Archive for the ‘Books and Magazines’ Category

10-Pages Book Reviews

November 27, 2007

I recently stumbled upon a mom blogger who writes book reviews based on the first 10 pages. All I can say is, great idea. I’m the type of person who feels compelled to complete all the books I read. Even if they are terrible.

I was recently asked how I have any time to read. Not just books, but to read anything. Being a mom is time consuming. I explained that I have to read. It’s a part of me. I don’t read as much as I’d like since I spend so much time with my son, but I can’t completely give up reading. I keep reading materials everywhere in my house. There isn’t a room that doesn’t have a book case or book shelf (except the bathrooms).

Because I’m so busy (who isn’t?) I have been trying to allow myself the ability to not read a book if I don’t like it — which is why I love the “10 pages in” book review concept. I usually get half-way before I give up on a book, then feel like I wasted time. Ten pages might not be enough to really judge a book, but who has the time to read a bad book?

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Ideas To Spark Reading in Children

September 28, 2007

Editors note: I recently moved my blog to a new server. You can find this same post (and all my others) at the new location: BalancingMotherhood.com, where I post daily.

Scholastic has a great interactive house graphic which shows all the areas of your home where you can incorporate reading for your kids. Some of its ideas and information include:

  • In the bathroom: reading in the bathtub and using foam letters that stick to the wall in the bathtub
  • In the bedroom: drawing and writing are associated with learning to read
  • In the kitchen: using a cookbook to find recipes that start with the letter “c”
  • In the family room: reading magazine and newspaper articles out loud together

These seem like simple concepts that we all know, but it’s a great reminder that reading comes in many forms and that we need to encourage it from the start. View all their tips in the graphic here.

Read my earlier post about American Reading Habits.

American Reading Habits

September 18, 2007

I found an article on CNN.com about reading — “Where you fall in poll of U.S. reading habits.”

One highlight from the story is:

“One in four Americans read no books last year.”

No books.

Zero.

Zilch.

Nada.

Makes me wonder how books stores stay in business? Do people buy books, but not read them?

The article does point out that women are some of the most avid readers.

“Of those who did read, women and seniors were most avid.”

When I talk to people about books, it seems that many don’t really read that much. Who has time? People are too busy — kids, work, house work, school, meals, home work, sports … there is little time for leisure.

Reading also competes with activities such as TV and movies. Personally, I love all three: TV, movies and books. Maybe it’s storytelling that I love.

I’m always reading a book, always. I don’t consider myself a fast reader and complete only an average of 12-15 books a year, but I read more than most people I know (although I know several who read several books per month!). And, each year there are books that I start, but don’t finish … which far outweighs the number of books I complete. I need to be engaged with the book to complete it. When I was younger, I would read the book in its entirety, no matter what. Now that I’m older, I’ve given myself permission to stop reading a book if I’m just not into it.

What’s most important about this reading poll, is what’s not mentioned – the importance of getting kids to read. We need to read to our children every day to instill a good reading habit. Here’s a brochure with tips on getting kids to read, from the American Library AssociationHow to Raise a Reader

Here are a few of my favorite tips from the brochure:

Raising a Reader:

  • Begin when your child is born and spend time reading every day.
  • Visit the library.
  • Choose books with colorful pictures and simple words—or no words at all.
  • Read with expression— or just tell the story in your own words.
  • Hold the book so your child can see the pictures clearly.
  • Let your baby play with the book.
  • Encourage your toddler to point out objects, repeat words, and talk about the story.
  • Reread your child’s favorite books over and over again.
  • Ask the child open-ended questions about the story: “What do you think will happen next?”
  • Encourage older children to read to their younger brothers and sisters.
  • Be an example to your children; let them see you read books too.

Resources for Getting Your Toddler To Sleep

September 10, 2007

As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I’ve been doing some research trying to find an answer, the answer, any answer at all, to break the seemingly new habit my son has of crying (um, screaming) when he’s in his crib. In looking online I found several message boards where parents have posted questions similar to mine in hopes of getting their child to sleep in his bed or crib.

We finally broke the bad sleep cycle with our son, after about three days of sticking to our routine. That, and I bought a musical, light box for his crib which he fell in love with. We opened it together as we were getting ready to go to bed and he was excited about a new toy. I told him he couldn’t use it until he went to bed. After hooking it up to his crib, we did our bedtime routine (brush teeth, read book, etc.) and then I put him in his crib and taught him how to turn on the lights and music by pushing the buttons. I said goodnight and left the room. He played with it the new toy for at least 45 minutes the first night, but he never cried. Finally, he fell asleep and we haven’t had any more sleep problems.

If you have a good sleeper, thank your stars! If you are in need of help, try some of the resources listed below.

Resources for Getting Your Toddler to Sleep:

Time-Saving Tips

August 22, 2007

“Real Simple” (a GREAT magazine) has an article on their Web site listing “20 Time Saving Tips and Tricks.” I’m always doing two things at once, so I like to think that everything I do is time-saving, but here’s one tip that I like to live by that I got from an amazing book,”Simplify Your Life: 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things that Really Matter.”

Create a shopping list based on your main grocery store’s aisles. Here’s how it works: take a notebook to the grocery store and walk down every single aisle. As you go, make notes of the items you typically buy. When you get home you can type up your list, based on aisles. Print it out, hang it in your kitchen … and as you need items, check them off. By the time you get to the store you don’t have to waste time going down aisles you don’t have any items checked off on your list.

I can’t tell you how much time this list saves. While it takes a bit of time to create it, it’s amazing how much time it saves you in the store every time you go. My friends have been amazed at my list. I am too!