10 Reasons to Love Audiobooks

Ten on Tuesdays

As part of my this year’s Book Reading Challenge, I decided to go for the Audiobook Challenge 2016.  Audiobooks, as you know is a digitally recorded version of the printed paper book being read out aloud by a narrator. I dabbled into this format of book ‘reading’ earlier this year and I quite liked the experience.

Here are ten reasons to love audiobooks and why  you should listen to audiobooks…Audiobooks

  1. Listening while engaged in another activity : Audiobooks can be listened to while folding laundry, cleaning, cooking, gardening, traveling or just plain lounging… I am sure you can think of even more occasions and places when audiobooks can be enjoyed. Ok, it didn’t work for me while eating, because I missed a few words amidst the crunch of the salad.
  2. More time to ‘read’ : A crowded place may be a bit distractive to read a paper-book or eBook, but it is easier to listen to an audiobook even in a noisy place. Also you can listen to an audiobook when there’s no light or it’s lights out time. And you can listen to an audiobook when you don’t want to strain your eyes. So, you have more time for ‘reading books’.
  3. Convenience : Audiobooks are really convenient. You can have them on your phone, iPod, computer/laptop or tablet. Just like eBooks, the audio version is easy to  sync on multiple devices.
  4. Better listening skills : “I remind myself every morning : Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I am going to learn, I must do it by listening. – Larry King” Audiobooks help in learning to listen and concentrate on verbal messages as you hear every little detail in audiobook. Listening to audiobooks makes you a better listener!
  5. Accents  and pronunciation : Listening to audiobooks makes you familiar with accents and pronunciation of words. I liked comparing the American  way of saying words to that of the British. Offhand I remember pondering over these words… civilization, harassment, example, can’t, mobile etc.
  6. Storytelling : You can listen to sample of an audiobook before buying and that introduced me to the style of narrator. I realized that a narrator actually sets the tone of the book and makes the story come to life. This made me aware of the art of storytelling. As listeners, you  hear the variations in the tone, different voices for different characters and actually think of the characters speaking to you. And all this makes the experience more vivid for the listener. Also, a voice communicates more than reading the words in the book and the best example of that is sarcasm and humor!
  7. Great way to fall asleep : I listen to audiobooks before going to bed and I found that it help me fall asleep better. Yeah, no kidding!
  8. Speed of ‘Reading” :  It doesn’t take as long to listen to a book as it would to read it. Yes, you listen to a book much faster than reading one. Additionally the feature to increase the speed at which the narration is read, allows you to cut down the reading time of a 2 hour book to 1 hour!
  9. Better medium to read certain genres/ books : Books with concepts or autobiographies or books which have great content but hard to read, make for good listening. I listened to Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres which has life lessons narrated by Ellen herself. I think, I found the book more interesting while listening to it because I am sure that some of the jokes shared in the book would not have translated well on paper.
  10. Greener option : Audio books help you to go green. Yes, you save trees when you choose audiobooks.

I am still a big fan of paper books though the scales are tilting towards eBooks now, but I find that audiobooks are a great addition to my reading life!

Have you ever tried audiobooks? What’s your take on this?

Linking this to…

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Books #CherishedBlogfest #CBF16

I don’t exactly know when my love affair with books and reading began. Since childhood, I have been hooked to the magical worlds the books created in my head.

During the earlier growing up years, we never bought books (fiction books, I mean) and borrowing them from libraries was the only option. May be buying books was not in vogue then or they were simply unaffordable. And did I devour the books from the libraries at the school, college and club house in our colony?

Master of the GameI remember, the first book that I bought from a book stall at Kota railway station. That was the year 1988. I was leaving for a trip to Mumbai with family and friends and instead of buying the regular comic books, I opted for a novel. It was Sidney Sheldon’s Master of the Game. I still have this book with me.

And since then, there’s no looking back. I have more than 500 books in my library cupboard and I heart them to bits. This 6 feet tall cupboard with 12 shelves is packed with books. There is absolutely no space to add more books and I am seriously looking for a new cupboard to find a new home for my new companions. 

