How Good Books Can Lead to Spotless Floors

Like most people these days, agents tend to keep pretty busy, and one thing we’re always doing is READING.

My desk is piled high with manuscripts. Okay, I’m lying. There are no piles. There are files in my computer, and more files on my brand new 3G Kindle. They’re virtual piles.

At the top of the piles are manuscripts from my clients. Next in line are manuscripts from people wanting to be my clients.

If you imagine those piles never end, you’re right. So the problem for an agent is, how can we take time for pleasure reading? The reading of actual *gasp* published books?

We’ve got to find the time to read something besides manuscripts. Otherwise how will we be savvy, up-to-date, on-top-of-things agents? How will we know what’s going on in publishing if we aren’t actually reading published books?

We MUST read. It’s quite a conundrum, trying to find the time, trying to justify reading anything besides those stacks of manuscripts.

Eureka! I’ve found a solution and it’s called Audible.com. I can hardly express how much I love Audible (without gushing all over the place).

There are so many moments in daily life when I can’t read a manuscript, but I CAN listen to my iPod. Such as: running, hiking, cleaning my house, folding my laundry, cooking dinner, waiting in the carpool line at school, and watching my daughters in their sports. Thanks to Audible, it’s all potential reading time. And I don’t even appear especially antisocial.

In the last month since I started using Audible, I’ve listened to:

Room by Emma Donoghue
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
Rescue by Anita Shreve
Time Management from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern
Making Work Work by Julie Morgenstern

And now I’m almost finished with The Hunger Games (book 1) by Suzanne Collins. Oh. My. Goodness. This is such a (figurative) page-turner that over the weekend I desperately needed an excuse to keep listening… so I decided to spend a little more time on housework. I scrubbed and buffed our hardwood floors ’til they looked like new. It was the most fun I’ve ever had cleaning anything. (Trust me, housework isn’t my specialty.)

Right now I’m having a hard time holding myself back from picking up the iPod again.

Must… work…….. Must… not… listen…

Listened to anything good lately?

P.S. You can also get audiobooks from your library – either CDs or Playaways. Free!

P.P.S. Finished The Hunger Games and downloaded book 2 – Catching Fire.

© 2011 Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent

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  • SariBelle

    >Oh so that's how you do it. I wondered how the super-agents ever had time for reading for pure enjoyment.

    Do you miss just being able to curl up in the comfiest seat in the house with a fluffy blanket and hot chocolate and amazing (already published) book though?

  • Sierra Gardner

    >I've found creative ways to read books (like while I'm blow drying my hair), but I love this idea! Maybe I'll finally clean the cupboards…

  • Jen Albin

    >Ha! I had the same problem during grad school. I'm devouring books now and wish I'd thought to listen to more books.

  • Dorci

    >You know, just in the last week I've been trying to think about how I can get in more reading time and I thought about audible books. I work at a computer and I listen to online radio while I work, why not books? Thanks for the link.

  • Kimberly

    >It never occurred to me to listen to books while I go about my day. Thanks for the suggestion! My floors will thank you:)
    And The Hunger Games Series? I'm not sure my kids ate the week I read them. Seriously.

  • Cheryl Barker

    >Talk about good motivation for getting some deep cleaning done! So funny how you want to clean more now :)

  • Sarah

    >I picked up the Hunger Games and didn't put it down till I was done. Then I went out, bought the next two books and read them straight through. Addictive little stinkers.

  • Katherine Hyde

    >I recently listened to Inkheart on Playaway, read by Lynn Redgrave. She did a wonderful job with all the different voices. It took me a long time to get through it, though, because my family interrupts me even more when I'm listening than when I'm actually reading–plus I can read through ambient noise, but can't listen through it.

  • T. Anne

    >Fun post!

    The last audio book I listened to was "Memoirs of a Geisha", and that was when it first came out! I think maybe it's time to download a book or two.

    Loved ROOM. I was just telling Katie G. that it was the only book I was apprehensive to start because of the subject matter, and then LOVED.

