A Reading Life Revised by Sarah Andersen
Before Jack was born in August many of my friends and family told me how different my life would be. I’m a smart woman, so I knew to expect changes to my sleep schedule, my work life, and my life at home. I even dealt with colleagues commenting on how much I was reading and how I’d never have time to read once Jack arrived. My response (mostly to myself) was always that reading is a priority in my life, it’s a way of life, so I’ll find time to read.
Jack will be six months old on February 21st, and this is incredibly hard to admit, but it’s been difficult to find time to read. In the past six months I’ve finished reading 17 books. I try not to allow that number to get me down because at least I’m still making reading a priority in my life. And that number doesn’t include all of the picture books Jack and I have read together.
But this post isn’t about me mourning my former reading life. This post is about how I’m revising my reading life. Out of those 17 books that I’ve finished reading, 9 of them were audiobooks. A few years ago I discovered the wonderful world of audiobooks and I’ve been enjoying them ever since. Audiobooks allow me to read while I clean and fold laundry, while I get ready for work in the morning, while I drive to and from work, while I cook, and even while I go grocery shopping. There were many times I turned on an audiobook while I was up in the middle of the night with Jack. We had a hard time getting Jack to nap for the first few months, and since he was born at the end of the summer, I used his need for a nap as an excuse to put him in his carseat and take him for a drive with the windows down so I could listen to Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer.
I read with my ears quite a bit before I had Jack, but not until his arrival have I truly appreciated how important audiobooks are to my reading life. Without sustained silent reading time during class and Jack going to bed earlier at night, I don’t think I’d be reading much at all if I wasn’t using my Audible app every day. Because I’ve found a way to keep reading, I’m feeling more like myself. Now I’m still able to recommend new books to my students. I know many of my Nerdy Book Club friends are new parents, so hopefully this post helps you find a way to keep reading despite the whirlwind that is parenthood.
Whether you’ve never read with your ears or you’re an avid audiobook listener, here’s a list of some of my favorites. I’d love to get some recommendations from you that I can add to my Audible wishlist.
Sarah Andersen is currently in her eighth year of teaching high school English. She’s a YA lit enthusiast, a book blogger, an author fangirl, and a wife and new mother. You can follow Sarah on Twitter at @yaloveblog and on her blog YA Love.