Ahh. Just imagines sitting down right there in that old wood chair for an uninterrupted hour our two or three to read your crisp new book you just picked up at Shakespeare and Co., sip a nice glass of Burgundy, order the occasional plate of frites to dip in mayonnaise, and leisurely people watch. My dream. I miss you Paris. Okay, back to reality. It’s about that time again to gather together and read, what do you say friends!? I the Homesong Book Club up a tad earlier last year, but we don’t have to do things the same way each time now do we? Throughout this past year however, I have been assembling and collecting a new slew of beautiful books for us to potentially add to our list. Most of them fall into the following three non-fiction categories, and I think we should stick to doing 2-3 per season:
- Mindful Parenting + Natural Living
- Existential Meaning + Soul Work
- Natural Homecare +Food Memoirs
What I have decided to do given that we all became rather overwhelmed with the amount of reading last time, especially towards the end of the year when holidays and school lessons inevitably started becoming more demanding, is read little bit less and vote together through an online scoring system. After the votes roll in, I will read everyone’s top selections and group accordingly. Then I will group books based on themes and core connections. It’s important to me that as an intentional reading community you each get to share our preferences in book selection. Before getting into the titles, here’s how this is all gonna go down!
Homesong Book Club 101:
- We will select titles together and I will get everything squared away before March 1st when we will start our first book together.
- On March 1st we will begin reading our first book together, and I will send out a newsletter to each of you with some reflection questions to take you through the first two weeks of reading. Sign up at the end of this post for the bi-weekly newsletters.
- We will come together at the end of each month for ONE gathering per book where we will all have an opportunity to share bits of wisdom, inspiration, questions, commentary etc. with one another in the comments section of this journal. If I could have you all over in my living room I WOULD. Alas, an online living room will have to do!
- So what’s your job exactly?
- Get the books. You can borrow them, buy them, check them out at the library, or share them with a friend.
- Read each one at the designated time.
- Follow along with the journalling and reflecting, if you care to. Not mandatory. You are an adult and this is for fun.
- Check your inbox twice a week for newsletters from yours truly.
- Gather here at the end of each month to discuss and share.
- Tell others to join us and make meaningful reading a part of their daily rhythm!
And one last thing before we get into the nitty gritty details of the titles for this year! I will attempt to address in the most graceful way possible, how exactly you can manage to read whilst being a mom to little kids who are very active, loud, busy, …well, kids! It’s the unicorn of mothering arts, a balancing act that sounds elusive, but I assure you, is within grasp if you want it. And that’s the key: if you want it. You’re going to have to give your current rhythm a wee shake before we begin if you currently do not read on a daily or even weekly basis. The last thing I want to promote here is reading as a chore or some reminder of the days pre-kids when it was probably much easier to plop down alone and savor a chapter or two. If you’re reading this and feeling stuck, don’t worry! Let me help.
If this book club is important to you in this season of life, then you’ll have to come up with manageable and practical ways to weave reading in your existing rhythm, rather than putting it on the shelf as something you do when you’re burnt out and exhausted at the end of a long day. Below are a few suggestions I have for you, along with some things I do myself throughout the day to keep engaged in whatever it is I am reading:
- Take your book with you wherever you go, and instead of scrolling when waiting, read.
- Go to bed a half hour earlier than you normally do and read.
- Pick two nights a week where your family goes screen free and read.
- Give yourself a quiet morning by getting up an hour earlier than you normally do to read.
- Want to read more in bigger chunks of time? Block off two hours of self-care time at some point on the weekend and take a bath, read, and enjoy a bit of solitude. You will need help watching this kiddos though.
- Make reading a priority in your day and set a specific time to do it. A timer works well if you are wanting to be really intentional.
- Skip chores and rest in bed during nap time with your book.
- Create a quiet time in your home from the hours from 1-3 and have everyone engage in either reading, quiet play, resting, or sleep.
Here’s my bit on grace. You are going to get interrupted. You are going to question yourself. You are going to have to stop reading mid-sentence many times. You are going to get to a really great part or quote and not have time to reflect on it in that moment. These things will happen, and it’s just a part of this season. Dear one, let’s embrace the mess together and read anyways. Eventually your little ones will see you reading more, and your home will start to become one that reveres books in a new and special way. I believe the flowers of good habits require heavy nourishment of time, patience, and discipline. Make time to do what you love and what brings you joy. Be patient when you feel resistance toward the new path you’e carving for yourself. Keep going despite those road bumps by staying disciplined.
Okay, here’s the Book Selection Survey! Please slide the scale to a place that fits your interest with each title. I have linked each book to Amazon so you can read about it before sleeping your preference! I will keep this active for several days and get back to you on Monday with the final reading rundown for the year.