As a busy parent, indulging in a book for pleasure may seem like a far-fetched luxury. Often times, we envision reading as being something that we can only do under perfect conditions. Perhaps a childless vacation, on a lounge chair in the sand. Maybe a cozy chair holding a nice hot cup of coffee or tea. If we cannot achieve these perfect scenarios, the art of reading falls to the wayside.
Here in the Midwest, January is usually not pleasant. It’s cold. There’s ice or snow, or both. The holidays are over, so it’s not pretty. It is just winter. January is National Book Month. So, it seems like the perfect time to get lost in an exciting book. Reading a book to completion doesn’t have to be as hard as we sometimes make it out to be. I’m here to provide you with a few tips to get you reading and enjoying it.
- Read Anywhere, Anytime.
We spend a lot of time waiting in our lives every single day. It might be waiting in line for your morning coffee. Maybe you commute to work via public transportation, and you have a little time to spare on your ride. If you use the laundromat, you know there is waiting involved there. So much of our day can be spent just waiting. Turn that waiting time into reading time. I like to keep a paperback book or my Kindle with me at all times. I can pull it out and read even a page or two if I find myself waiting for something in my day (car line for school pick up!). In this impressive age we live in, you can also pull up a book on your phone and read wherever you may be. Keep a book in your car, upstairs in your home, downstairs in your home. Just make reading available and accessible for yourself.
- Try Listening.
A good friend of mine completes multiple books each month. She does not always have the time to sit down and devour the newest book release, but she finds time in her day to listen to books. If you spend a lot of time in your car each day, listening to a book is a wonderful way to do some ‘reading.’ If you do not spend a lot of time in your car, listening is still an option while exercising, mopping the floors, folding the laundry, or even cooking dinner. There are a lot of audiobook companies that offer a free trial, such as Amazon’s Audible. Your local library most likely has a service that allows you to loan audiobooks for a generous period of time. Our library uses Hoopla – and it’s wonderful! There is a kid section where my son enjoys picking out books to listen to on the way to school each day. It’s a part of our day my son and I truly look forward to.
- Keep a List.
Sometimes I forget what books I’ve read. I’ve picked up a book, began reading, only to realize 20 pages in I have already read it. It helps to keep a list! Get yourself a notebook and jot down titles that you’ve read. I genuinely love the Good Reads app on my phone. You can find just about any book in print on their app. You can mark it as a book you ‘want to read’ or you can mark it as a book you have ‘read.’ There is also the option to choose ‘currently reading’ and let your bookish friends know what you are reading! Set an attainable reading goal for yourself in 2020 on Good Reads- it’s a fun little way to try to read more.
- Lead by Example
You probably already read books to your children. But try something else to make reading part of your day. Have some quiet time with your kids each day. Grab your book, and have your child grab a stack of books, then find somewhere cozy in your home where you can both read. It’s good for your child to see you reading something that you are interested in. The more your child sees you interested in reading, the more they may become interested in reading. You might even be inspired by your child’s love of reading.
- Make Reading an Adventure.
Books are everywhere. The Indy area has some pretty cool independent bookstores. One of our favorites is 4Kids Books & Toys in Zionsville. They have an incredible children’s book selection, weekly book based events for young kids, and even a section where mom and dad can find a book for themselves!
It’s also fun to seek out new titles in places other than your traditional bookstore. Look for the adorable Little Free Libraries in your community. It’s so fun to find one, look through the book selection, and hopefully find a new-to-me book to take home. I usually bring a book with me when seeking out a Little Free Library, so that I can put a book in place of the one I take for someone else to read.
Local thrift stores can be another great place to find books. They are usually inexpensive, and there is always something for everyone. When you are done with the books you purchase, find a Little Free Library to take them to for their next reader.
And last, but not least, don’t forget about your local library. There’s something for everyone at the library. You can find books on disk, movies, music, newspapers, and magazines.
There truly is magic in reading. Don’t think of it as a far off dream for when your children are grown. Pick up a book today, during National Book Month, and give reading a chance!