I’ve had three beautiful babies in less than four years. I don’t have to spend more than a breath explaining the life changes that accompanied the births of each babe. You know.
What I will say is that although some of the changes are more abrupt and immediate, as in, “oh holy hell! When am I ever going to find time to get a shower” there are also the slow, creeping ghostlike changes that lurk in the shadows and leave us moms scratching our heads. These changes are especially hard because they sometimes represent that pieces of us, the women we were before kids, have gotten kind of lost in the shuffle.
One such instance for me was the slow, painful death of my Reader. Since before kindergarten, books and reading have always been my happy place; essential to my being. But somewhere along the way, I stopped caring. Yep, time was a factor but really, that’s a cop-out. Somewhere shortly after ‘Eat Pray Love’ brought out the angry side in me, I just pushed my Reader out the front door, bolted it shut, and immersed myself full force into everything mom, wife, and home.
But one day, I listened to my mother tell me about a book called ‘The Book Thief.’ It was enough to pique my interest and I happily accepted it from her when she was finished. Honestly, it was not one of my all-time forever favorites. BUT it was good, really good. Reading it made me remember the smell of books. I felt the pages,my long lost friends. In moments of quiet, in-between times driving the car or tossing clothes into the dryer, the characters appeared. And like that, I was back.
I brought my Reader back to life.
I got myself a nifty book light and the sometimes tedious task of sitting with my toddler while she fell asleep at once turned joyous. JOYOUS I SAID!!!
Then, I joined Goodreads. It’s a free computer/phone app that gives members space to create lists of books that have been read, are currently reading and want to read.
My lists? They rock my world. Ideally, yes, I would love to have these book conversations in person but most of the time, I just can’t seem to fit that in. Goodreads is a totally competant runner up.
I relish seeing what friends and family are reading, seeing how many stars they give books, reading their reviews. I love adding books to my list.
When I finish a book, I can “complete” it on Goodreads. It’s a really awesome feeling, physically checking that off my colorful list and knowing I’ve done it just for me.
So my reading-starved mamas…even those of you with newborns (heck ESPECIALLY those of you with newborns) what are you waiting for?
1. Join Goodreads.
2. Friend me. Please?
3. Make your lists. And no, it’s totally not dorky to begin with books you read in high school. That’s where my sleep-deprived brain began, too.
4. Go to the library. WITHOUT kids.
5. Open your book. Breathe it in.
Need some inspiration? Here are a few of my recent favorites:
1. Hemingway’s Girl – Erika Robuck
2. ANYTHING by Marisa de los Santos
3. When You Are Engulfed in Flames – David Sedaris
4. The Paris Wife – Paula McLain
5. Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald – Therese Anne Fowler
6. Possible Side Effects – Augusten Burroughs
7. Orphan Train – Christina Baker Kline
and last but not least, from one of Vermont’s own and finest:
8. The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian
Oh yeah. I know I said it’s just for you, but there’s also this:
Read anything good lately?