Rekindling my Affair with Books

by flowers on July 21, 2010 · 26 comments

There was a time when I was a voracious reader. In fact, that was how you could describe me most of my life until my second son was born. Then my world changed into reading magazines and blogs because they were something I could pick up quick, read an article or post, and then go back to taking care of the kids.

Shortly after Ninu was born I picked up The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. It is one of my all time favorites and since I had so much help with the house and family I had time to nurse and lounge and read. And fall in love all over again.

Something has as awakened in me–an old flame: my love for reading words on paper that I hold in my hands. It was soothing and calming and created great balance in my life. I read a lot online and on the computer, but hence is the manner of modern media, it is subject to bouncing around erratically from blog to facebook to twitter and email. Reading a book feels centering and grounding.

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I’ve decided that instead of working and reading on my computer until bedtime I will close things down and head into bed, ending my night with books. It’s a past time I’ve loved so dearly and it feels really good to bring this habit back into my life.

Two questions for you:

When do you find time to read?
What is your favorite all time book or genre?

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

renee @ FIMBY July 21, 2010 at 6:43 am

What a good question. Lately, I haven’t found enough time for reading. Much of my creative work happens in a very short evening window after the kids go to bed and before I go to bed, most often by 10:30. But I have been feeling the lack of reading in my days and wondering how to fit it in a bit more regularly. Thanks for reminding me. Genre – good stories, mostly non-fiction.

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Christine July 21, 2010 at 7:12 am

I love the Earth’s Children series and am trying to be patient waiting for the final book. I started reading them while pregnant with my first. Recently I’ve blown through the Sookie Stackhouse series. The Pillars of the Earth, The Time Travelever’s Wife, The Beach…. So many books. I’m always reading.

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Kelly Coyle DiNorcia July 21, 2010 at 7:58 am

I hear you! Pre-kids I read several books a week; these days I feel lucky if I get through a handful a year! I mostly read non-fiction, a lot of parenting and education books these days but I also like to read about local foods and environmental issues. I do a lot of audiobooks so I can multi-task and make good use of car time. My recent favorite read was The Happiness Project by Gretchin Rubin – great book!

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flowers July 21, 2010 at 10:29 am

I’ve seen Gretchen Rubin’s blog–glad to have the book recommended!

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meg July 21, 2010 at 10:19 am

I love The Mists of Avalon! My copy is so bruised and battered, it’s clear it has been down right loved! Right now I’m reading The Help – amazing book. I’m planning to re-read Eat, Pray, Love in preparation for the movie that comes out soon… But I think Isabelle Allende’s The House of the Spirits is my all time favorite novel.

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flowers July 21, 2010 at 10:29 am

Isn’t it fabulous! I just finished it last night. I forgot all about The House of the Spirits. I think I read it way back when from your suggestion.

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steadymom July 21, 2010 at 1:48 pm

Yes, absolutely! I find that I feel very off balanced if I haven’t made time for reading in my day, especially reading some type of fiction. That is just my “turn off” time, and so much more refreshing to my mind than reading anything online.

Hooray for falling in love with books….

J

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Rachael July 21, 2010 at 1:51 pm

*sigh* I miss books. I have stacks of them everywhere, but rarely find the time to read them anymore, except in little bitty bits at a time. Which means I can at least read books of poetry! Dearest Creature by Amy Gerstler is a recent good read.

I have four all-time favorites, have never been able to choose just one: Persuasion, by Jane Austen; Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte; The Crying of Lot 49, by Thomas Pynchon; and Girl in Landscape, by Jonathan Lethem.
.-= Rachael´s last blog ..On My Mind =-.

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Nicki July 21, 2010 at 2:09 pm

I love to read. I tend to read between dinner and dishes – since I can leave dishes in the sink without feeling too guilty about it. I love to get outside and read in the summer.

Recent reads that I heartily recommend: Fiction – Life After Yes by Aidan Donnelly Rowley, anything by Jane Green (just re-read Dune Road), Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz. If you want any of these (LAY is with a friend currently), let me know and I will bring them next time I am in town.

Non-fiction: The Shelter of Each Other by Mary Pipher and her other book Saving Ophelia, The Happiness Project (definitely), Dani Shapiro’s memoir Devotion (still haven’t read it yet but have read lots about it and all is good).
.-= Nicki´s last blog ..Giving and Receiving =-.

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flowers July 21, 2010 at 7:50 pm

I’ve heard good things about Devotion. Thanks Nicki!