    I couldn't get into LEMON CAKE, I don't know why.

    I loved the HUNGER GAMES, and CATCHING FIRE was fun too. I shall keep my opinion of MOCKING JAY to myself. I hope you finish all three. I would really like to discuss the way the author handled that last book.

    I'm glad you're enjoying some serious listening, I mean cleaning. ;)

  • Josi Springs

    >I have tried listening to books, but I just can't do it. My mind wanders way too much and next thing I know the speaker is done and I missed the whole thing. I am a very tactile person and must have the physical sensations of the book in my hands to stay in the story, no matter how well written. Thank God for libraries! Otherwise I'd never read anything new.

  • Bonnie R. Paulson

    >Oh, T. Anne, I have a feeling you and I didn't agree on Mockingjay! We need to talk!

    Rachelle, FUN post! I love hearing about this kind of stuff.

    PLEASE, please, please, stick with the Trilogy. I loved it to the last word! I never considered audio books, but I have been lately cause I guess the Kindle has text-to-speech? The voice is all mechanical, which I gotta say I'm oddly fascinated with. Wierd, right?

    Great post! Thanks!

  • MacDougal Street Baby

    >I have never partaken the audio but perhaps I will give it a try.

    This post reminds me, slightly, of a wonderful book I read a few years back called "A Broom of One's Own." I wish I could remember the author. She talks about the process of writing and how it is connected to her need to clean. I identified immediately!

  • Manon Eileen

    >I loooooveeeee the Hunger Games! I read them last year and am trying to convince everyone around me to read them! ^_^

    Perhaps I should try audiobooks again. Last time I tried I lost track of which chapter I was and gave up, though :/.
    And I tend to daydream while listening so I miss half of it, lol.

  • J. L. Jackson

    >Wow! Great idea. You have to love modern technology. It makes things so much easier.

  • Gwen Stewart

    >I love audiobooks, especially for long car rides. However, I stick with non-fiction. When I want to learn (non-fiction), I don't mind being "read to"–especially when the author reads their work. In fiction, I prefer to conjure all the details of the story myself, including even the sound of the characters' voices.

    Great post, Rachelle! I'm eager to read what others say about their audiobook preferences.

  • Katie Ganshert

    >Whoa. I'm there. I HATE cleaning, but if I could listen to a book while I did it, then I'd be all about it. Can't wait to check it out.

    I'm reading Room right now and I can't stop reading it. I'm so amazed by the author. I keep asking myself, "How is she doing this?? They are just in a room!" I read Hunger Games in a day over Christmas Break. My hubby wanted to kill me because I was in complete anti-social mode. Couldn't put the book down. Haven't read Catching Fire yet. Heard it's really good though.

    I'm not an agent, and I have a PILE of to-be-read books that's continually getting shuffled and growing, so I can't even begin to imagine the number of words you consume in a year. Yeesh! How does your head hold them all?

  • Catherine West

    >Do you not find the story loses something when you're not personally reading it? Obviously not, or you wouldn't be using the audios – but I'm not sure I could get used to that. Reading and listening are so closely related, yet I think there's something that goes on in our own minds when we read the written word. We gain our own sense of character, time and place as we are drawn into the storyworld the author has created. We put our own inflection into what's being said or described – what happens to authorial voice in this instance?
    Hmm. Not sure I'm techie enough to go this route yet.

  • MJFredrick

    >I'm listening to The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory–three narrators, one per character POV. It's WONDERFUL. I listen while driving.

  • Brian Miller

    >nice hit on this website…will have to look into as i love to read but struggling to find the time…

  • Lisa

    >I love audiobooks, especially when I have long commutes. In the past few months, I've listened to Water for Elephants and Ape House by Sara Gruen and a couple of mysteries by Lisa Scottolini.

