Friday, December 28, 2018

This Is How We Read

If you're visiting from the Not Just A Mom linkup in March 2022, welcome! Even though this post is over three years old, it still rings mostly true. A few updates, however:

1) I do finally own a Kobo so I have read more ebooks. However, I still tend to default to physical books and use my e-reader for vacations or books my library only carries in e formats. Also, thanks to my friend Allena, I've read a few books on my phone using her Kindle account. So yes, I've slowly dipped my toes into the ebook idea.

2) We do now have a Disney+ account so we do watch a little more TV than we used to.

3) I no longer track my reading on Instagram. I do semi-monthly posts on the blog and, for the first time ever, this year I've started tracking my reading on Goodreads.

4) It's true -- I struggled when our library closed for three months during Covid. It was not a good time. Thankfully, I had my Kobo and could borrow some ebooks.

5) I still read a lot. In 2021, I read 200 books. It's absolutely one of my favourite things to do.

I'm so excited about this topic and I'm linking up with Kimberly, Andi, Tamara, and Tanya for #AMonthofFaves to talk about it!!! I'm going to take you through my reading process from start to finish. It's like a "Day In The Life of Natasha's Reading." (After I wrote this post I realized it's really long and detailed. Oops. Hopefully you all find it interesting!)

Before I get too far in this topic I want to point out a few things:

1) I read really quickly. Like really fast. I don't speed read but I've always been a quick reader.

In high school we were assigned "The Tale of Two Cities" and we had the afternoon off school. I very clearly remember reading that book and baking chocolate chip cookies. That's all I did that afternoon and I finished the book in the early evening.

2) Thankfully, both of our kids have inherited the reading bug. This is why family participation in things like readathons or the Icelandic Christmas Eve tradition of Jólabókaflóð works well for our family.

Sam and Rachel participating in Jólabókaflóð this year.

Also we don't own a TV or have a Netflix account so we don't spend much time as a family watching things on screens. We do borrow the occasional movie, or TV series, from the library, but mainly, as a family, we read.

So, with those caveats, on with the rest of this post.

First of all, I read physical books. I've never listened to an audio book. I've read a few e-books when that is the only format our library carries. However, I don't have an e-reader, so I have to do that on our really old iPad and I've read maybe five e-books. Maybe. I like the feel of the actual book in my hand.
Exception to buying books -- Harry Potter illustrated editions. Ha!

Second of all, I rarely buy books -- especially for myself.

Third of all, I would probably go into extreme withdrawal and depression if my local library ever closed. When I lived overseas, finding my local library was always my highest priority. Always.

I mostly get book suggestions from my blog friends, Emily and Allena. I also get suggestions from my book friends on Instagram. And, guilty confession, I often read through the comments of Mix and Match Mama's book posts to get new book ideas. Especially if a few readers are recommending a book, I'll tend to check it out.
I used to keep my book lists on random pieces of paper (see above) but my youth from church brought me back a little book from Costa Rica in March and now it's all in there (see below). Thanks Anya!
Then I go to my library website and put books on hold, or I go to the actual library and check books out.
A screenshot of how many books I had checked out and on hold a few weeks ago.
We rarely pay overdue fines. I'm a little obsessive about due dates -- most of the time!
(FYI, my numbers as of today are 25 checked out and 26 on hold.)

We have four library cards in our house and I manage three of them (mine and Sam's and Rachel's). And this doesn't count the books the kids bring home from the school library, the church library, and the synagogue library.

As much as possible, I try to get the kids to keep their books on "the library table."
Mine stay on my dresser or on my nightstand. The books which have urgent due dates go on my night stand to be read ASAP.
I pile these books in the order in which they need to be read.
 I currently have two library piles which are ordered largest to smallest. I might be a little obsessive. The pile at the back is the TBR of books I own or have borrowed from friends. I added one book to that stack this year and gotten rid of (read) about three books.

I either read in my lovely reading chair (which annoyingly, Sam has started to use more and more) or in my bed before bedtime. I get the majority of my reading done between the hours of 9:00pm and 2am.
Sharing my reading space with Rachel.

When we're done with our books, they go in the library bag which sits on our table by the back door. Or if you're Dave, you put the book in front of the library bag because that's helpful. Urgh.

The library bag is the Blue Jays bag.
Notice Dave's book to be returned. Ha!
Whenever we're headed out to do errands, we take books to the library, pick up holds, and if we have time, pick up even more library books.

