Read Books Not Bits

I talk to both of my parents every Sunday night via phone call and we catch up on life and talk about random things. My Dad likes to tell me about the books he has been reading and I'm always very interested in what he has to say. A few weeks ago, he casually asked me what I have been reading lately and I seriously couldn't think of a thing. What?!? I was so embarrassed and I started mumbling about how much online reading I do and how many books I've started on my Kindle app and browsed through. I honestly couldn't remember reading anything all the way through since I picked up a John Grisham novel (that I can't even remember the name of now) last summer.

Keep in mind that I have a college degree in English literature and I was that child that read by flashlight under the covers long after her mother thought she had gone to sleep. I was always a bookworm. I was such an advanced reader that they put me in a "special" reading group with two obnoxious boys in sixth grade where the three of us all had to sit in the library for individual study time. I guess they didn't know what else to do with us? Those boys teased me so much that I began purposely doing poorly on my reading exams to get out of the whole situation. Yes, I realize now that was a dumb way to deal with it.

My Dad didn't say much about the whole book thing during our conversation, but it's been eating at me ever since. I've thought a lot about how important reading is to me and what I want to do about it. So I'm writing this post to give myself a much needed kick in the pants!

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It's not that I don't read because I spend hours each day browsing the internet. I read Facebook posts, Instagram captions, online class materials, articles, blog posts, recipes, and anything that is short and catches my attention. I browse magazine articles while I eat lunch or take in small amounts of books on my Kindle app. I've certainly read parts of many books and magazines about creative endeavors (I especially love Stampington magazines). However, it's been months since I sat down and read a full book. I never thought that would happen.

Reading is too important to me to let it go. It's part of who I am. I have a house filled with books and I love to buy them. Somehow, I've forgotten to sit down and enjoy them lately.

My online activities aren't completely frivolous. I do a lot of research for this blog (and Toy to the World) and I used to spend a lot of time compiling information and articles for The Daily Digi and The Digi Show. Being a content creator can really influence the way you consume media. There's nothing wrong with that and I still love my surfing time. I produce a lot of scrapbook pages, blog posts, and other items that require time. I'm busy just like anyone else. I'm not too busy to read though and I need to remember that.

I also spent many years homeschooling my children and after reading school materials with them all day, I certainly didn't want to reach for a book to unwind. I guess I'm explaining that it has been an evolution that has led me to this point and I have plenty of excuses. I'm not going to beat myself up for where I'm at now. I am going to change it though.

Ironically, I've found inspiration online to help me. (See, I told you the internet is good! lol!) I was really excited when I found this list by the Modern Mrs. Darcy and I think it's just the kind of challenge I need to kickstart my inspiration. 

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I'm also going to keep track of the books I read using an app called BooksWing. My son is also going to use this same app. He's an avid reader (putting it mildly) and my Mom suggested that it might be interesting to track what and how much he reads. We downloaded a few different apps and settled on this one after some trial and error with a few. We decided that we like that you can scan a barcode to get the information for the book (and image) and that it's very visual and easy to use. Sorry for my Android friends because it's just for Apple right now. We are using the paid version.

I'm excited to track my progress and get going on one of my all-time favorite activities again. I love books and I definitely plan to spend more time with them!