  • Anonymous

    >Here is an added bonus to audible.com. They are members of goodshop.com. If you aren't familiar with it, it is worth a moment of your time. They link up with nonprofits so purchases earn money for the nonprofit of the buyers' choice. My husband & I run a nonprofit that is listed. Ours is a local one (Meals 'til Monday), but there are MANY to choose from! If you are involved in a nonprofit not listed, you can get them on the list. Oh, and they also offer coupons.

    Jenny

  • Claudia

    >Oh, the Hunger Games! Books that addictive are what the written word invented for.

  • Sharon A. Lavy

    >I grew up in an era where we were scolded for reading too much.

    Now that I have found the writing community I am scolded for not reading enough.

    I love it. Reading without guilt is such a blessing. =)

  • MissM

    >I "read" The Girl Who Fell from the Sky and am now "reading" he Kitchen House. I only listen in the car on my way to and from work in stop and go Atlanta traffic.

    I still like doing the actual reading. I comprehend better. I'm finding myself drifting off a lot while listening, but the Girl Who Fell From the Sky, specifically, had me sitting in my car in front of my complex for an extra 20 minutes a day.

  • BK

    >I've listened to non-fic on audio CD in the car for a few years (it's often the only way I can work some of those titles in). I never thought I'd like having fiction read to me.

    Then last fall I began listening to War and Peace on audio. It's a long book, so I still have about 12 of the 50 or so audio CD's to go to finish it.

    But I am really enjoying it. It does take more concentration to me than listening to non-fic, but the actor they chose to narrate this book does a fantastic job. I wonder how many weeks it took him to record the whole thing–it was an undertaking.

    Based on this experience, I will definitely try another fic on audio.

  • Rachelle

    >For those of you who wonder how the experience of "listening" differs from reading – yes, it's different. The person reading the book makes a huge difference, but the majority of audiobooks are read by talented professionals who bring the words to life in a wonderful way. An unpleasant reader can definitely change the experience.

    Over the years I've listened to dozens of audiobooks, and I find that after some time has passed, I often can't remember if I actually "read" the book or listened to it. The memory remains in my mind of the "story," not what format it was in.

  • Heather

    >I still make time for reading print books (because I love holding the actual book in my hand) but when duty calls, I'm there with mp3 player in hand, loaded with audiobooks. ;0)

    I completely agree about The Hunger Games. I made up housework to do so I could listen to it longer. lol

  • Richard Mabry

    >We'll furnish the audio books, mop, and dust cloth. How soon can you make it to North Texas?

    Seriously, great idea.

  • Angela C.

    >I know what you mean! I remember feeling similar as a student in grad aschool. There was always more reading that could be done that I felt guilty reading anything other than that which would improve my education/future career. I ended up "reading" in the car with books on cd which was nice because I "couldn't" be reading anything else during that time!

  • Marla Taviano

    >I think you just revolutionized my life. My stack of to-read books is TOPPLING over, and my floors/toilets NEVER get scrubbed. I'll let you know how it goes, but I'm pretty sure my husband will LOVE you.

  • sdsalyer

    >Definitely check out your local library. Not only do they have audiobooks for checkout, they most likely offer digital downloads for free through a 3rd party source.

    There is also a website – http://librivox.org/ – where you may download audiobooks from the public domain (or if you have a flair for it, you can also read books from the public domain for others to download.

  • Wendy Paine Miller

    >You addressed my question. I wanted to know whether the author or a talented professional reads the book.

    I just discovered the ESV online Bible where you can click audio. It’s pretty cool, there’s a section for notes and where you can highlight, etc.

    Haven’t tried to listen to books yet, but I’m intrigued.
    ~ Wendy

  • doodle girl

    >Some books work better than others in audio format. Lee Child and Harlan Coben, for instance, and the Mockingjay trilogy are perfect, with their emphasis on plotting. I think Elizabeth George would be impossible, because of all the characters she uses and the convention of using different variations of names for the same characters (I have to make a list even when I'm reading her books!). Some books are improved, especially if the narrator is good. Meg Cabot's 'Size 12 is Not Fat' series works really well on audio—the series is told very personally so the audio version feels like she's telling it to you. Linwood Barclay is another one who works well on audio.

