As the famous song, written in 1944 by Frank Loesser, says – Baby it’s Cold Outside! All we want to do is stay inside, curl up by a fire and read a book from our Winter Reading List. Well, we also want a hot cup of chocolate or tea, and a cookie or two.
During the spring, summer and fall, my days are usually packed. From spring cleaning, working the garden, harvesting the produce and standing in a steamy kitchen all day trying to can, dehydrate, freeze and otherwise preserve that harvest, I don’t have a lot of extra time to read.
So, all year long, if I see a book I really want to dig into, I add it to my Winter Reading List. This way, I don’t forget about it, and have plenty of time to get it.
The Winter Reading List
A list is a list is a list. Everyone has their own way of itemizing the supplies they need, the groceries to shop for or tasks they need to do – or remember to do. They can be written on a regular piece of paper, a fun notepad designed for lists, on an index card or in a spiral notebook.
But for my Winter Reading List, I want it a bit more organized. I want to know the genre, the title, author and a general idea of what it is about. And then I need to figure out the priority in which it needs to be read.
The Cost of Books
This is a category I take almost as serious about reading. Books can be expensive, and I do have a limit to what I can spend on them. How much I spend will also determine just how many of the books I can afford to get. If it’s up to me, I want every last one of them!
In order to ‘have them all’ – or at least a large majority of the books on my Winter Reading List, I have had to find ways to cut the costs. Here are some of the great ways I have found:
I could spend all day in a book store, just browsing. On the rare occasion I have at least an hour to spend, I head first to the sales aisle.
Many great books have been marked down to at least 35%, and many to 50%. In the case of Barnes and Noble, they also have a membership you can join that will take an additional 10% off.
The downside to the membership is it costs $25 a year. If you do not spend at least that amount, then joining isn’t worth it. But if you spend that or more, you may want to consider it. Especially if the book you want for your Winter Reading List is full price.
In many cases, Amazon marks their book prices a little lower than cover price. However, when you order, you still have to pay the taxes, and unless you have Prime, there are shipping costs as well. If you do shop on Amazon, my suggestion is to watch the book for a while, and see if it either goes on sale, or Amazon offers a bonus of free shipping,
If you can live without the hard or paperback version, many of the books on your Winter Reading list will have either a Kindle (Amazon) or a Nook (Barnes & Noble) addition. Apple also has an eBook app.
These are usually priced much lower. You don’t have to have a Kindle or a Nook Reader either. There is an app available for iPads and other electronic devices for most eBook providers.
Speaking of eBooks – keep an eye on the titles you are interested in. I have found many books on my Winter Reading List that were available as eBooks and free, or the very low price of $.99. This is one of the best ways I have found to test out a new fiction series I enjoy reading.
Don’t forget to check out your favorite bloggers. Many of them have eBooks available that fit within the parameters of their focus. You can find great books on herbs, gardening, livestock, homemaking and many more. Just visit, shop, and download!
In Shreveport, there is a used bookstore called The Thrifty Peanut. Both the Country Boy and I can load up on books we want to read for less than $20.00. If we take books we no longer want in, we can ‘trade’ them and save even more. Each used bookstore has its own policies, so check with them before you shop.
You can find a great selection of books in other thrift shops such as Goodwill, Salvation Army and Church-supported stores. Not only do you get a great deal on books, but you are also helping a worthy cause!
Your Local Library
Many libraries now have an app where you can borrow books without having to leave your home. You do need a library card, so make sure you have yours available. The app I use is Libby / Overdrive.
The only drawback to using the library app is that they often do not have the books I want to read, or they only have one or two in a series. Still, it is a great way to read Book 1 or 2 in a series to see if you like it enough to invest in it.
Audio books are another great way to work through the pile of books on your Winter Reading List. When you are working in the yard, driving, or just sitting in a waiting room, these are a perfect way to enjoy your favorite books. Amazon and Barnes & Noble online offer some books on Audio, and book stores often have a selection. I have even found a few good ones at Cracker Barrel!
I can’t tell you how many of my books came from Garage Sales and Flea Markets. These are often the best cost-saving place to find great things to read. In many cases, you can find books you can’t find anywhere else.
A double bonus – once you have read the book, you can use them as trade material at your local used bookstore!
Book Suggestions for your own Winter Reading List
There are so many books, in so many genres, that it is difficult for me to list them all – or to write an excerpt on them. However, most have links you can click to find out more about them.
I did poll my readers, and I found several books that I am adding to my own Winter Reading List! See if any of these books appeal to you!
And don’t forget – if you have someone who loves to read on your To Buy For Christmas list this year, any of these books will be awesome gifts!
Louisiana Longshot – Book 1 in the Miss Fortune Series – by: Jana DeLeon (this is my #1 recommendation – it is absolutely hilarious!)
The Education of Little Tree – by: Forest Carter (recommended by Carolyn F.)
Full Disclosure – by: Dee Henderson (recommended by one of my readers)
The Song of Sadie Sparrow – by: Kitty Foth-Regner (recommended by Kathi @ Oak Hill Homestead)
The Hobbit – by: J.R.R. Tolkien – this is a Trilogy and all three were recommended – (recommended by Sheila H. & Tammy R.)
