One Book a Week

in Book a Week


My New Year’s Resolution is to read a book every single week for the entire year – that’s a grand total of 52 books.  So far, I’m on track – although I occasionally end up “cramming” on Tuesday and Wednesday nights! However, I have managed to read four books in four weeks.  And it’s been awesome.  I’ve learned so much.  I have experienced truly relaxing downtime.  And I actually have interesting topics to discuss with other adults!  Wahoo.

book a week

If you look at the side of my blog, I have a shortcut link to my Book a Week page if you want to see my reviews of the books that I’ve been reading!


Since starting this challenge, the comment that I’ve heard most often is “But how do you FIND THE TIME to read?!”  In fact, I’ve heard this so much that I thought my response was worthy of a blog post.


Here’s how I find the time to read a book a week!


1) I read really fast.  This makes reading a book a week a lot easier.  I have always been a speedy reader.  I read a lot of books when I was a kid – I can remember tearing through Sweet Valley High in one summer!  I have heard that there are techniques to increase reading time, but I just read this way naturally.


2) I read in small doses.  You don’t need an hour of devoted reading time to read  – you can read in ten minute increments.  Or even less!  I carry my book with me and read during “waiting” moments, like in the car in the preschool parking lot.  I also usually read for a bit while I pump a bottle.  Henry likes to sit and play in the bathtub FOREVER, so  after chatting with him for a bit and soaping him up, I sit on the floor of the bathroom and read until he’s ready to get out.


3) I read instead of watching TV.  We used to watch hours (HOURS) of TV every night.  Now, I only actually watch the TV shows that I follow.  If the Husband is watching a movie, I am reading a book.


4) I occasionally ignore my kids to read.  Wait – WHAT?  Yup.  I’m a firm believer that kids shouldn’t be entertained all the time.  This is, obviously, a little hard with a toddler and a newborn – two of the neediest, most look-at-me type of people in the entire world!  The reality is that I’m home with my kids all day long, every single day, unless Henry is at school.  They get more than enough attention from me.  So usually, once a day, I will sit on the couch and read a book while Henry plays with his trains.  If he tries to interrupt me, I gently tell him it’s mommy’s reading time and I need privacy.  Sometimes, it doesn’t work – but occasionally, it does.  I think it’s a good lesson for him regardless. 


5) I read while my toddler watches TV.  Henry watches TV almost everyday.  I use the hour or so to work, clean the house, do food prep, or read.  I really like reading next to him on the couch while he watches TV. I can’t do it every day (because there are so many other things to do), but it’s really nice when it happens. 


6) I make it a priority.  When Henry was a baby, I tracked every 15 minutes of my time for an entire week – the results were super interesting.


The upshot is most of us do have wasted time in our schedule.  Yes, some people are completely rammed with highly necessary tasks.  But not all of us.  Most of us screw around at night, watching TV or playing on our phone.  Or we roll around in bed for 20 minutes instead of getting up when the alarm goes off.  In short, we all have wasted time.  And I’m not saying that wasted time isn’t nice – but if you want to do something like, say, read more or exercise or cook… there is probably time in your schedule.  You just have to find it and change your habits!

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What hobby do you make time for?



  • MeaganS January 27, 2015, 8:58 am

    I started doing this as well! I read on the Kindle app on my phone so it makes it convenient to read whenever I can squeeze a few minutes in. My goal for this year is 50 books (which should be do-able). But with a 15 month old and 3 year old, I feel ya!

  • Rebecca @ Bring Back Delicious January 27, 2015, 9:09 am

    That’s a great resolution! Even if you aren’t able to finish a whole book a week, you can certainly get great take aways.

    I try to use the same approach with exercise. If I let my schedule relax, I just fill it with unproductive nonsense and sleeping in too much. You can easily “find” time for a workout just as easily as reading. In the end, it pays off and I feel better for the rest of the day. I like to say I’m a better person if I work out. 🙂

  • Elise Moser January 27, 2015, 9:09 am

    I am loving this project! I’m really enjoying following you as you try to read a book a week. I am not as fast a reader as you are, and I think I would struggle to finish a book per week, but I have recently set some of my own goals about reading for pleasure. I graduated from college in December, and one of the things I decided to do was to get back to reading.
    Like you, I realized I spent SO much time watching mindless television. So I’m starting to pay attention to what I’m watching, only choosing those shows that I really like and spending more of my time reading! It’s going really well for me so far.