    Sometimes a really good trick is to read the sample chapter (from Amazon) on Kindle, to get the characters straight in your head, BEFORE you start listening. That ploy can really enhance the experience. It is harder to keep characters straight when listening to a book, unless you have a really skilled narrator. (Some of them are amazing! Truly artists.)

    Autobiographies read by the author can be fantastic, for example, Quincy Jones.

    (I drive a lot. Can you tell?)

  • Beth K. Vogt

    >I've been hesitant about listening to books since auditory learning is my weakest learning style. I'm afraid I won't retain much of the story. But, it's worth a try! Going to check out Audible.com!

  • Amy Boucher Pye

    >I learned so much about audiobooks when I got to narrate one. Fabulous experience! Reading an American book and being coached by a top Brit – we had lots of discussions about pronunciation. In the same studio where Stephen Fry has worked.

    I tend to listen to a lot of sermons on my iPod, but books too. It's a great way to have another book on the go. Although it takes longer than reading visually (but you can multitask).

  • MJR

    >I've just discovered that listening to books helps keep me from getting bored at the gym. I can do cardio for an hour! I like listening to the Great Courses series (Learning Company)–I get them from the library. I'm going to try to listen to some novels, too.

  • Kelly A. Harmon

    >I LOVE listening to audio books. With my 2+ hour commute to work every day, I get a lot of *reading* done in the car.

    I can't remember the last time I actually listened to the radio in the car…

  • Valerie Norris

    >I listen to novels on the library's Playaways while I walk, do housework, and cook. When I get back to sewing (flannel pajama pants await), I'll listen then, too. Love it! I listened to The DaVinci Code recently, and found out what all the hoopla was about. Interesting book! The author's knowledge of art and art history was incredible. Of course, as a believer, I had a little trouble with the Bible history stuff, but I kept reminding myself, "It's fiction!"

  • Jaime

    >I'm pumped!! Sometimes I have brainless things to do at work (go figure – no brain! Me? LOL) so this could be a dead-air filler.
    Checking out audible.com now …

  • Sarah Forgrave

    >Love this idea! My kitchen floor (and my husband) will thank you.

  • Madeline Mora-Summonte

    >I don't know about the audio book version but one of my favorite books that I read last year was UNDER THIS UNBROKEN SKY by Shandi Mitchell.

    I don't really listen to audio books so I wonder if certain types of books lend themselves better to audio than others?

  • Walt M

    >If my wife ever sees the post, I know what my birthday present will be this year. I can hear her voice already. “Just think, Honey. You can clean house and still enjoy your favorite books. It’s called multitasking. I know you can do it.” :-)

  • Alexis Grant

    >I bet you could get Audible to buy adspace on your site if you ever decide to go that route… They often have an ad as part of the New York Times book review podcast! Glad to hear you like them.

  • BW

    >For the last few years, I have been listening to audio books in my car. This is mainly because I have a least a half hour comute from my house to work and a 50 minute comute when I go to visit my family.

    Some of my favorite audio books include:

    Non-Fiction: "The Last Lecture", "Gift of the Red Bird", "The Lady and the Panda", and "How Starbucks Saved my Life".

    Fiction: "Angels and Demons", "The Da Vinci Code", "The Lost Symbol", "The Kite Runner", "A Thousand Splendid Suns", "The Life of Pi" and "The Jane Austen Book Club" (which I just completed recently).

  • Bonnie

    >I found audible.com a couple years ago when I was planning a 6 hr road trip. I've been a subscriber ever since. I love it! I listen to books while on the treadmill, cleaning the house, in the car and any other time I can manage it! Best find ever!

  • Anonymous

    >I'm listening to Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada, a novel based on the real lives of ordinary Germans who resisted the Nazis. Gripping, and heartrending.

    http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_3?asin=B00456POYC&qid=1295367864&sr=1-3

  • Ghenet

    >Listening to audio books while cleaning is such a great idea! I used to like listening to audio books while driving long distances. The audio versions of Malcolm Gladwell's books are really fascinating to listen to, especially because Gladwell himself narrates. I also listened to "Eat, Pray, Love" as an audio book, which Elizabeth Gilbert narrated.

