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After the birth of my son, my life changed. Leisure is now quite scarce and therefore a valuable asset. When I started blogging in addition, time for me (showering, washing my hair, shopping?) and time for reading was out of the question for me.
Are you familiar with that?
Grandmas and aunts live too far away to take care of my little sweetheart during the week. So there was only time left for me when my son slept or two or three hours at the weekend.
Generally this is not a problem, because I like to be in my mother role and like to dedicate myself completely to my family. But reading .. I missed the reading.
I consider reading as incredibly important in life and would therefore like to show you in this article, how you enrich your life by reading.
But why should you read so much at all? What’s the point and how do you manage to read books that are not about cute bunnies, bears and potty training with such a busy schedule?
I will gladly answer these and other questions.
If you also want to know how I made it to read 90 books in 90 days despite working, blog and toddler, then read on or jump directly to the chapter “3 ways how you manage to acquire a lot of knowledge in a short time”.
Why you should read a lot
Did you know that there is a big difference between successful people and those who are not?
Some do have money the others don’t.
Just kidding, that would be too easy!
The difference I mean is that successful people, such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffet read a lot. At least one book a month or very often even more.
And this does not include novels, but specialized and non-fiction books and biographies of successful or interesting personalities.
Various statistics show that poor people almost do not read and rich people devour tons of books.
I want to explain to you that this is not a coincidence and what advantages the reading brings with it.
I would like to list a few points here that have apositive effect on your personality when you start reading a lot:
1) Teaching and learning
By reading, you first take the learner’s point of view. You learn new things and associate them with previously read facts.
If you read a lot, you keep this perspective throughout your whole life and always stay a student. The advantage is that you remain inquisitive and attentive and do not feel superior and omniscient.
If the knowledge has solidified in certain areas, you take on the role of the teacher in many situations, for example by passing on your newly acquired knowledge to your children or your environment.
Acquired knowledge also helps you especially in your job or in your hobbies.
2) Change of perspective
Since we are very social people, we all live in an environment that shares mostly similar views on life.
We also like to surround ourselves with people who think similarly and like things like ourselves..
This is basically ok and is our nature.
However, this often prevents us from thinking outside the box because we do not see the need to step outside our own environment. Completely different opinions and views often just do not exist in our immediate environment.
However, when you start to read, you get different perspectives on very different topics.
Topics such as education, nutrition, politics, lifestyle, psychology, nature and the environment, etc. can be illuminated by books from a whole new perspective, the existence of which we may not have been aware of before.
That’s why I recommend you to read biographies of very different people and personalities. Here you will best get to know different perspectives of very different people.
3) Broad knowledge
Priority is given to knowledge through books, especially through specialized and non-fiction books.
If you read a lot, you gradually acquire a much broader knowledge that you can use in different situations.
Even if you have the feeling that there is only a little what stays in mind and after weeks you have forgotten the contents of the book, I can say from some experience that is not true.
Our subconscious mind absorbs much more of what we read than what we can consciously recall.
This point can also have a positive effect on your job search or your general life planning.
Especially books like “The Seven Ways to Effectiveness” by Stephen Covey (available at Amazon) or “How to Make Friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie (also at Amazon) are books that have changed the lives of many people.
4) Mental food
Reading is healthy food for your brain, provided it is meaningful and challenging reading.
By contrast, television, especially trash and reality shows, is the junk food among brain and mind foods.
Your brain is positively claimed by reading and collecting knowledge.
Several studies show that mental stimulation keeps you fit and can delay or even halt the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s and dementia. It also relaxes reading and reduces stress. Source: smarticular.net.
This point is especially important to me as a mother. As a mother with a job and a household, your own self often falls short. Your own education and self-realization are almost always behind.
We mothers tend to sacrifice ourselves for the family, but usually do not realize that. So that this does not happen to you and you also invest in yourself, I advise you to read more.
How you can read a lot effectively and with little time, I’ll tell you in the next chapter. 🙂
5) Larger vocabulary
As you read, you increase your active and passive vocabulary. The active vocabulary consists of the words you use every day.
The more you read, the more words you get to know and the bigger your active vocabulary will become.
It’s the same with the passive vocabulary. The passive vocabulary are the words that you know and understand, but do not actively use yourself.
Passive words often enter the active vocabulary after some time.
The passive vocabulary builds on words that are still new to you at the beginning. The more you hear them or look them up, the more familiar they will be to you and eventually become part of your active vocabulary. This way you can additionally improve your communication.
A good vocabulary will also help your children. Talking a lot with your children and using different words for similar situations increases the vocabulary of your offspring.
Why should you read a lot as a mother?
We mothers know that motherhood is not just diaper changing, breastfeeding and childcare.
Outwardly, however, often arises the image of the housewife who knows nothing more than child and home. Who is familiar with pots, crayons, pacifiers and baby food, but does not get any education beyond that.
