Fifty Two Shades of Shay: Reading

Lately, I’ve been receiving a lot of questions about when I find time to read all of these books I talk about each month.  So, today’s post…is about that :).
My 15th Shade of Shay (almost 2 years ago!) was on my love of reading magazines, but I’ve never done a post on my love of reading books.  
Here’s the truth…reading has always been one of my very favorite hobbies.  I was that kid in elementary and junior high that wrote down under “favorite hobbies” in class “reading and writing”.  I didn’t play sports.  I didn’t play an instrument.  I liked to read and write.  (In high school, I’m pretty sure my favorite hobby was boys…but that’s another post for another day…)
Moving right along…I love to read (and write).  Well, once upon a time, this book lover had two babies in 16 months and the only time I read for about 4 years was if I was on a plane.  Without them.  Which was rare.  I always read my magazines because they’re easy to pick up and put down but I didn’t read real books.  Then last summer, I took my friend Erin’s advice and started writing down my monthly goals last June and one of my goals was to read two books that month.  So, I conscientiously made an effort and bam…I was back in the “I’m so nerdy that I’d rather read a book than do anything else” club.  And for almost a year now, I’ve been pretty book obsessed.
I think there are seasons in life when it’s easier to be a reader than others.  Having two small babies at home was not the season for me but now that my kiddos are older, it seems to be the right time to read.
So, when do I find time to read all of these books and magazines?  Well, I went through my pics to find evidence of me reading…funny enough, apparently this Book Shade and my Coffee Shade go hand in hand…for where I found book (and magazine) pics, I always found a cup of coffee :).  
I still read on vacation…this was me enjoying a day at sea on a ship.

I keep a magazine or book with me at all times in my tote.  This is me waiting at the dermatologist’s office.  I pull out something to read any time I’m waiting on anyone.

This year, I read a lot in the car!  If I get to Smith’s school early before pickup, I’ll read.  I read in the carpool line while I’m waiting on Kensington.  There’s always a book and/or magazine in my car with me.

I read in hotels.

Still reading in the car.

I read at home on chilly days.

And I especially love to read on snowy Sundays.

I read in the airport.
And I love to read outside while my kids play.
If you’ll notice in my list of books, I always read at least two faith based books a month, so I read those as part of my quiet time each morning before I start my day.  After that, I typically read…
1. when I’m out and about waiting on someone (dentist appointment, hair appointment, doctor appointment) 
2. when I’m waiting in the car to get one of my kiddos
3. I read every week during Kensington’s dance class (we can’t see in to watch them, so I sit in the lobby with the other moms and read)
4. I read outside a lot while the kiddos play (that’s my favorite…I get to hear them laugh and giggle while I’m reading and enjoying the fresh air) 
5. I read at night before going to sleep
  When you add up those bits of time, that’s when I read.  The only day of the week when I might actually sit down during the day and read would be a Sunday afternoon…sometimes, I curl up and read on those days too.
For those of you in love with books too, you can always find out what I’m reading by clicking here.
And if you want to be my friend or follow me on Goodreads, you can do that here.
One last thing…I buy a lot of books and then trade them with my friends.  I have several friends who read as much as me, so we discuss before we buy and then switch and swap.  Also, last month, I hosted a book exchange at my house with a larger group of friends and that was a great way to get books too!  Everyone came over and brought an appetizer to eat and then as many books as they wanted to sell for $1.  We all wrote our names in our books and then “shopped” them.  You paid $1 to the person whose book you took.   We donated our leftover books from the evening to our local women’s shelter.  I bought five books from this exchange and donated 12…so this was a great way for me to make $12 and only spend $5…win, win!
My April book review will be on Monday!  And let me tell you…it’s the most random assortment of books you’ve ever seen :).
For dinner tonight….
Happy book day friends!
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  • Blue-Eyed Bride April 14, 2015 at 10:08 am

    You know I love this, friend. I mentioned this a little in my post today, too, but I'd say that reading is something you do in your Fringe Hours πŸ˜‰ (I recently finished that one, too) these days I only have time to read when I'm falling asleep at night, but I can read a book every week just by doing that. πŸ™‚

    • Jenna April 14, 2015 at 11:27 am

      I just finished reading that book and LOVED it!

  • Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} April 14, 2015 at 10:13 am

    Reading. Eh.

  • Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} April 14, 2015 at 10:14 am

    I'm such a loser. WHY DON'T I LIKE TO READ?
    Oh well, I'm over it.

  • Blake Walker April 14, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Love that quote at the top!! I'm a book nerd too, no children yet but I've been reading a ton lately and I love Liane Moriarty thanks to you!! Have a blessed day!

  • Erika Slaughter April 14, 2015 at 10:24 am

    I'm so glad we're friends. I love this nerdy side about you. πŸ™‚ the timing is funny because I just finished a book last night and have it sitting out to bring to you! We would have been a mess in high school. Moving on…hahahahaha!!

  • Narci April 14, 2015 at 10:32 am

    This is one of my favorite things about you!! I love that you are such a great reader!! πŸ™‚

  • Sarah Kuykendall April 14, 2015 at 10:33 am

    So glad you answered this question. I was wondering, too, but thought it was akin to asking a stay at home mom, "What do you DO all day?" And didn't want to seem rude! I love so many of your book choices!

  • Brooke @ A Retherford Realization April 14, 2015 at 10:35 am

    If you haven't yet read Girl On The Train, I would recommend it! Very suspenseful and good'

    • clatk April 14, 2015 at 11:25 am

      About halfway into Girl On The Train– so intrigued!! Can't wait to figure it all out!

    • Mara Kreiling April 14, 2015 at 5:10 pm

      Just finished Girl on The Train. So good!!

    • April 14, 2015 at 7:56 pm

      I couldn't put it down

  • Megan Leigh April 14, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Love the book exchange idea! I have read many books you've recommended so keep them coming!! πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous April 14, 2015 at 10:54 am

    I guess I'm the nerdy one right beside you then : ) Reading is my favorite hobby as well. I read when blow drying my hair, sometimes during the day when I'm waiting at school or the doctors, and then before bed. I would love to get into the habit of reading a faith based book as well each month. I only read books by christian authors though and it is a rare occasion that I buy a book – I generally only get books from the library. I search through the library's selections and then reserve them. I get an email when they're ready for pickup. I would have a serious problem of clutter if I bought them and would have a hard time giving them away.

    Karen in Maryland

  • Christi April 14, 2015 at 10:54 am

    I love reading too, and have read almost everything on your list. I love the books swap idea – will have to give that a try!

  • clatk April 14, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Reading is a MUST hobby for me and always has been! With 3 kids, I typically read before bed these days, but I can't go to sleep without it. It is just my favorite thing! I enjoy seeing what you're reading (although I'm pretty much a fiction only girl!)

  • Kelly @ The OK Momma April 14, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Love the book swap idea! I'm a kindle lover myself – I need to be better about tossing it in my purse so I can read if I catch a spare moment or two!

  • adrienne April 14, 2015 at 11:36 am

    I find I read even more when I check the books out of the library because of the stress of the due date!!

  • Full Time Wife Life April 14, 2015 at 11:39 am

    I am reading "The Tao of Martha" right now – about a woman who sets out to live like Martha Stewart for a year. It is so lighthearted and funny, can't help but think you would love it!

  • Valerie Cox April 14, 2015 at 11:50 am

    I always wrote reading and writing down as my hobbies too! πŸ™‚ I always laugh so hard when I read Sophie Kinsella's books!

  • Jessie April 14, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    I can relate so much to this post! Reading was always my thing, until I had kids. A few years ago, they went on vacation for a week with their grandparents. I borrowed my sister's copy of The Hunger Games because the movie was coming out soon and she kept telling me how great it was. I read the whole trilogy in that one week and started finding time to read again. I do a lot of the same things you do. Reading while they're playing outside is my favorite. πŸ™‚

  • Lesliejane April 14, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Just curious…do you use a NOOK or Kindle app on your IPad or phone? I cannot live without mine! I grew up at the library with my Granny (the town librarian for 47 years) and I get stabby if I am without something to read!

    • Mix and Match Mama April 14, 2015 at 1:19 pm

      I've read two books on vacation using my iPad (so I didn't have to tote books with me). I liked the traveling aspect of reading with a device but when I'm in my day to day routine, I like holding an actual book.

