Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Loving Your Inner Book Nerd: Challenging Yourself Through Reading {The Bookish Mum}

Welcome back to The Bookish Mum, a series on reading for moms! We've discussed why reading feeds our soul and why we should keep at it in the midst of babies and diapers, and we've tried to come up with solutions for the tough question of finding the time to read when you're a busy mom.

Today, let's talk about how to nurture lifelong learning and challenge yourself through reading.

We all want our children to grow to be lifelong learners and people who love learning. And like most things in parenting, we are our children's first and best example when it comes to learning. It's possible to expand your knowledge and channel your inner nerd just by reading books. Trust me, you won't even look nerdy to your kids.

It's so wonderful to feed our souls and our hearts with reading what gives us enjoyment, pleasure, and relaxation, but we can also use these opportunities to expand our knowledge and to challenge our intellects. This challenge doesn't have to involve tedious textbooks by any means, it usually just means finding good books that may be outside our scope of knowledge or what we typically read.

Once we've developed a habit, routine, or even a bit of time we devout to reading on a regular basis is becomes easier to switch things up a bit. I can't guarantee that every book we pick up we'll love and find enjoyable immediately, but I can say that even if we have to take a couple rejects back to the library because they didn't strike us the right way or pull us in, we will find great books out there that will expand our minds.

Embrace Your Inner Book Nerd

Sometimes the most difficult part about branching out your reading can be figuring out what to read.  In a sea of book covers it can be hard to even get a direction about where to start. I think it can be helpful by starting to think about interests you've always had but haven't had a chance to pursue or by taking a wild leap into something completely different from what you've read in the past.

Reading allows us to pursue interests we may have just glimpsed in college or even high school. I've always been a history lover even though I didn't specialize in college, one day I picked up a biography on Catherine of Aragon and was completely sucked into a world I'd never thought twice about before. Now I enjoy biographies of monarchs like new seasons of Parks and Rec. Sure, it sounds nerd-y but I've come to know an amazing breadth of history through simply reading about the lives of queens. I can't get enough of those dysfunctional upbringings!

In choosing something that is completely different to what we normally read, be it subject or genre, we are taking a blind leap into learning something that could surprise us. Expanding our knowledge and interests becomes easy through a good book. Pretty soon one book leads to another, leads to another: almost effortlessly you've become a book nerd.

Finding Inspiration on What to Read

One of the many, many things I love about blog reading is that there is a profusion of great book blogs out there, and so many smart women talking about the books they love. In reading about others' love of books, you can't help but be inspired and thrilled by their enthusiasm for whatever topic a book may cover. I've found so many great books from recommendations I've read from others. It's also so much easier to trust someone's opinion on a book when the topic is completely new to you. So why not try a recommendation from someone and see how you like it, let inspiration strike you no matter the direction!

Some of the best books I've read in recent years have come from recommendations from blogs. If you're looking for some book starting points Modern Mrs. Darcy always has a new book in a new genre. If you're looking for a good gathering of lots of different voices on any book no matter the genre Housewifespice runs a weekly linkup of What We're Reading Wednesday. I really enjoy The Deliberate Reader's extensive reviews of a great variety of subjects too. For a great reporting of Catholic books all books under the sun, Julie at Happy Catholic and Happy Catholic Bookshelf never lets me down.

Why not try a biography, a book of essays, spiritual readings, detective fiction, a survival storya cooking memoir, or a book on education? You're one book away from opening up a whole new interest, hobby, and world of knowledge.

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  1. What were some of the biographies you liked most? I love that genre and wouldn't mind some more to put on hold at the library

  2. One of my all-time favorite books was one that I would have NEVER picked up normally, but my Aunt swore up and down that I would find it fascinating. It's called Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World. Sounds ridiculous, right? It was amazing!

  3. Love this, Christy :) I couldn't agree with you more that finding just the right book to get into reading is HUGE. I've been on a dry spell in regards to reading which has been hard on me. But I recently borrowed Hunger Games from a friend, and I am renewed! I am so grateful to have fed into my love of reading again. I can't wait to read more and more now :) Thank you for these great recommendations also. ~Jenna // A Mama Collective

  4. This is such a great post (and series!). I'm really enjoying it. I just wrote about something similar: http://catholicmomapologia.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/an-intellectual-life-for-the-homeschool-mom/

    I find it's so essential for my sanity at home with little ones to keep reading good books!


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