  • Pamela

    >I'm in your corner with audible. I used to read myself to sleep, now I listen myself to sleep! My books are on my Iphone so I'm never without it. Pretty awesome.

    But during housework? Never thought of it…thanks for the idea. Now I can have a sparkling house, too.

  • Hallie

    >I listened to The Embers by Hyatt Bass while driving solo with kids in the car. Also listened to Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. Both were okay.

    I hooked a friend on Outlander by Diana Gabaldon and she ended up doing an audible book instead. She worked out to it, cooked, and cleaned while using her iPhone to listen. She was hooked on listening because she loved the Scottish accents so much.

    I haven't done another audible lately but you just might have convinced me to get back at it. My house desperately needs me.

  • Nicole

    >I've also recently discovered Audible.com – and I listen to books while I'm driving. It's scary how fast I get through a ten-hour book – I think that means I'm spending far too much time in the car!

    And I'm so excited you've discovered The Hunger Games!! That book changed me in so many ways and I'm so excited to see how much bigger it will get once the movie comes out (in 2012).

    Warning: the third book is even more addictive – Your house, and possibly your neighbor's houses might get a cleaning once you start that one!

    :-)

  • Kelli Angelone

    >Yes! Audible.com is great. And I've also discovered Librivox.org, the free, public-domain audiobook site. Who knew I could do so much laundry?

    For a while, my Audible subscription became economically unfeasible. Librivox has opened me up to Uncle Tom's Cabin and The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson, two fantastic Southern classics.

  • Jen J. Danna

    >Honestly, this is my main way to read. I'd love to have the time to sit on my couch with a cup of coffee and while away the hours… but then reality sets in and I have a full time job to get to and kids to raise and dinner to cook and a new novel to write and… you get the picture. You're living the picture yourself, I'm sure! Multitasking is the only way to go. So I listen in the car on my way to work, when I cook or do dishes and especially when I clean (because I HATE cleaning). Audiobooks are a live saver!

  • B.E.T.

    >…I wonder if this applies to homework as well as housework. I might just try putting my multitasking skills to the test because of this post!

    Awesome you found a way to get life and reading done at the same time.

  • Mrs. Skinny Con Leche’

    >On our yearly drive to Colorado from Florida this summer I agreed to take the audio books out of their little case in the trunk. While husband caught on to the driving while listening immediately, I immediately caught on to how much the voice of the reader annoyed me. Twenty-one chapters later I had moved from annoyed to homicidal. The CD not the Husband! By dinner time I wanted a drink, a chocolate cheesecake, and the car keys. I’m hoping all the characters lived happily ever after and are comfortable in the trunk.

  • Anonymous

    >I loved Hunger Games. Someone at the bookstore recommended it. I'm not a huge YA fan but that book transcends being YA. It's just flat out good. A modern classic.

    I haven't tried Audible. Almost makes me want to get an Ipod.

    :)

    Tirzah

  • Nina

    >I am new to your blog and am seriously in awe that someone (and not just you–some of the commenters, too!) can cook while listening to a book. I am not worthy.

    I do like to listen to books while running, though. Recently I listened to one I've been meaning to read for a couple of years now – "The Last Lecture."

    I can't listen and hike, though, since I like to listen for birds and other "nature sounds" instead. :-)

    Happy reading, er, listening!

  • Vickie Motter

    >I tried that a few months back. My problem is that I'm such a visual person, it's hard to stay focused on listening to a book. I was driving so much though, and getting sick of the radio, I tried it. Of four books, I only finished one. Match Me If You Can by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. The reader was great too. I wouldn't leave my car sometimes because I wanted to finish the chapter.

  • Leigh D’Ansey

    >'The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake' must be the most delicious title I've ever heard. I've got to read that book.