  • Christin January 27, 2015, 9:12 am

    I have got to tell you, Caitlin – this is such a relief to me. I don’t have kids yet (although we’re getting close!) and there is a big part of me that is terrified that I won’t have time to myself to read or exercise or spend time with friends. Thanks for the inspiration! And I’m so happy that you are able to go for runs and squeeze in reading time – that helps so much with physical AND mental health! 🙂 Your family is so precious – you have just the cutest kids.

  • Stephanie @ Sparkles and Sweat January 27, 2015, 9:15 am

    Love this post! I made the same book resolution, except I said 52 books in the year, not necessarily one every week. I’ve always loved to read but wanted to get back into the habit of reading before bed, rather than watching a movie or show.

  • Jen January 27, 2015, 9:27 am

    Love this! I love to read and neglected it for so many years in lieu of textbooks…and too much TV. I since have gotten rid of my TV – yep, nada – and it’s liberating to have that quiet time to read, write, cross-stitch (yeppers), rest – whatever. (*Note: I still have a computer obviously and I do watch the occasional Netflix, but even then it’s limited. There are no garbage reality TV shows on there and I don’t go to the movies so sometimes I’ll find something endearing for a weekend find 🙂

  • Michelle January 27, 2015, 9:31 am

    I love this! What a great post – it’s good to know that when I finally have kids it is possible to keep reading like I have most of my life. I love reading and, like you, have always been a speedy reader 🙂

  • Katie January 27, 2015, 9:36 am

    Yep! I read every night, but I’m trying to re-read gone with the wind and its taking me longer than I like, so now I’m taking a few minutes each morning also. I would love to do 52 books in a year, but I think I’ll wait til I have kiddos that like going to the library.

  • Katie January 27, 2015, 9:44 am

    Before kids, I worried I wouldn’t have as much time to read- and sometimes I don’t! Gone are the days I could curl up on the couch and read an entire book in an afternoon. But now I’ve found new ways to squeeze reading into my days: my commute, while pumping at work, while nursing the littler one, and once they’re both in bed! I set a goal of 25 books on Goodreads this year. A few years ago I read 100 in a year- I doubt I’ll repeat that now with working full-time, two kids, a husband who travels for work A LOT, but I’m hoping to blow past that goal of 25. 🙂

  • Cara January 27, 2015, 9:45 am

    Ohhhh, what a great post! I’ve cut way back on my phone time, and in all honesty, I am usually sleeping on the couch by 8:30 (but am up by 5 am). I need to get more energy at night!

  • Amanda January 27, 2015, 9:46 am

    Great post. And I love the quote at the end!

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed January 27, 2015, 10:07 am

    I suck at making time for reading. I definitely waste time watching TV or browsing the internet. I need to do better!

  • Cassie January 27, 2015, 10:29 am

    I try to make time to workout and read before bed. I don’t get as much reading time as I would like, but exercising and making a home made meal every day are my priorities that I try to hit every day.

  • kristen January 27, 2015, 10:36 am

    i don’t have kids so this doesn’t super apply to me – but my goal this year is 150 books, so that should tell you how much i love to read. but like you said – i’m a fast reader, and i make it a priority. people always ask me how i read so much and the only thing i can say is that it’s essential to my sanity! i love reading and will choose it over hours of tv.. and it’s fine if someone choosee tv, but 9 times out of ten, i will choose a book.

  • Bets January 27, 2015, 10:59 am

    I think its great that you’re finding time to do something you enjoy. It sets a good example for your kids not only that reading is important, but also that mom is a person too and needs hobbies and time to herself.

  • Jamie January 27, 2015, 11:14 am

    I also make reading a priority with two kids. I often read instead of watching TV or I will sometimes read while they are playing nicely. I do think it is important to show your kids that you make yourself a priority. I am currently pregnant with #3 so we’ll see if I can keep it up!

