Did You Know You Can…? 8 Tricks to Make Your Reading Life Easier

March 13, 2018 Reading Tools 37

Tricks to Make Your Reading Life Easier

For a person that runs my own blog, I’m incredibly un-tech savvy, but I do love easy tricks to make your reading life easier! The key is they must be super simple for me to actually adopt them. You may know all of these tricks already, but I just picked up many of them over the past year or two…and they’ve all vastly improved my reading life.

This post contains affiliate links (plus: here’s your Amazon Smile-specific affiliate link).

8 Tricks to Make Your Reading Life Easier

Amazon (Kindle and Audible) Tricks

  • Email your Kindle highlights and notes to yourself.
    On the home menu that runs along the top of your Kindle, choose the 3 vertical dots icon on the far right > Notes > Export Notes (on the bottom of the list of notes that pops up) > Send. Check your inbox for an email with a nicely formatted PDF AND a spreadsheet attached! I save all my PDFs in a folder for easy access to all my highlights and notes!
  • Bookmark passages on Audible (“highlighting for audiobooks”).
    Just tap “Clip” to mark your spot and tap the triple dots in the upper righthand corner to find all your bookmarks (under “Clips & Bookmarks”).
Tricks to Make Your Reading Life Easier


  • Download audiobooks from your local library.
    Many local libraries use the Overdrive system to enable you to check out e-books and audiobooks. I download and listen to audiobooks directly through the Overdrive app on my phone. Libby is also an easy way to download audiobooks from your library.
  • Add audio narration to an Amazon e-book purchase for a small extra charge.
    This comes in really handy if you’re reading one of those doorstop books and want to get through it faster. Adding some listening time to your existing reading time will make things go much faster.

    Tricks to make Your Reading Life Easier
    Bonus: you can add Audible narration to e-books you’ve checked out from the library via Overdrive. This means you can effectively get a really cheap audiobook! Sometimes, I’ll check out an e-book from the library just to get the cheap audiobook…having no intention of actually reading the e-book.

Library Tricks

  • Suspend library holds.
    I’m sure man of you have experienced the frustration of a bunch of your library holds coming in at the same time. I sure have. Well, you can keep this from happening by suspending holds, which holds your place in the queue while delaying when you have to check the book out. You can suspend each hold by 7, 14, 21, 28, and up to 180 days. I call this “actively managing my holds.”
    Tricks to make Your Reading Life Easier
  • Put books on hold at the library before they’re published.
    Sometimes, but not always, libraries will purchase a book well before publication date. This often happens with exceptionally popular new releases. And, this is where book bloggers who are reading and talking about books before they’re published can really help you. As soon as you hear about an upcoming book you’re interested in, check your library to see if you can put it on hold. You can’t actually check it out until publications date, but you can get in the line early. For example, I already have a hold on Fredrick Backman’s sequel to Beartown (Us Against You), which doesn’t come out until June.

Goodreads Tricks

  • Compare books with your Goodreads friends.
    You can see a side by side comparison of all the books you and a specific Goodreads friend has shelved and/or rated. Goodreads even gives you the percentage of similar taste for books you both rated. This can be incredibly helpful information as you look for your Go-To Recommendation Sources! Click on your profile picture in the top right corner of your Goodreads homepage > Friends > Compare Books for the friend you want to compare with.
Tricks to make Your Reading Life Easier Tricks to make Your Reading Life Easier


  • Save your favorite quotes on Goodreads.
    In response to my recent post sharing 14 of my favorite book quotes, many of you asked how I keep track of my favorite quotes. Well, this is one of my ways! In the main menu bar of your Goodreads homepage, choose Community > Quotes > Add a Quote (in very small type on the right side of the page). You can type in your quote, choose the author and book from dropdown menus, and even categorize your quotes with tags.

What other reading hacks do you have up your sleeve? I know y’all probably have some that I missed because I’m not that tech savvy!

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37 Responses to “Did You Know You Can…? 8 Tricks to Make Your Reading Life Easier”

  1. Cori

    Love these tips! I’ve never tried getting a library e-book and adding narration from Audible. Genius! Thank you!

