After all my talk last month about statistics and finding new ways to track my reading, I thought it would be interesting to see how my reading has been impacted since I started using Bookly around the middle of July.
If you read my previous post about using Bookly for a week, you'll know that it worked pretty well and that I enjoyed using it to motivate myself to read more. And because I know that it takes about three weeks to build a habit, I wanted to do a follow-up post about how things have been in the time since I first started using the app.
So, how has this app made a difference in my life amidst some life changes and stressful times?
At the beginning of my time using Bookly, I was really dedicated to keeping my reading streak and using the app on a daily basis. I liked looking at my numbers after each reading session and it was helping me read more throughout the week. I found myself picking up my book more even though I was struggling through a reading slump. And on days when I didn't feel like reading a lot, I found it easier to read even just a couple of pages to keep my streak.
I did end up using the "Quotes" feature a couple of times to record the ones I liked so I could transfer them to my Notes app later. I'll likely continue using this feature for the sake of ease and immediacy, but I still don't think I'll be using the "Thoughts" or "Words" features that much. I still can't really decide if I'll continue using the "Quotes" feature because I can just as easily pause the reading session to write the quote down in my Notes app, but for the sake of convenience right now, it's working out.
At the end of July, my reading went a bit downhill and my use of Bookly went downhill too. The lease on my old apartment was coming to an end and my roommates and I had to find new places. Once we did, the packing process really made it hard to keep up with reading. I stopped reading during the last two days of the month and that broke my reading streak. It was sad, but unfortunately, it was just too much for me to pack up and load an entire apartment's worth of stuff and keep up with my reading.
The unpacking process also too quite a bit of time, and honestly, I spent most of that time streaming Law & Order: SVU on my phone as I walked around the apartment and started putting my stuff away. Even though I've wanted to read, bringing myself to pick up a book has been really hard.
The audiobook I started also came with its challenges. I didn't realize that Bookly wasn't able to track pages while a book was listed as an audiobook. It took some online research and talking with a friend to figure out that I shouldn't click the "Audiobook" option while categorizing the book so that I would still be able to put in a page count. It sounds confusing, but I have a screenshot below of what I mean.
Once I figured out that I needed to redo my audiobooks, I was able to track my reading and listening speed. Even though Audible gives me a vague idea of how quickly I listen to audiobooks, it's not an exact representation. The reading speeds help, but that would require me doing math on my own to figure out how quickly I listen to my books. Or I could just let Bookly do the work for me. Something I noticed was that I kept upping the speed of the audiobook to better match my actual reading speed. Honestly, I was also trying to get through the book faster because I'm not really enjoying it.
One of the things I noticed most was that reading was on my mind a lot more. With the notification set on my phone for 2 P.M. every day, there was a little alert telling me that it was time to read. Even on days when I wasn't reading, I was thinking about it and that made me conscious of the time I spent away from my books. The good thing is that I wasn't using it to guilt myself. It was a reminder, but I was still able to give myself grace for not picking up my book or audiobook.
Do I still think that you should use the free version to see if you like it? Absolutely. The money is only worth it if you're going to keep using the app and will be adding more books and collections instead of deleting the old ones.
Although the initial fee was a bit steep and I definitely rushed into spending that money, I think it's worth it. I can see myself using this app for the foreseeable future because I like what it offers me and I think it'll be a lot of fun when I'm not in the middle of a reading slump.