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My mother’s reading habits are less like Jesse’s and more like mine.  She reads quickly, broadly and plentifully (is that a word? spell check says it is).  This, in addition to our generally similar test, and our always similar distaste in fiction make us especially good reading partners. 

She and I exchange books so often that we don’t always remember whose book it was originally.  We also share with many others in the family and with select friends, so it can get confusing.  For instance she recently recommended a book to my sister-in-law that my sister-in-law had given to me which I then passed on to my mom. 

Further, sometimes we want the books back, sometimes we don’t care where they end up.  So we have a system.  Anything we want back we put our address label inside.  Anything we don’t want is blank.  Apparently though, somewhere along the way, we needed some improvements on this system.  I went to my mom’s house the other day and saw a familiar book on the table.  I picked it up and read the back and thought “Hey, this sounds like a good read.”  I looked inside and found a post-it note in my own handwriting:

“You have read this book before.  And yes, you need the reminder.”

I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes.  The funniest part is, that neither she nor I can remember who the note was for.  Clearly we’ve both read the book before and at least one of us (if not both) has attempted to read it again.  So it’s entirely possible she is currently reading it for a third time – and enjoying it.  I might even take it from her when she’s done.

What does this have to do with A New Mom’s Guide to Reading?   Rereading!

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I forgot my book in the other room earlier this morning.  Not a problem for a normal person, but a huge problem for a new mom.

Now that I have a newborn, my world has diminished substantially from as recently as a month ago.  My world, in its entirety, consists of three rooms in my house.  As such, I have come to realize the importance of having things at arm’s length (yes, one arm, because the other is holding the baby).  Not just things such as burp cloths, tissues, a glass of juice (I do think it is possible, like  Tantalus, to die of thirst within sight of refreshment), but other things like this laptop I’m writing on, or, for those brief moments when the baby is finally asleep and I can’t move from my position, a book.

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baby-name-wizard2Those of you who read my other blog know that I have this thing about baby names.  I grew up with a really crappy last name, one that invites ridicule and snide remarks, and it is only now, when everyone I know is having a baby, that I realized how traumatic that was.  I implored them to think about their choices, to say them out loud, perhaps even go so far as to run it by a handy eight year old.  So far they have listened to my pleas and not branded their children with anything horrible, but it was touch and go there for a while.

In May I’m going to be an aunt for the first time, when my sister in law has a baby.  I’m very excited for her and my brother both (and for my two best friends who recently gave birth to Jacob and Dylan respectively).  They aren’t really talking names yet, until they know the gender, which is smart move (it removes half the names to fight over).   Like most other couples I know, Tim and I started that fight years ago and have since narrowed it down to a short list for each gender.  And I’m not even pregnant.

Since I’ve got my own future children taken care of, I’ve been thinking about names for my future niece or nephew, especially since my brother’s child may have my last name (poor thing!).  On a recent visit to my favorite independent bookstore, I found Baby Name Wizard in (obviously) the baby section, a place I heretofore did not visit in bookstores, but which, since everyone I know has gotten pregnant, has become like beckoning siren to me.

The first page had me hooked.  I love you Ms. Wattenberg!  Here is a woman who is so obsessed with baby names that she created a computer algorithm that puts names into families for easy cross referencing.  Created. Her Own. Algorithm.  It still gives me chills.

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Jessica’s Reading

Jesse’s Reading

Jesse and Jessica are Both Reading

Devin’s Reading