Despite there being piles and PILES of book all over our house, I find myself unable to read these days. I’ve been busy working at night, and spending too much time online, choosing my iPad and the Daily Mail over a book to get me sleepy at night. For the last few years I have been only able to read when I am on holidays and have the time, switched off head space and inclination to do so.

I used to love reading on the train or bus on the way to work. Back when I used to catch public transport to work, there wasn’t really the world of smart phones that there are now – if you were lucky you had snake on your Nokia that could waste some time, so for me reading books – devouring piles of library books ย was my thing.

As a kid I read all the time, I always had my head in a book and I was so glad that at High school we were forced to read some of the classics – like 1984, Utopia or Animal Farm that I would never have read otherwise but am so glad that I did. You will see that Rob’s section of the bookcase is a little more, shall we say, sophisticated than my own!


I love that Rob and I have some of our original books from when we were kids ourselves still on the shelves that the girls can pick up and read, even though you might have to be a little more careful with them. I still have loads of my Judy Blume’s and Rob has his Roald Dahls.


And of course being the classy bird that I am, I still have some pearlers in the shelves like this one. Anyone have the joy of enjoying a Dolly fiction? PERFECT holiday reading material. That and Sweet Valley High or the Baby Sitters Club when I was a little younger. Good times.

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What’s some ways to get BACK into reading when you are out of the loop?
Read anything wonderful lately that you just have to share with us all?
What was a favourite childhood book that’s worth revisiting again?


  1. Janelle Chapman says

    I reckon reading goes through cycles as your kids grow up. I used to read Teen fiction while my kids were little. There are great authors in this genre. Easy to read and addictive. I discovered John Marsden’s Tomorrow series at this time. Cynthia Voigt’s Tillerman series was wonderful with beautiful prose and understanding.
    Hope you find a good read very soon!

  2. Okay I’m a total book dork. Forever have my head in a book! Currently reading “The Bronze Horseman” for the 5th time and loving every single word of it. When I was a kid I loved the babysitters club/little sisters books, goosebumps (I was a child of the 90s after all) and of course Roald Dahl (the twits being my personal fave). I found I stopped reading for a while after I finished school just because I had read SO much in such a short space of time, but I’m back on it now (thanks to a solid 90 min home to work journey each and everyday). Definitely start off with some good chick lit (Zoe Foster maybe?) or some classics that you loved ages ago to get you back into the swing and then delve into the harder stuff.. don’t go trying to roll War & Peace or something like that straight up! Holidays are the perfect time to get back on that book horse!

  3. I actually saw a childhood favourite reprinted and on the shelves at Big W the other day “Anastasia Krupnik” I’m not sure it will be worth revisiting but I do remember adoring it.

  4. Pick up a book and put it on your bedside table! Put down the electronics, leave them out of the sleeping room and pick up that book beside your bed when you get in there, and read it!! I’m reading one of my all time favourite books again, Metroland by Julian Barnes. Am going to tackle Wolf Hall again as I’ve got Bringing Up the Bodies beside the bed. It’s such a big book though, and I was given it in hardcover. I still have so many of my childhood books around this home. I can’t wait til my children are up for Swallows and Amazons – I loved that series so much!

  5. I am like you – I only get to read before I go to bed at night. And on holidays. And boy do I make up for it on holidays!!

  6. Beth, I think we should have an online book club/reading group!

  7. “Sweet valley highy” sweet memory! Loved loved loved them!!!!

  8. Next to my bed at the moment I currently have a pile that looks like this:
    what to expect when you’re expecting, up the duff, birth skills, awakening your birthing power, 1001 names for australian babies, baby love, kid wrangling, labour of love, and currently reading breasteeding, naturally.
    So yeah, my reading material at the minute is a little one sided…
    I also love that I was ‘forced’ to read classics at school, and that I did two literature subjects as part of my five year 12 subjects – helloooo English nerd. Lord of the Flies is still a cracker for me. My husband has a lot of young adult fiction books from his book worm era stashed in a box that he wants our kids to read one day (Paul Jennings, that sort of thing). I still have all my Saddle Club collection (waaaayyy before there was a TV show pffffft) and a prayers book I remember reading a lot at bedtime. I have one very special book in my possession, ‘The Triumph Book for Girls’ which has four names scribbled in it’s front page – my mum, my two older sisters and myself, along with our ages at the time (about 9-12 years). It’s a bit fragile but is pretty special to have.

  9. I don’t read as much as I’d like for all of your reasons Baby Mac……………my Kindle makes it so much easier though when I do get the chance. You might be old school (Rob def. looks like it with all of his serious ‘tomes’)………….have you got a Kindle?

  10. Ugh, I know that feeling. Have just come out the other side of a reading rut myself. I just let it run it’s course and when I thought I was ready to delve back between pages started with a few easy reads like Where’d You Go, Bernadette and The Fault In Our Stars (requires tissues). The Wildwood Chronicles would be good to read along with kids though I am sans kids and read them anyway. True Grit is short but wonderful. Burial Rites, The Snow Child and The Tenderness of Wolves were great escapes. The Night Circus is currently on my bedside table and I’m hooked.

  11. Eleanor Smagarinsky says

    Hi, I’m Eleanor from Kim’s 40th ๐Ÿ™‚

    Here are some options if you want to really mix things up, perhaps you &/ your readers will enjoy some of these:

    The poetry of Bernadette Mayer:

    or of Laynie Browne:

    Perhaps the words and art of the genius that is Maira Kalman:

    And my all-time favourite book by the incomparable Leanne Shapton:

  12. Eleanor Smagarinsky says

    Here’s a good description of the Shapton book:

  13. I come and go with reading too. After a bit of a lull, totally back into it with The Fault in Our Stars (sob). But even sadder that it ended so soon. My childhood favourite is Anne of Green Gables and others like Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan.

