BookSwim is my virtual bedside table.
Iâ€™m happy but I have a suggestion for the BookSwim people: Embrace mobile technology! I want to fire a text message to my account to add books to my pool while Iâ€™m out in the world discovering them. But, for now, this will do nicely because by the time I finish this third book, Iâ€™ll have two more waiting for me.