next up on the list of winter survival tactics ...

20 February 2015

... READING. 

And how Oyster {kind post sponsor} is saving my carefully tended shreds of sanity as we muscle through the remaining monthS {silent dramatic scream} of winter. 

Way back when I was a mature 24 years of age and e-readers first hit the shelves I swore I'd never cheat on my tangible books and told Simon (my then boyfriend) I would never own one. He nodded in feigned agreement, solidarity, and support of his sensible girlfriend.


I'm sure you can surmise how that story ends. An older and slightly wiser Grace taking back her swear once she realized the convenience factor far outweighed her silly principles ... especially after kids came on the scene and trips to the library became more like odysseys to rival the original.

While I've happily chewed through Christmas bookstore gift cards and impatiently sat on the library waiting list for some coveted titles ... Oyster has gone and created a brilliant service that puts over one million titles at my fingertips. No lines, no limits for $9.95 a month (first month free! And they have a referral program!) ... like Netflix for books.

I anticipated that reading would fall to the VERY bottom of my priority list when I had kids but I've been surprised how much I rely on little snatches of time to momentarily and figuratively escape to different fictional worlds. Oyster enables my terrible habit of dipping into a few titles all at once but sometimes a little YA Fiction just hits the spot, you know?


Hopefully I'm not alone.

{Simon would like full credit for his artistic picture taking abilities and I would like full credit for getting all the kids to nap for multiple and coinciding hours over the weekend, this is 31 - I suppose}

Oyster works on iPhones, iPads, Androids, the Kindle Fire, Nook HD, and the plain old internet. I wasn't about to move a muscle on our flight back from Florida after Phoebe final-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-y fell asleep and was super grateful to have the Oyster app that worked just fine on the plane sans wi-fi to read my latest guilty pleasure.


In addition to spades of best seller's and new releases, Oyster carries loads of children's titles which spurred me to encourage Julia to occasionally graduate from our usual "picture with a paragraph" younger kids' books to some older titles. One of my very favorites when I was little ...


... I was so happy they carried it.

Simon was too ...


{Simon does voices and animal noises 100% better than I do which is to say that he does them and I don't. Revoke my parenting license! Now!!}

And a few of our favorite Oyster titles complete with the worst pun of them all ...

1. Simon's currently reading*
2. Grace's favorite "read anytime/anywhere!"
3. Julia's required listening {luckily, she likes it}
4. Next on Grace's list
5. A favorite of Simon's
6. Grace's currently reading*

*opposites attract? never.

Intrigued? A little bit? Give it a {truly} risk-free 30 day whirl.

Thanks for reading and scrolling and reading some more.
And I hope you have a happy weekend!!

24 comments:

  1. Oyster sounds great, but a lot of this is available via your local libraries' websites... and it's free!

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    1. I tend to get stuck on eternal waiting lists for the books we want - I must belong to a popular library system :) But yes, I totally agree!!

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    2. I live in St.Louis also, we must be in line for the same books on the SLCL site...I'm like #247 for one and #64 for another...

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    3. cracking up. exactly! exactly.

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  2. I feel like this is a necessity. I am on waiting lists years long for books at the library and spend fortunes at B&N. Like, foreal recents? No waiting list? Click and read? That's pretty dang neat.

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    1. yes - I've been totally spoiled. Not used to not signing up for another 54 person waiting list. ha.

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  3. Netflix for books??? You speaking my language!

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  4. I don't do animal sounds or voices either. ;)

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  5. Gone with the Wind is the absolute best!

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  6. I swore I'd never own an e-reader either. I was a bookworm through and through.. then came my first international flight and I tried to take all 7 Harry Potters, Pride & Prejudice and 2 others I don't remember - 10 books for a month long trip. (for me, that's nothing). Enter the e-reader - much lighter, and I can carry 3000+ lol. Oyster sounds interesting, but I only have the basic of the basic Kindle's and I don't like reading on the computer / phone etc. Boo.

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  7. Cuyahoga county Library in Ohio aparently allows anyone to get card at their library and they have tons of digital copies

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  8. I've been an avid go to the library & take out a real book person, until.....bedbugs. Yep, our city has found them in several library books, all over the city. Apparently it's a problem now. So, I'm allllll about the e-reader! And this sounds like a great one!

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  9. I love my e-reader for the added perk that I can read comfortably with one hand during marathon nursing sessions!

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  10. There's nothing quite as therapeutic as turning the pages of an actual book. It is a luxury. And as a mum, it feels entirely indulgent to have the time to actually use two entire hands to dedicate to just the one activity. And so then e-readers mean you still get to zone out of life for moments here and there, and that, is a different kind of indulgence too. Both amazing. I totally agree, YA is about all the brain space allocated these days for such joy, and so there's no way I'm allowing other human beings to sight me purchasing one...hello e-reader, thanks for saving me some embarrassment!!! xx

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  11. Reconstructing Amelia and Still Alice are both fantastic! I am an avid reader so I'll definitely be looking into Oyster.

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  12. I never quite understand why people shell out for things like this (or the Kindle unlimited or whatever) when you can get ebooks from your public library for free! Unlimited for $0 a month.

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    1. Like I said to the reader above: I get stuck on eternal waiting lists for books and e-books the kids and I want to read. We must just have a busy library system :)

      But yes, the library is free - despite the 6 month wait for certain titles.

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    2. That's true -- every library's budget (and corresponding availability of books) varies. I find that popular books from a year or two back tend to be immediately available and keep me occupied while I ride out waiting lists for newer reads. Then again, if I had a spare $120 annually, I might feel differently. :)

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    3. Tempting! Luckily my library isn't that crazy. I've had a goal the past 4 years to read an average of 2 books a month. I've logged every book and only passed my goal once. I missed it by one or two the other years, and the year my daughter was born, I apparently didn't read a thing. So far I'm ahead of the game with 9.

      Also, Still Alice..so good. Be prepared to be sad.

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    4. Readers shell out for this stuff big time! I read more than 100+ books per year and that is a huge cost. Libraries are great and I still use them but having titles that I'm interested in and can get anytime I want is HUGE. It's the convenience factor. Why do people shell out for Netflix when they can get free channels? It's the same thing. You want a bigger selection. You want to make sure that you always have something to watch/read. Kindle Unlimited just came to the UK and I have it but there isn't a lot on the list actually. There are some things, but I blaze through books so fast that I need more.

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  13. I tried the online library thing. It wasn't good. The whole process was kind of ridiculous (for my library) and they never had any titles I was interested in. I'm now using Kindle Unlimited but still I'm dealing with mediocre books on the list. I'm SO giving Oyster a try. I have to curb my book buying habit and I'm hoping for a great monthly service to cut that book budget big time!

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