Sam has his library card memorized because he puts so many books on hold. And it's a 14 digit number. I used to have mine memorized but then in February I had to get a new card (I wore my old one out) and I don't have my new one memorized -- yet.

Since October of 2017, I keep track of the books I've read on Instagram, under the hashtag "natashareadsonfridays." As the tag implies, I try to post every Friday. In 2018 I posted 29 of these posts so I obviously am not successful in posting every week. Ha!

Four times a year I participate in readathons. I LOVE these weekends dedicated to reading and the book community. In January and July I participate in 24in48 which you can check out here. Even better you should sign up and join me in January... And in April and October I participate in Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon which you can check out here.

In October, my whole family participated in Dewey's for the afternoon. A major accomplishment which facilitated this is that Rachel learned to read to herself in her head this summer. Yay!!!
So this is how I read (and how my family reads) in way more detail than you ever cared to know about.

I will be posting my final book total for 2018 on Monday because I am hoping to finish a couple of more books before then. Until then, Happy Reading!


  1. This is fascinating! I have gotten behind on reading at the end of this year, and I've missed it. Ready to get back into it!

  2. I love the red and black pjs...cute!

    I wish I could read faster.

  3. Wow! Thanks so much for sharing how you and your family read. Good luck in your reading goals this year!

    1. Thanks so much! It was a fun topic to write about :)

  4. 1. I read slowly, very slowly. Sometimes I'd like to speed read, but I just can't seem to do it.

    2. I love how you get your family to participate in your readathons. It's always fun seeing your posts on Instagram with you and your family.

    1. Awwww... thank you! It's been so much fun to have the kids, especially, get excited about readathons!

  5. My phone does not like when I comment on blogspot blogs! My comment disappeared! Anyway I was trying to day that I love that Sam has his library number memorised! I do too! Also, your library table! I have a plastic box on the floor... Maybe I should try to improve on that ��

    1. We needed a spot where the kids could look at their piles of books and this table wasn't doing anything else!

  6. I am also a very fast reader who gets almost all of my books from the library, has a special place to put library books, and has one of my library cards memorized. I currently have three (four if you count my work ID), so I have them stored in my password manager. I try not to have too many books on hold at one time because they almost all come in at the same time WITHOUT FAIL. Bah.

    1. Oh, mine often all come in at the same time too. Grrrr... It does sound like we are kindred reading spirits :)

  7. I really love this post and all your detail on reading. I have so many thoughts. I LOVE that you don't own a TV. If it were up to me, I'd get rid of ours as well but Adam grew up in a TV family so... sigh. I also LOVE that you a fellow physical-book reader; so few of us are left! I too rarely ever buy books for myself and would go into extreme depression if our library closed. When did Sam and Rachel get their own library cards? Right now Aaron is still on my card, because it's easy for me to have one consolidated online account for everything, but I would like him to have his own card at some point. I LOL'ed a lot at Dave putting the books *in front of* the library bag; just like how Adam puts his coffee mug *on top of* the dishwasher. Why do men do this? Why?

  8. I read a lot from our library as well. I read quickly but my son might read faster (and definitely has more time to do it), so it's handy to go to the library once or twice a week.

    I love that you pile your books in the order you're going to read them. I like to plan at least three books ahead myself.

    1. With so many books out of the library at one time, I need to pile them in order of when to read them or I'd miss out. Even with this system, I sometimes miss a book and then have to figure out if I can read it in three days (when my library sends reminder e-mails out) or just return it.

  9. I loved reading this and am going to do this prompt in January - with all the birthdays December got too busy ha. I can't wait to be able to do some read-a-thons when the kids are a little older, definitely seems SO much fun. I can't wait to hear your # for the year - 2018 was my highest year ever (doing the 2019 POPSUGAR reading challenge again but not as a contest) with 105!!!

  10. I really enjoyed this post and seeing how you make reading a priority in your life. I seem to go through phases where I'll read a lot in a short period of time and then not read a book again for months! I think I may just curl up with a book tonight after reading this!

    1. I'm glad I inspired you to read! And a few of my friends have done this prompt and I am LOVING their posts :)


Thank you for being interested in my life as I blog it and for leaving a comment. Comments make me happier than reading a good book and drinking a cold Coke. Almost :)