Awhile back, I shared a link to an article that stated the average person could only read around 2,500 books in their lifetime. My dad shared this with some of his colleagues and they started discussing what counts.
Graphic novels. No. (I disagree.)
Textbooks. No. (Not sure where I stand on this.)
Non-fiction. Of course.
Books where you don't read it all. No. (I agree.)
Kids books. No.
It's the kids books that got me thinking.
I like to track my reading. I have a Google sheet tabbed by year listing the date I started, date I finished, author(s), title, genre, page count, and my rating. I'm even going back and creating a "no date" tab for all the books I know I read before I started formally tracking.
But, when it comes to kids books, I lack consistency. When it's a kids book, even a board book or picture book, that I read for a class or myself, I track it. When it's something I've read with my own kiddo, I don't.
To me, kids books are books. They are the essence of what gets us started as readers. Pictures and simple text are the gateway to full novel, academic non-fiction, and (yes) graphic novels. But I still don't count them in my own database. I can't put my finger on why.
It could be that I've read the same books dozens of times. It could be that I could motor through the entirety of my kiddo's bookcase in a day. It could also be, that it doesn't feel like reading to me. When I read to her, it feels like storytelling. I change my voice, make sound effects, exaggerate my emotions and facial expressions. It's acting and the book is my script. It just doesn't feel the same as sitting down in silence (or crashed on the couch in front of the TV) and settling in for long pages of reading.
But kids books are still books. Good books.
I now think I am going to add another tab to my spreadsheet that focuses on kids books. But I'm only going to count each title once. I may count my (rare) re-reads of adult works, but I don't think I need to say that I've read Monster Food twenty million times.
Parenting makes you think about the oddest things.
The other day, our kiddo was walking around the kitchen with a wooden magnet stuck to the bottom of her foot. This is not the first time she's done this. She will deliberately step on a magnet and go tap-tap-tapping around the house. We think she likes the sound.
This got me thinking about all the random sounds I enjoy - the crunch of a gravel pathway under my shoes, the last gurgle of water as it goes down the bathtub drain, the satisfying clickety-click-chunk of the vacuum when it sucks up something bigger, the gentle rustle of thick paper pages being flipped, the soft smushy crunch of walking in new fallen snow.
So often I think of hearing being related to bigger things - music, conversation, sirens - but it's the little, everyday things I enjoy most. They're like aural details that round out the sensory experience. I'm beginning to think the details are why I love watching/listening to ASMR videos. It's satisfying and soothing.
What sounds do you enjoy?
During daycare pick up yesterday, I discovered that one of our tires has a screw stuck in it. Somehow, the tire seems okay. We're working on getting this fixed ASAP, but I'm glad I found it before we got a flat unexpectedly at an assuredly inconvenient time.
Here's what else was good this week.
I've got 15 minutes to write this during lunch before I need to do final prep for my first class of the semester. Onto the projects!
I'm nearly a month behind reading my Wowbrary emails which list the recent additions to my local public library. That's why it took me nearly two months to add just two books to my TBR list. A slow down is probably not a bad idea...
You can see my complete TBR list on Pinterest.
They say everything is content these days. If that's the case, then why are there weeks when I draw a blank when it comes to writing these intros?
I have a short list of ideas for intros to write. But, more often than not, when it's time to write, I don't want to talk about any of those ideas. Instead, I try to think about what stood out in my week. When that fails me, I tend to look around the room to see if something jumps out. When that fails me, I stare off into space and try to force inspiration. Sometimes an idea pops into my head, sometimes it doesn't. When my mind stays blank, I try some brunt force writing and see if something comes of it.
Inevitably, I get a brilliant idea after I'm done writing for the week. One of these days I am going to remember to add those ideas to my short list.
How do you get around writer's block?
DC was supposed to get smacked with a snow storm during yesterday's morning commute. We presumed our daycare would follow all the local schools and delay or close. It didn't snow. Our daycare also didn't follow the trend; they opened on time. Getting a full day of care feels like a rare treat these days.
Here's what else was good this week:
Solutions and Other Problems
I've read Allie Brosh's work since she had a web comic. She mixes laugh out loud comedy with philosophy and personal narrative so well.
This book is a bit deeper and darker than the rest of her work, but I still find myself laughing on almost every page.
One weird thing about being in a new office is trying to get used to all the noises. This is a big open area filled with huge cubicles that tends to eat sound... but not always. My cubicle is on the side of a building that faces a major avenue. I sit below an air vent. All of this means that the acoustics of the office are rather distracting. In time, I'll get use to it. Right now I'm very much in "squirrel!" mode.
Here's what else has my attention.
I am not a morning person. When given the option to get up and do things or sleep, I almost always choose sleep. That said, if I do wake up early, I can get along with my day without too much fuss.
Earlier this week, I got up at 5am. It was not by choice.
I tried lying in bed quietly to see if I could go back to sleep but to no avail. My brain had locked on to work things and wouldn't let go. Instead of fighting my alertness, falling asleep right before my alarm, and then jolting awake grumpy, I just got up.
What greeted me was a dark sky, quiet home, and pre-set coffee pot that had not started brewing yet.
It was kind of nice.
I set the coffee to brew while I sent out a few emails to deal with the work issue that was niggling my mind. Then, I poured a big mug of dark roast, cozied up on the couch, and just scrolled. Since COVID hit, it's not often that I feel like I get our home to myself. Instead of puttering around doing things, I enjoyed almost two hours of idle time without interruption.
What do you do when you can't sleep?