Reading Journal

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?

“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?


2012 Year in Review (Kind of)

This year has been a comparatively light blogging year for me, with the arrival of my dear little Strawberry in February. She’s almost walking, she’s trying to talk, and she’s certainly keeping me busy. The two of us are finishing 2012 with a monster cold that knocked me out on Friday. The Poor Girl hasn’t had a sickness like this before, so she’s miserable.

I also began homeschooling my kindergartner (Raisin) in earnest this year. I started September and October as a schedule keeper and box checker, but I’m finding that we’re having a lot more fun when we take it easy, a little here and a little there. It is kindergarten, after all. I have enjoyed finding a number of fantastic picture books, both nonfiction and fiction, for his level, and he loves to learn. Yesterday after dinner we talked about veins, arteries, and the heart for a good twenty minutes. He could not feel his own pulse so we decided he must not be alive (he thought that was very funny). This kind of learning is much more satisfying to me and to him than following a check-the-box schedule.

As a result of these life changes, I’ve stepped back from the blogopshere in a series way, as well as stepping back from my blog. In past years of book blogging, I’ve had a craving to make charts of my reading progress: how much fiction versus nonfiction, how many classics versus modern literature, how much male authors versus female authors. This year I have no desire to do any of that reviewing. I’m just going to glance through my archives for the year and remind you of some of my favorite things.