This post is sponsored by Deseret Bookshelf. All opinions are my own.
I haven’t always loved books. Or reading. Blame it on all the stuff I had to read for school sucking the joy out of reading for me, or a lack of family members who liked to read while growing up.
Okay, my mom did read: she read the newspaper and magazines. Only on occasion did I see her with a physical book in her hands that wasn’t the scriptures.
My father mostly listened to books. Lots of books – on tape and eventually on CD. As an over-the-road truck driver, he had a lot of time on his hands to sit and listen, so he would pick up great new books from the library to listen to between his trips. One of my favorite parts of taking road trips with my dad as a kid was listening to Ray Bradbury short stories and Where the Red Fern Grows, and Louis L’amore stories.
But rarely did my older brothers or sisters sit around with a book. They sat around playing video games instead. When I did sit around with a good book, I was made fun of for it, called a bookworm. Brothers….
Anyway, I would read some books for fun in the summer for the library’s summer reading program and this or that here and there during the school year. But, I was far from an avid book reader. Still am far from being one.
And that’s a huge part of the reason I have been in a book club (or two) over the past six years. Having a deadline is a great motivator for me, as is someone telling me what book to read. Through book club, I am exposed to a wide variety of genres and literature, people, and stories. It’s excellent!
My friend Crystal, who is in my current book club (and a contributor on my blog), said that with kids, church, work, school, etc, the book club is the only reason she reads anything right now!
And I hear her loud and clear.
As a parent, there is not a lot of quiet leisure time to sit down and relax to read a book.
Most of us who attempt to sit and read fall asleep within 5 minutes instead, or we keep rereading the same few paragraphs as we keep getting interrupted by someone needing something. Again. It has sometimes taken me days to read a few pages in a book because I can never read very much at one sitting because of these two factors.
But, if you want to make reading a part of your life, and you should cause it makes you smarter, and think you don’t have the time, I polled some of my fellow mom friends to see when they squeeze in time to read despite work, kids, school, husbands, church, and so on.
Smart Ways Busy Moms Make Time to Read
How Moms Squeeze in Time to Read Physical Books
I love reading a physical book. I usually go the library every week with my kids and will pick up the current book club book for myself while we are there. But, I also enjoy reading ebooks on my Kindle ereader too.
Several of my friends said that they will read a book before bed (after their kids are asleep) or in lieu of watching a TV show in the evening. Some read a book during nap time or quiet time, or during long nursing sessions (that’s when I think an ereader is great!). Or perhaps even as they rock their child to sleep for the night.
Others like to bring a book with them in their purse/diaper bag and will read while their kids play at the park, or while they wait at the doctor’s office or the school pickup line, sports practices, work, or even in the car if they aren’t the one driving.My old college roommate Juli she reads in the mornings when the kids are happy just to play with each other and with their toys. She sits on the couch and they entertain themselves for a while. It doesn’t last forever but it gets her through her two book club books and a few extras each month.
A few said they read whenever wherever and ignore everything/everyone else for awhile when they get into a particularly good book.
My friend Chow (aka Charmaine) said that one or two nights a week they have reading time in their playroom. Right after dinner they all get into PJ’s, go into the play room, and sit around and read until bedtime. When the smaller children get restless, they play quietly with some toys.
She also likes to go places like her small local library, where they have a great children’s room that is separate from the other areas of the library. When they go, she’ll grab a book she wants to read and sit in the big chair they have and read while her kids are contained and safe.
I personally make the most time to read on Sundays, a day I take off from work and a day we don’t go shopping, clean, to the park, cook large meals, or do any laundry. Sundays are my perfect day to nap, relax, and read! I read our entire book club book – The Alchemist – this past Sunday. It was wonderful!
I also think it’s super fun to read books together as a family. There are several great books that we love reading together, like classic children’s books and stories like the Harry Potter series, Chronicles of Narnia, Roahl Dahl books, or really any of our favorite books from our childhood.
I found it super enjoyable to read The Adventures of Captain Underpants books to my kids, though The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby is my favorite. I am a sucker for poop jokes though.
My husband is currently reading The Hobbit to our children after they’ve been tucked into bed for the night. He gets to read a great book, while spending quality time with our kids. Total win. Plus, they enjoy the story too.
Here’s the breakdown of when busy moms make time to read books:
- Before they go to bed.
- In the evening after their kids are asleep.
- In lieu of watching a TV show.
- During nap or quiet time.
- During nursing/feeding sessions.
- While they rock their child to sleep at night.
- While they wait for their kids at the doctor’s office, school pickup line, sports practices, music lessons, etc.
- While they are the passenger in a car.
- While their kids play at the park.
- While their kids play happily together in the mornings, outside, or at other times of the day.
