I am always asked how I can read so much with two small kids.

I will be honest with you, reading as much as I do has meant the loss of other things. However, everything I “lost” are things I don’t miss at all.

Gone are the evenings of hours in front of the TV.

Gone are the nap times spent binge watching something new on Netflix.

Gone are the quiet workouts without much to entertain me.

Gone are the silent drives to or from school when nothing good was on the radio… or that dreaded half hour I spend stuck in the pickup line every afternoon.

Gone is the hour of making dinner with only the sounds of Paw Patrol in the living room to keep me company.

I fill that time with books now, and honestly, I couldn’t be happier. I love to sit down, cuddle into a warm blanket (yes I still do this in Central Florida), bust out my Kindle or a library book and spend hours lost in a fictional world. I’m so far behind on my shows on Netflix, but you know what? I not missing anything important. I make time for the shows I really want to watch (I’m looking at you Bridgerton and Virgin River) and still enjoy the shows my husband and I watch together. But my workouts are filled with audiobooks, just like my solo drives to or from school.

It obviously takes a lot of time to read 200 books in a year (that’s my goal for 2023) but honestly, it looks like I will surpass that goal easily. Here are three things I think you can easily do to increase the amount you read this year. Whether your goal is to finish 5 or 200 books or somewhere in between, we all know the benefits that reading has… so why not read more?!

  1. Invest in a Kindle or get a Library Card: I take my Kindle (affiliate link) with me everywhere. You would be surprised how many small moments I get to read while I am out and about. You don’t have to have a Kindle to take something to read with you on the go! A library book or the Kindle app on your phone are also ways you can read on the go. Recently, I was at the pediatrician for a follow up for my youngest. Once we were in the exam room, I realized that they had a Disney movie playing that my girls of course started watching, so I grabbed my Kindle and read a chapter before the doctor came in. All those small moments add up over time and suddenly you read more and more! Also, beyond the physical books you can check out from your public library, they will have audiobooks and ebooks for you to digitally checkout! My library uses the Libby app and I am able to borrow both – many of the books are the kindle version, so I can read them from my phone or my Kindle.

    The typical mom purse... wallet, keys, trash, snacks for the girls, a discarded hair tie and my Kindle.
    The typical mom purse… wallet, keys, trash, snacks for the girls, a discarded hair tie and my Kindle.
  2. Audiobooks: I always have an audiobook on while we are in the car. I never listen to anything scary or explicit while I am with my girls, but honestly, audiobooks are better than the radio and having to switch stations if a song comes on that I don’t want them to hear or if the DJs start talking about celebrity gossip, again something they don’t need to know about. The girls usually end up just talking to each other or playing a game, so I’m entertained, they are busy and I’m not playing radio monitor… it’s a win for all of us. I also listen to audiobooks while I am cooking, cleaning, vacuuming, folding laundry, blogging for Orlando mom (I am listening to “Love Redesigned” by Jenny Proctor while I type this!), exercising, walking around the neighborhood… you get the idea, I listen to audiobooks a lot. I also listen to them on at least 1.5 speed, so that helps me get through books quickly. Also, audiobooks count as reading and I will die on this hill. You still learn, immerse yourself in a story and therefor they are no different than a physical or ebook.
  3. Read while the kids entertain themselves: I read while my kids are resting, watching their shows or playing on their tablets. My oldest is learning to read and her love of reading inspires me to show her that I enjoy it too. I love to read one of my books while she works through hers. The first time she looked over to one of my books and read a small sentence out loud to me about made my heart explode. How is my first baby that big? I want her (and her sister) to never lose their love of reading, so if they are inspired by my love of reading, I see nothing but good things as a result. I also think that it is good for them to help with the chores around the house (as they are able) that I once did while they were playing on their tablet or watching TV. They understand better all of the things I do to keep the house clean, to make sure they have clean laundry and that the toothpaste disappears off their bathroom mirror. I take advantage of family car trips. So over Spring Break, while my husband drove his leg of our journey to NOLA and the girls played with their new toys from the Dollar Tree, I slipped away into a fictional world about the romance of a famous hockey player and a college student.

If you want to start reading more, but don’t know what books to start with, join us in Book Club! We read one book a month and I provide a pacing guide so that you can easily get through the book in that time frame. I pick books of various genres that I have read and loved. We also talk about the books at the end of the month and try to get together as my schedule allows.

You also can follow me on GoodReads to see what I am currently reading and what books I have loved.


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