Reading and Motherhood: 4 Tips for Improving your Reading Life

Did you know that 9 August is National Book Lovers Day? I honestly had no idea it existed, but when I found out, I totally got excited.

See, I’m a total nerd when it comes to all things books.

I even used books as centerpieces for my wedding.

 
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The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”– Dr. Seuss

I don’t exactly remember when the love of books started, I just remember being transported through time every time I opened a book.

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Some of my favorite childhood books still stick with me.

Homecoming - A story about four children and their journey to find their grandmother's house after being abandoned by their mother.

Dicey's Song - The sequal to Homecoming. This story follows Dicey and her siblings as they get settled in with their grandmother.

Gathering Blue - A dystopian novel (before it was cool), which challenges you to imagine what our world could become if society was ruled by savagery and deceit that discards the weak.

The Giver - Now a major motion picture, the Giver centers around a 12 year old boy who is given a unique assignment that alters his way of thinking about his fragile/dystopian community.

The Boxcar children - A classic from 1942, these books follow the Alden children on many adventures.

I still LOVE every single one of those books. I fight the urge to buy and reread them for  fear that I will be disappointed.  Instead, I cling to the emotions I had 15+ years ago when I initially fell in love with these books.

I pray that my children will develop a passion for reading, and maybe, someday in the future, I can sit beneath a weeping willow and read my favorite books aloud. (Please tell me I am not the only one with dreams of a large Weeping Willow in the backyard, perfect for reading books on a crisp fall day?)

Why You Should Read:

I understand that not everyone shares a passion for reading, that’s totally okay. Regardless of your passion, I do believe that you should attempt to read on a regular basis. Why? Because there are so many benefits to reading! 

  • Develops verbal abilities
  • Improves focus and concentration
  • Improves memory (not sure about this one... My husband says I am like Dory from Finding Nemo...)
  • Makes you more empathetic
  • It’s relaxing / can help you sleep
  • Improves self-awareness
  • It’s contagious (who doesn’t want their kids to read?)

Don’t believe me? Check out these links!

30 Reasons To Read Books

10 Reasons Why Reading Will Save Your Life

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Tips for Reading in Motherhood:

I know all too well how difficult it is to read with a newborn at home, but having kids doesn't have to be a detriment to your reading life. I realized I wanted to make reading a priority, so I started to research ways to improve my reading life. Here are my top 4 tips that helped me quadruple my reading life.

  • Choose a topic you’ll enjoy.You don't have to read a "professional" book to grow. Even Young Adult books shape your emotional intelligence and can influence your daily life. I try to read 1-2 fun books for every non-fiction book I read. This keeps me motivated and inspired to continue reading.
  • Always carry reading material. You'll be surprised at how much reading you can do while waiting in the school pickup line, or waiting to be called back to the doctor's office. Instead of scrolling through social media, I started reading a book. The Kindle app is a lifesaver. I would prefer to read hardback books, but beggars can't be choosers.
  • Listen to audiobooks. This one is HUGE for me. I signed up for an audiblesubscription and whenever I would nurse my daughter, shower, drive to/from work, cook, etc... I would listen to a book. No, this isn’t cheating, and yes, it still counts as reading.
  • Don’t be afraid to give up on a book you don’t enjoy. When quiet and personal time is limited (like it is in motherhood), you don’t have time to waste trying to finish a book you don't enjoy.  This one is hard for me, but I am trying to get better. As James Joyce said, "Life is too short to read a bad book."

If I managed to inspire you to pick up a book and start reading, here are a few of my recent favorites! 

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Book Recommendations:

Paper Book

Rachel Hollis – Girl, wash your face

Kayla Aimee – In Bloom

Jamie Ivey – If You Only Knew

Katie Ganshert – No One Ever Asked  

Audiobook

Margaret Atwood – The Handmaids Tale Special Edition

Mark Sullivan – Beneath The Scarlett Sky

Agatha Christie – Murder On The Orient Express

If you enjoyed these choices, subscribe to my email list to get future recommendations. Don't forget to tell me what you think? How do you manage to get some reading in while balancing all the life throws at you?