Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Little Hobby That Could

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post; however, all opinions are my own!

I used Grammarly to edit this post because even college grads need a little help sometimes! (But do know that I didn't accept all the changes so that it will still sound like 'me'. Don't hold it against Grammarly!)

Lately, I've had trouble making time for reading. When I was little, I would read for hours. I would finish entire books in a day. Remember the Babysitters Club? Yeah, I would plow through those books all summer! And Goosebumps. Oh man, those were the days. Then, during college, I read a lot less. I don't know about you, but I just couldn't find time for pleasure reading when I was reading so much every day for class. It got worse in grad school because the academic reading increased a lot. It was enjoyable reading because I loved the subject, but just not the same as losing oneself in a good fiction book.

The summer I moved to Raleigh, I didn't know anyone! Literally, I didn't know a single person. I didn't yet have a job and basically had all the time in the world at my hands. I didn't have cable. It's like the perfect storm of a reading fest. Except I didn't read. I dug out seasons of tv shows I had and spent the summer watching those, Redbox, and Netflix. Don't worry, I did other things, too! I just did not do much reading. Since that point, over the past 4 years, I've been doing a little more reading. When I get into a book, I think " old friend". But after that one's over, I have trouble picking another book up. Life just gets so busy! But part of it is that watching tv and being online are just so much easier. My husband pointed out that I do a lot of reading online. He's correct, but it's still different. I'm reading short blog posts here and there, short news articles here and there. But I'm never losing myself in something for hours, days, or weeks at a time the way I do with a book. Fast forward 4 years.

I realized the other night when we were reading the Catechism that I seemed to have lost my ability to truly focus while I read. It's of my own doing, and I'm guessing it is one of those "use it or lose it" situations. It's like my reading comprehension has just gone out the window. So I'm resolving to start picking books back up again! It's good for my soul, it's great entertainment, and it is so healthy for my brain. Hey, maybe it'll even help my slowly sliding grammar (which I'll have you know I just typed as 'grammer'... yeah). If I don't do it now, I'll never do it when we have little ones running around the house! This is one of those things I'll have to schedule until it becomes a habit or until I fall in love with a book, but that's ok! I have two bookshelves full of tantalizing reads, so I'm not sure yet what I'll pick, but I'll report back when I do choose one! 

Now a word about my sponsor, but don't miss my question at the bottom, because I love your feedback!

More about the sponsor of this post, Grammarly: I try to proofread my posts, but I tend to only catch mistakes after they post. So then I have to go back, edit, and update the post. Not a huge deal, but it can be annoying, especially if I don't read a post of mine for days after. Then I have one of those *headdesk* moments wondering if people think I don't know the rules of grammar or basic spelling! Luckily, Blogger has spellcheck, but it ends there. So I wrote this post in Grammarly, which caught my mistakes for me. It actually gives you a percentage out of 100, which I refuse to share here due to sheer embarrassment. I think the program would be great for children writing for school and/or for homeschoolers because it tells you why your grammar is incorrect, rather than just correcting it. In fact, you also have the opportunity to fix it without being told the answer, which would be good practice for children learning the rules of grammar! It'd be equally helpful for high school or college students! Grammarly has also got an excellent interface and is very user friendly. You can either use it online or download it to your computer. You can type right into the program, or copy and paste what you've already worked on. When it finds errors, you can choose to read the short explanation or the long explanation. You can have it edit for specific writing styles like casual, creative, or business; and, of course, there is a general option. Who doesn't love options!? If you are looking for a grammar check program for yourself or your family, check them out!

What's your relationship with books? How do you make time for reading in an active life, especially if you have kids? 


  1. Books are a way I escape life for a little while. I usually take a book and go find a quiet place to read while Jon watches Daniel.

  2. I love seeing you post about this - I had the same struggle in college and grad school, but as soon as I started working, I've had commute time to read, and have been plowing through books the last seven years. And as my commute has gotten increasingly longer (now up to over an hour each way), I have sooo much time for it. At home, I definitely tend not to read. I find it really difficult to resist the easy escape of Internet and TV, so I'm really glad I have that time in the morning and evening. It's also a huge, huge piece of my self-care as a social worker...I can leave work totally stressed or discouraged or anxious and have forgotten about it by the time I get home because I'm so wrapped up in my book. I'm glad I have that time to unwind and separate before going into my home life. It's a nice boundary. (Though I wouldn't complain if I had, say, 20 minutes for that separation instead of over an hour...)

    It's actually something I missed terribly when I was commuting with a coworker from October through May (she just got a new job so I'm back to the railroad). I found it difficult to incorporate it into my life outside of commuting, and sorely, sorely missed that time. Though I miss her companionship and the convenience and the money-savings, I am more than thrilled to have my reading time back.

  3. This is something that I am trying to do more of also. It is so hard to find time when there are so many distractions. Once in a while I will find a really good book that just captivates me but other than that I usually will pick out a book from the library, carry it around for a few weeks and then return it without reading more than 10 pages. Maybe I will read more this summer.