Wednesday, January 16, 2013

So Many Books...So Little Time

It all started in about 1991. I was eight years old and had just had my tonsils out. My favorite movie was The Little Mermaid and I had been promised lots of Jell-O and endless movie-watching while I recovered. But after about 600 viewings of my ‘favorite’ movie, it was getting lower and lower on my list of favorite things.

I’m not sure why, but my cousin (well, my second cousin actually but who’s keeping track) loaned me five books. Up until then I don’t remember being much of a reader. But all of that changed with my very first Mandie book.

 What’s really funny is that my (second) cousin didn’t lend me the first five books in this series. I think I ended up with books 6-10 but I was nevertheless completely hooked. Thus began my life as a reader. I consumed the Mandie books, saving my allowance to buy new ones when they came out and becoming more and more invested in the characters and their lives.

An argument can probably be made that I started reading so obsessively to avoid other, more messy things that were going on in my family and my life at that point. But the fact of the matter is that I’m no shrink and I just loved to read! : )

After I started to outgrow my beloved Mandie, I started another series called the Twelve Candles Club. I was so in love with this series that I even started exchanging letters with the author, Elaine Schulte. Looking back, I so appreciate her willingness to take the time and energy to answer the letters of a young girl whose life she was affecting.

I always had a book with me. I took a flashlight to bed and read under the covers waaaay past bedtime. I hid a book in my lap at school so I could read when I should be listening to the teacher (not terribly proud of that). I read in the car, I read while I walked home from school, I even took books to most family gatherings and shut myself off in a room somewhere. I loved that even though it didn’t feel like work I was learning so much and getting to experience different times, lives, and places.

Fast forward to the present. It is 2013, I have three kids, a husband who is gone a lot, a house to keep, and bills to pay. Needless to say my reading time is limited to the bathroom (just keeping it real!) and those few moments I can keep my eyes open after I crawl into bed.

I still recognize that there is so much to learn from a good book—fact or fiction—and want to continue my…education in many areas. As the stacks of books piled up and toppled over, I decided I needed to get a bit more organized about what I’ve got and what I really think will have a positive effect on the little life I live here with my munsters and husband. So I busted out one of my handy dandy notebooks, rounded up all the books on my nightstand and kitchen counter and went to work.

I have books about money and home-making, books about marriage (and sex!), books about parenting and then Pride & Prejudice. I’ve read P&P about 12 times; I just love it and I’m due to read it again. : )

After listing them all out, I decided that some of them are just going to have to wait. Sorry, Jane Austen! You’re at the bottom of the list. I’m currently reading One Thousand Gifts and Miserly Moms. I’d like to keep myself limited to reading three books at the most at once, that way I won’t get overwhelmed. Because when I get overwhelmed, only Hershey’s and Netflix can fix it. And that seems like a step in the wrong direction. : )

Do you have a list of books a mile long that you’re reading? Any tips on how to prioritize what books to read first? Does anyone else have trouble finding time to read? Take books to the bathroom? That always reminds me of that “Seinfeld” episode when George takes that book to the bathroom at the bookstore. Ah, George. 


  1. I loved this post :) I already commented on FB but I must add that you challenge me to expand on my fition reading. There is so much I could learn if I wasn't so lazy in my reading! Thanks for another great post.

    1. Haha! Thanks, but I generally stick to stuff that's pretty easy to get through, too! Jane Austen is about as challenging as I go. I love Francine Rivers, and I tore through the Hunger Games books in no time. Nothing too fancy here!

  2. I grew up reading the same books! I love the Mandie Books! I have a huge list of book that I want to read. I go in spurts. I'm crafting now, eventually I'll get so sick of even the thought of fabric and read a bunch of books. I'm not great at getting through non fiction books, so I tend to read them in pieces over a very long period of time. But a good fiction book I can cram into a couple of days :) I have a kindle and that helps with the finding time to read problem. A lot of it is done in the car... waiting for school to start, waiting to pick up from school, waiting for gymnastics, etc. When I really want to read a book though I have to put aside all the other evening things, whether its cleaning, sewing, watching tv, because that is really the only "free" time :) And it's not like most of that won't wait for another day!

    1. I do kind of the same thing, but I'm trying VERY HARD as the new year starts to get to bed at a decent time with my kitchen clean and living room picked up. It's so easy to stay up too late to do what I want to do, but then I'm so grumpy the next day, my kids really pay for it! : ) Maybe I can wrap up a couple of other little projects and then focus a bit more on the books...

  3. I have to say that I too am trying to "limit" myself to three books and I'm overwhelmed just thinking about it! Might have to scale back to two plus text books:) Just finished first chapter of One Thousand Gifts though and have a lot underlined!