35 Bedtime Stories for Kids

Bedtime Books

 

As we come to the close of this Labor Day weekend we come to the unofficial end of summer. Days get shorter, leaves start turning and we all reluctantly go back to a more scheduled and routine lifestyle. I’d like to hope that bedtime stories are a part of the routine during all seasons of the year but even my own bedtime reading routine suffers when it’s warm and light outside. So, as you’re transitioning back into those routines be sure to squeeze in a few minutes one on one with the littles in your life to talk about the good and the bad things that happened during their day and read together even if it’s just one page or poem before turning out the lights. This one habit will transform your relationship and their reading skills, I guarantee it.

And while you can absolutely read any book at all during this time, there are more than a few that are tailor made for sending the reader off to dreamland in style. Here are just a few of my favorites:

In a Blue Room by Jim Averbeck

A Different Pond by Phi Bao*

Bedtime for Bear by Bonny Becker

Something Extraordinary by Ben Clanton

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles by Michelle Cuevas*

The Storm Whale by Benji Davies

Windows by Julia Denos*

Llama, Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

The Night Gardener by Terry Fan*

Time for Bed by Mem Fox

Hush Little Baby by Marla Frazee

Night Lights by Susan Gal

Goodnight Everyone by Chris Haughton

Kiss Goodnight by Amy Hest

Hush! A Thai Lullaby by Minfong Ho*

Bedtime for Frances by Russell Hoban

Forever or a Day by Sarah Jacoby*

One Minute Till Bedtime by Kenn Nesbitt*

Babushka’s Doll by Patricia Polacco*

Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site  by Sherri Duskey Rinker

Little Owl’s Night by Divya Srinivasan

The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson

The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson

Have an older reader? Don’t underestimate the power of picture books, especially those above with an * by them which indicates a little more depth in the text and/or illustrations. Or read a few pages (or a whole chapter) from one of the favorites below. Keep this time separate from any school reading or skills practice for the child. Allow them to do the reading if they choose but bonus points if you do all the reading and just let them revel in the story. Discussion can occur if they take the lead, but again the goal is to simply enjoy the tale and the time together.

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater

The Miniature World of Marvin and James by Elise Broach

The BFG by Roald Dahl

The Tale of Desperaux by Kate DiCamillo

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Clementine by Sarah Pennypacker

The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White

I’d love to hear about your favorite bedtime reads and any tips for making it a habit. Share them in the comments below!

Happy Reading!

52 Hikes Progress Report

This weekend marks the end of summer, the beginning of school, and a time I look at as a second new year so to speak. I like to re-evaluate goals I’ve set and where I stand. At the beginning of the year I set a goal to go hiking (or snowshoeing, depending on the weather) once a week making a grand total of 52 hikes for the year. Of course, life got in the way and had its own ideas but I’ve come pretty close despite the various health setbacks and horrid air quality thanks to all the wildfires everywhere.

I’m at the halfway point of 26 hikes just a little behind at 35 weeks. With the temps cooling down and the air clearing up and a few weeks of travel and extra hikes planned I think I may still make it to 52 before January. Regardless, I’ve noticed a huge improvement in my health and stamina and am even down a few pounds (and hoping I can be down a few more before the holidays set in!)

I love being able to gage measurable progress even if its something relatively subjective. I’ve been doing a modified keto diet as part of the health overhaul and have been nowhere near perfect (I followed up today’s hike with a delicious serving of frozen yogurt!) But I’ve definitely been more conscientious about what I eat and how I treat my body and it’s making a difference. I still have more I’d like to do but the progress is there and that encourages me to keep trying.

I’ve also made a conscious effort to unplug more and connect with the people around me. As a result, I’ve done more reading, crocheting, writing and improving relationships. I still spend way too much time attached to my phone but the awareness is there and that alone has made a difference. The hubs and I have also made a great effort to stick to a budget…again, no where near perfect but being able to watch the savings grow and the debt shrink even a little is such a powerful motivator!

What motivates you to stick to your goals? How do you evaluate your progress? Do you do a daily/weekly check-in? Do you set multiple goals or work on one at a time? I’d love to hear about what you’re working towards and how you’re doing. Share your experiences, successes and setbacks in the comments below!

 

Waterfall Sign

Bells Canyon Waterfall

Music Monday ~ Aretha Franklin

The world lost an amazing lady recently. I’ve been revisiting some of her music and venturing beyond some of the more well-known (to me) songs and wanted to spotlight a couple of my favorites today.

