Admit it: You love Good Night Moon and The Hungry Caterpillar as much as the next mom, but at the end of the day, you secretly long for a few minutes to escape into Little Fires Everywhere or Where the Crawdads Sing (both excellent, highly recommended reads, by the way).
But you barely have the time or energy to pick the kids’ books they pulled off the shelf for the gazillionth time up, let alone find time to sit and enjoy your own novel. Then, to add salt to your literary-deprived wound, you read Mommy Amazing’s new post about the book she recently finished and wonder, also for the gazillionth time, how she manages to keep the kids alive and read even 100 words.
I’ve always been an avid reader, and while I won’t say it’s easy or that I’m as prolific a reader as my pre-kid self, I do manage to read (or LISTEN!!*) to a book, roughly, every two weeks, if not more.
How? Here are my three tips to start reading YOUR books again:
- Surrender to Kindle/e-books (if you haven’t already):
I’ve always been a tangible-book snob, wanting to feel the pages and sit with an actual book, but in a mom’s go-go-go world, that’s a much harder feat to accomplish than finding ways to sneak in some iPhone reading. Using the Kindle app, I’ve read hundreds of books while in the car waiting for kids after school (or when they were littler and fell asleep in the car, I would read and let them nap). On the elliptical, while waiting in line at the grocery store, you name it. If your books are on your phone, you can read anyyyywhere, and all those 5 to 10 minute idle spurts add up to chunks of pages read!
2. Embrace Audiobooks!
Ohhhh girl, if I was a paperback snob, I DEFINITELY used to turn my nose up at audiobooks. BUT I did a 180 when I heard another mom cite how many books she “read” through audiobooks. Now, I listen to books while I get ready in the morning, in the shower, while driving, cooking, folding laundry, or doing dishes. I find it a little harder to digest fiction this way, but I’ve “read” dozens of nonfiction/personal development books this way, including my two most recent faves: Fear is My Homeboy and The Compound Effect.
3. Be Careful and Self-Aware with Book Clubs.
If joining a book club motivates you to read, awesome, sign the heck up! But, if not, be honest with yourself and politely decline. I know that for me, and for the most part, book clubs make reading feel like an assignment with a pressure-inducing deadline, and yet another “thing” I’m not checking off my to-do list. I am a BIG proponent of walking away from any book that doesn’t hook you in the first 50 pages which is my other book-club gripe. What happens when you don’t like the book? You’re stuck and then, often, won’t start another book until the meeting you’re not prepared for comes and goes. See the pattern?
The moral of these tips: I know it’s hard to make time to eat, pee on your own, shower, etc., so obviously reading falls to the wayside. But, if and when you want to put your reader hat back on and start reading your books again, the above suggestions should help you turn the page.
FYI: Barnes & Noble at Desert Ridge Marketplace runs a weekly Virtual Storytime on Saturdays at 11am and a monthly Book Club the third Tuesday of every month at 7pm. Visit their website for details! https://stores.barnesandnoble.com/store/2039