- Designate one or more evenings a week to family reading nights.
- While hanging out at the library.
- On lazy Sunday afternoons and evenings.
- Out loud to their children after they’re tucked in for the night.
- Wherever and whenever: if the book’s good, nothing else matters.
How Moms Squeeze in Time to Read using Audiobooks
Audiobooks are a huge hit with moms squeezing in time to read because you can multitask and “read” a book at the same time! There are so many audio books available digitally now, that you can listen to a book anywhere you have a phone handy!
A lot of my mom friends, including my sister, said they love to listen to audiobooks while they are working, or driving to and from work, especially those who work by themselves (one is a custodian, the other works in pest control).
Many others said they love listening to audiobooks (and podcasts) when they workout! I found it hard to focus on the story and run at the same time, because I really need something to distract me from the fact that I am running… But, if you don’t run, this might work a little better. Listen as you walk around your neighborhood or pound out some steps on the elliptical, or lift weights.
Others listen to audiobooks while doing everyday tasks like folding laundry, washing dishes, soaking in the tub (or washing kids in the tub), driving, doing yard work, or cooking supper.
My friend Ashley said that when her twins were infants, she listened to audio books while feeding them.
Of course many listen to audiobooks on long road trips, just like my dad, and just like we do as a family when we take long road trips (they just don’t happen very often).
The breakdown of how moms make time to listen to audiobooks:
- At work.
- Driving to/from work.
- While working out, lifting weights, or taking a walk.
- While doing household tasks like cooking, washing dishes, soaking in the tub, folding laundry, or doing yard work.
- While driving around – short and long road trips.
- While feeding/nursing babies.
- While showering, bathing, or getting ready for the day (or for bed).
How Moms Access Audiobooks and Make Time to Listen
There are several great ways to listen to audiobooks. Many libraries participate in a program called OverDrive where you can borrow audiobooks and ebooks for free through your local public library. You can download them to your ereader or on an app on your phone.
Others like downloading them from Audible.com. But, buying audio books can be very expensive, as a single book can cost you between $15-$40! I don’t usually buy books, so that’s just not very economical for me.
Deseret Bookshelf Plus App (Review)
That’s why I was happy to try out a new service from Deseret Book called the Deseret Bookshelf Plus.
I have always heard so many great things about various books published from Deseret Books, books written by and for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, books which my local library doesn’t have, which means I can’t read them for free. I also don’t live close to a Deseret Book store, and didn’t while growing up either, so I haven’t been able to read or purchase many of their books.
But, now I can, and for a great price, by using their Deseret Bookshelf Plus service.
Last month I downloaded the brand new Deseret Bookshelf app on my phone (it’s available on iOS and Android). The app lets your browse through the book offerings from Deseret Books and buy audio or electronic copies to read in the app, as well as access the Scriptures, General Conference talks, talk series, literary classics, official Church materials, and Sunday lesson insights too. They also send you a daily quote from a leader of the Church which you can create into a shareable image (you can see the one I made on my Instagram).
But, you can choose to turn on their unlimited access with the Bookshelf Plus service to read and listen to books for a whole lot less.
I tried out the Deseret Bookshelf Plus service and app for a 30-day free trial. I really didn’t know which book to start with first! There are many I’ve heard great things about over the years. The membership allows you to access all of the over 500 digital audiobooks and over 1,500 ebooks from Deseret Book! You can read as many as you’d like each and every month for a low-cost membership fee!
I ended up listening to Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites by Chris Heimerdinger, a book I’ve heard about but never read. I hooked up my phone to my Bluetooth speaker and listened with my kids as I spent some time hand-sewing some slits closed in a dress I got from one of my favorite online consignment shops – ThredUp. It was a tedious project, but listening to a story made it so much better. My children also looked forward to listening to the story, as did I.
After the 30-day free trial, memberships start at $6.99/month or you can get an annual pass that starts at $69/year, but those prices are for people who belong to the Deseret Platinum Rewards Membership (which is $25) which rewards you for purchases you make and so on throughout the year.
If you don’t want to sign up to be a Platinum Rewards Member because you really only want to use this service and/or don’t buy much from Deseret Books during the year, the cost is just $9.99/month or $99/year.
I think that’s a pretty great deal! It’s unlimited access to their library of audiobooks and ebooks. You don’t have to commit to a book that you don’t like, and can stop reading or listening if you decide you aren’t that into it, without feeling buyer’s remorse, because you didn’t spend $15-40 for the audiobook or ebook!
That’s pretty great, especially if you listen to or read a lot of books in a month, as you mastered the art of squeezing in time to read as a busy mom. Be sure to try out Deseret Bookshelf Plus for your free 30-Day Trial!
Now, tell me, how do you squeeze in time to read as a busy parent?