Writing about Reading

May in Review: Back to the Grindstone

readingjournalJust after my daughter was born in 2012, a friend told me in all honesty that it takes a full two years to feel like yourself again after a baby joins your family. Well, it’s been just over two years, and I feel that is true: I’m finally starting to feel like myself again, in many ways.

One way is, of course, reading. I feel like doing it again! It is hard to find time, but I finally feel the draw back to books at the end of a long day. I have watched a lot of television in the past months. It’s easier. But I am grateful that I finally feel like reading again. (more…)

Reading Journal (November 2013): It’s Always a Choice

I finished reading a lengthy nonfiction book about two weeks ago, and I am still only half way through Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens. I really enjoyed The Cave and the Light. It was deep but I learned much about philosophy and history by reading it over the course of two months. I have started making a post about it. Someday I’ll post it.

I used to have Homer on my side table. Now I have Little Golden Books. I used to spend my evenings reading for pleasure. Now I prepared for the next day of homeschooling, created products that help teach various concepts, keeping my hyper-active toddler busy, and so forth.  Way back when I began this blog, I thought it was crazy when people said they did not have time to read. No time to read! Insane. Reading is a daily necessity.

I have come to a new part of my life. Reading is still a huge part of my life, but it is not for my own pleasure so much as it is an addition to my parenting, a requirement for getting other things together. In other words, I choose not to read when I do get some precious quiet moments. I choose to do something else. Watching a brain-numbing television show is much easier when my brain is tired! So if I ever say, “I don’t have time to read!” I really just mean, I’ve chosen to do something else with my time.

I’ve been thinking that maybe I’ll start a weekly or bi-weekly “Kids Corner” or “Baby’s Sunday Salon” to highlight some of the wonderful children’s books I’ve discovered. There are so many wonderful books out there. One of these days I’ll find the right balance again.

What do you choose to do when you aren’t reading? What are you reading right now?

1000 Books Project (Take 2)

1000 BooksMy baby girl is about 17 months old now. When my son was a bit older than this, I began my 1000 Books Project. It was a wonderful experience to track the books we read together. By the time we finished 1000 different books together, my son was reading on his own.

Fast forward to today. My local library has a program similar to my own challenge. They call it the 1001 Books Before Kindergarten challenge. I’ve signed up Strawberry for this project, and we’ve been tracking our reading already. Right now, we tend to read the same books over and over again, which is developmentally appropriate. I know, though, that she looks forward to reading time with me. Further, I’ve found that if I do not read her a story before bed, she is not relaxed and ready for sleep. Story time helps her get ready for sleep.

I’ve begun tracking on paper, and I’ll get my list up here in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, please let me know: which picture books or board books did you love as a child? What should I make sure to read to Strawberry for this project?

“Zola” by E.A. Robinson

I am working on a different project today, but I came across this amazing poem by E.A. Robinson (1869-1935), who won more than one Pulitzer Prize in poetry. It’s called “Zola,” and it so perfectly captures why I disliked Germinal at the same time I absolutely loved it. If you’ve read any Zola before, you have to read this poem. If you want to read Zola, same thing.

Even if you’ve never read Zola before, what do you think of this poem? Does it capture your thoughts about any novel or author you’ve ever read?

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