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For Get Caught Reading Month, let Alexa suggest a book

May is celebrated as Get Caught Reading Month — a campaign that promotes reading awareness and helps get noses off the internet and into a good book. Technology might be part of the reason fewer people are reading than ever before, but it can also be a tool to help you find a novel, magazine, or audiobook that fits your personal tastes. And if you have an Alexa-enabled smart device, you’ve got the next best thing to a knowledgeable librarian. Let’s take a closer look at Get Caught Reading Month, why it matters, and how Alexa can help you find a good book to read this spring.

What is Get Caught Reading Month?

Get Caught Reading Poster with a character created by Ashleigh Corrin.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Get Caught Reading is an annual campaign founded by the Association of American Publishers in 1999. The group works to educate the public about the appeal of books and other forms of literature and tries to get as many folks as possible to enjoy the old-school form of entertainment. Eventually, May was designated as the official Get Caught Reading Month, and a handful of big celebrities have lent their name to the cause — including L.L Cool J, Keira Knightley, Alicia Keys, and more.

At its most basic, Get Caught Reading Month is about bringing awareness to literature and the various ways it can improve your life (not to mention how much fun it can be).

How to turn Alexa into your personal librarian

Amazon Echo Studio Alexa Smart Speaker on a table.

Alexa is a great personal assistant, but did you know it’s also an aspiring librarian? Finding a new book to read can be a challenge, but Alexa is always up for the task. Here are a few cool ways you can use Alexa to help you join in on Get Caught Reading Month.

  • Audiobooks: Schedules are hectic this time of year, and not everyone can find time to sit down with a book. If you fall into that category, consider having Alexa read you a book. When prepping dinner or knocking out some chores, use the command, “Alexa, read my Kindle book,” to have Alexa pick up where you left off with your last book.
  • Audible Free Audiobook: Who doesn’t like free stuff? Ask Alexa “What’s free from Audible?” and they’ll look up the latest freebie on the service and start reading it to you. It’ll even alert you to the last date the audiobook will be available, letting you plan out your listening schedule before it disappears.
  • Recommend Me A Book: If you’re unsure what to read next, let Alexa pick a title for you. Give the command, “Alexa, recommend me a book” to learn about a book that could be of interest to you. You’ll hear a short synopsis of the title before having the chance to make a purchase or hear further details.

Must-read audiobooks

Audiobooks are quickly becoming one of the most popular ways to experience literature, as you’re able to knock out other tasks while also moving your bookmark. Alexa is full of great suggestions, but we’ve also put together a shortlist of some of the best audiobooks of 2022. And if you have a smart device, you’ve got everything you need to start listening.

  • The Emperor of All Maladies
  • Cloud Atlas
  • La Belle Sauvage Series
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  • Slaughterhouse-Five
  • Cat’s Cradle
  • 1Q84
  • Dune
  • The Handmaid’s Tale
  • The Maid

Why it matters

A girl reading an e-book on the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Kids.
Amazon / Amazon

It’s easy to become distracted in today’s hyper-connected world, but it’s important to try and find time in the week to unwind with a good book or audiobook. According to ThinkImpact, 54% of adults in the U.S. are reading below a sixth-grade level, and 21% of adults are illiterate in 2022. Reading isn’t just a fun pastime — it’s also a way to hone your critical thinking skills.

So whether you manage to wrangle a few minutes each week to curl up with a book or have Alexa read you an audiobook while you cook dinner, participating in Get Caught Reading Month is something to put on your schedule.

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Jon Bitner
Jon Bitner is a writer covering consumer electronics, technology, and gaming. His work has been published on various websites…
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