Like most people, I loved reading when I was younger. But fell out of the habit once nursing school, night shifts, and newborn life took over. Over the last two years I really stepped back into reading and made a serious effort to recreate a habit that I had loved so much. I decided to put down my phone and picked up books instead. In 2021 I pushed myself to read 10 books, which may not sound like a lot but it was more than I had read in many years. It felt so good to remember what it felt like to get lost in other worlds, having to stay up late to find out how a book ends! Those 10 books completely re-energized me to prioritize reading into a sustainable habit again. Last year I pushed myself to double my reading goal ended up finishing the year reading 21 books! Today I thought I’d share some tips for fitting more reading into your life, even if you’re like me and live a busy toddler mom life.
- Stop reading books you don’t enjoy – if you don’t like a book. put.it.down. don’t force yourself to read books you don’t enjoy! life is too short. I used to force myself to keep reading out of principle, but the reality is you’ll actually read slower and less books if you’re forcing yourself to trudge through stuff you don’t like.
- Utilize apps to get free e books. I use a kindle and before I would go back and forth on if i wanted to spend the money on a kindle book, especially as I was getting back into reading and honestly didn’t know what books I enjoyed anymore… Then I found the libby app. Which basically lets you rent ebooks from library. The app is completely free all you need is a library card number, which you can easily get online! This set me free from the mental gymnastics I was doing about actually spending money on e books and allowed me to download books without the pressure of having to feel like it was “worth the money”. This is how I read 99% of my books is through the libby app! You’re able to rent a book for 21 days but pro tip if it’s taking you longer DON’T close out of the book on your kindle. If you leave it up you can keep reading beyond 21 days.
- Know you’ll be interrupted – Life with two littles means interruptions, but I still read around them. While they’re playing outside or in their rooms, or when they’re watching a show. I’ll be reading. But I know I’ll get interrupted. When we’re outside I’ll play with them and then tell them “mommys gonna read her book know while you guys play”, and of course there are still interruptions but the more I do it the more they become used to it. My almost 5 year old asked me the other day all about my book, we talked about how words make sentences and how books tell stories and it was such a great conversation for my guy who is on the cusp of reading himself. The key for reading around your kids is don’t wait for *perfect* conditions. Doing this has helped me read so.much.more! Plus the example this sets is so powerful.
- Keep a running to-read list: I use the notes app on my phone and have a note dedicated to books I want to read. Whenever I’m at work and someone suggest a book or I’m on IG and someone talks about a book they love I add it to my list. So when I finish one I always have something else on my list to read. I also keep books on hold on the libby app!
- Take a book to bed: A few years ago I started charging my phone across the room from my bed. Mostly so I would ensure I would actually get up when my alarm was going off. But instead of taking my phone to bed scrolling until I was falling asleep I now go to bed with my kindle. Some nights I only manage to read a few pages before my eyes close. Other nights I will literally read for HOURS. This has drastically changed how much I read. And is such a better way to fall asleep. We spend a lot of time looking at our phones, being pulled by dings and pings. But reading really forces you to focus which will ultimately lead to better sleep!
What I’m reading currently: Lessons in Chemistry