I recently listened to a Coffee & Crumbs episode all about media, and between that and our lively discussion about Where the Crawdads Sing and Educated on my last post (and the planning underway for my book swap!!), I thought it might be fun to keep rolling on the reading train. So today, all about my life as a reader… and I want to hear about yours!
What do I read?
Right now I’m averaging about 20-40 books in a year, or 2-3 per month. About half are non-fiction, and half are novels. I love…
…(good) parenting books
…pop psychology and behavioral economics books
…personal finance books
…books that give me practical ways to live out my faith
…books that deal with the intersection of technology and family
…novels with exquisite writing.
And of course I read the Bible! Usually this version.
How do I read?
I exclusively read physical books, for a few reasons.
I prefer the experience of real books – seeing the typography on the page, feeling the heft of the book shift from right to left as I page my way through.
I am a visual learner, so I tend to retain more from a paper page – even if I haven’t marked it, I can often recall where a certain quote I paused over was (top left corner, bottom right) many days later.
I want to live in a home with books because I think they’re beautiful and because I want where I live to be filled with things I treasure. Environment is a strong way of imparting our values to our kiddos, and there is almost nothing I more want to give them than a love of reading.
On that note, I read physical books because I want my kids to see my reading. I want that to be one of the most common sights of their childhood, me curled up with a book, to learn from my example that reading is a delicious past-time, one of the most delightful and worthy ways to spend an hour. I could be doing anything with my phone in my hand, but when I’m holding a book, my priority is clear.
When do I read?
At this stage in my life, most of my reading is done right before bed. This is both good and bad. If I’m reading a book that’s sucked me in, I’ll eagerly head to bed early to squeeze in a few more chapters. However, if I’m reading a book that’s sucked me in, I’ll often stay up too late to squeeze in a few more chapters :) Some nights I read for 15 minutes, some for an hour.
I’m also diligent about leaving a book in my car or packing one in my bag if I’m heading to an appointment so I can read on the go instead of scrolling on my phone. I imagine this will become even more helpful when our kiddos are in activities that require my chauffeur services!
Where do I find books to read?
Fiction I almost exclusively borrow from the library – I tend to only read it once, so to me it doesn’t make quite as much sense to buy! Nonfiction I prefer to buy (on Amazon or Thrift Books), because I’ll often read favorites multiple times. I also like to underline quotes or ideas that hooked me (often for use in EFM posts later!) and am an eager lender of my favorites to friends and family members. (Stephanie has my copy of The Coddling of the American Mind right now and when I get it back I’m sending it to Kim!)
It also helps that one of my benefits at work is a book library, which is $15 a month to spend on the “personal growth” book of my choice! As an Enneagram 5, lifelong learner, and avid reader, this is heaven :)
I keep an iPhone note on my phone for “Books to Be Read” as well as a list of the books I read each year (they are some of my most-referred to notes!). I add great suggestions to it from my Articles Club ladies, from my siblings, friends-in-real-life and on Instagram, from EFM readers in the comments, and from a few favorite blogs (Cup of Jo and Everyday Reading especially!).
I think my next reading post will be about the books I recommend most often – though of course, if you’re an avid reader of this blog, I’ve probably already recommended them to you :)
In the meantime, I’d love to hear: what are your favorite types of books to read? And when do you read?
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