I’m so grateful for people who are blessed with talents (I’m a little lacking in that department) and for all of those that share them with the rest of us. My greatest talent may be appreciating other people’s talents…so keep sharing and making the world a better place for us, even long after you’ve left us!

God bless, Miss Franklin. Thank you for the music. <3

 

 

50 Books for Back-to-School

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.  

In addition to all the books I’ve already shared this week, I’m excited to share with you  50 more of my favorite back-to-school reads for all ages. This is by no means a comprehensive list, just some of the standouts over the last few years.  Some are dealing directly with first days of school (whether it be in a pre-school or kindergarten setting for the very first time or a new school or grade for older students) while some are focusing on the ins and outs of a classroom setting, friendships and social skills, and the unique dynamics of social hierarchies withing a school. And all are simply great books! 🙂

50 Back to School Books

Kindergarten Specific

Countdown to Kindergarten

Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten

Kindergarten Rocks

On the First Day of Kindergarten

Adventure Annie Goes to Kindergarten

Kindergarten Diary

Jake Starts School

First Day Jitters

The Kissing Hand

Wemberly Worried

Llama Llama Misses Mama

 

Picture Books

I Walk With Vanessa

Sumi’s First Day of School Ever

My Teacher is a Monster

The Name Jar

My Best Friend is as Sharp as a Pencil

The Art Lesson

Thank You, Mr. Falker

Rain School

The Teacher From the Black Lagoon

Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story From Afghanistan

This Is the Way We Go To School

The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade

Miss Nelson is Missing

The Invisible Boy

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To School

 

Chapter Books/Middle Grade

Lola Levine is Not Mean

Justin Case: School, Drool, and Other Daily Disasters

Frindle

Gooney Bird Greene

Sideways Stories from Wayside School

The One and Only Stuey Lewis

Wonder

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things

Stuart Goes to School

Gertie’s Leap to Greatness

The Stars Beneath Our Feet

Real Friends

Wolf Hollow

 

Young Adult

The Hate U Give

I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You

Stargirl

Homeroom Diaries

Anna and the French Kiss

Drama

Speak

Extraordinary Means

Words on Bathroom Walls

Challenger Deep

The Fall

 

Have I missed any of your go-to’s? Be sure to share them in the comments below! Happy Reading!

 

More Back to School Picture Books

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.       

I’ve got a few more picture books to help you get back into the swing of school things. Check back at the rest of the posts this week and and a big list coming next week if you need more ideas!

There is more than a little need for fostering inclusion, acceptance, sympathy, and other social skills in our kids’ lives. This beauty is designed to do just that.

Rhyming text starts the reader out on the first day of school and takes us through various scenarios in the classroom, the cafeteria, the playground and out into the community repeating the refrain that “all are welcome here.” There are simple reminders that we all have special talents and dreams. We all have stories to share and things to learn from each other. It’s as simple (and complex) as that.

The illustrations are bright and cheery and so diverse you almost can’t believe it’s all fit into one book (two moms, two dads, kids in wheelchairs, girls wearing hijabs, boys wearing turbans, grandparents…you name it, it’s probably represented.)

A note on the publication page tells us that Kaufman originally created a poster for her daughter’s school that eventually spread across the country. When Penfold saw the image, she sat down to create a story to go with it. Somehow this makes it even more powerful to me than the story on its own. Knowing that it’s not just a story of wishful thinking but one based on a real experience makes me hopeful for our future. I highly recommend it!

 All Are Welcome book review

All Are Welcome book review.2jpg

All Are Welcome

Written by: Alexandra Penfold

Illustrated by: Suzanne Kaufman

Number of Pages: 32

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, 2018

Age Range: 3-8

Rating: 5/5

 

My favorite way to teach is to use a book as a starting point. So, while this isn’t strictly about going back to school it uses fabulous word and language play which you’ll be sure to need/want as the year goes by.

Three little dinosaur brothers set out to discover the world around them and find something to eat. The first and second describe the mountains as “big”, the sun as “hot.” But the third is no ordinary dinosaur. He’s a stegothesaurus who knows lots of words and uses them as often as he can. His mountains are “gargantuan, gigantic, Goliath” and his sun is “blazing, blistering, broiling.”

After a bit of a mishap he meets another dinosaur a little like him and the two spend the day sharing adventures and swapping words but she isn’t all she seems.