Library CupboardDSC_0733

That’s the Then and Now (2013 and 2016) state of my Library Cupboard

My relationship with books has undergone a lot of changes over the years. When e-books made their entry in our book world, I stuck to my old love, the physical books. Yes, I believed that there is something beautiful about owning a physical book, holding it in your hands, feeling the paper in between your fingers while turning the pages…

But then, I had to read and review a book of a fellow blogger friend and e-book version of it was sent to me. Grudgingly, I downloaded the Kindle app on my phone and read Siren Spells Danger. I simply loved the experience and I got hooked to the e-reader. Later, I won Kindle in a contest and my joy knew no bounds. I have more than 150 books in my Kindle and buying e-books on Amazon is my favourite pass time.

And recently, I came across Audible, an Amazon company which is producer and retailer of Ellen DeGeneres Seriously...I'm Kiddingaudio books. I am currently listening to Ellen DeGeneres in her book Seriously…I’m Kidding and I am loving it!

Earlier, I would read one book at a time. But today, I read 5-6 books at different points of time in a day. I read physical books and Kindle books anytime, audio book when I am doing my evening walk, Kindle app on my phone when I am on the go and reading in bed at night.

A few days ago, I had a free day in between the workshops. I read from 7 in the morning till late evening with venturing out of my room at the hotel only for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Aah! What a blissful day it was. Doing nothing and just reading and reading… I wish, I have more such days!!

I am fiercely possessive about my books and lend only when I have drilled sufficiently my T&Cs of lending books into the borrower’s head. They are my prized possessions, my cherished objects.

Do you read as many books as you’d like to? What is your Cherished Object?

Are you participating in the #CherishedBlogfest?

cherished-badge16

Reading Books is Similar to Human Relationships

Recently, I was reading a book. Raakshas by Piyush Jha to be precise. It’s a thriller and is a story of India’s No. 1 serial killer. It’s about how and what made him a cold blooded, savage murderer and a serial killer at that. The story started with a bang and I was hooked to it from the word go. I read more than half of this book at one go and then I suddenly closed it.

No, I was neither bored nor tired. I had all the time in the world to read the book and yet I stopped reading it. The thing was that the book was taking me to new heights of reading pleasure and I didn’t want it to end. I wanted to prolong this excitement and happiness. 

And when I did pick it up again after a lot of delaying tactics and finished reading it, I felt as if I was having a heartbreak. I was sad that the story could not go on and on and that it had come to an end. It was like I was mourning the end of good book. Has this ever happened to you?

Have you realized that reading a book is like entering into a relationship with a book. And it’s similar to the relationships we have with people around us.

Here are the four different types of relationships I have had with books which are similar to human relationships.

You Had Me At ‘Hello’ : You see the cover of the book and you know that it will click with you. You read the blurb and the flirting begins and as you start reading the first few chapters, meet the characters, you are in midst of a whirlwind romance and with each turning page you fall in love deeply, in the most all-consuming way. I had this love at first sight with Zoya Factor by Anuja Chauhan, Master of the Game by Sidney Sheldon, Marley & Me by John Grogan….

And The Spark Fades : The story in the book starts with a bang. There’s excitement and thrill with turning of each page, each chapter. And when you are moving on to build a deeper connect with the story, something goes awry and it’s all downhill from there. The relationship changes from intense to bland and that magical spark just fizzles away. You feel so deflated and exhausted and a bit cheated too, for you invested your time in reading this book and it leaves you unfulfilled. I have a long list of books that fall in this category.

The Accidental Relationship : It was just a coincidence that you picked that book. It’s not the genre that you read or not an author you have read before and it is just by chance you find yourself leafing through this book. And the next thing you know is that you are enjoying reading it and can’t stop yourself from reading it at every available opportunity. I had this relationship with a non-fiction book which is not my favorite genre of books. I picked up F?@k Knows by Shailendra Singh on a whim and I simply loved reading it.