  • Roshunda N April 14, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    I love to read also. If you are a reader, you will find the time. Avid readers rock. πŸ™‚

  • Ashhog April 14, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    I love this post! I LOVE to read! I was the kid that got so excited when the teacher would tell us it was silent reading time! πŸ˜‰ I have a bad habit of getting really into books though and then staying up until 2am just to finish! I also have a bad habit of picking up my phone these days instead of a book!

  • April 14, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    No one cuter than you came to my door last night.. I can't wait to ship my kids off to school lol
    I also went to costco last night and picked up lisa Moriarty new book. ☺.. I also loved a girl on a train!!

  • Anonymous April 14, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Can you do a post about how you do all your house chores, and still have time for yourself, I can't find the time and I need to I feel like I'm drowning. do you have help with chores from Andrew or cleaning company?

    • Mix and Match Mama April 14, 2015 at 1:17 pm

      Andrew is perhaps the tidiest person I've ever met…so that makes him extremely helpful! And when I opened my travel agency in 2012, I started using a cleaning service. We keep the house picked up, beds made, toys put away and such and they do the cleaning. Thankful for hubby and cleaning service :).

  • April 14, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    ps I read a blog that once in awhile she will do a Q &A.. With random questions she gets asked.. I secretly love these posts.. you should do one "ask away with Shay"…☺

  • Jennifer April 14, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    I am loving your book series. I LOVE to read and none of my friends do, so I love getting ideas of what is good

  • Big Changes: Same God April 14, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Reading is hands down my favorite!?❀️ Shay, have you read any of Lisa Scottoline's books? I just finished "Keep Quiet " I love when a story grabs my attention inthe first few paragraphs. This one is good! Twist and turns galore!

  • Jenny April 14, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    I was also the girl in school who loved to read. We would have to pick a book to read and then do a book report and all the kids moaned and groaned. I however thought it was the best thing ever. Read a book and then tell someone all about it! What's more fun than that? Haha!

  • Anonymous April 14, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    The Internet has been bad for my reading habit. I now seem to read blogs, etc. and don't make the time for books like I used to πŸ™

  • Kim Saffran April 14, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    I love reading too. I try to read everyday as it is my only "me time" Right now I'm reading The Secrets of Midwives from your suggestions. Such a great book!

  • gracemountaindiaries April 14, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    So with you! I love reading and listed it as my hobbies back in the day. After having babies, it was still one of my hobbies, just one I no longer actually did! (Unless I happened to have no children with me – which, let's be honest, there's 4 of them, so the chances of that happening are at about 1-2%!) This year I decided to come back to me. And I've become a better Mom for it. My quiet time has increased, my reading time has increased, and the grace I give myself and my kids has increased. And really, there's no decrease that I can see. The time I spend reading, the littles have learned to entertain themselves/destroy the house (same thing) πŸ˜‰ And it is totally worth it!

  • Kristin April 14, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    You would love The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan! It's a fictional version of Will and Kate's love story. I'm working on my spring reading list for my blog and that's definitely at the top! I don't have as much time to read as I used to with a 2 year old, but I like your idea to bring a book everywhere, I'm definitely waiting places often enough.

  • Allena April 14, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    I am another 'I would rather read than do anything else' person. I am always reading something…and I usually have at least 2 books going at a time. At first I was really resistant to e-readers because I am a big library lover and hated the thought of paying for books…until I discovered that you can check out e-books through the library too! And in Texas (I live in ATX), all the public libraries offer you a TexShare card so that you can become a member of ANY library in the state of Texas as long as you are in good standing with your local library. So I can check out real books and e-books at several libraries – the best thing EVER!

  • Alexandria April 14, 2015 at 11:56 am

    I used to read so much before having kids. I have 4 books in my nook right now being neglected- gonna put down my phone now and do some reading! Thanks for this reminder!

  • traci.heinsch April 14, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    I appreciate this post! I was an avid reader until I had 3 kids under 3.. Still walking through these little years, I've been discouraged at the fact that I don't have the time or energy to read. (I'd rather take a nap!) Encouraged that one day soon I'll get there!

