Books, Goals

Happier, #21in2021 and Book Debates

I was listening to the podcast Happier yesterday (with Gretchen Rubin), which is a podcast I would say I listen to fairly often but not religiously. I have been enjoying it quite a bit lately, however, and listened in after my shower yesterday (one of my favorite podcast listening times).

Happier With Gretchen Rubin

I think I mentioned once before that her #21for2021 movement for this year focuses on READING for at least 21 minutes per day, everyday, in 2021. I adopted that as one of my 21 for 2021 list items. (Here’s her post about it- I highly encourage anyone that likes to read but wishes they did it more often to JOIN IN!!! 21 minutes flies by, and it’s just enough that you can really make progress if you do it every day. She did the math- 21 minutes per day= 168 hours of reading in the whole year! Plus, once you start, you’re more likely to read even more…..I’ve definitely been exceeding 21 minutes most days! And loving it.)

Anyway, on the podcast she and her co-host/sister were discussing the reading challenge and they brought up a few book debate questions. Such a fun topic! Here are my answers:

1- Do you read multiple books at once?

Kind of. I had been doing this more toward the end of 2020, but started to feel like it was slowing me down. Like, I felt that I wasn’t progressing on EITHER book (due to all the switching back and forth), which I found discouraging. So far in 2021, I have been just reading one at a time and I’m enjoying the feeling of actually getting through the books more quickly. I do like the idea of reading, say, a non-fiction in the morning and fiction later in the day. But I don’t really have a lot of time to read in the mornings (due to my journaling/ blogging habits!). If I did have more free time in the a.m. though, that would be my preference.

2- Do you use bookmarks?

I JUST started using them!! I have been a long time “dog-earer”. But for some reason, I grabbed one of the kids’ bookmarks recently and have been using it- and I love it! There is something really lovely to me about sliding a nice, sturdy bookmark in between the pages of the book as I close it. I actually think that I might want to start a bookmark collection!! This would be a perfect little thing to pick up when we travel, and would be easy to store. I think I would get a lot of joy out of rotating through cool bookmarks with images of places we’ve visited, or even just neat quotes or something on them. 🙂

Current bookmark. Cute, but I could use an upgrade!

3- Do you mark up books? (i.e. Notes, highlight, etc.)

Well, in college I was the QUEEN of highlighting. Seriously, I think my books had more passages highlighted than not highlighted. lol. But nowadays, I would say no. I don’t know, even if I own the book I just feel funny about writing in the pretty, clean pages. When I read non-fiction I do like to keep a notebook nearby and make notes though. I also kind of like the idea, now that I’m reading more fiction again, of maybe looking up “book club” questions for a specific book (even if I’m not reading it for a book club) and jotting down notes/thinking about/answering the questions by myself. Just sounds kind of fun to me! Nerd alert.

4- Do you put down a book if you don’t like it?

RARELY. I can’t actually think of a time that I have done this. I guess I usually feel that I need to give it a chance. Or that maybe the best part is right around the corner! I’m not strictly opposed to it, though. Under the right circumstances, I’m sure I would.

5- Do you read books on your phone? Kindle? Or always paper?

I really, really, really prefer paper books. I tried this fall to get into keeping a book going on my phone, with the idea that I could then read anytime, anywhere. (Not necessarily as my primary book, but like a secondary option, so I could read instead of scrolling social media). I just found I really did not like reading on my phone. We do have a Kindle fire, but I haven’t tried reading on it lately. I am bothered some by the screen light- I look at a computer/ my phone so much as is, that I don’t really want to look at it when I’m reading, too. But I know real e-readers have that paper/ no back light setting- so that might work for me.

Current read. POLAR OPPOSITE from the last book I read (We Were the Lucky Ones). But I’m really enjoying it! Also, the author is Irish and the book takes place in Ireland. She makes many references to places I’ve heard of, like Castlebar (which is near where my sister lives). So that is kind of fun too!

What about you? What are your answers to the above debate questions?