The Slow To Warm-Up : You have this book in your hand and you start reading it. It does not excite or enthrall you much, but you keep reading it. And that’s because you are not a quitter or the book came with high recommendations or you are just stuck with that book. And then suddenly you are sucked deep into it and how! The book becomes simply unputdownable and  it stays with you for a long time. This happened when I started reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling. I picked it up because everyone was reading it and felt that the wizards and kids were not my scene. But after the first few chapters, well… there was no looking back.

Like human relationships, the relationships with books are good as well as bad, but whatever it is, it’s a learning and growing experience as a reader! What say you?

With which books you have had these kind of relationships?

What Did I Do?

Ten on Tuesdays

It has struck again!

But did it ever go?

The thoughts, words, fingers are all in freeze mode.  The blank page continues to stare nonchalantly. I have lost the count of ideas and drafts that have been killed in my head and on the laptop screen. Hectic work schedule, Aaryan’s holidays and the desire to spend as much time as possible with him and then the mad rush of shopping and packing bags as he had to leave for his boarding school were some of the reasons I gave to myself for this so called writer’s block, till a few days ago.

But now that the work is happening at a relaxed pace and Aaryan is back at his school and KG being busy with his work, I have all the time in the world to catch up on blogging. But did that happen? Well, NO!! The more I tried, the more I failed to write.

So, what did I do these past few days, that is apart from fretting, fuming, pulling my hair and staring blankly at the blank screen… Well…

  1. Read almost all my old blog posts. I read all the personal posts and did a time travel and smiled and shed a tear or two on the memories that surfaced from the dark recesses of the mind. I read all the 55 Fiction and Drabbles and I have written 200 of them. I had once written a 55 fiction in 10 minutes, so I thought that I might be inspired to give a repeat performance but nothing of that sort happened. And reading all the old posts filled me with self doubt and wondered how have I written 1100+ posts till now! *SIGH*
  2. Read books. Yesterday was a good day as I read 3.5 books.  I finished reading Rogue23492688 Lawyer by John Grisham, started and finished reading Short Stories with a Twist by Destination Infinity, fellow blogger and friend.  And then spent the whole afternoon smiling and laughing out loud with Varun Agarwal as he shared ‘How I Braved Anu Aunty & Co-Founded a Million Dollar Company’.  Later in the evening, Kunal Nayyar regaled me with his stories in Yes, My Accent is Real. I am happy to say that I am on target of reading 150 books this year… so far! Touch wood!
  3. Washed. Yes, I washed every piece of clothing in sight, so much so that for three days our home looked like a Dhobhi Ghaat. There were clothes all around in various stages of drying. I know, I am clearly unstable and this OCD for washing and cleanliness is growing unabated. KG wanted to give me exasperated looks but chose to calmly say, “Go slow, Shilpa, you will tire yourself”.  Aah, nearly two decades of marriage (we completed of 19 years of marital bliss tolerance, last week!) brings all this wisdom, I guess.
  4. Slept! I usually sleep for 15-20 minutes in the afternoons, but last week, I surprised myself and slept for long hours. My body needed the rest, I reasoned with myself. And then I read somewhere that people who sleep for long hours are sad. Sad?! Me?! I didn’t believe that. But then that was based on research, so I pondered over it and realized that I was/am sad! Sad since Aaryan is not around and sad/anxious that I am struggling to write… 
  5. Took silly quizzes on Facebook and got to know that I am 60% Left brain inclined and 40% right brained or that my personality type is Quirky Free-Spirit! *Rolls Eyes*
  6. Listened to songs and watched TV. I don’t (almost never) watch TV alone. bbtBut I did it last week and I realized that watching The Impractical Jokers, F.R.I.E.N.D.S and The Big Bang Theory without Aaryan is no fun. I missed our laughter together. And somehow Food and Travel Shows don’t look so interesting without KG.
  7. Tried to make sense of the political scenario in the country. Politics does not interest me at all. I made an attempt to read about the JNU row, Jat agitation etc and just gave up. Does that make me anti-national?
  8. Playing Word Games and solving puzzles on phone. I am getting nearly addicted to Lexiquo, a word puzzle and another game Blocked In is keeping me busy too.
  9. Chatted with a few friends. If I don’t see some friends around Facebook, Whatsapp for a while, I get these mild anxiety attacks. I don’t know what this is with me. I have to get in touch with them and check if all’s ok with them.
  10. Just lazed around and did nothing for long hours. And I quite liked doing that!!

