How To Read Like a Parent

This is a guest post from Andi Miller. Andi is a proponent of fauxhawks, gaudy jewelry, country music, and writing. When she’s not publicly relating at her day job or teaching university English courses online, she’s a hardcore reader, social media addict, 10-year book blogging veteran at Estella’s Revenge, and host of Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-Thon. Her favorite literary snacks are comics, literary fiction, and foodie memoirs. Her favorite real snacks are Froot Loops, fried catfish tails, and serial Twitter unfollowers. Follow her @estellasrevenge.

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We all know (from experience or observation) that parents are the best multi-taskers around. Something about having kids in the house sprinkles magic fairy dust on our heads and allows us to cram more hours into 24 than anyone else, and the bookworm ‘rents in the crowd are juggling all the things those non-readers are juggling plus an obsessive hobby that is a genuine time suck. If you happen to be reading this and you’re tempted to scoff, stop what you’re doing, close your mouth and open your ears, and find out how mamas and papas make every reading moment count.

Read faster. When there’s a child sleeping anywhere nearby, we have a finite amount of time to eat, sleep, chill out with a glass of wine, or indulge in a book.

Read in the bathroom. It may be the only time alone in given a day.

Capitalize on awkward downtime. No one knows exactly what they’re doing behind the pharmacy counter, but it takes eons. Phone, e-reader, or printed book are all fair game.

Listen up. Audiobooks are the keys to the magical kingdom of reading like a parent. Cleaning toilets and mopping floors are no match for audio.

Don’t depend on daylight. Three a.m. feedings only require one arm for the young ‘un and one hand for the backlit e-reader

Check out for the day. There ain’t no shame in dropping the littles off at school or daycare and heading back home.

Support well-rounded individuals. Sports, dance classes, music lessons, and other extracurriculars help them learn and grow. And we’ll be right over here reading until they’re done.

 

Now, how do you read like a parent?

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