Your brain is shrinking
In addition, there are studies that show that the brain of a pregnant woman shrinks demonstrably and permanently.
Which is often taken up as an anchor for jokes by the nice acquaintances or colleagues. And you’ve already got the stamp of the simple uneducated housewife and mother.
However, if you take a closer look at the study, it quickly becomes clear that the brain actually decreases in volume at specific points, but no brain cells “disappear” and thus the intelligence of the woman is not affected.
The woman’s brain is restructuredas a result of pregnancy in the social and emotional areas.
It is believed that this happens, so that the woman can adjust emotionally completely to her child and builds an intense bond. This has proven to be super over the millennia. 🙂
By the way, how the brain of your offspring develops during and after pregnancy and how you can positively influence the development, you will find out in my blog post “10 Tips for Smarter Children“.
The role you take as a mother is so intense and important to such a small person right from the start.
This is true not only for the woman as a mother, but generally for the first caregiver. I still stick to the “mother” picture for the sake of simplicity.
Stay on track.
Since you want to raise a child with your partner or alone and unfortunately you often can not rely on a network of grandparents, aunts, nephews and sister-in-law in our time anymore, you have at the one hand to obtain the knowledge of education, child care and nutrition somehow on your own.
On the other hand, you often don’t have the opportunity to give your child in daycare to take care of yourself and your job or your education.
This is not intended by nature. Developmentally, a mother who has to look after her child alone is an emergency situation.
The consequences are often difficulties to get back into your job. Losing the “connection”, because you actually only hear of children’s issues and your world continues to shrink.
If you decide against work and stay at home, you will be facing complete new challenges when the children leave home and do not need you any more. Your livelihood will suddenly be taken away,
All of these are reasons for continuing to read even with a child and little time!
By reading or listening to books, primarily technical and non-fiction, you stay on track, expand your horizon and continue to educate yourself.
I’ve heard of many mothers who completely reoriented during parental leave by reading and then started in a better job for them or got self-employed.
We women in particular sometimes feel inferior and are not as convinced of ourselves as men are. Why we often think so has many causes, which I do not want to discuss here.
But we should take the opportunity to strengthen our self-esteem and self-confidence by reading and acquiring knowledge.
Go for it! 😀
By the way, if you are currently pregnant and do not know what to read, then take a look at my article “The only 3 books that you must have read during pregnancy”.
I want to show you thee ways how I manage to read as much as possible within the time I have as a mom with a job.
I am interested in many things and it is easy for me to read books. That does not apply to everyone and that’s why its even more important that you get to know easy ways to read more.
In a YouTube video I came across in fall 2018, an app called Blinkist was recommended. Since that day I am a loyal Blinkist listener 😀
With Blinkist I managed to “read” a book every day. There are now over 130 books I listened to.
How does Blinkist work?
Blinkist is explained relatively quickly. You can not read complete books with Blinkist, but you get the key messages of a book in short summaries of average 15 minutes.
Each message is called “a blink”.
The app now includes about 3000 books and consists of specialized and non-fiction books. You will be looking for novels in vain there. Both German and English books are listed.
The Blinks are each read by very pleasant professional speakers (both men and women), you can either listen to them or read them yourself.
Blinkist is completely free in the Basic version.
If you sign up, what you can do HERE, you will first start in the full version as a trial subscription, if you do not complete a payment subscription after the test phase of 24h you automatically land in the free version. (But please check the Terms and Conditions again, in case something changed since I wrote this bog post!)
No traps and no automatic payment. I tested it myself 😉
In the Basic version you get a free title every day. Thats how I managed to “read” over 90 books (one per day) at the beginning, before I switched to the premium account. Surprisingly I found every book quite interesting.
I put together a (very small) excerpt from my Blinkist list here:
In the premium version you will then have the complete offer of Blinkist available and you can hear as many books daily as you want.
Blinkist is also ideal for getting an overview of a book before you buy it.
All books categories are listed on the website. There you can also click through some books
Fun Fact: By the way, the favorite reading speed for Blinkist listeners is 1.25 times the normal speed.
What is my experience with Blinkist?
I am particularly impressed with Blinkist, not least because Blinkist is a German product (I am German). The company is based in Berlin and is constantly growing.
But above all, because I can absorb a lot of knowledge in a short time by Blinkist. This fits great during my son’s morning nap. Or if I have to wait for someone somewhere, or on the short drive to work.
I also use Blinkist, as already mentioned, to get an overview of the contents of a book before I buy it and I already bought the full version of books because of Blinkist.
No wonder then that the app has also won prizes: United Nations World Summit Award in the category Learning & Education, Google Material Design Award and Apple’s Best Apps of 2017.
I know, I sound like a greasy seller but my enthusiasm is real :D.
There are only a few apps that I’m so convinced of, like Blinkist. And since it’s also free, you can not go wrong here unless you do not use it 😉
You can get all information about Blinkist and download the app here.
