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Read This Book (and My April Read and How I Have Time To Read)

On Monday morning, I finished the book How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. I simply cannot recommend this book highly enough. Seriously, this book is one of the most amazing books I've ever read.

I don't just recommend this book to parents. I think everyone in the world should read this book. I think the book should be called How To Talk to Other People and Listen To Other People. It's really true. For example, last weekend Londo saw me picking through a bowl of chips he had set out for guests and he started berating me for touching them all (while looking for the best ones). Well, my instinctive feeling was to keep doing it to spite him, even though he was 100% right. I realized it was the way he talked to me that made me feel that way. As an adult, I'm able to do the right thing anyway, but I can totally see that a child would do the instinctive thing that they know is wrong because of the way we say things to them. I had another example of this, but I forgot it. My point stands though, that this book can apply to every. single. person. in. the. world!

It's a quick read and really makes you think about how you are talking and listening and gives concrete ideas for how change the ways you talk and listen. And the bonus is that you don't even have to read the whole book or do the activities in it! They put in little cartoons to illustrate each concept, so all you really have to do is read the cartoons! Although the entire book is well worth the read. It will change your life. I mean it. Read the book. Buy it, check out from the library, borrow it from me (after Londo reads it, that is).

That was a book on my list of TBR Challenge Alternates. I'm actually pretty impressed with myself for getting through not just the TBR books but quite a few of the alternates as well. Now that it is April, I've started my April book, Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett. Here is the story about this book, which has been sitting on my shelf for maybe 3 or 4 years.

My sister bought this book for me as part of my Christmas presents one year. It is an award winning book that was a bestseller and had great reviews. My sister is a great gift buyer, especially when she buys for me. She has great taste, she knows my likes and dislikes, and she has bought me other books that I've totally loved. The fact I haven't read this book is no reflection on her. But honestly, if I had seen it in the store, I doubt I would have bought it. The plot isn't that intriguing to me, but I hear that the plot isn't what makes it great--it's the writing, the looks into the people, that is what is great. It must be good to have won awards and been a bestseller, right?

So, I am finally making myself read it. I will likely love it and wonder why I didn't read it earlier. At least I hope so. I'm not that far in yet, and I think the writing is good, but it hasn't captured me yet. But I haven't had much time to try and get into it. We will see. I'll let you know when I'm done.

Now, I did want to address something that a few people have said online and IRL. Some of you are amazed at how much I read, that I can find time to read at all. First let me say that reading is a hobby that borders on an obsession for me. When I'm into a book, I let so many other things go just so I can read. I sneak in times here and there to get another page in. I also read instead of watch TV or clean or go to bed or play on the internet. It's what I pick to do when I need some me time to relax. It is not something I force myself to do.

But I did wonder about how I have time to read, especially when I'm feeling so crazy busy lately. So, I did a little experiment for you all. I tracked when and how long I read while reading the How To Talk... book. Here is the results:
-30 minutes while nursing the Pumpkin in the morning
-25 minutes while nursing the Pumpkin to sleep (I use a book light after she closes her eyes)
-25 minutes while nursing in the morning
-10 minutes while nursing her to sleep
-10 minutes while eating desert
-15 minutes while nursing in the morning
-10 minutes while nursing to sleep
-15 minutes while nursing in the morning
-10 minutes while nursing her to sleep
-10 minutes before going to bed myself
-15 minutes while nursing in the morning
-5 minutes while nursing her trying to get her to take a nap (she didn't go to sleep)
-5 minutes while I was in the bathroom
-25 minutes while nursing her to sleep
-15 minutes while nursing in the morning
-25 minutes while nursing her and holding her for a nap
-5 minutes while waiting for the shower to warm up and while brushing my teeth (it was a really interesting part! And I am obsessive!)
-25 minutes while nursing her to sleep
-10 minutes while having a cup of tea
-10 minutes while nursing in the morning.

I finished the book Monday morning. The total time I spent reading this book over the course of a little under a week was 305 minutes, or 5 hours and 5 minutes. Granted this book was a fast read, so not all my books are finished this quickly, but I probably do spend about 5 hours a week reading. Some weeks more, some weeks less.

Now that I think about when I'm reading, I wonder what I will do when the Pumpkin weans? How will I fit in my reading time when I'm not nursing? I'm not sure yet, but I know I will. It's what I do.


Anonymous said…
You've sold me. I have heard 'how to...' is super-fabulous and I think me and hubby need some help in how to talk to one other- we just seem to be rubbing each other up the wrong way recently. Thanx
caro said…
I also get more reading done than you'd think I'd have time for. And it's not even possible for to read while nursing anymore. I get a a lot of reading in while pumping at work, and also while in the bathroom (even brushing my teeth). Other than that, usually after bedtime. It's amazing what I can fit in if I'm into something really good.
Don Mills Diva said…
I miss all the reading time I had when I nursed. I used to have stacks of Vogues piled up to read during that time!
ImpostorMom said…
I'm re-reading/listening to Harry Potter 7 right now and I'm obsessed. So I totally get putting other things aside when I get into a book. Sadly this is often precisely why I don't read many books anymore. I know I don't often have the self control to put the damn book down and go to sleep and then I end up paying for it later.

HP7 is different this time in that I am also listening to the audiobook and reading the actual book. So like today, when I'm doing mindless work I can put my headphones on and also continue with the story. Not to mention listen in the car until boog begins to protest too loudly. And I also ate my breakfast while reading it this morning while boog watched Signing Time. So I see where you can fit it in I supposed I just don't make it as much of a priority until I really get into one.

There are a couple I have on my list though and thinking about that sort of makes me miss my pumping days. But only a little. :)
Cloud said…
I put off reading Bel Canto for ages, too, and then when I finally read it, I thought it was wonderful!

I'll have to get the How to Talk... book.
I have been reading so much i was getting sick of it ?! I read like you obsessivly, and the babe wanted me lay with him all of nap time. So I was cruising through books in a day and a half. now I am just reading while nursing so i can get WORK! done :)

But it is really nice to know there are other readers like me... i have read in the shower :) plus you keep giving me new book ideas
OneTiredEma said…
I could never read while nursing when my kids were Pumpkin's age. Those days were over from about 6 months. If they were really sleepy I could watch TV while they nursed--but anything with pages rustling next to their heads? Forget it.

I make time for reading late on Friday nights (when everyone is sleeping) and Saturday mornings (the kids tend to get along better first thing in the morning). Some days AM naps in the car before speech therapy and I can steal 15-40 minutes that way. If I am really into a book I will read after getting into bed, but this is not really great for the insomnia....
Shellie said…
I read (ok, I skimmed and read the cartoons) that book years ago and that is what I thought too, how people should talk to people would be a better title

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