My Favorite Library Hacks


The only time I actively ran away from my family was inside of a library. I was begging my mom to take me to the “playground” (a modern art structure… still don’t really understand that style) outside and she had no idea what I was talking about. I quietly excused myself, brought some reading material and was found by my frantic mom reading on a sculpture beside one of the busiest roads in the city. My high maintenance, nerdy ways haven’t changed a bit- I devour everything from biographies to cookbooks to DIY manuals and I have a thing for that “new book smell”. While I have had my fair share of mockery on airplanes and by friends, the tips I’ve picked up are worth their weight in gold!

  1. Check out magazines: Most of the libraries I have been a member of offer apps where you can download nearly any magazine you can think of. As much as I love a new paper copy in the mail (Christmas morning!!), sometimes I need inspiration on the fly. Through the Zinio of RB Digital app, I’ve been able to download current and back issues of everything from Cooking Light, to Southern Living, to Martha Stewart Weddings, to Oprah. My husband was shocked to find The Economist for free as opposed to his costly subscription- talk about economically sound decision making! Also, for my NC friends, you have access to a full library of Our State Magazine (I paid about $40 for this myself!). Download a few to your phone or iPad for offline reading before a trip and you’re good to go!
  2. Listen to Audiobooks– In addition to the magazine apps, my library in Virginia offered a free service called Hoopla for immediate downloads of audiobooks. Their selection was amazing and much more updated than the regular library catalog. Every library also offers an online download library as well (most use Overdrive) that features eBooks, audiobooks and music.
  3. Download eBooks- Most of my friends say they’re aware the library offers free digital downloads for eReaders, but have never given it a try. It’s honestly one of the easiest things ever! Overdrive works through Amazon, so you can simply download a book from the library catalog and send it directly to your Kindle in seconds. They’re also available offline, so you never have to worry about connectivity when you’re reading on the beach! As soon as a new book comes out, I get on the waiting list on the eCatalog and have it automatically download the minute it’s available.

The best eReader secret I’ve ever received is to turn on Airplane Mode on your Kindle if you aren’t finished reading a book before it’s due. That keeps the book in your personal library until the next time you connect to the internet! A little scandalous, but hey, one does what one must.

My routine is to start by scanning the Amazon best seller list, Goodreads, Pinterest and my favorite blogs every month to find out what I want to read. Then, I’ll go on to my library and hop on the waiting list. I set each one to be picked up at my local library, and then I get an email as soon as they’re available. It couldn’t be easier!

(Background image via Evelyn Henson)

Galentine’s Day Special: Articles Club!

In honor of Galentine’s Day, I wanted to share about a group of friends who has grown dear to me in the short time I’ve been in Raleigh. As I mentioned in my last post, I’m a “joiner” at heart. I tend to over-extend myself, so I was looking for the perfect balance of meeting some friendly faces without committing to be president of a club and chairing weekly meetings. IMG_1074

I stumbled upon Em for Marvelous and was thrilled to see that she not only called the Triangle home, she was recruiting for the coolest idea- an articles club! They met monthly around the same date (so important for herding vivacious, over-scheduled cats/millenials!). The only commitment was to read a handful of articles, sign up for a fun potluck, and show up and chat. The first night I came, there were about 5 of us who were brand new as well- all fans of Emily’s blog!

Each month I’m amazed at the awesome conversational paths we meander down. We are all from totally different walks of life (but have many things in common!) and everyone has such unique perspectives on the articles we read. We have even implemented “show notes”- stemming from our love of podcasts- to detail the book suggestions, TV show recommendations and life advice that comes out of our discussions.

It was a huge honor to get to pick the articles for tonight’s club, so I wanted to share them with you all. Our theme was “love” of course, so I broke it up into self love, loving your job and romantic love (with a twist!).

(Note: These have some PG-28 language and topics in them, reader beware!)

Self Love: Be Your Own Best Friend (via Elite Daily)

Love Love: 6 Relationship Habits Most People Think are Toxic (via Mark Manson)

Loving What you Do: Screw Finding Your Passion (via Mark Manson)

Check out a longer list of articles we have discussed in the past on Emily’s blog here. Let me know what you think of my picks this month!