Five Easy Ways That Parents Can Relight Their Book Fire

Category: Reading
Tagged: reading, parents

There’s a simple reason why parents of small children always look so tired – they don’t get enough chances to sleep.

If you don’t get enough chances to sleep, your priorities are: get more sleep, get child to sleep through the night, drink more caffeine to cope with the sleepless nights and try to be less angry with everything. Reading books naturally slips way down the agenda. Here are some easy ways to reintroduce reading back into your life without sacrificing those precious Zzzs…


1. Short fiction

Short fiction is the perfect fit for time-poor, sleep deprived parents. No complicated family trees to commit to memory, no tedious scene-setting – just straight into the action and the satisfaction of knowing that you stayed awake until the end.


2. Erotic fiction

Speaking of action, it is sometimes said that having one or more little angry dictators running around the house at all hours of the day and night can, very occasionally, have a mild impact on parents’ other activities. Reading some erotic or romantic fiction might help reverse this trend (though you should probably avoid Fifty Shades of Grey unless you are also in the market for a complete lifestyle overhaul.)


3. Page turners

Plunging from a long reading drought straight into War and Peace is never going to end well. Reading, like everything else, is a habit which it’s easy to fall into and out of. Tempt yourself back into a reading routine by getting a page turner out from the library, in the genre of your choice. The unputdownable The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is a perfect example of a book that has got many people back into reading.



4. Browse the grown-up shelves at the library

When your child is small and frequently incandescent with rage, your visits to the library may well consist of singing Twinkle Twinkle in a faux-jolly manner while dying inside, or popping in to use the loo every time you attempt to go anywhere else. If you can try to carve out even just a minute to have a look at some books without pictures, you’ll probably find yourself drawn back into the world of books more quickly than you can bribe your child with a jaffa cake.


5. Goodreads

If you are the sort of person who enjoys a jolly game of one-upmanship with pretty much anyone you encounter, then Goodreads will toss you back into the book saddle faster than you can challenge someone to a cracker-eating contest. You will have a complete, omnipotent overview of all the books that your friends are reading (or pretending that they have read) and you in turn can list all the literary classics that were on your reading list at school.

For those who are less competitively-inclined, Goodreads also matches you with books it thinks you will like, allows you to make reading lists of books you are interested in, and generally provides a safe and happy space to gently reinvigorate your interest in books. 


Check out some of our book lists for reading suggestions:

9 Short & Nourishing Reads, 10 Books That'll Steam Up Your Glasses, 12 Picture Books for Adults.

Helen Croney

Helen Croney has worked at Scottish Book Trust for almost 10 years and is the owner of a small child.

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