It’s Time To Drop Everything And Read!

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If you were to ask my close friends and family what my hobbies are, they’ll tell you watching The Princess Bride on repeat (while quoting it excessively), and reading. I LOVE to read! At night you’ll find me in my pj’s in bed, all nice and cozy, curled up with a good piece of fiction. Young Adult fiction, to be exact. 

April is the perfect time to celebrate your love for books and reading! It’s School Library month, National Library Week, National Poetry Month, and Drop Everything And Read (D.E.A.R.) Month.

While I wish I could literally drop everything and read whenever I want to, being an adult with a family means I can’t exactly do that. But do I daydream about being able to stay home and read all day instead of going to work? Yes. Yes, I do. And do I daydream about being able to sit down and read whenever I want to without my husband or children interrupting me? Yes, again. Do you want to know what a dream day for me would entail? I’d find a small quiet little bookshop with a comfy couch I could curl up on, and I’d sit and read for hours on end with no interruptions. Now that would be a relaxing day!

Since that’s not really an option, I have to find other ways to read. So…

Here’s how I D.E.A.R. Maybe it will inspire you as well. 

One of my many bookshelves filled with books.

Before bed

As a full-time working mom of two boys who both play sports, there’s no time to read during the day or even the evening. Instead, I read before I go to bed. I head upstairs around 9:30 p.m. to get ready for bed, then grab my current read off of my nightstand, snuggle up under the covers, and let myself get caught up in futuristic and fantastical worlds for about an hour or so before I eventually go to bed.

Of course, there are those nights when the book I’m reading is just so good that I can’t put it down, and I stay up reading into the wee hours of the night. I always tell myself, “just one more chapter.” But we all know that’s one of the biggest lies an avid reader tells themselves. It’s never just one more. 

In the car

I have a 45-minute drive to and from work each day. It’s a drive that can get very monotonous and boring pretty quickly. I’ve found the best way to pass the time is to listen to audiobooks. Not only does it make my drive go by faster, but I get to read more books this way. The only downside of this is when I hit a REALLY suspenseful part in a book, and then I pull into work. Makes for a long workday when I’m dying to get back in the car to see what happens next. But, I know that it’s there waiting for me, and I’ll get another 45 minutes of my book on the way home. 

On road trips

My family travels from SC to NY twice a year. By car. That’s a long drive, which we usually split into two days. We also go camping multiple times a year and frequently travel to Charleston, Charlotte, and a couple of other spots that require at least two hours of driving. For these trips, I’ll bring my Kindle or my paperback books with me. Since they are family trips, I don’t tend to listen to my audiobooks, so that I can make sure I can hear my kids when they ask me for something while my husband is driving. So I’ll bring hard copies of my books with me instead. 

At work…kind of

The students at my school will be heading back to in person learning five days a week starting after Spring Break. But our administration decided to try something different for Fridays. They wanted it to be more laid-back. Part of this includes shortening class periods and having students attend various groups for the last hour of the day. Some of these groups just happen to be reading groups. When my principal first told me about this plan, I looked at him and said, “So, let me understand this. You’re saying I’ll have a group of students in my room, and we can just sit and read for an hour?” Little did he know that when he replied “yes,” he was making this bookworm one happy camper! Extra reading time, and at work?! Yes, please!

These are the main ways I get my reading in. How about you?

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Leah grew up in Western New York, lived in Chicago for 11 years, and now resides in South Carolina. She's very happy for the change in weather! Leah is happily married, and is a proud boy mom. She is a full time Middle School Theatre teacher. When she's not spending time with her family or working, Leah enjoys baking and reading. She is the creator and host of the podcast YA Book Chat, where she and her guests have fun chatting about their favorite book. Leah loves being a part of the Columbia Mom team, both as a contributing writer and Editor. Photo credit: Emily Ann Photography.

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