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Pickle Me This

February 5, 2009

Babies and reading

A few weeks back I was happy to discover that Kate Christensen has a new novel coming out in early June. I’ll be reading it, naturally, though when, I cannot say. If I do happen to be 41 weeks pregnant in early June, then perhaps a good book will be welcome company, though it’s just as likely I’ll be a brand new mother with just a week’s experience, so I probably won’t be reading much of anything.

There are mothers who read, of course– mothers of babies and mothers of toddlers. I know this mostly because I read their blogs, and these mothers provide me with a great deal of reassurance. That having my baby won’t require handing my brain in (or if it does, at least I get it back in a little while). I’ve been planning my summer rereading project already, as I always do, and it’s mainly consisting of easy, well-loved novels that won’t require a great deal of concentration– I’m thinking Good in Bed, Saturday, Happy All the Time, and, if I’m feeling brave, A Novel About My Wife. It would be nice to read maybe one a week? (At the moment I read about three, but then I also work full time.)

I was going to cancel my subscription to The London Review of Books, but I’ve since decided otherwise. I hope motherhood won’t be an excuse to just give up being challenged, and I certainly won’t have to read the whole of every issue. But the articles that interest me are just so interesting, and I learn so much from them. I will be cutting down on the number of periodicals that come into our house though, which probably would be a good idea anyway.

Anyone who has ever had a baby is probably by now hysterical with laughter at my naivete, but let me tell you that whenever I’m told something isn’t possible, I tend to get it done. My mother says that babies sleep a lot. If I remember correctly, Alice Munro has said something much the same, so I believe it. I am also determined to master nursing and reading, which can’t be impossible as I’ve already taught myself to floss and read, and knit and read, so this is just another challenge. But I will try to keep an open mind and my expectations only moderately high.

If by the end of the summer, I’ve read Kate Christensen’s new novel at all, I’ll consider myself not too far off track.

3 thoughts on “Babies and reading”

  1. melanie says:

    I re-read a bunch of books in the early days because I was nursing all the time and needed to do something. I also listened to a couple podcasts of books. It was later on that things got harder reading-wise but I somehow always make time to read and this is coming from someone whose baby did not sleep all the time. Every baby is different so I’m sure you will fall into a pattern of finding time to read eventually.

  2. Evie says:

    Nursing and late nights lead to lots of reading for me!

  3. Kerry says:

    Very good news. Thanks to both of you.

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