Have you ever considered a daily reading challenge?

I love to read.

Growing up, I was a proud bookworm.

I spent half my childhood with my nose in a book. In fact, I may be the only kid in existence to have routinely gotten yelled at by a parent for reading too much.

But all that changed when I got older, built a life of my own and became a mom.

Somewhere along the line, I replaced the magic of my reading habit with a TV- and movie-watching habit – something I also love to do, but not more than reading.

That’s why I was so delighted to take on a daily reading challenge fundraiser for Trevor Project during the month of September. I committed to reading 20 minutes every day and I ended up doing way more than that. In the process, I fell back in love with reading again.

I read two great nonfiction books, which is surprising for me as I usually prefer fiction. I am notorious for starting nonfiction books but then not finishing them. I also read a couple of fiction books that I loved.

Now that the September challenge is over, I plan to keep up my daily reading habit. I had forgotten how enjoyable, relaxing and peaceful reading can be; it truly is a form of self-care. Plus, I already own so many books, both hard copy and on my Kindle. It’s high time I got back to reading my way through them all.

If you’re interested in taking on a daily reading challenge, it’s pretty simple. All you have to do is commit to reading 20 minutes each day. If you end up reading more (and you probably will – it’s hard to stop if you’re at a good part!), that’s great. But keep your minimum daily commitment of 20 minutes.

By the end of the month, reading daily will have become a habit. I didn’t set a specific time for my reading. Sometimes I do it in the morning, sometimes in the evening, and other days it’s just whenever I find myself with idle time. Occasionally even at the mall food court while I’m waiting to take Z home!

You might find yourself leaving books out around the house – something I hadn’t done in ages. You may even find yourself reading multiple books at once, which I have a tendency to do (one in hard copy, another one or two on Kindle). That way you have something to read that suits you depending on your mood or where you are in the house.

I highly recommend leaving a good book in your car. If you’re like me, and you end up waiting for your kiddo at various locations, it’s great to have a book to pick up instead of the usual phone scrolling. I find reading a book far more productive and enjoyable.

If you’re looking for a good read, here are the books I read during the month of September. I highly recommend them all!

  • The Meaning of Mariah Carey by Mariah Carey with Michaela Angela Davis. This is MC’s epic autobiography and I absolutely loved it. As a fellow Long Islander (we even lived in the same town for a while as kids), I’ve always had a fondness for Mariah and her incredible voice. After reading this, I feel like we could be besties. I had never truly understood or appreciated the “diva” affectation she has, but now that I know about her childhood and early experiences, I feel she absolutely deserves to be treated like a queen. She’s been through it all. This is especially a poignant read because of the way race – and being biracial – has impacted Mariah’s story.
  • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. This is a highly entertaining nonfiction account of the author’s experience hiking the Appalachian Trail. Bryson is a fabulous writer who infuses humor along with historical accounts in his stories. You will finish this book feeling smarter about history and fully immersed in nature as if you had just gone hiking along the Appalachian Trail yourself with a very funny uncle. Reading this book truly made me want to get out in nature and hike more! In fact, I quite like the idea of taking a good book on a hike, finding the perfect spot and then reading for a while out among the trees and birds.
  • Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow. This is a haunting young adult debut novel that really gets under your skin. The subject matter is visceral and challenging at times, and may not be for everyone; it includes graphic accounts of self-harm, hospitalization, poverty, homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual assault and suicide. All that said, I think it’s an important and riveting read. I had so much empathy and concern for the main character that I had a hard time putting the book down. Girl in Pieces would make a terrific movie.
  • Heidi by Joanna Spyri. This is technically another younger person’s book and also has historical value, as it was first published in the 1880s. This charming novel is full of joie de vivre, fosters an appreciation for nature and is also decidedly pro-child for its time. I first fell in love with Heidi’s story through a movie I watched as a child. There have been several versions of Heidi movies so I’m not sure which one it was, but I plan to figure it out and watch it again as I remember it being delightful. Anyway, this was my first time reading the book and I loved it. It’s a light, fun and inspiring read. It made me want to travel to Switzerland – a country that has long been on my travel bucket list!

Do you already have a daily reading habit, or would you like to develop one? I’d love to hear your book recommendations and reading tales in the comments below or over on Instagram or Facebook.

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About the author

Proud and loving midlife mama. Lucky and devoted wife. Dog, cat and snake mom. Travel nut. Natural born writer. PR and social media pro by day - tattoo doula by night.
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