I admit I giggled all through this clever book. It’s absolutely perfect for encouraging your students to improve upon their writing by using descriptive words and leads very nicely into an introduction about the thesaurus and other reference books. Great fun!

Stegothesaurus book review

Stegothesaurus

Written by: Bridget Heos

Illustrated by: T. L. McBeth

Number of Pages: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt, 2018

Age Range: 3-8

Rating: 4/5

 

And here’s another book to use as a resource for tackling some otherwise tricky concepts, this one involving math…

Whether your child is just learning to count, practicing grouping, sorting, multiplication or just has a knack for thinking outside of the box this book will spark their rational mind. Sure you can count straight up from one to eleven but sometimes life (and our math problems!) are a little more complicated than that. What other ways can you think of to get to eleven?

The book shows an apple with six bites, then a core, then a stem, then three seeds… 6+1+1+3=11

or a hen waiting for her eggs to hatch; five eggs, three cracking, two with beaks, and one just hatched…5+3+2+1=11

There are items at a circus, things that came out of a magician’s hat and more. And of course, the possibilities for extending this are countless! 😉

12 ways to get to 11 review

Twelve Ways to Get to Eleven

Written by: Eve Merriam

Illustrated by: Bernie Karlin

Number of Pages: 32

Publisher: Aladdin Picture Books, 1996

Age Range: 3-8

Rating: 4/5

 

I hope you’re all ready for school with those backpacks and lunchboxes and bouquets of newly sharpened pencils and, of course…books!  Happy reading!

YA Back to School Read ~ We Are All Made of Molecules

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.     

There aren’t many traditional back-to-school tales for young adults. So I decided to focus on some of the tough topics and social skills teens face instead. (There are, however, a ton of new-kid-at-school tales and boarding school adventures (for MG too.) Tune in next week for a grand list of my favorite school books for a few suggestions to get you started.)

Stewart, 13, is at a loss. His mom has passed away and it seems his hopes for a sister to round out their family just aren’t going to come to pass. But then his dad tells him they’re moving in with Caroline, the woman he’s been dating recently, and her daughter, Ashley. So even though he has to change schools, leave the only home he’s known (and all the memories he built there with his mom) and work through all the adjustments with his therapist, maybe things won’t be so bad.

Ashley, 14, isn’t exactly thrilled when her dad announces he’s gay and her parents get divorced. To make it worse, her dad is living in the guest house in the backyard and her mom’s new boyfriend and nerdy son are moving in. But she will not let any of them ruin her standing on the school social ladder where she mostly reigns supreme.

Told in alternating chapters from the two points of view we see the turmoil of two very different kids trying hard to fit in and find their way in their new realities. Stewart is a little more easy-going and genuine, getting the brunt of Ashley’s anger and hurt thrown his way but as things progress he proves his mettle to her (and everyone else) as they work through some brutal issues at school and home.

There’s a lot going on here (bullying, theft, underage drinking, death, learning differences, peer pressure, sexual orientation, divorce, prejudices, just to name a few) but it happens naturally and seamlessly and never seems heavy or preachy. You love, hate, pity and admire each of the characters in turn. There are moments of humor that make you laugh out loud and moments that make you think (and if you’re a baby like me, you’ll probably even tear up a bit!)

Molecules book review

We Are All Made of Molecules

Written by: Susin Nielsen

Number of Pages: 248

Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books/Random House, 2015

Age Range: 12-15

Rating: 4/5

Middle Grade Back-to-School Reads

Yesterday we focused on the younger set (kindergarten particularly), today we’re looking at the middle grade audience. I’ve got four fabulous books today geared toward a late elementary/middle school crowd; two graphic novel-esque reads and two traditional chapter books that could easily be read aloud to multiple ages in a family or classroom setting. Bullying (and cliques and all the various subgroups of all of these) and self-identity are huge issues in this age group and each of these books addresses the concepts in slightly different ways. All excellent for sparking discussions with kids that aren’t always forthcoming or willing to talk. Let me know if you’ve got others that have worked for you!

Invisible Emmie book review

Part illustrated book, part graphic novel (think Diary of a Wimpy Kid) Emmie starts out her narrative as a puddle of slime (literally) explaining the hierarchy of outcasts at her school and how she’s so low she doesn’t even fit in to any of those categories. She’s super quiet and just fades into the background and under the radar. She does have a best friend, Brianna, and the two of them discuss crushes at lunchtime even writing poems to and drawing pictures of the boys in question. Things get really complicated when Emmie’s poem slips out of her notebook and finds it’s way into Tyler’s hands. Suddenly, she’s the talk of the school and she’s forced to talk to boys, girls to stand up for herself, confront her crush and notices a quiet girl in her art class who becomes an unlikely ally.

