Monday, March 14, 2011

Fringe benefits

The wonders of breast feeding are widely touted. Your baby will be less prone to problems ranging from ear infections to obesity to death from SIDS. You will be less likely to get types of cancer, osteoporosis, or postpartum depression. Your baby will be smarter. Your weight will melt off. You'll form a special bond with your baby. You get to read.

Actually people don't talk about that last one much, but it's one of my favorites. I have been keeping the interlibrary loan system busy lately. The librarians are surprised, seeing me come in with toddler and newborn in tow. "When do you have time to read?" they ask as they check out my stack of books. When I nurse after Kathleen is in bed or in the early morning before she is up, in the wee hours of the night when I'm trying not to fall asleep in the chair. I'm reading more than I've read, well since I was nursing Kathleen.

After Kathleen was born, I snuggled in with favorites from my childhood: the Little House series, Little Women, The Secret Garden, The Little Princess, Harry Potter (okay, not from my childhood, but felt like it could have been), the Wrinkle in Time trilogy, . . . There were adult books too, though I don't remember them all that well.

This time around I worked on clearing books off my dusty "to read" shelf and picked up the latest by Stieg Larsson, Jodi Piccoult (two), and Jennifer Weiner. At a friend's suggestion, when I told her I couldn't get past the first page of Julie and Julia, I read My Life in France. I won and read The Red Thread by Ann Hood, prompting me to seek out some of her older novels. I jump back and forth between fiction and nonfiction. I admit much of it is light and some of it doesn't stick, but still I enjoy reading again.

My reading spurt may be slowing down. Elizabeth is going longer between feeds and finishing them more quickly. And today, she wanted to talk to me while she ate. She'd pop off and smile and gurgle at me and I smile and coo back. There will still be times when she wants to suck herself to sleep and I'll sit with her, perhaps longer than I have to enjoying her warm body snuggled in to me and telling myself I'll just finish the chapter before I go to bed, but these will wane. But for now, I'll keep reading.

Recently finished and heading back to the library: Amaryllis in Blueberry and Sing You Home
Currently on my reading table: First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria; Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day; and The Lemon Tree

Read anything good lately?


  1. I loved the reading, too. She's too easily distracted now for me to get away with print books while she nurses, but I find I can still read e-books on my phone, especially if she's tired.

    I'm currently in love with Julia Spencer-Fleming's mysteries - really well-written.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion, Erica! I'm really enjoying the Rev. Clare mysteries. I accidently started with book four, went back to book one, and currently have book two on request through interlibrary loan. And there's a new one coming soon. Love getting into a good series.