Saturday, November 27, 2010

Nacho Mama's Weakly Reading

I don't know about you, but I've always been a voracious reader. My saintly husband (Nacho Daddy) and I were married for nearly 8 years before we had our first child. Until then, I would go through a book or two a week. Every morning I would get up early, pour myself a cup of coffee and settle down to read a few chapters before beginning my day. And the silence!

Now, of course, I am shaken awake by at least one set of little hands (that I am eternally grateful for, don't get me wrong!) As I wipe the 5 hours of sleep from my puffy eyes, the demands begin: breakfast, diapers, clothes,  pack lunch, etc. Sometimes I can get a few seconds to pour a cup of coffee in between tasks, but often I perform them in something of a stupor. After the first few years of motherhood, I could feel my brain turning to mush. Reading? Limited to safety instructions and nutritional facts. Reading had always been a part of who I was-without it, who was I?

Fortunately with baby 2 came some other wonderful things to help satisfy my need to read.

First of all, during my pregnancy I discovered blogs (tiny choir of angels). I could actually get tips and engage in adult conversation with other moms, other designers, etc. on my crazy mommy schedule! I could ask a question at 3am and someone out there would have an answer. That was HUGE. I feel so bad for moms who had to cope with the isolation of those first few months without anyone to talk to.
Blogs are especially great for moms, because posts are generally the perfect size for the amount of time that we can devote to reading throughout the day. I like to check in with my favorite blogs (some of them are in the blogroll, right) while preparing dinner and right after putting the kids to bed.

The second thing that helped was audiobooks. So often we moms have to give up our reading time simply because we need to keep our hands free! With audiobooks, I can "read" a book while picking up toys, mopping, folding laundry, etc. Right now I'm listening to Amy Sedaris' new book, Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People (absolutely hilarious btw-especially if you're crafty). One tip though: take a minute and listen to the preview before you decide to buy an audiobook. Sometimes the person reading the book has a voice that is annoying or worse, boring.

One of the fun things, though, about being a "bookish" couple has been watching our kids develop a terrific interest in books themselves. My husband also lost his reading time when the kids came along. Now that they're a little older, he can get the time to read, but the 2 year old enjoys hiding his reading glasses. And he can't read without them-or can he? Two weeks ago, for his birthday, he got one of these from his sister:

Now, I'd seen people at coffeehouses and in airports with these, and I must admit, they seemed kind of dumb. Why read on a screen when a book is so portable already. Now? I TOTALLY GET IT. In just the 2 short weeks since the Kindle came to our house, my husband has read 4 books without his glasses, because he can make the text as big as he wants. He can get thousands of classic books for free (our 7 year old is halfway through Alice in Wonderland) and the screen somehow comes very close to simulating the experience of reading the printed page. The only question now is whether we need a second one. Ok, it's not a need-it's totally a want. But between my husband and our kids, I have yet to read a whole book on it. I'll keep you posted :)

Finally, the other awesome thing that happened in my reading life was that our city put their library system online. Now I can search for books, even audiobooks and videos, and put them on reserve (at any hour of the day!) They get delivered to my local branch which is a very short walk from our home. I love the public library system! Even though I'm an Amazon affiliate, I always check the library first for the books I'm interested in. Sometimes I'll like a book so much I go ahead and buy it for our home library, sometimes not.  The important thing is that we are once again a household of readers. And that is worth more to me than a lifetime of silent mornings.

Wishing you love with extra cheese,
Nacho Mama

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