This is what I did last week while struggling with writer’s block. Actually, there is no such thing as writer’s block. More about it, some other time. What did you do last week?

My Book Reading Challenges for 2016

If I have to pick up one word that I want to dominate my life this year, it would be BOOKS. I want to read all the good books I can lay my hands on. I can see that I am getting addicted to the written words more with each passing year. And off late this addiction has taken me by a storm. So, I am planning to read new authors, favorite authors, different genres (biographies, classical literature, self-help, non-fiction), re-read some books, big fat books, ebooks, audio books; read for fun and entertainment, read to explore and learn, read to soak in the emotions and to be at peace, read and read much more.

To chart the progress of my reading this year, I am taking 6 reading challenges.

1. Goodreads 2016 Reading Challenge

I plan to read 150 books this year. I know, it’s a bit steep, but I am all for it.

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Shilpa has
read 2 books toward her goal of 150 books.
hide

2. HT Brunch Book Challenge

It’s a simple one. All one has to do is read at least 24 books before the end of the year and at least three of those 24 books must be Indian

3. Pop Sugar : Now this one is pretty interesting and creative. I had taken it up last year too and had ticked off most of the books listed in the challenge. This year, I want to focus on it and check all the books that would fit for each book prompt.

Pop Sugar 2016 Reading Challenge

4. New Authors Challenge : I found this reading challenge at my April AtoZ Challenge Co-wHooligan, LuAnn’s blog.  Literary Escapism is hosting this challenge! The premise of this challenge is to read books by authors you’ve not read before. I am planning to read 20 New Authors this year.

New Authors 2016

5.  2016 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge : This is hosted by the lovely and inspiring Corinne. This challenge has 4 levels :

Getting My Heart Rate Up: read 1–5 more books (or 250–1,499 more pages)
Out of Breath: read 6–10 more books (or 1,500–2,749 more pages)
Breaking a Sweat: read 11–15 more books (or 2,750–3,999 more pages)
I’m on Fire!: read 16+ more books (or 4,000+ more pages)

And no marks for guessing that I’ll be on Fire for this one!

Corinne Rodrigues

 

6. Audiobook Challenge 2016 : I have read just one audio book so far. I want to explore more of them, so signing up for this one too.

2016-Audiobook-Challenge

This challenge has various levels…

  1. Newbie (I’ll give it a try) 1-5
  2. Weekend Warrior (I’m getting the hang of this) 5-10
  3. Stenographer (can listen while multi-tasking) 10-15
  4. Socially Awkward (Don’t talk to me) 15-20
  5. Binge Listener (Why read when someone can do it for you) 20-30
  6. My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) 30+
  7. Marathoner (Look Ma No Hands) 50+

  And I’ll give it a try so 5 audiobooks it will be for me this year!

I am now stepping away from my laptop and curling in my bed with a cozy blanket and a brand new book. 

Are you taking up any book reading challenge this year? How many books are you planning to read?

My Preferences… Book-wise

After writing and posting every day (well almost), last month, I decided to take it a bit easy in May. Only 2 posts in 10 days is a testimony of the fact that I took it a bit too easy. Today, when I was keen to write something, a cycle of a blank page followed by keying in of a few sentences which were erased soon by the backspace key followed by a blank page stared back at me. It seems that the grey cells have gone for an extended vacation. For such dull and uninspiring days, Memes work best for me. I came across this fun and interesting Book Preference Meme, here. So, here I go with my preferences… book-wise!

  • Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror?

I read all these genres. But if I were to pick one from these three, then it would be Horror.

  • Hardback or Trade paperback or Mass market paperback?

Trade paperback are easy to carry and read. Though Hardbacks look great in my library cupboard.

  • Amazon or Brick and Mortar?

Amazon without a doubt!

  • Barnes & Noble or Borders?

Barnes & Noble. Have bought books and CDs for Aaryan from this giant. Borders has closed down now and they never had a store in India!

