Finding a New (Book) Normal

I just finished the third week at my new job. It’s been quite an adjustment going from stay-at-home mom to full-time working mother. My family and I are still settling in to our new routines, and for me that includes finding time to read.

I work a flex schedule, which definitely has its pros. I’ve been trying to work the majority of my 40 hours Monday through Thursday, leaving me with a three-day weekend to catch up on reading and household duties. Because of this, it is harder to get any reading time in during the week. But I try to make reading time a priority at night before bed.

I work for a domestic violence shelter and am often faced with heart-wrenching stories that can drain me emotionally. Reading is my way of decompressing and stepping into a story that will take my mind off of the things I encounter day-to-day. This has also changed the books I choose to read when I come home. I now find myself reading more lighthearted fiction and steering clear of heavier subject matters.

EAA9DDA3-C988-4407-83DD-996E0F96E434For example, I read a book called Ayesha At Last and absolutely loved it. It’s considered a romance novel, definitely not something I would pick up normally, but I loved how light and easy it was to read, and I got to learn about Muslim culture while doing it. It was a wonderful book, and a great way for me to escape from the harsh realities of the world.

On the flip side, I started reading Kristin Hannah’s novel The Nightengale, which is a book that is always highly praised in the Facebook Monthly Book Club group. I got through three chapters, and I couldn’t do it anymore. It’s historical fiction set at the beginning of World War II, and it’s just something I feel like I can’t handle right now. I’ve always heard timing can be everything when it comes to reading certain books, and that’s definitely my case with this one. (Although, I did put a hold on the audiobook version from my library. Maybe it’ll be better suited for me in that format.)

I also decided to leave a book at work that I can read during my lunch break. I was bringing Ayesha At Last with me every day, but I thought it would be good to pick a book off my shelf to bring and leave at work without having to worry about transporting it back and forth. For my first “work book”, I chose The Kite Runner. My new boss had mentioned that this was one of her favorites, and I’ve heard high praise for this modern classic, so I’m looking forward to diving into it.

All this is to say, I’m really enjoying my new job, and it really isn’t impeding on my reading life as much as I thought it was going to. It’s all a matter of finding that work/life/reading balance.

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