All kids, no matter how (un-)popular, will relate to Emmie’s brutally honest feelings of self-doubt and not knowing where or how to fit in. They’ll also cheer for her as she figures a few things out for and about herself and hopefully follow her example just a bit!

 

Invisible Emmie

Written and Illustrated by: Terri Libenson

Number of Pages: 185

Publisher: Harper Collins/Balzar and Bray, 2017

Age Range: 8-12

Rating: 3.5/5

 

Save me a seat book review

Over the course of a week 2 boys become unlikely allies and come to understand each other and what it means to be a friend.

Ravi has just moved to the US from India. There his family was wealthy, he was a star cricket player and top of his class and he’s sure that he’ll have no trouble fitting in and impressing his new classmates.

Joe has an auditory processing disorder that sends him to the resource room on a regular basis and makes it hard for him to concentrate. On top of that he is huge for his age and his mom has recently started working in the school cafeteria. Add those all together and it makes him a prime teasing subject.

Dillon Samreen’s family is from India too, but they’ve long since assimilated (what Ravi calls an ABCD, American-Born Confused Desi.) He’s got a smart mouth, sticky fingers and a penchant for picking on others, particularly Joe. Ravi is convinced the two of them are meant to be best friends but as the week wears on he comes to realize that Dillon is actually not a nice person and he might have misjudged Joe as well.  The culminating event made me laugh so much I was forced to read it out loud to my husband and 15 year-old who laughed right along with me.  A brilliant little statement on judging others and being true to yourself.

 

Save Me a Seat

Written by: Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan

Number of Pages: 216

Publisher: Scholastic Press, 2016

Age Range: 8-12

Rating: 4.5/5

 

Awkward book review

On her first day in a new school Penelope is humiliated when she trips in the hallway and everyone laughs at her. One boy, Jaime, stops to help her up but when the laughing and teasing increases she pushes him away and immediately regrets it. Eventually she finds the art club where she fits in but she can’t forget what she did and keeps trying, unsuccessfully, to find ways to apologize to him.

Meanwhile a rivalry is increasing between the art club and the science club who are both vying for the one spot left at the annual club fair. The principal has promised the spot to the club that proves they contribute to the school but mostly the two spend their time pranking and sabotaging each other in an effort to get the upper hand.

Things come to a head when both clubs are disbanded and Jaime and Penelope come up with a plan to get the two groups to work together on one project that will save their clubs and contribute to the school.

This is another great tale of misfits finding their strengths and learning to navigate the muddy waters of the school social scene. A quick read, graphic novel with a hint of anime in the art.

 

Awkward

Written and Illustrated by: Svetlana Chmakova

Number of Pages: 210

Publisher: Yen Press, 2015

Age Range: 8-12

Rating: 3.5/5

 

front desk book review

Bonus book—not dealing strictly with the first day of school but starting a new school, tolerance, diversity, friendship, being true to yourself and a million other issues kids face every day. And one of my favorites of the year so far!

Mia and her family immigrated to America from China to have a better life. But so far, nothing has really been better. They don’t have a big house, they don’t eat hamburgers every day, she misses her cousin and even her mom seems to have lost faith in her. They think things have finally turned around when they find an opportunity to manage a motel near Disneyland. But the hotel owner, Mr. Yao, despite being Chinese himself, is dishonest and mean, manipulating the terms of their contract and making life miserable for the Tangs.

Mia is constantly trying to prove to her mother that she can make it in America, that her English is good enough for her to pursue becoming a writer and hoping that the kids in her class won’t learn the truth about her situation. Mia’s a hard worker, jumping in and helping as the desk manager and making friends with all of the weeklies (those who live at the motel). And then her family starts harboring other immigrants in some of the empty rooms in order to help them get back on their feet and off to better situations. Will Mia’s family’s good intentions be their downfall?

Mia doesn’t have to dig very deep to find an amazing inner strength that leads her to stand up to various bullies, fight for what is right, gain friends of all shapes and sizes, face her mother and help the family business to succeed beyond everyone’s expectations.