  • Beth

    >I read 'Hunger Games' because Randy Ingermanson recommended it as one of the best written books he'd read in awhile, and I have to say, she did an awesome job, although it was so vivid I almost couldn't take it sometimes.

    Other stuff?

    • 'Binky to the Rescue and 'Binky the Space Cat'
    • 'The Productive Writer'
    • 'Museum of the Missing' (research)
    • 'The Gardner Heist' (research)
    • 'Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society'

    …and more. : )

  • Carol J. Garvin

    >The only time I listened to a book I was put off by the reader's voice. It didn't allow me to hear the characters the way I visualized them, so I abandoned the effort. I was enticed back this Christmas by the gift of a Vinyl Cafe CD of short stories which I enjoyed on my homeward journey in the car. Seeing how quickly the miles passed while listening, I can imagine the housework possibilities. I don't have an iPod but somewhere there is an old Walkman. Think I'll go hunt it up and see how it works for cleaning bathrooms. Thanks for the idea.

  • Jan Markley

    >What a great idea!

  • Mischia

    >Books has never led me to clean but this concept is intriguing. Maybe I should put this on my possibilities list.

  • Anonymous

    >I don't use audible because of the price. I still say $14.95 a month is a bit much for one book a month when I can read six books in a sitting. Plus some of my Kindle ones have audio.

    But I do enjoy the free samples of the comedy stand-up. On some you get as much as 6 minutes of straight stand up.

    :)

    Tirz

  • Leigh

    >I loved the Hunger Games trilogy! I can see how those listening to the audio version would be inspired to keep on cleaning…

  • MJFredrick

    >So true about some books being better suited. I was listening to one book that had flashbacks in it and I just couldn't follow along. I chose to read that one in print instead.

  • Jessica Nelson

    >I LOVED Hunger Games! Couldn't put it down. ;-)

  • Anna L. Walls

    >I was introduced to audio books when someone gave me the first five Harry Potter books. Now I own several audio books and I'm looking for a CD player so I can listen to them at work.

  • Karen Burgess

    >Try Sniplits.com! They have a free short story every week and all the stories are reasonably priced. (Full disclosure: I am published on Sniplits!)

  • Brooke

    >I've listened to the entire Left Behind series (the Dramatic Audio version) from Audible.com and absolutely loved it! It was so much better than just listening to the book narrated, although I love listening to narrated non-fiction books like Elizabeth George's "A Woman After God's Own Heart." (Any of her books are fabulous!)

  • Joanne@ Blessed…

    >Read Hunger Games while on a plane to Atlanta. Best. Flight. Ever.

    (Make sure to let us know which book you liked best. My vote is for Catching Fire)

  • kangaroobee

    >I laughed out loud reading the antisocial line and the housework bit too funny. I'd love a gadget like that I don't even have a mobile nevermind an i-phone etc. What century am I living in? I am reading frantically so I'm not sure what's giving right now, but I don't miss it! Nice to hear you have found a way to enjoy reading aside from your work, enjoy!

  • Susan

    >I'm behind a couple of days here and I'm backtracking and reading two of your previous posts.

    This is wonderful news. You always take the time to share great new discoveries.

    I'm going to make sure my daughters start reading your blog.

    I know both of them would enjoy audible books.

    Thanks again for sharing.

  • Lyndieb

    >I just finished C.S. Lewis' Until We Have Faces which I got at the library and listened to as I drove errands

  • bloggEm

    >Oh my goodness, once you start Hunger Games you are caught in its grasp until you have completed the entire series … at least. I started reading it about two weeks ago, and had to go out in the middle of a snowstorm to get the other two books because I absolutely could not stop!

  • R.D. Allen

    >Just finished book 1 of the Hunger Games myself! It was a very good novel, and I went through it pretty fast, even though I typically have a very hard time reading.

    Not dying to read the second one, but I would really like to know what happens to the other characters.

