I have always been a reader. In the summer, my mom would find me hiding under my covers with a book and a flashlight long after I should have been asleep. I much preferred my adventures in books to sports and the library was an air conditioned haven. In high school, my English classes were some of my favorites even if I did miss out on some of the American classics by taking honors courses.
When I went to college I knew I would major in English literature, although I had no idea what I was going to do with my degree. Most people assumed I would go into teaching based on my major alone but for me that was definitely NOT an option. I began working in the college library my second semester and was thrilled when I found out I could go to graduate school and become a librarian. Life interrupted this plan for a bit but that gave me a chance to work in another academic library and a public library which gave me a much better foundation for my studies.
Working in a public library exposed me to books on an entirely new level. I had gotten out of the habit of going to the library and reading for pleasure because my college library only had a few shelves of fun, fiction reading. The public library once again surrounded me with tons of great books, new to me authors, and readers who loved talking books. I found so many new series and authors to read that it was difficult just to keep up with all the new material coming in.
During this time, I also married a reader. I think my husband may have owned more books when we got married than I did! Now I had all of his books to choose from as well as my own and the library collection. Instead of turning on the television or throwing in a movie, the two of us could spend an evening reading side by side in the living room without feeling the need to chatter on to fill the silence. Now we read many of the same series and it is wonderful to have someone to discuss the books with. It is just hard to wait until we have both finished the book to start talking! We don’t want to share any spoilers though.
Last year, I read 61 books according to Goodreads. I’m sure I probably forgot to put a few in there and that doesn’t include the children’s books that I read to my daughter. I know this total is still low compared to many book bloggers out there but it means I read more than a book a week on average. Considering that I am a stay at home mom I think that is a pretty respectable total.
This year, my reading pattern is shifting once again. I now have two daughters to love and play with. One is 3 ½, the other is 4 months. We are closing in on the halfway mark of the year and I have read a grand total of 11 books. I feel that I have so little time to read these days and any time that I have to myself feels like it should be spent on other things like cleaning or getting organized for the next day. The 11 book statistic is really misleading though. I have been reading a LOT of children’s books. My daughter loves her stories and wants me to read library books over and over and over. She has already amassed quite the book collection of her own and I’m sure her younger sister’s collection will grow as soon as we get her a bookshelf.
I love seeing my oldest with her books. She memorizes the stories after hearing them only a few times so if you didn’t know better, you might actually think she was reading the book. She has even been known to take books off our bookshelves into her room or her reading corner and look at them quite contentedly even though there are no pictures. (Her favorite author seems to be Jim Butcher.) Even the baby will sit still while we are reading stories.
So while my reading habits have changed considerably in recent years and I’m not getting as much of my own reading done, I love that I am encouraging the next generation of readers. With all of the computer games, television, and technology that my daughter knows how to work, I am so glad that my daughter already intuitively understands the value of a good story. Someday I will get more of my own reading time back but for now I am thrilled that I can share books with my children.
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