My number 2: Audible
I’ve been thinking for a long time about signing up with Audible because the registration costs money and there is no free version except for the limited trial period.
A big advantage of Audible, however, is that the money is invested directly in an audiobook and no money goes “lost”. So there is no basic fee.
Small shortcut: The links to the Audible trial subscription can be found at the end of the chapter.
How does Audible work?
The subscription currently costs 9.95 € after the trial month. You can buy a credit with the money and redeem this in a book. The credits do not expire, but will be taken to the next month.
Each additional audiobook also costs max. 9,95 € / £ 7.99 / $14.95 Without a subscription, the books are much more expensive.
There are often also audiobooks for half the price of the credit. I already got two wholesome books for the price of one credit. e.g. the two books by Dale Carnegie “How to Win Friends & Influence People” and “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”
If one book is not enough for a month, you can also buy additional credits. For example: Three credits for the price of 24.95 EUR (one has then only the price 8.32 €).
Particularly good is that you can simply return books that you do not like without justification or queries. The money will then be given back to you as a credit. I’ve already done that twice without any problems.
In addition to the normal audio books, there are also podcasts. These are available to you but completely free for subscription.
The subscription is without a period of notice. You can quit anytime. All your purchased audiobooks are according to Audible available “forever” to you even after cancellation.
What is my experience with Audible?
As I found out that as a Amazon Prime customer Audible is free for three months, I decided to sign up.
The first three books I picked were:
- “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” Stephen Covey (Already heard at Blinkist)
- “Leitwölfe sein: Liebevolle Führung in der Familie” Jesper Juul”
- “Für immer zuckerfrei” Anastasia Zampoundis
I also reveived two additional books as a gift during the time. Thus, the trial subscription had been absolutely worth it. Five books for free in three months! Yippee!
I have “read” about 15 books with Audible this year. A few of them more then once.
The big advantage of Audible for me is that I can listen to an audiobook on all car journeys to the kindergarten, shopping, grandma, etc.It is especially worthwhile on longer routes.
My son usually sits in the car and does not seem to mind. On the contrary, I have the impression that he listens attentively.
I have not regretted it yet and take every opportunity to listen to my audiobooks. My husband and mother have also been infected 😉
Incidentally, I also hear the audiobooks here a little faster (1.25 times the speed), so I can finish the book in less time.
Last but not least, it should be mentioned that Audible also has audiobooks for children. I have not tried it myself yet, but I know parents who make heavy use of it.
If you want to try, you can get the trial month here: Audible 30-days free trial.
It is a trial month, which means that you can simply cancel within the month, otherwise it will turn into a normal subscription. Just do not miss the deadline! 😉
If you have Prime, you even get three months for free. You get three books for free. You can find the subscription as Amazon Prime customer here: Audible Amazion Prime 3-Months for free.
If you are interested in which books I also read and which I can recommend, please let me know down in the comments.
My number 3: Speed Reading
A completely free option on how you can read more, is Speed Reading. Speed Reading is a collection of techniques that help you to read books or texts faster, and thus in less time, and still understand the text well.
There is a very good book “Speed Reading” by Tony Buzan. If you are still interested in the topic, I can highly recommend the book to you.
Our brain does not grasp writing, as most of us assume, by reading the words inwardly, but rather graphically, through the visual comprehension of the text.
The speed reading builds on this fact. Texts are no longer read from beginning to end, word by word, but point by point.
For example, one technique uses fixpoints that you put per line. When reading, you no longer jump from word to word, but choose, for example, 2 to 3 fixed points, which are focused with your eyes one after another.
The brain is able to visually capture and process the information around these points. Even the area around the focus absorbs the brain and can thus already gather information for the next section, without you being aware of that.
Other techniques completely leave the line by line reading and help you to quickly get an overview of entire pages (cross reading) or chapters.
What you should do away with all these techniques, is your silent reader in your head. We all have a voice in our mind reading the sentences to ourselves. But as this voice reads in the speed of our normal voice, it slows down our reading considerably.
The brain can record the information read much faster if we turn off this silent reading voice. Try it. Read the next sentences and try to silence your inner reader.
It is not so easy, since the loud (later then the inner) reader, which we are still used from the elementary school, has become a stubborn habit.
Speed reading is not for everyone, but definitely worth to try it out. Your speed will improve a little bit each time, and you will soon realize that you can read much faster than you previously thought.
I think that many are unaware of what reading can have for a positive effect on one’s life.
Especially as a busy mother, this point comes too short. I hope I could therefore show you that there are ways to read books despite hectic everyday life.
Whether you use Blinkist, Audible, Speed Reading, Kindle, eBooks or just books from the library is not important in the end.
It is important that you invest in yourself, because there will be a time in your life in which your children are grown up and don’t need you so much anymore. A time in which you want to go back to work or you want to develop in your job.
The earlier you start to educate yourself, the more you can later use the knowledge you have acquired
Go for it! 😀
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Thank you for reading!