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for an evening walk during Asher’s swim practice. I was in a bit of a flustered/ crabby mood for various reasons, and the cold air felt refreshing. The sky was beautiful too.

7 thoughts on “Happier, #21in2021 and Book Debates”

  1. I listen to Happier every week! I just love the podcast and their helpful tips, and the dynamic between Liz and Gretchen. I love the challenge they came up with this year as it seems doable and helps people find time to read! I read a ton, as you know, and more than ever right now as I read books on my kindle while nursing, especially at night. I love physical books but am taking a break from them and only reading ebooks for the most part as it’s tough to hold a book when you are always holding a baby! I prefer reading on my kindle paper white but tend to do all my reading on my phone right now due to convenience. I always have my phone by me so it’s easy to read when holding or nursing Will! When I do read a physical book, I always use a bookmark! That was the favor for our wedding actually. We had a book themed wedding which was perfect since we are both big readers although I read waaaaay more than my husband!

    I loved Normal People, too!! I’ve heard the show on Hulu is good, too. I didn’t care for her other novel, conversations with friends, though.


  2. Hey Kae,

    I was listening the The Happier Podcast as well the other day.
    Reading multiple books – Sometimes. I usually try to finish one before I start another one. Mostly because I usually have to backtrack to figure out what is going on when I get back to one that I started.
    Bookmarks – If I have one close I use it. Usually just the book jacket. Although I love your idea about getting a bookmark from places you travel to.
    Marking up books – I like using the Kindle app or Kindle device (I think I use 3 different ones but at least they sync to the latest read page). And I take lots of notes and highlights in mostly non-fiction books. I like that you can get the highlights from Amazon and use them in other ways (like prompts for blogs ;))
    Putting down a book you don’t like – I should do that more often. But I usually just power through.
    Reading on phone, kindle, paper – Prefer electronic. For highlighting purposes and being able to have the notes available.

    Although currently reading a hardcover fiction book. The Bourne Evolution. I do like thriller books that would make great movies.

    Take care!


    1. Eric, you bring up an excellent point!! I actually do really, really love the ability to highlight and make notes in the Kindle app. I also like the feature where you can see “popular sections highlighted by others”. It’s interesting to see what other people find note worthy. That is one definite perk. Maybe I’ll have to try the Kindle fire we have again. Like I said, I do really like to take notes while I read (mostly non fiction) but it definitely slows me down. Using the app for the purpose might be a nice compromise. Thanks for reminding me about the notes feature!


  3. OK, these comments are going to make me seem like I have ADHD (I swear I don’t, nothing wrong if you do…)
    Happier Podcast – Started listening but lost interest at first ad. I’d like to listen to Dax Shepard’s podcast, Armchair Expert, but it’s an HOUR and a HALF long.
    1. Multiple – yes! Usually 2 print and one Audible.
    2. Bookmarks – usually Walgreens receipts.
    3. Mark up – only textbooks for cookbooks (“OK meal” “That was bad, don’t make again”)
    4. Put down – all the time. I’ve put down Normal People twice 🙂 but did watch the Hulu show. X rated. 🙂
    5. Read on phone – not books, no.


    1. I laughed at your Walgreens receipt comment…I do that too. Except mine is usually the holds receipt from the library. 🙂 I am not surprised to hear that about the Hulu show. Even some parts of the book are definitely a bit, shall we say, “racy” for me! lol!! When I first started it, I thought, “Oh no. Weird/ lacking punctuation!! This is going to be a deal breaker for me.” I still find myself reading it in my head in an odd, 20-something-like conversational voice. Haha! I’m getting used to it though almost half way in and it’s not bothering me as much anymore.


  4. i read one book at the time as I enjoy thinking about it when I’m not reading.
    please watch the series normal people after you read it, I read it after the show and I like the show much more!!!
    I don’t like to abandon books but I’ve done few times last year as I couldn’t get into it after 200 pages, it’s time to let it go.


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