I love to read, always have. But after I became Mom to my two beautiful kids, I mourned the loss of my reading time. I’ve tried to convince my husband to read with me at night, side by side on the couch after the kids have gone to bed (so romantic!) But he reads during the day to prep for teaching his college classes and just wants to watch TV or movies at night. I want to spend time with him, so we typically watch TV or part of a movie, then I head to our bedroom upstairs for about thirty minutes of reading time before I fall asleep. With this scant amount of time dedicated to reading, I’d be lucky to finish eighteen books a year. It took me almost a year and half to finish Anna Karenina. (That book is like a trophy on my shelf now.)
I tried audio books, but found myself getting distracted, then losing the storyline, then quitting in frustration. This past December, though, I started something new.
I’m not sure how I started reading with both an audio book and a hard copy. I think I needed to read a book quickly for work and decided to buy it on Audible even though I already had a copy. But it worked. I’d listen to the audio book while driving, getting ready in the morning, exercising, folding laundry, doing the dishes. If I found myself getting lost, I’d return to the hard copy to re-read what I needed to get myself back on track with the story. Then I’d continue with the audio book.
Having to re-read the hard copy of a book may sound like it would take me twice as long to read a book. But now that I have found a way to make audio books work for me, I am reading books all the time—instead of just 30 minutes at night. I’ve even found that I’m learning how to focus on audio books better now. Before I started this new reading method, I couldn’t listen to an audio book and exercise at the same time. Now I can.
Since I started reading books like this, using both audio books and a hard copy to turn to when I get lost, or reading both at the same time, I have read thirty books in 6 months. The key to this approach, though, is to avoid BUYING two versions of the same book. That would break the bank! So I’ve learned to rely on my local libraries for the hard copies of my books, shop the sales on Audible for credits, and use apps like Libby for older audio books to rent.