Reigniting a love of books

I’ve always loved to read. It has however, like many aspects of life, post children that passion shifted somewhat. The material I have mainly read in the last six years fall into one of each of the following categories…

Children’s books – ‘That’s not my [book]’, The very hungry Caterpillar and the entire Julia Donaldson back catalogue

How to parent books – Help I just had a baby and I have no idea what I’m doing type literature

Blogs – Small digital mouthfuls of ‘I have a child and I have no idea what I’m doing’ type nuggets of digital solace

Books by Bloggers – Larger paper versions of ‘I have a child / blog and I have no idea what I’m doing’

Holiday reads – Blissful abandonment of all domestic normal ties, allowing for a one week binge of fictitious stories of love, laughter and history. Think ‘The Island’, ‘Me after You’, ‘The captain’s daughter’ (so good) and so forth…

People Lying On Green Wooden Lounger Chairs On Beach

I guess somehow along the line I replaced a love of reading for pure joy with a need to engulf information, a need to feel amongst other Mums, and probably more than anything, a need for sleep. Because the only time I made time to read for pleasure, for me was when I broke free from all normal constraints, and literally escaped to a far flung destination (okay, sometimes it was just Broadstairs, but away is away right?).

I don’t know what changed this year, but I started to feel a pull towards that escapism a good novel provides. I read many ‘book review’ blog posts and started to remember how much I loved to read; to get lost in a story and not want to put a book down so I can just find out what happens next. I suppose through the power of social media there is another form of influence; perhaps begging the question can you really judge a book by it’s cover?

I am a relatively fast reader, and on a two week holiday pre-kids I once read a record 14 books. Granted, I didn’t move from a sun lounger for eight hours at a time, but it was bliss.

Since those days of trying to pack eight chunky books into a suitcase, I saw the benefit in a digital reader, and despite having resisted for years, I relented and added one to my Christmas list. It for sure added convenience of transporting books, but in the years that followed I think in a way it did contribute to that loss of love for reading. It was never charged when I wanted it, and I missed that sensation of flicking through pages. Plus, after hours of staring at screens, phones, blogs all evening, I guess the pull to stare at another screen just wasn’t there.

So recently, post world book day, ironically, I took the girls to exchange their vouchers for books, and for the first time in many years, I picked up one for myself. The heavily instagrammed Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. I guess I wanted to see what all the buzz was about, and also, I probably thought it would make a good instagram picture. But regardless of the silly reasons, fall in love with Eleanor is what I did, and, in parallel, fall in love with books all over again.

Once I’d raced through Eleanor Oliphant, I was hungry for more. With a mini break on the horizon with Dad Muddling Through, suddenly a decent book seemed a critical part of my packing list. Cue Dawn O’Porter’s ‘The Cows; Don’t follow the herd’.

Again, I couldn’t get to the end quick enough, and for the first time in years, when the tea was washed up, the girls were happily playing, I grabbed a brew and did something for myself, at home, in daylight hours. I read a chapter of my book.

What is so lovely is that I realised it created something for the family dynamics too – Mummy sitting down, lost in a book (not her phone) was a novel sight for the girls, and something I felt pretty pleased about. How better to encourage a love of reading in your children, than for them to see you loving a good book. Tig’s even asked lots of questions about the story, and tried to read a few lines too.

And so, after many years apart, my books and I are back together. The last thing on my mind before I close my eyes is no longer a quick scroll through my phone, and I’ve grabbed a few early nights just to lock down a few chapters (sorry Dad Muddling Through).

Currently I’m falling in love with a young boy named August, and I can’t wait to find out where his story of Wonder takes us.

Please keep sharing your reads with me, I’m on the look out for some new recommendations! I love to read your book review posts and pin them all onto #coolmumclub Book Club– so if you’re looking for inspiration it’s a good place to start.

Ultimately, indulging in a good book has been a part of me shelved for far too long, and I’m taking this passion back for myself, the person I still am, and always have been.



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