time + BOOKS

October 1, 2014
The list of books that I read this year is short but — well, at least there is one!  I think I’ll just consider that a victory considering the circumstances.  However, I am really missing regular reading lately.  As an adult, I have not been a voracious or fast reader.  But until recent years, I was a steady and consistent one.  I plodded my way through every Murakami novel, even the mammoth 1Q84 (while pregnant with Annabel).  But then I had her, and . . yeah.

There is simply less time in my life for books since I became a parent*.  But there is still some.  I am (finally!) working very hard at decreasing the amount of time I spend on email and social media.  I have actually been really successful with the pact I mentioned in a previous post, and now I’m tracking both email and social media usage too with the goal of:

— 3 email checks/day

— social media playtime only in time-limited, designated chunks:  when I first wake up (usually this is just 5-10 minutes), around lunchtime at work (if time), and while Annabel finishes watching her Mickey Mouse clubhouse once C has gone to sleep (also time-limited for obvious reasons).

The result?  Too early to tell yet.  I’ve only been consistent for 2 days 🙂 But I am thinking that these changes will yield some extra time, particularly in the evenings which is when I like to read.  And therefore: I am hoping to bring books back into my life.  I have many titles on my amazon wish list, all ready to be downloaded at any moment.  

Although oddly — I am struggling with an odd desire to go back to paper books recently.  I do love the instant gratification and energy efficiency of digital books.   And I appreciate the lack of clutter (although — paperback books are similar in price and if I am not going to refer back to them/reread there is no reason not to just give them away!).  I also like the lit screen which means not having to mess with a reading lamp in bed.  But I somehow find myself less motivated to pick them up, and I get distracted more easily while reading them. Hmm.

Do you like digital or paper for pleasure reading?
Anything awesome that you have read recently?  I like both fiction and non.

A few selections on the wish list:
This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper 
random non-fiction pick: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
Next year, I’m also excited for Gretchen Rubin’s Before and After and Laura‘s yet-to-be-renamedformerly-known-as Mosaic 🙂

* Just because there is less free time in general.  But not none.  I’m going to do a D-I-T-L post again soon!


  • Reply Lee Becknell March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    I’ve heard Where’d you go, Bernadette is really good.

  • Reply Marie March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    I loved This Is where I Leave You! It’s going to be a movie soon! I’m reading Assassination Vacation right now. Two pages at a time, but it’s great.

  • Reply Lucy March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    Hi Sarah! I think we’ve talked about this before – I love my Kindle! I haven’t read a paper book in forever. I did buy a hardback book last year ("A Light That Never Goes Out," about the Smiths), but found it too cumbersome to actually read.

    I also really enjoyed "This is Where I Leave You," and I’m excited that it’s being made into a movie. I’m currently enjoying "The Signature of All Things" by Elizabeth Gilbert (I did not love "Eat, Pray, Love," but this is fiction, and really compelling). Have also recently liked "Beautiful Ruins" by Jess Walter and "Dirty Love" by Andre Dubus. Happy reading! Picking up the Kindle is my favorite part of the day.

    • Reply theSHUbox March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

      hi lucy!! so good to hear from you. Adding to my wishlist 🙂 🙂

  • Reply Ana March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    The Tropper was OK, not one of my favorites from the year. I haven’t read the others.
    I like your goals. I don’t think I can do the email one, but I’m trying to limit social media/blog time as you know. I still haven’t figured out the best way to work it into my day, because I DO enjoy it, but its not—and shouldn’t be treated as—a PRIORITY in life! On the other hand, I’ve gotten way behind on comments already, 3 days into my experiment—and I feel bad because people are writing really heartfelt posts that I completely relate to, I just don’t have the time & mental energy to delve into it…
    I didn’t read at all for a period of about 3 years (maybe one short novel on a trip), but once L turned 1, I started having a LOT more energy at night to read. Its the start-up that is hard—if I’m not in the middle of a book, I feel tempted to just watch TV or read blogs. Once I start and get into it, it calls me!