  • D.L. Diener

    >It's my favorite way to get housework done these days. And it's an escape at the end of long days. Honey, you go sit down. I'll do the dishes. Insert earbuds and happily pick my virtual book back up. My current read– and am LOVING it– Velva Jean Learns to Drive.

  • Jenny

    >I love listening to things on my iPod. Miami Dade College has a iTunesU podcast of Sherlock Holmes stories and I'm almost done with Scott Sigler's The Rookie. Despite not being a football fan, I find it fascinating.

  • John Hartness

    >I just loaded the first three volumes of Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series onto my iPod. I listen a lot on road trips while I drive. I finished the Hunger Games book one last week and was breathless when it was done. Amazing book!

  • Henriette Power

    >I can't miss this opportunity to mention a way to hear short works through your headphones while you're working out, cleaning house, etc. The Drum Literary Magazine, at http://www.drumlitmag.com publishes short fiction, novel excerpts, and essays by established and emerging authors. Full disclosure: I run the magazine. I founded it, in part, to address the very situation Rachelle mentions here: making it possible for readers to enjoy literature while they're doing other stuff that leaves their minds free to concentrate.

  • Ishta Mercurio

    >Ha! I'm not an audio convert – I take in information best when I see it in print – but I do struggle to get my housework done between blogging, writing, and reading, so you might have me almost convinced to try it here.

  • Mike Koch – Protect The Risen

    >Start requesting that folks send you their manuscripts in audio format. Hah, that should help keep your piles smaller.

    Heck it isn't that bad of an idea really if you think about it. I ask this of the writers out there, 'Ever took your book and read it out loud? How about in front of a mirror? Does it make sense and sound right?' My guess is that you will find something out about your work if you do that simple exercise. So challenge yourselves to that, on say your first chapter.

    By the way Rachelle, another great post. You always get me thinking about stuff, which is what keeps me coming back here to read more. :P

  • Corie

    >Wow. Thanks for sharing the sites.
    I've been struggling to squeeze reading in my schedule. Building maintenance (NYC) around the house is one of the important things for me 'coz we have a toddler and two kids around. We rely on commercial cleaning services (NY) to do the big chores ever weekend, so most of the time it is me who do the tidying up.
    But I think the free audio books are limited on Playaway.
    I listened to The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Durrow Heidi, and it was so touching.

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    Please give me advice/books/websites/etc that will teach me how to organize my stuff. I grew up in the messiest family ever and have lived with everything in piles since I was a child. I would like to change this, but I really never learned how. I dig the idea of “Everything has a place and everything in its place,” but I’m clueless on how to implement it. Every time I get down to cleaning up the mess, I just don’t know where to put everything. I bought a bunch of storage furniture from Ikea, but it mostly just stands there empty because I don’t know how to arrange the stuff to go inside it. I have looked up websites (like Flylady, marthastewart.com) and bought some books (Organizing for Dummies, Organize Now, One Year to an Organized Life). All of these resources have one thing in common. They assume you already know how to organize your stuff, and just need to get around to actually doing so. For instance, I did the “Beginner Baby Steps” at Flylady, and then I got to the point where I’m supposed to clear off a “hot spot” (an area of the home that attracts a lot of clutter) and it just flat out told me to do it, like I should know where everything goes and just need someone to tell me to put it there. I don’t need a website to tell me to put things away. I don’t need help getting motivated. I don’t need help with “negative voices.” I don’t need to learn to let go of things I don’t really need. I need something to help me figure out where everything goes. It’s pretty much the same with all the other resources I can find. They all tell you to go around the house with a bag labeled “trash,” a bag labeled “donate” and a bag labeled “put away.” That’s easy, but then they never tell you what to do with the stuff in the “put away” bag. Heeeeelllllp! Please.

  • http://www.ceceliadowdy.blogspot.com Cecelia Dowdy

    Hunger Games is definitely a page-turning novel. I read all 3 books in the series in less than a week.

  • http://www.clublacostatravel.co.uk/ Club La Costa

    Thanks for sharing such useful tips with us. I admire the valuable information you offer in your post.

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