habit shift: read more (revisited).

February 4, 2019
read more | reading my tea leaves

It’s been two years since I last wrote about making a concerted effort to read more books. At the time of my first post, Faye was just a bit more than two and I was feeling like I’d figured things out enough to carve out time to read for pleasure. Of course, in the time that’s elapsed since then, I found myself saddled (happily, but nonetheless) with another very tiny human who needed me, once again, for all sorts of things that made reading for the fun of it seem difficult or else like it couldn’t be a priority. I slipped. Down time I’d previously used for snuggling up with a good book was taken up by snuggling two kids, or sleeping, or pumping, or else mindlessly scrolling a feed of other people’s photos feeling too exhausted to muster any more energy than it took to move my thumb up and down a screen and worry about what I was doing with my life.

So perhaps it’s no surprise that I find myself revisiting the habit with renewed success now that that very tiny infant is himself a pigtail-wearing two-year-old able to entertain himself.

read more | reading my tea leaves

All of the bits of advice I wrote about in my first post hold true, but I’ve found success recently by embracing—or considering—a few others, too:

Making a list: I’ve never been good about recording the books that I read, but I started to at the beginning of the year and, ever competitive with myself, I’ve found that the act of creating the list of books and adding to it has been encouraging me to read more of them. I know I’m not alone here, but in case you’re not someone who’s given that particular strain of record keeping a try, consider it. I made space in my project book, but any place—digital or analog—would work.

Sharing: There are about a million things that are good about having a sister living just a few blocks away, but one of the best parts is swapping books. Cait’s always in the middle of a book and when she’s done, she passes the physical copy (or the library recommendation) along to me. It’s a handy way of keeping the supply coming and it’s awfully nice to have someone to talk to about the books once I’m finished. Which brings me to my next point…

Talk about them: My sister and I are thinking about starting a little book club. I’ve never been a part of a book club (unless I count graduate school, and really I should) but I love to read and I love to talk, so the combination seems readymade for me. Besides, being around other adult humans and *not* talking about work or children just sounds terrific. Scheduling that time onto my calendar and committing to *actually* doing it? Even better.

Put down my phone: Pesky advice that’s perennially true. All of that mindless scrolling isn’t really so mindless. It’s taking up my time and my energy, no matter how passive it feels. Plugging my phone into the kitchen basket at night and climbing into bed with a book? So much better.

read more | reading my tea leaves

What about you? Book clubbers out there? List makers? Phone putter-away-ers?

For the curious, books I’ve read so far this year:

Becoming by Michelle Obama

L’appart by David Lebovitz

Well-Read Black Girl by Glory Edim

Weird Parenting Wins by Hillary Frank

and I just started In Spite of Oceans by Huma Qureshi

Most importantly: What are you reading?

This post includes affiliate links. Reading My Tea Leaves might earn a small commission on the goods purchased through those links.