Monday, March 14, 2011

2011 Reading List | And Other Meaningless Short Comings

I've read a lot of books so far this year, too many to count. Really.

See how easy it was to make myself look the way I want you to see me? I only want you to know I read a lot of books because lately I've wandered around blogland and seen other people's reading lists and have started to compare. I know I should stop. But I don't want to badly enough to exert a little more will-power.

The honest truth? All those book I've read have come from the children's books in our local library. Yes, I'm counting classic titles like Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny, because, if I don't, I come up with an embarrassingly short list (The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger and The Double Comfort Safari Club, by Alexander McCall Smith).

I wasn't insecure about my list (might have even felt a little proud that I've already worked in two books this year) until I read a friend's reading list. So far this year she's read 17 books. No kids books on her list, she's reading classics like, Little Women and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, among a lot of other titles, obviously!

Along with finishing book number two, Eric and I did watched Julia & Julie last night. In case you haven't seen it, it's the story of a woman named Julie who blogs her way through making all the recipes in Julia Child's cookbook, in a year. (It's PG-13 and not a movie you should sit down and watch with your kids.)

I was struck with how obsessed Julie was about her growing blog popularity. At points in the movie I laughed so hard because it's the easiest way to deal with the emotions of something hitting too close to home. Don't misunderstand. I don't have a popular blog. A handful of people, who are very kind and sweet, occasionally muddle through my words. What I could relate to was that she quickly started paying more attention to maintaining her blog than her real relationships, in her case her marriage.

Blogs can be a lot of good, heathy things. Good personal therapy. Something to throw yourself into. Something to document the changing seasons of family life. Something to look back and read to remember. Good things. It shouldn't be a place where I measure the value of my life. And it certainly shouldn't be something that replaces real life, real relationships.

Which brings me back to my real life... I'll leave you with a couple of pictures of our girls, because when I look at them I don't care how many books I've read for myself this year. I realize that God has given me the responsibility of being mommy and that is amazing and wonderful and very good.


  1. Guess how many non-children's books I've read this year???? 0!
    I have a list of books I'd like to just hasn't happened yet. I also have a good book waiting for me at the library and I returned one I checked out without reading a single page of it. But, we shouldn't be comparing.... :)
    I loved Julie and Julia...such a great movie!

  2. I always call it the parent competition. I seem to lose no matter what. Or if I think I've won it's because I've judged or put someone else down. Keep up the good work of reading no matter what it is or how much. Your girls will see that and you know that's the most important part! I enjoyed that movie but it was before I "really" started blogging. I will have to watch it again!

  3. Beautiful photos of your beautiful girls! Seriously, nice work -on all counts:)

    Also, I struggle with comparing myself (endlessly!) to other people... I'm getting a little better... but, still find myself thinking a lot of "if onlys"

  4. I hear you on the blog popularity thing! I have a teeny blog, and have only recently been inspired to write in it, as a way of disciplining myself to write more. It's a slippery slope to worrying what others think. I find i do the same with my photography. Silly things. It's always good to rethink and correct course. Thank you for the timely reminder.
    Books I've read? Same as you: ones I've read aloud to the kids for home school. And hmmm....I read "The Sea Around Us" by Rachel Carson, and it took me months! (I tend to fall asleep while reading) thus, it will be a miracle if I can finish the spiritual parenting book quickly. means God really wants me to!