So the one thing that I’ve really learned during this pandemic is that I don’t have many hobbies. After teaching and “mom-ing,” I’m usually too exhausted to even stay awake past 8 PM. Over the past year, though, I’ve had a lot more free time as mom duties have been significantly less. During this extra time, I’ve realized how much of my life revolves around my daughter and my career. And don’t get me wrong – I love and am grateful for both, but I was still searching for something that I did just for me, just because I loved it. I love reading. I have always loved reading, but could that count as a legitimate hobby? Well, considering there is a pandemic going on, I decided to take what I could get. I wanted to make my love of reading seem more like a real hobby, though— so I joined a book club. Don’t stop reading— I promise that it’s more exciting than it sounds. Actually, I joined two book clubs, and both of them are online because #socialdistancing.
The first one I joined was “Book of the Month.” As they say on their website, “books are cool again,” and well, I could use some cool points considering that my wardrobe has consisted mostly of loungewear for the past year. Book of the Month is basically a subscription service where you receive a book of your choosing every month in the mail. Each month they feature five books, and you check them out to decide if one interests you or not. Once the five books have debuted on the website, you’re asked if you would like to get a book or skip that month (there’s no penalty for skipping). Honestly, though, I haven’t skipped yet.
They’re really good about finding “the best new reads” and often have early releases or debut authors. If you’re a book nerd like me, that’s pretty cool! For February’s books, there were three debut authors, and one book was an early release. And I love that there’s variety! This month you could choose from contemporary fiction, suspense, historical fiction, or literary fiction. There’s also diverse representation within the book choices – which is important to me as the mother of a BIPOC daughter. For instance, this month, one of the main characters was Hispanic, while another main character was African American, and one of the books also featured LGBTQ+ themes.
I have recently joined a second online book club, and I fully blame a Facebook friend for this decision because she talked it up so much in a post. “The Book Drop” is another monthly book subscription service, and this one is very cool for multiple reasons. This book subscription service is run by an independent bookstore out of Delaware. I really like the idea of supporting a small business instead of giving Amazon any more of my money than I already do. The book you receive each month (which is based on the subscription you’ve chosen) is actually a surprise – which I think is kinda fun.
The books are chosen by people who love to read and actually recommend books for a living. There are seven different subscriptions to choose from, and each one has a description of the types of books you would receive. “Books for Tea” is their most popular adult subscription, but they even have “The Book Droplet” for kids who are 3-7 years of age. I signed myself up for the “Books for Young Adult” subscription (I know I’m not a teenager anymore, but YA fantasy is still my favorite genre), and I signed my daughter up for “Books for Middle Grade” (books for kids 8-12). We recently received our first books, and she was so excited to actually get something in the mail! And honestly, as a mom, I’ll do anything to encourage her love of reading.