This book easily jumped to the top of my favorites list this year. It’s full of heart and tough subjects handled beautifully (racism, immigration, bullying) with the perfect mix of childlike innocence and the depth and wisdom that only a child’s perspective can bring. It’s a great one for opening up conversation about multiple facets of the immigration situation.

 

Front Desk

Written by:  Kelly Yang

Number of Pages: 286

Publisher: Arthur A Levine Books

Age Range: 8-12

Rating: 5/5

 

Good luck to any and all that are facing middle school for the first time this year. Maybe one of these books will provide that little bit of insight and hope needed to make it through! You’ve got this!

Back to School Picture Books

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.  

As we head back to school we often focus on those going for the very first time. Pre-schools are pretty ubiquitous these days but kindergarten is still a big step; often the first time that kids are gone every day, sometimes for a full day including lunch and naps. It seemed appropriate to start our lists out with a book focusing on this important milestone.

Planet Kindergarten book review

A nameless explorer is preparing for his biggest mission yet, a journey to Planet Kindergarten. His parents help him gather supplies, get a check-up and assure him he is ready so off he goes!  His new commander (teacher) and crew (fellow students) have to work together to meet the objectives of the flight plan (daily schedule) and test all the equipment before lunch, naps, and the end of the mission.

Failure is not an option, so with a positive attitude and a little hard work he finds a way to succeed and even continues training to return again the next day.

A mixture of fantasy and reality play out in this fun tale that kids will enjoy with bright, busy graphic illustrations to capture every reader’s imagination.

 

Planet Kindergarten

Written by: Sue Ganz-Schmitt

Illustrated by Shane Prigmore

Number of Pages: 32

Publisher: Chronicle Kids, 2014

Age Range: 3-7

Rating: 4/5

And if you enjoy this one, there’s a second in the series, Planet Kindergarten: 100 Days in Orbit, as well.

Schools First Day of School book review

I don’t know that anyone else has ever written a first day of school story from the point of view of the school (though a few of my favorites feature teachers and faculty that are reluctant to start a new year.) This one is a subtle delight and pulls off the feat quite nicely.

A new building built over the summer is cared for by a kindly Janitor who does his best to explain to the school just what a school actually is. The school is a bit nervous to be filled with children and when the first day arrives there are children everywhere.  It’s more than the school knows quite how to handle though it enjoys watching the kids explore the playground and learn. It’s disheartened to overhear a couple of kids complain that they hate school and its nerves set off the fire alarm by mistake. But for the most part the day passes uneventfully and when the janitor returns that afternoon the school decides it would probably be okay if the janitor invited everyone back again tomorrow.

Children’s own fears about starting a new school or going for the first time are lovingly portrayed by the anthropomorphized school. And the childlike illustrations show the basic ins and outs of a school day from a few perspectives. Kids will appreciate and relate to both.

 

School’s First Day of School

Written by: Adam Rex

Illustrated by: Christian Robinson

Number of Pages: 32

Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook Press, 2016

Age Range: 3-7

Rating: 4/5

This is My Home This is My School book review

Another subject that doesn’t get quite as much play as it probably should is homeschooling. What if your home and school are the same place? Jonathan Bean tackles that very topic in his great little autobiographical (ish) picture book.

A typically busy day of homeschooling is slightly frenetically illustrated from sun up to sun down. The boy narrator explains how his mom is his teacher (dad plays a role too, teaching shop and acting as phys ed coach), and all the rooms (and his yard) are classrooms. They go on field trips, visit the library, eat in the cafeteria, have show and tell, and do homework just like everyone at a school would.

The best part is an author’s note follow-up that tells the reader about his experiences being homeschooled and includes pictures of his family’s school in action. For those of you who homeschool it’s a wonderful resource for making connections to someone else’s school experience.

 

This is My Home. This Is My School

Written and Illustrated by:  Jonathan Bean

Number of Pages: 32

Publisher:Farrar Straus Giroux, 2015

Age Range: 4-8

Rating: 4/5

 

Who have you got headed back to school this year? How are you helping them prepare for the big day?

Back to School Giveaway!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.    

I’m so excited to be hosting my first giveaway over on Instagram this week.  All week on the blog I’ll be featuring some back to school favorites for all ages in order to help everyone gear up for the big day. Today’s spotlight books are 2 fun dino-themed tales that I’ll be sending off to one lucky winner. Have you entered yet?!

