Best Laid Plans

Ep #206: Summer Reading: Reading Habits, TBR Lists, Paper vs Digital, and Favorites of 2024 (so far!)

July 8, 2024

In today’s episode, I talk all about one of my favorite hobbies — reading! I discuss my own reading journey over the years and then veer over to the practical side: reading routines, to-be-read list management, library holds, physical vs digital, abandoning books, and more! Finally, I share my top 10 books (so far) in 2024!

my 2024 tracking solution

Podcast episode mentioned on evening routine: here!

List of favorites in 2024 SO FAR:


Building a Second Brain by Tiago Forte

Slow Productivity by Cal Newport

Peak Mind by Amishi Jha

Decluttering at the Speed of Life by Dana K. White

Uptime by Laura Mae Martin


Wellness by Nathan Hill

Happiness Falls by Angie Kim

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

Come and Get It by Kiley Reid

Still Life by Louise Penny

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  • Reply Lisa's Yarns July 8, 2024 at 10:17 am

    Well this was a delightful read during my run this morning! Reading is my #1 hobby and something I am so passionate about. I differ from you as I prefer kindle books. There are a couple of reasons for that. Part is for comfort/convenience. I like that I can shift from reading on my kindle to reading on the kindle ap on my phone. And my kindle is nice and light whereas some physical books are quite heavy and I often have flares in my hand joints. I also find it easier to manage ebook holds because you can constantly defer the hold until you are ready. With physical holds, I had to remember to pause/unpause holds which required more active management. I use my husband and 6yo’s library cards so I have 45 holds on Libby! The waits for ebooks are definitely longer but I have plenty of other books to read while I wait for the buzzy books to come in.

    I track my reading on goodreads and then also have a spreadsheet where I can track more granular data. I tried tracking in a physical tracker but I read so many books/year that it felt like a very onerous task for me.

    I pretty much only buy books for my kids. I will only buy a book for myself if I can’t get a book club book in time but once I finish it, I will typically put it in the little free library by our house. I have a shelf of all time favorites, but besides that I do not really have many books in our house. But we have a ridiculous # of kid books but that feels like a great investment since we read each book countless times. I will be happy to get rid of some of our books, though, when the boys outgrow them.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger July 8, 2024 at 1:16 pm

      Yes to kids’ books being a better investment bc they get re-read so often!!! I don’t know why I don’t like the kindle that much but since library still has print – I’m just going with it. If the library ever stopped carrying print books (the horror!) that might force me to reconsider my stance 🙂

  • Reply Mary July 8, 2024 at 10:27 am

    Do you have an episode where you share your morning routine? do you read before you exercise? What time are you getting up to get exercise and reading in the morning?

  • Reply jennystancampiano July 8, 2024 at 5:08 pm

    O.M.G. I was listening to this episode while driving home from work- imagine my surprise at hearing MY NAME! It absolutely made my day to get a shoutout like that! And- what a fun episode. It’s so fun hearing about people’s reading routines. You and I are very alike on one important point- I also love paper books. It’s not just that I “prefer” them slightly- I actually get a lot of pleasure from holding a physical book and turning the pages. I’ll hold off getting a kindle as long as I can- maybe when I’m 95 and holding a big book is too hard on my arthritic hands, ha.

  • Reply lvl1992 July 8, 2024 at 5:58 pm

    My favs so far this year are “You Are Here” by David Nicholls and “Forgotten on Sunday” by Valerie Perrin. Highly recommend!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger July 8, 2024 at 7:14 pm

      I really want to try a Perrin! I will add to list!!

    • Reply Coree July 9, 2024 at 4:13 am

      You are here was gorgeous! I finished it and brought it for my mom and am trying to get her to start it.

  • Reply Tamara July 8, 2024 at 7:12 pm

    I just read Happiness Falls and Still Life! I actually finished Still Life the day this podcast aired.
    It’s so fun sharing the same reads!

  • Reply Amanda July 9, 2024 at 7:33 am

    I read Wellness at your suggestion and really liked it. Just finally started listening to Deep Questions after hearing you talk about it and am enjoying it too, so thinking about reading Slow Productivity, I just don’t know how applicable it really can be to a patient-seeing physician job? I’m almost through The Anxious Generation and will be excited to hear your thoughts on it once you read it, if you decide to share!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger July 9, 2024 at 10:15 am

      I do think it’s less applicable than some of his other books if you work purely in clinical realm. That said . . . it’s not too long and there are still some interesting stories/ideas contained there. If you haven’t read his other books I highly recommend Digital Minimalism and Deep Work. A World Without Email was also VERY applicable to my GME role.

  • Reply Sophie July 9, 2024 at 4:24 pm

    Loved this episode! Im an elder millennial and I do love my kindle (but NOT the kindle app on my phone). For me, reading from a device whose sole purpose is for reading, with a non-shiny screen, is enough for my brain to feel cosy and relaxed. Plus I read a lot of indie authors and it’s harder to get them via the library. I do still love paper though and for my very favourite books I will then buy a paper copy for my bookshelf.

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