The Lord of the Rings – by: J.R.R. Tolkien – also a Trilogy highly recommended (by several)
Seeking Refuge – by: Lenora Worth
Henry & the Great Society – by: H. L. Roush – (recommended by Tammi R.)
The Shepherd of the Hills – by: Harold Bell Wright (recommended by Tammi R.)
The Steadfast Series – D.I. Telbat (recommended by Sheryl L.)
Harry Potter (Series) – by: J.K. Rowling (recommended by Kathleen S.)
The Book Thief – by: Markus Zusak (recommended by Kathleen S.)
The Red Tent – by: Anita Diamant (recommended by Heather R.)
Caroline – by: Sarah Miller (recommended by Heather R.)
Drop City – by: T.C. Boyle (recommended by Heather R.)
The Sookie Stackhouse series by: Charlaine Harris (recommended by Heather R.)
Little Women – by: Louisa May Alcott (recommended by Heather R.)
The Long Winter by: Laura Ingalls Wilder (recommended by Heather R.)
The Outlander Series – by: Diana Gabaldan (recommended by Traci B.)
Healing Her Heart: A Small Town Christian Romance – by: Laura Scott (recommended by a reader)
Too Close to Home – by: Lynette Eason (recommended by a reader)
The Shell Seekers – by: Rosamunde Pilcher (recommended by Polly P.)
Freydis: An Epic Nordic Novel – by: Gunhild Haugnes (Recommended by Jennifer W.)
On My Own: The Art of Being a Woman Alone – by: Florence Salk (recommended by Annie @ 15 Acre Homestead
These Is My Words – by: Nancy Turner (recommended by Annie @ 15 Acre Homestead
The Foxfire Books – a multi-set book collection (recommended by Tammi R.)
Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters First 100 Years – by: Sarah L. Delany & A. Elizabeth Delany (recommended by Annie @ 15 Acre Homestead)
The Cure for a Common Life – by: Max Lucado
To the Fullest – by: Lorraine Bracco (recommended by Annie @ 15 Acre Homestead)
A Thousand Mornings (Poetry) – by Mary Oliver (recommended by Kathleen S.)
The Winds of Skilak – by: Bonnie Rose Ward (recommended by Arleene M. & Tammi R.)
Through a Dog’s Eyes – by: Jennifer Arnold (recommended by Lea)
So That Others May Live – by: Carolyn Heberd (recommended by Lea)
Get Your Hopes Up! – by: Joyce Meyer (recommended by Lea)
Radical Homemakers – by: Shannon Hayes
Weaving Patterned Bands – by: Susan J. Foulkes
Simple Crocheting – by: Erika Knight
The Farm Wife: Living a Simple Life on the Farm – by Julie A. Murphree
The Search for a Simple Life – by Julie A. Murphree
The books in this category are eBooks created by some wonderful bloggers. Most fit in the Homesteading and Gardening categories, but every one of them are excellent and a perfect fit for your digital Library! (Confession – some of these eBooks are recommend by me and written by me!)
A Simple Guide to Plants for a Backyard Food Forest – by: Annie Lewellyn / 15 Acre Homestead
Herbs 101: Herb Gardening and Preserving for the Beginner – by: Annie Lewellyn / 15 Acre Homestead
Self-Reliance: A Beginners Guide – by: Annie Lewellyn @ 15 Acre Homestead
Grow Vegetables & Herbs in a Shady Garden – by: Kathi Rogers
Make Your Own Vinegar (for pennies!) – by: Kathi @ Oak Hill Homestead (Note: You can get this one for free just for signing up for her newsletter!)
Raising Chickens for a Natural, Self-Sufficient Lifestyle – by: Shawna @ Homegrown Self-Reliance
Raising Turkeys for a Natural, Self-Sufficient Lifestyle – by: Shawna @ Homegrown Self-Reliance (Note: Visit Shawna’s SHOP for more great eBooks!)
How to Make Money at the Farmers Market – by: Lisa @ The Self Sufficient Homeacre
Secrets to a Weed & Pest Free Homestead – by: Lisa @ The Self Sufficient Homeacre (Note: You can get this eBook free by signing up for Lisa’s newsletter!)
Herbal Salves, Oils, Butters, & Balms: Use Herbs & Essential Oils to Create Over 22 Medicinal, Beauty, & Health Recipes – by: Heidi Villagas @ Healing Harvest Homestead
The Ultimate Homesteading Book – by: Chelsea Wells-Barrett
Your Lifestyle Plan – by: Julie Murphree
The Ultimate Manual for the Art of Homemaking – by: Julie A. Murphree
Have a Merry, Simple Christmas – by: Julie A. Murphree
The Enchantment of Afternoon Tea – by: Julie A. Murphree
Is Your Winter Reading List Overflowing Yet?
I don’t know about you, but I am already searching for every book on this list that I don’t already have. And quite a few will be wrapped up under the tree for others I know will love them!
With a list like this, It looks as if though all of our Winter Reading Lists will keep us busy for the entire snowy, cold, wet, season!
Now – there is only one problem. Are we going to finish our chores before we read? Or are we just going to either delegate them or leave them until it is time to do spring cleaning????