What 5 Books Have Changed Your Life?

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That’s the topic on Momversation today so you know I had to throw in my two cents or twelve. Actually, the first question they ask is, “How do you find time to read as a mother?” And you know – good point? Where did I find the time to read forty seven books last year? I think the year MM was born I read maybe 5 books, mostly those little funny parenting story books or a very light chick lit variety. And I was so disappointed when I looked back on that, I made a commitment to remake a commitment to reading. Because I loooooove to read. I don’t think that’s a secret. Most of the time, I read at night – the goal is to get in an hour before bedtime but sometimes one hour is really only ten minutes and that’s okay. When I get to the end of a book an hour can turn into four, which will have me grumpy in the morning, but it’s usually worth it. I almost never read during the day unless it’s really addictive like the Twilight series – I’m pretty sure MM was none too pleased with me during that tail spin.

Speaking of Twilight, that’s another answer to the question, “How do you find the time?” Sometimes it’s about what you read. It was only recently that I started even attempting nonfiction again and a lot of the books I read are very light – young adult books are far easier to get through than classic literature. But what five books would I say “changed my life”? That’s a hard question. According to goodreads.com I’ve listed 101 books as “favorite” – how do you pare that down? And as I looked through them, the terminology of the question kept getting in my way – because this doesn’t ask, “What are your 5 favorite books?” It asks, “What 5 books have changed your life?” I have a lot of favorite books, books I adored, passionately – but most of them have not changed me in any honest way. To be truthful, at the end of the day, there is only one book which I think is worthy of that statement…

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell – I read this just after college and before my little man was born and it’s a good thing because I’d probably still be reading it now if I’d waited to read it after his birth. It was loooong – probably the longest book I’ve ever read but it is still probably the book I’d call ‘favorite of all time ever.’ It was reading this book that I think I came to terms with a lot of my own short comings – most prominently the ones I’d earned in my four years of college, the self truths I was having a hard time accepting. This book kind of made all that okay because the main character in this book? She’s got a lot of short comings – she doesn’t always do the right thing (heck she rarely does the right thing) and she’s not always admirable or kind or gracious or smart – and if she’d been alive today, ho boy – the troubles she’d have gotten herself  into. But I still admired her in spite of myself – I was able to see bits of myself in her and even if those bits weren’t technically compliments, I still kind of took them as such. I think that’s the point. You can be a good person and do good things and still do bad things, too – it doesn’t make you any less of a stellar main character. It really showed me that I could still love myself even when I wasn’t exactly acting lovable.

What about you? What books have changed your life? How do you find time to read?

3 Replies to “What 5 Books Have Changed Your Life?”

  1. I don’t know that there’s really a book that changed my life.

    I read at night before bed, in the bathroom, while the kids are bathing, and I like to sit outside with a book while the kids are playing. Sometimes if they’re watching TV I’m sitting with them, with my book. I also read a pathetic amount of books when Alex was first born and ever since have made a concerted effort to read as much as possible. Audio books on my commute have also helped keep my book count up.

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  2. The Celestine Prophecy had a big impact on my life as it made me see things differently. I also love to read Gill Edwards books as they mind blowing and you really do start to see how we live in a different way.

    I mainly read at night, the girls go to bed at half eight and I stop doing anything else and just read.

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