  • Reply countingdowntildaddy March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    I love my kindle, and always choose it over my ipad kindle app for a few reasons. One of which is the fact that it is JUST an ereader. No option to hit the home button and start scrolling through facebook. The kindle paperwhite is the best. The fact that they didn’t always have a built-in light will never make sense to me. My husband got me one of the original kindles when I had Madeline and I spent at least 30 minutes looking for the light…how could it not have a light?! I read maybe half of 1Q84…it is still on my kindle and maybe living in Japan will motivate me to finish it, though I would probably have to go back and re-read some. My husband reads a lot more than I do these days and the one book he has recently been telling everyone to read is A Constellation of Vital Phenomenon. I started it, but don’t always have big chunks of time to read, so if a book doesn’t get me in the first few pages I move onto something that does for the time being…

    I really liked Gone Girl.

  • Reply Priyanka March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    I have an off-topic question, what are A and C’s bedtimes? The reason I’m asking is because my two+ year old is pushing his bedtime later almost 8:30/8:45 and I was just curious how other kids around his age are doing.

  • Reply Elisabeth March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    I like reading books in pretty much any format. I often check out library books, I buy books if I want to keep them or if they’re an inexpensive paperback and I read on a kindle, a nook & an iPad. Ha. I really do enjoy all of the formats, depending on my mood, where I’m at & the type of book.

  • Reply Khar March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    I’ve read both of those fiction books and thought they were fun reads. Off to check out that non-fiction one!

  • Reply Annie March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    I absolutely loved Ruth Ozeki’s Tale for the Time Being as well as Lahiri’s The Lowland! Both wonderful reads.

  • Reply Christine Cortese March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    I love my Kindle but I just read fiction on it, and sometimes I prefer paper books for fiction as well. Somehow I don’t feel that i read as well on the small electronic screen. I need the tactile element of feeling paper (sometimes I think I’d embrace all things electronic more readily if they had p/leather cases and some kind of liquid metal screen, so they weren’t so….hard and cold.) Aside from that, too much screen time is definitely affecting my vision. I sleep better after reading a paper book than I do when using my Kindle.

  • Reply Mommy Sanest March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    I’ve been recommending Where’d You Go, Bernadette to everyone I know. It’s an entertaining, quick read. I totally get what you are saying about Kindle vs. real book. I love reading in bed in the dark, so the Kindle is easy, but there’s just something about a paperback. I did buy a little book light that clips to my book or the bed that I use regularly. I think it was like $9.

  • Reply Chelsea March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    I’ve been doing a lot more reading lately with Daniel working 3 nights week. We usually watch TV together when he’s home, but I’m more inclined to lay down and read after Scott’s bedtime when he’s away. I mostly read on my Kindle but I have a few Carl Hiaasen books paperbacks that were given to me before we moved to FL that I’m working through and will give away once I finish them.

  • Reply Laura Vanderkam March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    I’m glad my book is making the 2015 list! Gretchen’s book actually got renamed too, to "Better Than Before" — somewhat of an epidemic of late stage name changes going on it seems. I’ve been aiming to get the kids upstairs and in their rooms by 8:30. I am trying to limit work on at least some nights, to maybe 30-45 minutes. Then I can be in my bedroom and reading by 9:30 which gives me until 10:30. You can get through a lot in an hour! I have some Murakami novels on the list (I read 2 of them this summer) and the pile of non-fiction is non-ending. Currently in the midst of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, which is easily consuming that hour nightly. We’ll see if I finish before it’s due back at the library. It’s like a personal challenge now.

  • Reply katie March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    i was a little underwhelmed with murakami’s new book [sad to say] & it took me forever to get into it. i enjoyed where’d you go, bernadette – a quick & easy read which was nice. read both the goldfinch and the secret history – enjoyed both as well, but maybe the latter a bit more. the paris wife & z: a novel of zelda fitzgerald are a good pair to read as well – although they totally make you want to move to paris right away 😉

  • Reply thesweetslife March 10, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    do you have Goodreads? If so I’d direct you to my profile there bc I have an insane list of books I’ve read and want to read…love that app! However, off the top of my head I highly recommend Maxed Out (all working moms should read this!), The Husband’s Secret, The Story Hour, and Dinner: A Love Story!

  • Reply Twitter APK March 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Good one. Thanks for sharing with us.

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