How I read more books with two small children at home

How I manage to read more books for fun even though I have two small kids at home

I used to love to read; you know with a flashlight under the covers, staying up way too late kind of reading! One time I read about a character who would hide their books inside their textbooks and get away with reading in class….my particular teacher that year did not think it was such a great idea when she caught be doing it! My dad still laughs to this day that he is the only parent who gets a call from school saying that his child was caught reading TOO much! Lol!

But then as school got harder, reading for fun became more of a luxury and less of a hobby as time went on. After college, working full time and learning to do this whole “adulting” thing took even more time away from reading for pleasure. Then enter the kids…these days my idea of reading is googling just what will happen to my child if he puts a marble up his nose and the doctors CANT get it out! Don’t worry…it luckily hasn’t happened yet…but that hasn’t stopped me from googling it!

Reading for Fun

Anyway, I digress. I kept hearing about that catchphrase “Leaders are Readers” and while I am not exactly a leader of anything in particular (except my tiny menacing brood at home) I still long for the day of going back to reading for fun. Although now if I am hiding under my covers with my flashlight it is to avoid my 2-year-old and not trying to avoid my bedtime!! Last year I set a New Year’s goal of reading 36 books; and while I think I probably came close, what I didn’t come close to was tracking to see whether or not I actually did it.

Hacks for busy moms

My favorite hack for reading with small kids is having my Kindle app on my phone. I can read while we wait in line at the doctor’s/dentist’s/principal’s office. I can read quietly in bed if my 2 year old is napping with me. I can download new books I want to check out while waiting in line at the pick-up curb after school. A few years ago, as I was attempting to get back into reading, my mom gifted me with a Kindle reader. The great part about this is that I can read without all the distractions on my phone; it has Wi-Fi enabled so it can sync up with the app on my phone and I can alternate as I please. The other great feature of my Kindle reader is that it is not backlit like my phone or tablet so it is not as harsh on my eyes.

I know we all still love the feel of a real book in our hands, but the Kindle reader and app really help busy moms everywhere to enjoy a little leisure time despite our hectic schedules. When I want to read an actual book I pack up the kids and schlep them to our local library for reading time. It’s a win/win as they can play with the other kids and be exposed to books on their level, and then afterwards I can pop over to the other side of the library and check out something I want to read. A word of warning, if your kids are anything like mine and their attention span rivals that of a gnat, you might want to just have your selections already picked out and waiting for you in the Holds section!

Tracking my goal

Another obstacle in knowing whether or not I have reached my reading goal for the year is actually taking the time to track it. Enter my new trick up my sleeve: after seeing a few tweets about friends logging some mad hours on GoodReads on December 31st I decided to check it out myself. I have set up a profile and you can check it out here. The GoodReads app is similar to another social media channel where we can see what our friends are reading and rate books we have read. I would love to see what is on your bookshelf…so I can steal your ideas and add it to my own! It is free and easy to set up; the best part is that it links to my Kindle so I can track what books I have read, started but not finished, or just plain avoided.  I feel like I always forget what I have started and which books I have finished already. My GoodReads app and my Kindle app talk to each other and track this for me which is amazing for us busy moms who can’t possibly add one more thing to keep track of!

Reading has become a wonderful addition to my life and I am grateful that I have added this hobby back into my busy schedule. I mix up reading books to better myself and books that are simply for pleasure, this helps so that I don’t get too serious about my reading list and actually enjoy my new (old) hobby. What are you reading right now?

What I’m reading right now:

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