  2. renee

    I’d never thought about emailing my kindle highlights and notes to myself!! That’s going to be so helpful. I’m constantly using my library for ebooks and recently started suspending holds as well so that’s a super helpful tip. Great post idea Sarah!

    • Sarah Dickinson

      It’s awesome – can copy and paste quotes into your review instead of typing them out!

  3. Rebecca Foster

    I’m going to have to give that Kindle highlights trick a try: I’m usually too lazy to type out all the quotes I highlight into the Word file where I keep all my notes and responses, so this would be a great time-saver!

  4. Susie | Novel Visits

    The emailing of Kindle highlights is new to me and one I need to do. They’d be so much easier to review from a PDF. I also need to check out your library tips further since I’m feeling extremely frustrated with my local library system. Maybe it’s me! This is a really fun and especially useful post. Thanks!

    • Sarah Dickinson

      It’s such a crapshoot with library systems…my old one was terrible, barely had any books and my new one is much better.

  5. Angela

    I’ve definitely used the library tips. I typically suspend my holds if we’re going away on vacation, but I’ve learned to use it at other times, too, especially after getting 6 books in at once. And putting myself on a wait list for an upcoming release is also something I take advantage of, and by the length of some of the wait lists I’ve been on, lots of other people do, too!

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Right?! I actually wish less people knew about putting books on hold before they’re released!

  6. Ricki Jill Treleaven

    I enjoyed reading these tips….they’re very smart! I need to suspend holds for sure. I came home with two at the same time just this morning, and since they’re new I’ll only get them for two weeks. Thanks for this helpfl post!

  7. Allison

    These are great tips! I usually read ebooks in Libby and I’m not sure if you can email notes or not. If not, I might have to switch to Kindle just for that feature. I also need to look into suspending holds. I usually just keep books on my wish list until I feel like I can handle more on my hold list but it’s definitely not the best way of managing it.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      It’s a game-changing…especially since I have a hard time estimating how long it will actually take me to get through a hold list!

  8. Michelle

    I have been tempted to try the WhisperSync function between Audible and my Kindle, but since I never listen to audiobooks these days it feels like a silly idea. Maybe if I can figure out how to add them back into my life this option would make sense.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      You’ve gotta find your niche (type of book and when to listen). I had such trouble with them for the longest time and finally realized I need to stick with light nonfiction and do not listen while I work out. Listen in core, while doing chores, and while getting dressed/undressed.

  9. Kristen

    I didn’t realize you could “highlight” in Audible! I will definitely use this tip, but I’ll have to be careful when I’m driving 🙂

  10. Catherine

    I had no idea about the Kindle emailing! That would come in handy.

    I don’t know that I’d call this a trick, but at the library I put every format of a book I want on hold (audio/e-book/print). Especially with on-order books. The length of the hold list can vary a lot with different titles so it increases the chance of me getting the item sooner. Plus, it makes everyone else on the list happy when you cancel the hold in the other formats!

  11. Ann Marie

    Great tips, Sarah. I’ve got to start using the library for ebooks and audiobooks. I just purchased an audiobook yesterday without even thinking about checking to see if it was available through the library.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      I hear ya! So frustrating to wait forever and have a ton come in at the same time!

  12. Tina

    Whaaaat! These tips are so helpful! I feel like I am a really active library user/ audiobook listener but I didn’t know a lot of these. Great post.

    • Sarah Dickinson

      Ha – I’m glad to hear that! I almost scrapped this post b/c I figured everyone probably already knew this stuff. So, I’m glad to hear that’s not the case!

    • Sarah Dickinson

      I’m #8 on the hold list even with getting on months in advance!!! I’ll probably end up just buying it right when it comes out if I can’t get an ARC…

  13. Alan Steven

    Many people face so many problem in reading the books or novels or any other reading material. They get bored of reading long articles and lost their focus and I am one of those but, these tricks that you had shared in your post actually works. I found my self really comfortable now just by following these simple techniques.

  1. The Books on My May 2018 Reading List | Mind Joggle

    […] learned a few things about library holds. Sarah had an excellent post way back in March with 8 Tricks to Make Your Reading Life Easier (seriously, go read it if you haven’t yet), and one of her tricks is that library holds can […]

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