This summer was good. It was great! It was busy and sometimes too busy and sometimes just the right amount of busy. It involved that busy-ness that was actually a lot of driving around and schlepping around and waiting around, and in some of that lag time I broke out a book. One of my life’s philosophies I’m hoping to pass down to the children is that you should never leave the house without a book, as it’s usually when you forget it that you suddenly have 45 empty minutes with a mother who has not forgotten her book and who is not accommodating enough to entertain you because you were playacting as an illiterate goose. (“Playacting”)


I had a conversation with someone once about how the pandemic transition to working from home cut out their commute, and also cut out their prime reading time. When you’re sitting on the subway for 20, 30, 40 minutes each way with nothing else to do, a book is a convenient companion. If you’re at work, and you’re taking a coffee break or heading down to the food court for lunch, it’s also a nice time to decompress from your screens, maybe. When you’re at home, working from home or otherwise, there’s an inclination to spending your break in putting a load of laundry, or laying on the bed, or running the vacuum, or petting the cats, or getting started on dinner, or defending yourself from the children.


It having been some time since I held a stable, regular job, I’ve discovered that building in some extra lag time can be a special treat for yourself. When I used to drive to pick up Naomi from preschool, I sometimes left ten or fifteen minutes early to sit in the car and read before picking her up. That specifically did end up backfiring me a bit because parents’ cars were visible to the preschool classrooms, and the teachers would get to recognizing cars when they pulled up, and have Naomi ready to go while I was…sitting in my car reading. Alas, many of life’s problems can be solved with a bit of creativity or parking spot down the street.


And so I found myself waiting to pick up one or two kids at the end of a camp day, or with an hour or two to kill during a ukulele lesson, or next to a sleeping baby, and I flipped from one page to the next. It was a good summer, and it was also a good summer of reading, and here are some books that passed through.






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September 15, 2023 — Liz Chan



Kathryn said:

Ah reading. It is one of my most favourite activities alongside journaling and general stationery / fountain pen activities / obsession.
I read so many books this summer! I also started a reading journal this year which has been great because I have the terrible habit of plowing through books at a mighty speed and thus retain absolutely nothing, including the title and author. It’s like eating a big bag of chips – enjoyable, but not a positive, long lasting feeling. The journal has helped me slow down and take a moment to remember what I did and didn’t like. I love it!
I also read Happy Hour this summer. I enjoyed it but also found it annoying at times. I decided I’m too old to connect with/understand those characters. I was the problem. Not the book.
I love to see you trying to instill that passion for reading in your kids – it’s such a gift. My parents were big readers and they passed that love on to me and my siblings which I am grateful for!

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