It’s no secret that I love to read. Having never finished college and starting my adult life at a young age I have spent the majority of my twenties getting an education in things that interest me through reading and taking online classes. These include everything from business, to apologetics, to psychology, to writing.
If I could pass anything on to my kids it would be to love God, love others, and love reading. I hope they grow up realizing that books will open up so many possibilities for them and that if they read, they can learn anything. I get asked frequently how I make time to read and quite simply, it boils down to eliminating all of the extra “stuff” in my life so that I have the time to. When we had our fourth baby we had to take an honest look at our schedule and start identifying what was the most important to us so that we could focus on doing really well at those things, instead of getting spread thin and only doing things half-well. I keep books on my nightstand and in my purse, so if I ever find I have time to kill I try to read instead of get on my phone. I also get up early so I can fuel up with quiet and reading before my kids wake up. Lysa Terkeurst’s book The Best Yes was probably the biggest motivation for me to prioritize our life differently so that we had down time at home to fill up with books and Netflix.
I have a book budget and expect to spend about $50 a month on a combination of Audible and physical books. That might sound like a lot to some, but when you consider all of the money I’ve saved by not paying for college, it’s pennies. Not to mention, all the time I’ve saved from learning how to better build and run a business, as well as the wisdom I’ve gleaned for parenting my kids and being a more patient wife. I will forever be a student in those areas, though!!!
I organize the books I want to read, have read, and currently read using the app Goodreads. It has been life changing for me to have one place to organize everything. I also set a yearly goal for myself on the app and keep track of how many books I’ve read. You can also find friends on there and see what they’re reading and ratings they’ve given other books, which helps me narrow down my choices when I have SO many books I want to read but will realistically never have time to read them all.
I used to utilize the library more but have found that it works better for us to use it for children’s books and fiction/biographies for me. When I read books on education, psychology, business, marriage, or parenting, I like to mark up my books by underlining and writing notes in the margins to help me retain and reference what I’ve read. I order new releases from Amazon and older titles from the used, online book store, Thriftbooks. I discovered this site from a homeschooling friend and it has changed my life! The shipping is slower (4-14 days) than the 2-day turnaround of Amazon, but they are so cheap it’s worth it. I mostly order on there for me, but I also order classic books for the kids, ones that I want to have in my collection for grandchildren one day.
I put on Instagram that I had ordered tons of books for Christmas break and lots of you asked for my list…so here it is!
Oops! The Manners Guide For Girls (ages 9-12)