Page and Print Back to School Giveaway

 

First up is an absolutely adorable dino by the name of Penelope. She’s a little nervous to start school but mom and dad are there to help getting her a new backpack and making her lunch. The problem is all of her classmates are human! So Penelope does what any dinosaur would do. She eats them! A scolding from her teacher gets things (mostly) back on track but now everyone is very wary of her and it’s clear she’s not making many new friends.  Dad gives her some guidance and she heads back into day two determined to try harder. But it looks like things will stay very much the same until Walter the class goldfish gets involved.

I won’t spoil the twist except to tell you that Penelope figures things out and makes friends with her classmates. It’s a perfect vehicle for discussing any fears that may arise (no matter how silly) about going to school and has a way of making the reader sympathetic to both sides of the dilemma. Higgins’ humor and heart are both spot on (if you’ve read any of his Mother Bruce books you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about, and if you haven’t you need to remedy that ASAP) and even older readers will appreciate the subtle irreverence of it all.

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates

Written and Illustrated by: Ryan T. Higgins

Number of Pages: 32

Publisher: Disney/Hyperion, 2018

Age Range: 3-8

Rating: 4.5/5

 

The second book in our giveaway doesn’t actually have anything to do with back to school but pairs perfectly with Penelope’s story.

In a similar vein as Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and the many other active reader books that have followed, this story invites the reader to step into the story and participate in a very real way. We come across an angry dinosaur who threatens to chomp anyone who turns the pages. Of course, we don’t fall for his threats and continue to read until he confesses that he’s keeping all of his cakes and goodies at the end of the story and doesn’t want to share. But his bark is worse than his bite…or is it? 🙂

Continue the conversation you began with the first book and lead into manners and sharing and what it means to be a friend. And have a giggle or two while you’re at it!

 

I Will Chomp You!

Written by: Jory John

Illustrated by: Bob Shea

Number of Pages: 32

Publisher: Random House, 2015

Age Range: 3-6

Rating: 3.5/5

 

Check back in every day this week for more recommendations and don’t forget to visit my Instagram page for all the details on how to enter to win copies of these two great books for yourself!

Happy National Book Lover’s Day!

National Book Lovers Day

In my world, every day is book lover’s day, but I guess the rest of humanity might need a special reminder. 😉 So, if you weren’t aware of the holiday I’m giving you a little head’s up to find at least a few minutes to celebrate in some way today. Drop into a library or bookstore, share a story with a little, read a favorite poem or just reminisce about the favorite titles and covers on your own bookshelves if you don’t have time for some serious reading. But do tell, how are you going to celebrate today?

Books and reading have always been a part of my life. During some phases I have more time to devote to them than at others but not a day goes by that I don’t do some kind of reading whether it’s a verse of scripture, an online article, or the back of the cereal box. I find that you make time for the things that matter (though not always for the things that are important, those aren’t always the same but they probably should be.) And I can always find time for at least a little bit of light reading but I know it’s not always easy, especially when you start adding jobs, kids and other responsibilities to the mix. Over the years I’ve found a few things help to make it easier to carve out some time with books.

  • Take advantage of audio books. I listen on my drive to/from work, when I’m waiting in lines, or doing chores like laundry or dishes that don’t take much mind power. (Visit my Instagram page to see my current listening experience!)

 

  • Always keep a book with you. Channel your inner Rory Gilmore and take a book everywhere you go (this is much easier now that we can load books on our phones, tablets etc and don’t actually have to make room in an already heavy purse for the latest 400 page thriller.)

 

  • Keep books in the main rooms of your home. This one is especially great if you’ve got kids. They’ll be more likely to pick them up and you can spend a few minutes of down time (or use them as a calming down tool) if they’re close at hand. A basket of books by the couch, the bed, even in the bathroom (pick some of the ones made from plastic coated pages or ones you won’t be devastated if they fall in the tub if you’re doing this with kids 😊) can increase time spent reading on a daily basis.

 

  • Turn off the TV! This one is hard for me. It’s so easy to use this as a decompression tool, watching until late into the night (oh Netflix, you’ll be the death of me one of these days!) But especially at night, turn the TV off (and the phone and all other electronic distractions) an hour earlier than you normally do and keep a book by your bedside. There are all sorts of studies showing how the lights from our electronics can mess with our circadian rhythms and disrupt our sleep patterns so this one has a double benefit…unless you find yourself caught in the ‘just one more chapter’ trap!

What are your favorite ways to squeeze reading into your day?  And what are you currently reading that you can’t wait to get back to? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Happy Reading!