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~Tara July 21, 2010 at 3:11 pm

I’m currently reading four books – Harry Potter 6 with Zeb, one unjobbing book, The Artist’s Way and another by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. Maybe that’s why I haven’t been reading blogs as much these days?!

I tend to go through flows, in and out anyway. Sometimes I goggle up anything I can; other times I read nothing at all. But there is always a book somewhere. I love non-fiction stuff, especially big, new ideas or ways of living or thinking…I just can’t ever not be reading one!
.-= ~Tara´s last blog ..I ♥ Visionary Mom Giveaway =-.

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flowers July 21, 2010 at 3:18 pm

I’m a book juggler too. What is the unjobbing book?

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~Tara July 21, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Real Success Without A Real Job…I’m not super impressed with it though. Justin and I are making our way through as many as we can find. This one has been on the less impressive end. :) He has several more linked on his blog.
.-= ~Tara´s last blog ..I ♥ Visionary Mom Giveaway =-.

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Rana July 21, 2010 at 5:22 pm

I’m a bookaholic, and I’m turning my children into them too. I love to read. Sometimes I will stay up until 3 in the mornining just to finish a book because it has me in it’s grip. I take turns between reading or checking out blogs before bed.

My favorite book ever written and I have read it dozens of times is Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier. She is my favorite author.
.-= Rana´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday – Lets Ride! =-.

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flowers July 21, 2010 at 7:51 pm

I stay up way too late when I have a good book too! This is probably part of the reason why I stopped reading great novels at a certain point in my parenting journey. It’s just when it’s so good you can’t stop!

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Beth Eckert July 21, 2010 at 10:43 pm

I also used to absolutely love to read. I would just consume books. Once I had my 3rd son I just stopped having time to read. There is nothing like finding a really good book you just can’t put down!
.-= Beth Eckert´s last blog ..Diaper Accessories =-.

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flowers July 21, 2010 at 11:14 pm

I can so relate :)

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Amber July 21, 2010 at 10:59 pm

I read when I’m in the bathroom or when I’m eating. It takes me a while to get through a book, but it takes me a while to do anything, so I’m OK with that. Mostly.

And it’s very sad, but I can’t think of my favourite book of all time. Maybe The Red Tent? Or else anything by Seth Godin. He rocks my world.
.-= Amber´s last blog ..Silver Bullet =-.

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flowers July 21, 2010 at 11:13 pm

I have such an intellectual crush on Seth Godin. He so rocks my world!

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Leah July 22, 2010 at 5:23 pm

I read in bed with the kids, after I’ve read them their 3-5 books. I’m nursing the 2yr old to sleep, the 5 yr old is either reading another book or falling asleep. It’s a nice quiet time to read *usually*.

Actually I find I try to read a lot when nursing the 2yr old. He always wants to nurse right when I get home from work, to reconnect. So, I usually grab a glass of water and snack and sit down with him for 15 minutes with my book. :D

So, book recs. I LOVE reading, and have really enjoyed a few books recently that I think you will like. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, beautifully written autobiography about a man who escapes prison in Australia, and ends up living in India, in the slums and then works for the mafia. Juicy 1000 page read. Nurture Shock, nonfiction about parenting, really interesting. Can’t remmber the author. Ariel Gore’s latest book rules, Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness. I also just read Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, that was fun.

Enjoy reading!!

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flowers July 22, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Oooo Leah, I’m so glad you stopped by. Those are great reading time ideas and all those books sound interesting.

I’m fighting the urge to feel overwhelmed with too much to read now ;D

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exhale. return to center. July 23, 2010 at 6:57 pm

i like to read first thing in the morning.

i wake up fresh and excited for the day and i love to grab a book off my bed table and dive in for 20-30 minutes. (i do not nurslings or co-sleepers any more — when i did i found early morning reading to be very challening!)

i like to read at the end of the day too. just a few pages before i fall asleep.

i stock the books next to my bed carefully – nothing too ‘heady’, mostly inspirational stuff and creative non-fiction, which i’d say is my favorite genre.

right now i am reading “the gift of an ordinary day” by katrina kenision and i am absolutely loving it. next on tap is “radical homemakers” by shannon hayes.

great question! i really enjoyed reading everyone’s responses.

~erin

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Rachael July 26, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Hey, this post got me thinking about why I don’t read fiction so much anymore (it’s not just about lack of time, as I claim above), and I linked back to it at my blog. Thank you again for sharing!

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Maria July 26, 2010 at 9:13 pm

I love that book! I have read in bed before sleep time since I was young and continue to do so. I love sci-fi fantasy though sometimes I struggle to find good writing and storytelling where the characters don’t drive me crazy.

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