Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Reading Habits

Several people have asked me recently how I find time to read since I am a mother to five young and busy children. First, I should clarify that compared to some, I really don't read that much. I know people who read much much more. I usually average about five books a month--more in the cold months and less when it gets warm.

I love reading books. It's one of my favorite, most relaxing past times. So I make time for it. Here's how (it's not anything spectacular):

1. I always have a book in my purse. (I still read "real" books. Others have electronic reading devices and that makes it a lot easier to carry your books with you.) I read in the car while I'm waiting for the kids to come out of school. I read in the waiting room at the doctor's office or the DMV. Whenever I get a few minutes, I pull out the book.

2. I read in the evenings after the kids go to bed. I rarely ever watch television.

American Idol? Never seen it. Biggest Loser? What's that?

When we moved to our house, we didn't have access to cable so we had to decide whether or not we would pay for satellite television. I didn't want to pay money for something that I would feel guilty wasting time watching. We have really enjoyed all the extra time that we found when we stopped watching television regularly. We still watch movies and we've had Netflix Streaming for a year now. We definitely watch more than we used to, but I still spend most evenings reading.

3. Occasionally, I'll read late into the night. I couldn't put down The Road or The Hunger Games. But I usually turn off the light by midnight. I love/need sleep more than reading.

4. I don't read much during the days, but if I have a moment when the kids are all playing nicely together and the laundry is folded and the dishes are washed (or sometimes even if they're not) and there's nothing terribly exciting happening on Twitter, I'll sit down and read my book. I have to put my sore, swollen feet up some time.

5. Also, I don't do a lot of creative outlets. I don't sew, scrapbook, or craft. I probably should, but I don't.

6. I read aloud to the kids at bedtime and whenever we take road trips (even just to Salt Lake). The little kids and I read books together randomly throughout the day. I love when Molly brings me a little book and says "read it".

Others have asked how much money I regularly spend on books.

I buy/own almost every book I read. I am currently in the process of designing more book shelves we're going to build in my family room. I'm very excited.

I'm also cheap. I rarely ever pay more than four dollars for a book (including shipping). If it costs more than that, I wait. I shop for books on Amazon.com and at used book stores. I love the semiannual book sale at the Salt Lake City Library. A few weeks ago, I got 17 books (most were titles that have been on my wish list) and I paid $12.50. I buy the kids books from the Scholastic book orders they bring home from school. Utah Dad participates in a book club too and he buys his books also. Utah Dad doesn't buy/read as many books as I do, but his are usually much much more expensive. However, we rarely spend more than $20 a month on books--for all of us.

I can't resist my favorite book store - The King's English in Sugarhouse. It's a good thing I don't live too close anymore. Going into Deseret Book is dangerous for both Utah Dad and me. And I always buy a book at the airport book store when I'm flying (which is hardly ever now). Old habits die hard.

Ironically, the books that I have paid full price for have been my least favorites: Twilight and The Shack. I got suckered by all the hype.


Mom of 12 said...

I've never seen any of those shows either, but I still don't have any reading time. The laundry, housework, homework, cooking, dishes, paperwork ... are endless for me. The only time I can steal is when I'm blogging and my sweetie is sometimes impatient about that. I'm so glad you have time to fit it into your life! Maybe there's hope for me too...

Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity said...

I always used to be a little irked when people asked me how I found the time to read so much. It really is all about priorities! And though I complain now about never having time to read I realize that I use my very little free time (with a newborn) to sew.

TV is a huge timesuck. Kudos to you for not falling into that pit. My husband isn't a reader, though, so sometimes I'll just snuggle up with him on the couch instead of heading off with my book. Now if I could just get him reading... ;)