  • Bookmark or Dog-ear?

Always a bookmark. Hate Dog-ears!

  • Asimov’s Science Fiction or Fantasy & Science Fiction?

I haven’t read Asimov, so Fantasy and Science fiction it will be for me.

  • Alphabetize by author, Alphabetize by title, or Random?

Random

  • Keep, Throw away or Sell?

Keep. Will never be able to throw away a book. And never sold a book too.

  • Keep dust-jacket or Toss it?

Keep. They look great!

  • Read with dust-jacket or Remove it?

Remove it while reading!

  • Short story or Novel?

Both, depending on the mood and time.

  • Stop reading when tired or at Chapter breaks?

For a not so great book, I stop whenever the words stop registering. But with interesting books, I always stop reading when the chapter ends.

  • “It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time?”

It was a dark and stormy night… comes with a lot of interesting possibilities.

  • Buy or Borrow?

Buy, always! Since I don’t lend my books, so I don’t borrow either.

  • Buying choice: Book Reviews, Recommendation or Browse?

Usually book reviews from fellow blogger friends.

  • Collection (short stories by the same author) or Anthology (short stories by different authors)?

Collection, as you are familiar with the author’s writing style. In an Anthology, there could be some black sheep but then you get to read some amazing new authors/stories too.

  • Tidy ending or Cliffhanger?

It doesn’t matter as long as the book is well written.

  • Morning reading, Afternoon reading or Night-time reading?

Anytime is a good time to read books.

  • Standalone or Series?

I prefer standalone books. I don’t mind series though, but then I prefer to read the series in quick succession without much time gap interval.

  • Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?

Nobody? Now that’s a bit far-fetched!

  • Favorite genre series?

Harry Potter series. That reminds me that I must pick this series once again and read all at one go. I also liked Clifton Chronicles by Jeffery Archer, though I have read just 2 from this series.

  • Currently Reading?

The Wedding Trousseau and Other Short Stories By Ankita Sharma and Story of Tublu by Jahid Akhtar. Both the books are written by fellow bloggers.

What are some of your preferences book-wise?

Bedtime Rituals

Sleep is very important to a child’s well being, that’s what my mom believed in. I remember, it was mandatory for us, as kids to sleep in the afternoons after coming back home from school and likewise we had a fixed time to sleep at night too. She believed that when we have had a good rest, we were more alert and in a better mood (read less cranky and irritable for her to handle the three of us) and of course it was good for our overall physical and mental development as well. She learnt from experience that a sleep deprived child cries at everything and nothing makes her happy. The child is not able to cope with life around her when she is tired and this in turn makes her and even those around her miserable.

So, a good bed routine is important and crucial because no child will ever come and say, “I am tired and I want to sleep!”

When Aaryan came in our lives, fortunately my mom was with me. Her experience of bringing up three kids coupled with my acquired knowledge from baby books and internet, we teamed together to bring up the apple of our eyes!

When Aaryan was as young as 6 weeks old, we started with our bedtime rituals for him. By that time, I had some experience as a young mom and knew how to handle my child too.

Swaddling and Aaryan

Swaddled Aaryan with his Dad

When he was a toddler, a massage followed by a nice warm bath and feed would put him to sleep for long hours during the day. And in the evenings, after freshening him up and taking care of his food needs, we’d again put him to sleep. Aaryan was born in Mumbai. His Maharashtrian massage maid after giving him his daily bath would tie him up in a cloth so that movement of his limbs were restricted. She said that this process, which internet told me is called Swaddling, settled and soothed the child and helped him to sleep longer with fewer awakenings. This was a boon for us. We practised this till Aaryan was old and strong enough to wriggle out of it on his own and/or would not let us swaddle him at all.

As he grew older, we changed the sleeping schedule but the naps in the afternoon and a fixed sleeping time at night were a constant.

After coming from play school/school, he’d have his lunch and sleep for an hour and a half. A quiet and a dark room helped him to sleep faster. When he was very tired, he’d sleep immediately, if not, indulging him in a chat about his day at school for a few minutes and/or sharing a story would put him to sleep soon.