  14. I love biographies- the last one I read was Billy Joel, it’s always fascinating to read about someone’s background. And before that, a fascinating one called Beautiful by Katie Piper. For something light and funny you can’t go past Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, they crack me up.

  15. Lisa Aherne says

    Join a book club. I was invited to join one and now have to finish and critique a book every month. Some of these books are out of my comfort zone. And that has been GOOD. Also at my age I am often awake at night either suffering hot flushes or just awake. Reading time. I have a kindle which means light is minimal and does not disturb my mate. I am a self confessed ipadoholic, nasty disease! I love social media, games, or just fiddling but they can use up way too much time. I am happy to say I am reading more. Recently: Room by Emma Donoghue, and almost finished The Fault in our Stars by John Green. Next comes The Red Tent by Anita Daiment. Loving also French Women Don’t Get Facelifts, just for a change of pace. My childhood books were destroyed while living in the tropics, shame! A Leg at Each Corner by Thelwell was a favourite of this horse mad child. And I read some classics at an early age, although there are still many which need my time and attention. Xx

  16. I always plan to read but it never happens. It’s actually why I started following your blog – short little stories that I read everyday ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Lisa Mckenzie says

    I read a LOT but I have been downloading books in my iPad from the library but much prefer a “real”book but I was buying too many and getting rid of them is hard I need some good recommendations too ,I’m too old to read something I don’t enjoy ,I feel like I’m wasting my time .Good luck at getting back into reading Beth x

  18. Michelle says

    I grew up reading Judy Blume, I just loved these books but alas I have no idea where they are.
    I can go to sleep without reading, even if it’s just one page. I’m reading The Book Thief at the moment, have just finished The Husbad’s Secret and waiting for Rich Crazy Asians & The Rosie Project to be delivered from The Book Depositary. Can’t wait!!

  19. My own reading has had many fits & starts since my first child was born nine years ago. Now that she is getting old enough to read some older level books, I’ve had fun “pre-reading” books for her. Some favorites from my childhood that were especially fun are “Harriet The Spy” and anything by Madeleine L’Engle. Happy reading!

  20. I was always a book kid too. I lost interest in reading when I did one of my degrees via distance ed – and did a lot of reading for study! I started reading Agatha Christy novels ( actually – I read my first en route to London!!). They are easy to read, you can pick them up and put them down and they are good fun! I’ve now got my reading groove back. Yay! As for kids books, I read the full set of ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ every couple of years. I’ve never read any other book twice, but love a bit of CS Lewis. ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. After just going to the Sydney Writers Festival, the pile of books on my bedside table has grown and I am completely inspired to read again. Andrew Solomon was a great speaker so imagine his book ‘Far from the Tree’ will be good. Steve Biddulph also spoke well and his ‘Raising Boys’, ‘Raising Girls’ books are good. BUT I have got one for you to get you back into reading – ‘The 4-Hour Work Week’ by Timothy Ferris. The tagline – ‘Escape the 9-5, live anywhere and join the new rich’…. who doesn’t want that, super easy, practical read and inspiration to live the dream! Classics also work for getting back into reading like Great Gatsby or Pride and Prejudice. PS maybe we could start a book club together!

  22. I sooo miss reading – look forward to getting back into it as the kids get older. I really hope my Soph loves Enid Blyton as much as I did as she grows up (ooh and Anne of Green Gables as someone mentioned earlier!) & i’m sure the boys will dig a little bit of Dahl!

  23. OMG I had shit loads of those Dolly Fiction, and the love of them.

  24. katie clews says

    I used to also read on the train to/from work when I lived in Sydney and as a kid was a total bookworm, always had my head in a book and eagerly awaited bookclub at school… but since having kids I’ve been so hit and miss with reading. I have SOOO many books but I just can’t seem to get motivated to read them. I seem to spend all my time on the iPad browsing various pages and of course too much FB time!! I like a bit of Cathy Kelly and also Sheila O’Flanagan. Easy reading, bit of romance and a bit of drama mixed together..

    • You just can’t go past those kind of books to get back into the swing of things…I love them. Have you read Jane Green before? Also great!

  25. Oh how I used to stay up all night reading!! I’d shut my door once everyone went to bed and put my light back on to read just a few more pages which usually turned into finishing the book!! No time these days. Tried electronic versions but I miss turning the pages so until I find the time, the book stays unopened on my bedside table.

  26. The reading rut is my nightmare state and I hate being in it! Reading is one of the things that makes me Me! I can definitely recommend “The Fault In Our Stars” – just gorgeous. A favourite from childhood would be “Playing Beatie Bow” – love how it evokes the area of The Rocks so beautifully. Hope you can climb out the other side of the rut soon!

  27. I love reading, so much so that I’m moving to Germany to write a novel. I saw Sweet Valley High on your Facebook page and thought you might like this article

  28. I was such a book nerd as a kid – I loved Enid Blighton and Roald Dahl. Is it nerdy to say we kind of named our daughter after Dahl’s Matilda?
    At the moment my reading is mostly Spot and friends but I do get to read a bit of Dr Seuss which is nice.
    I finished off the complete Sherlock Holmes a few months ago and really enjoyed it – the chapters were very short so I could easily read 1-2 chapters before bed. But I’m now back in a bit of a rut.

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