Long, long, long ago, when I was a little munchkin, I loved to read books. Fast forward through the awkward middle school years, the dark teen angsty years, the wow-I-can-sleep-in-every-damn-day college years, and into the I-will-never-get-to-sleep-in-ever-again years of parenting. And I still love to read books.
It isn’t always as easy to find the time, and I almost never have the peace I used to have for it. But I still sneak books in wherever I can. While I’m fixing lunch, I might take a little extra time than usual. There might be one or two unnecessary trips to the bathroom during the afternoon. For the excruciating weeks when I had to stand in Z’s doorway as she fell asleep, I listened to audiobooks.
But it’s always a risk. If the book is terrible (and again and again I wonder how these things are even published, but that will always remain one of the world’s unsolvable mysteries)…where was I? Oh yes, if the book is terrible, and I read the whole thing (as I almost always do, because even if I hate the main character or think the plot is completely contrived or will scream my head off if another teenage protagonist LOVES the library)…where was I? So if I get through it, I’m grouchy because I wasted time on a dumb book.
The even bigger risk, though, is a book that sucks me in. With a short one, like Elizabeth Scott’s The Unwritten Rule, where the main character is totally completely forever in love with her best friend’s boyfriend, I’m pretty safe. I can get through the book in a couple of hours, quickly unload the dishwasher, read Z a story and jet to the park, and I feel like a good stay-at-home mommie.
But if it’s a suck-you-in book and it’s big and fat, like Jennifer Donnelly’s Revolution, and I have to get to the end of the story and it takes me more than a day, and I let everything go – housework, play dates, personal hygiene…those are the dangerous books. It’s a safe bet that we will eat, but the meals might be a little later than usual, and perhaps less involved. And heaven forbid if Z’s potty breaks don’t coincide with my own. “You have to what? But I just sat down with my book!” Suddenly I regret potty training.
If you want to get sucked in, here are some recent favorites. I’ve reviewed some of them here in my blog and helpfully provided the links…but why waste the time on a review when you can go read the book?
- The Unwritten Rule, by Elizabeth Scott
- Revolution, by Jennifer Donnelly
- The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
- Graceling, by Kristin Cashore
- If I Stay, by Gayle Forman
- The Chosen One, by Carol Lynch Williams
- Out of My Mind, by Sharon M. Draper
- Ida B, by Katherine Hannigan
- Feed, by M. T. Anderson
- A Blue So Dark, by Holly Schindler
So it’s the weekend, you’ve got plenty of time. Get thee to a bookstore!