The evening bedtime routines were a bit elaborate though. It started with a bath /wash after the evening outdoor play followed by dinner and then half an hour of Cartoon Network.

By 8 pm, he would be sent to brush his teeth and change into night wear. He would then pick up a book which he’d want me to read to him. I would then read him stories from a large collection of books that I was buying since he was a toddler. Usually, he’d sleep before one story got over but there were days, which were many actually, when he’d say, ‘one more story’ and that could go on up to 4-6 stories! Sometimes, he’d tell me his version of stories which were very imaginative. I remember once he asked me “Why don’t you sing me a lullaby. Hitesh’s mom sings him one every night”. I was taken aback. I didn’t knew a single lullaby. But then internet came to my rescue once again. I practiced one the whole day and sang one for him later in the evening. My then 4 year old son, sweetly stopped me and asked me to read out a story. That was the first and probably the last lullaby that I ever sang to my child!

I have realized that setting bedtime rituals for a child is very important. It adds to the consistency and predictability in a child’s life which is so very crucial. And also because a good night sleep,  in fact is as important as nutrition.  It helps him to grow well and boost his memory, cognitive skills along with creativity and energy level. Also a well rested child is always a happy child!!

So, what bedtime rituals do you follow with your children?

This post is written for Indiblogger and Pampers

Why I Read

Books are a uniquely portable magic. ― Stephen King

I am sure there isn’t anyone who can refute King’s thought. Reading a book is  truly a magical experience. The books have the amazing ability to transport us in a different land, time, culture, evoking different feelings of sadness, joy, anger, anticipation – it just all depends on what we are reading.

To me, reading books is truly a rewarding and a unique experience. Here are some of the reasons as to why I read…

  • I like the entertainment value a book provides. Simply love the suspense of watching a good plot unfold. The adventure trips to places I may never get to go, the pleasure of meeting so many characters– good as well as bad and the many lives I get to live when reading, is simply amazing.
  • It helps to forget the troubles of the day. Like last night, I was stressed about something. It was not in my control and couldn’t do anything about it, other than worrying that is. I decided to pick up a book. I started reading it and within minutes, I was smiling as I turned pages one after the other. In fact, this morning, the first thought I had was, will Alafia get a man of her dreams!
  • Books are the goldmines to discover information. How else would I have known about trials and tribulations of a person with person with deteriorating kidney function or how the frauds are committed in the financial world, or the life of an army wife, or legal jargon or mythology or life in Afghanistan… Books are a fab way to benefit from the author’s research.
  • Books have helped me to learn and grow as a person. There are so many books that have inspired and encouraged me, shared a new perspective, helped to understand people and problems better.

I had aimed to read 50 books last year and ended up reading 71 books. This year, I plan to read 100 books. And I am planning to read diverse genres, old and new, classics and the ones spanning eras. I am aiming to re-read the books which I have read when I was in school and college. Books by Enid Blyton, Jane Austen, Emile Bronte, Charles Dickens, Harry Potter series,  are ranking high on my list. I am also keen to read the Diary of a Wimpy Kid which is a hit with kids now-a-days.

There are a lot of 2015 Reading Challenges doing the rounds on the internet. These 2 caught my interest.

2015 reading challenge

2015-reading-challenge 1

I am sure that I will be able to tick off most of the book types from these two lists easily, but some would be challenging. For instance, finding a book written by an author with your same initials, or reading a translated novel or a book your mom loves (My mom reads newspapers and magazines and solves Sudoku puzzles). But what’s life without challenges!

What are your reasons for reading and what are you reading currently?

Linking this to Write Tribe Pro Blogger Challenge

‘Smart’ Things I do with My Smartphone

cooltext468162920Ten ‘Smart’ Things I do with My Smartphone

Destination Infinity suggested that I write a post on things one can do with a Smartphone, other than making and receiving calls. So, here I am with the smart things I do with my Smartphone. Now, let me warn you that the definition of smartness may vary from person to person. So, my ‘smart’ may be your juvenile and vice versa, but we are not getting into that!SP

Usually, we use our Smartphones for making and receiving calls, messaging (SMS/WhatsApp/ChatOn/We Chat etc), emails, browsing the internet, listening to music, watching videos, calculating 2+2 (yes, I need it for that too), as an alarm clock etc. In this post I am not talking about these regular features but rather some smart things (smart as per my standards!) that I do with my Smartphone.