  • Anonymous April 14, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    I just don't know what to say about this post, so I think I'm going to go read my book. πŸ™‚

  • Colleen April 14, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Love this post! Reading is super important to me too. My biggest problem is that I usually stay up way too late when I get hooked by a good book. Makes that early morning alarm extra rough. But nothing that an extra cup of coffee can't fix!

  • Janet April 14, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    You have mentioned before that you get motion sick. How do you manage that with reading and traveling? I too get motion sick. Even if I take meds. I can't seem to read or barely look at pictures in magazines while traveling.

    • Mix and Match Mama April 14, 2015 at 7:36 pm

      Oh my goodness! I cannot read in a moving car! I would love to but there is no way. I can't even barley look down at my phone while someone else is driving without feeling nauseous!

    • Janet April 15, 2015 at 3:05 pm

      It doesn't bother you on a plane? I usually download books to listen to when traveling because of this. I spend a lot of time driving long distances. I listen to a LOT of books.

  • Jeanie April 14, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    I just went back and read your 52 Shades of Shay on magazine subscriptions. I can't believe you don't subscribe to Real Simple. I think it's great and feel you'd like it, too.

  • Rick and Angie's Family April 14, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    I notice that all of your books are actual
    hard copies of the book. Have you explored e-reading? I never thought I would want an e-reader, but finally gave in and tried a Kindle for ease when traveling. I am now hooked! Just curious what your thoughts are?

  • Kelsey April 14, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    Shay, reading this post has re-inspired me to read! It's hard to read as a busy grad student (other than required reading), but I agree with you that if it's something you want to do, you'll just DO IT!

  • Anonymous April 14, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    Ohh…am I the only one just dying to read about Shay's boy shenanigans in high school? Next post? πŸ˜‰

    • Anonymous April 15, 2015 at 6:48 am

      I'd love to hear about that Shade of Shay. And to see some of those high school Shay pics which I'm sure you're gorgeous in!! Maybe your tips about high school and boys will help me deal with my 15 year old daughter doing the same thing. Let me just tell you, enjoy 'em while they're young! Although just as great kids, the problems become bigger and moodiness is a huge issue.

  • Leigh April 15, 2015 at 1:38 am

    I love to read. I don't get to it much right now with two small kids, it's just my season. I miss it though. I've tried to read right before bed, but I just fall asleep about one page in and then I don't remember what I read so I never get past the first page! Lol

  • Lori April 15, 2015 at 11:54 am

    I love this! You reading (& sharing so many great book recommendations) has definitely inspired me to read more in small moments of my day. I try to swap mindless phone time/social media browsing for light reading. I enjoy it so much more! And coffee + reading = pure joy πŸ™‚

  • The Queen B Life April 15, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    I LOVE the book swap idea! I love the feel of a "real" book in my hands but usually always end up buying on my kindle because I don't know what to do with the books when I'm done (and don't have a library). I am SO hosting one of those and am going to start following what you read. Thanks for sharing!

  • Nikki Wilson April 15, 2015 at 6:52 pm

    I just joined Goodreads….what an awesome concept!! I have a little girl who just turned 1 so it has definitely been hard to find time to read. Hopefully now that she is sleeping through the night I will be able to pick up a book again soon!

  • Jaren April 16, 2015 at 3:23 am

    I'm so glad you did this post!! I've been wondering when you get the chance to read. I enjoy seeing your monthly book reviews and pin several of them for the future because I just can't fit reading into my schedule right now with my little ones. By the way, I'm not sure if you've talked about this one or not, but I heard great things about The House at Riverton by Kate Morton…if you like historical fiction.

  • Shelby April 17, 2015 at 4:37 am

    Thank you for sharing this!! I so often want to read & feel like I just can't find the time!! This truly helps me see where there IS time!

  • Caroline September 13, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    Here are a few books I recommend. I saw your insta post that you adopted another baby so I came to your blog and was lead to your reading page because I’m a huge book nerd. And mama of four. And want more! Ok-
    Redeeming love
    A hundred summers
    Kate Morton books
    Elin hildebrand books
    Sarah joi books
    Emily giffin
    Joni moyes