21 was a special summer for me. I got engaged. I was leaving for study abroad in September. And I got a job through my parents where sometimes I did administrative work on septic tank variances (WOOHOO) and sometimes I got paid to read my Oxford reading list holed up in my cubicle. And it was kind of the life.
At the time, I knew it was unlikely i would ever get paid even $10/hour again to read classical literature. And it’s been true. While I made minimum wage at a secretary job reading Wendell Berry and doing library school homework, and later snuck an occasional YA novel at the desk as a librarian, it’s never really happened again in the ten year since.
I don’t always love being a stay at home parent, but man, is it a fine career for reading. For fun, I tracked what we read on a slow winter weekday recently:
- Away in the Manger — Scout’s current favorite, on repeat. (I’m not going to link to this one, because the point is: song, pictures of baby, pictures of animals. Pretty generic.)
- Scout’s Little Book of Names and Faces — requested by both kids. I made it for Scout’s Christmas this year through this service.
- I Can Fly, Ruth Krauss — Scout’s nap time choice.
- Day Dreamers, Emily Winfield Martin — a Scout request. The illustrations are so lovely.
- Paw Patrol: Puppy Birthday to You — Ugh.
- Boxcar Children 1 (audiobook) — I didn’t read this one. Pippin has taken to listening to audiobooks while I cook dinner.
- Boxcar Children 10 (paperback) — It makes me batty that he wants to read more than one book in the same series at the same time, but pfffft.
- The Velveteen Rabbit — P’s first time.
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn — just me, during nap time, for bookclub.
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland — J’s reading this one chapter a night to the kids while I clean up from dinner.
- Swallows and Amazons — J’s bedtime book for Pip which he reads beside the fire while I do more straightening up.
Sitting in a little over-air conditioned cubicle, I didn’t imagine this future for myself as a reader, but it’s one I’m grateful for (Paw Patrol aside).
And dear new mother Katherine, circa 2013 — you will read again, and something other than books that label truck parts. And it will be all you hoped for.