  1. Read ebooks : This I explored recently. Though I had the Kindle app on my phone from the very beginning, but I used it to only download free ebooks from Amazon.com. These were the books which I never read. Recently, I had to read and review Sirens Spell Danger which is available only on Kindle app, so I had no choice but to use this app. And I was hooked. I loved the experience of reading this book on my phone. Am currently reading Unsettled and another one is in the queue too.
  2. Blog : When I am traveling, I use my Smartphone to blog. I have downloaded the WordPress app. This mobile app is simple and easy to use and lets me write new posts, upload photos, edit pages, and manage comments on the blog too.
  3. Check my Must Read Blogs : I use Bloglovin’ to read my favorite blogs on my laptop and use its mobile app on phone. This app I use, predominantly, when I am traveling.
  4. Twitter and Facebook : I love reading tweets whenever I get a few free minutes. It is my daily dose of news and entertainment. For me, Twitter is synonymous with my Smartphone. In fact, I rarely use my laptop for Twitter. I use my phone for Facebook as well.
  5. Scan on the Go : MD Scan Lite is a mobile document scanner, which I use frequently. I find this app vflat-icons-future-of-ios-design-smart-phone-appsery handy and is an extremely useful tool as it gives me the power to scan any type of document (bills/official letters/ pan card etc), transform it into PDF format and share it via Bluetooth, email, anywhere, anytime.
  6. Store and Use : Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. I have uploaded some important documents in my Dropbox which I can access and edit anywhere on my Smartphone. For a meeting, where I am not carrying my laptop, before leaving, I upload the document or PPT on the Dropbox and I can use it from the phone whenever needed.
  7. Memo : My companion to make lists, jot down thoughts, write something when paper and pen are not available.
  8. Chat: I used Skype for video and voice calls. But I have uninstalled this app now as it requires at least 27MB of free memory space. And it makes the phone system slow. So whenever I need to Skype, I use my laptop.
  9. Play Games : There are very interesting games for android Smartphones. I keep 2 games at the most on my Smartphone at a given time. I download the game, play till I get bored of it and then uninstall it and look for another new game…
  10. Time Pass : Depending upon the time availability, need and mood, I download, use and then delete various apps like Horoscopes, Newspapers, Weather, Truecaller, Indian Rail, Talking Tom, Zomato, BookMyShow, Quikr, Instagram, Flipkart etc etc.

A friend’s Smartphone stopped acting smart pretty soon. He went to the service centre and the guy there told him, “Sir, you have converted your phone into a computer”. He had loads of apps and movies and songs on his Smartphone. I love my Smartphone and want it to remain smart for a long long time, so I am crazy about its health. So, I do explore the interesting apps but I am quick to say adios to them too. I delete the unwanted, unnecessary apps as they usually slow down the functioning of the Smartphone and in doing so the phone battery thanks me too!

So, what are your other smart uses for your Smartphone?

Linking it to January 2014 Ultimate Blog Challenge and NaBloPoMo

To read posts by fellow friends and UBC and NaBloPoMo participants, click here Jairam, Kajal, Kathy, Michelle, Nabanita, Richa, Suzy Que, Sheethal. Yes, we can do we with some more cheering and support. :)

Images Courtesy : Google Images

Help! Help!!

cooltext1108140704Help! Help!!

Somebody please help!

They have been kidnapped!!

I tried my best to prevent this abduction.

Alas! I failed miserably.

The odds are that I may never see my friends again. This nearly breaks my heart.

God willing, if they do come back in my life again, they’d never be the same. Seeing them all torn and mutilated, tears me apart.

I am told that I must not act so possessive.

But I can’t help when these are the friends who gave wings to my mind and flight to my imagination, my best counsellors… teachers…

Please return them back.

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I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th – 14th December 2013. The Theme for today is Books.

wtfow2

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