  • Bri January 27, 2015, 12:12 pm

    I love this! I too am doing the 52 in 52 book challenge and have been loving it so far. I love your tips. I too try to squeak in a few pages during odd times,, but get most done at night and during naptime. Good luck! Also,, are you on good Reads?? GREAT resource and a way to keep track of books & reviews!

  • Melissa January 27, 2015, 12:23 pm

    Great post! I am trying to be mindful of reading more and this was a good kick in the rear.
    Are you using any particular “system” or site to help you select your books or just choosing what looks interesting?

  • Jamie January 27, 2015, 12:30 pm

    Great post! I completely agree. I hate when I tell people something that I’ve accomplished and they just laugh and say I don’t have time for that. We all have the same amount of time….Learn to use it better!

  • Lekki Wood January 27, 2015, 12:32 pm

    🙂 I love that you wrote this. People ask me all the time how I find time to craft. I say “Oh, I’m just lucky and fit it in when I can”, but I think “Because I won’t admit it, but I totally leave my kiddo to play on his own [sometimes!], and exploit 1-2 TV shows on a Sunday to get a good hour in”.

  • Laura @ Prairie Sewn Studios January 27, 2015, 12:36 pm

    Love this post! I read really fast (naturally), too, and my kindle has thus become my best friend since I can always new books waiting to read there.

  • Ashley M. [at] (never)homemaker January 27, 2015, 12:39 pm

    These thoughts are helpful. I could never read a book in a week because I’ve always been a slow reader and reading in small doses gets me all confused. So, it’s awesome what you’re doing. For me, I am continually working on that independent time. Ada was doing really well for a while just playing on her own, but I think after the holidays when Stephen was home for two weeks and we were constantly with family, she forgot how to play by herself. So, like you, I am trying to carve out little bits of time in the day and gently guide her to independent stuff (because it’s good for her too!). For example, right now I’m taking 15 minutes to read blogs while she finishes Peg + Cat 😉

  • Julie January 27, 2015, 1:49 pm

    I do all these things, too! When my daughter was little & loved to play in the tub FOREVER after her bath, I would sit & read my book while she played. Same w/ reading while she was watching TV (or while my husband watches something completely mind-numbing). 😉

  • Amber January 27, 2015, 2:34 pm

    I love it when you’re reading a really amazing book that you can’t put down and you want to sneak in extra reading time as much as possible. That’s how I feel right now about the books I’m reading – I’m on book #2 of Ken Follett’s Century Trilogy. SO good! I think you would like them.

  • liz January 27, 2015, 2:48 pm

    I love your views on this — I am sure you will get slammed, but you are giving such a realistic view of how to parent. We (I have a 2 year old, 3 1/2 year old, and am pregnant) far too often give into the instant gratification of our kids. As a high school teacher, I see how that impacts kids (especially 18 year old “kids” who want it/need it/demand it NOW). Love reading your reviews, love that you are doing your own thing! Carry on!

  • Amanda K. January 27, 2015, 2:50 pm

    do you read while nursing!? i read while nursing my first baby and it was awesome. i read gone with the wind (which is SUPER LONG) mostly in the middle of the night. i eventually started checking out books with large print so i could see them in dim light 🙂

  • Abigail January 27, 2015, 3:09 pm

    I’m doing the same thing this year! I sometimes make excuses to leave early to do things like pick up my husband from the commuter rail so that I have a few minutes to kill in the parking lot with my book. It’s a great way to give myself a few quiet minutes (plus, I’m never late to pick him up!)

  • Deryn @ Running on Real Food January 27, 2015, 5:35 pm

    I read about one book every two weeks but I’d love to get in one a week so these are great tips. I also listen to book in my car since I commute about 45 minutes each way to work. I’ve been looking into some speed reading techniques so I’m interested to give those a try, I already read pretty fast but faster would be a-ok with me! Thanks for the tips!

  • Liz January 27, 2015, 9:25 pm

    Love this post!!! I really like how you keep it real. I feel so much “mom guilt” for letting my toddler watch tv, or not devoting every second of the day to my kids, the house, etc. It’s nice to hear about other moms who let their kids watch a little TV and take time for themselves during the day. I hope to read more this year too, but the one task that I am really devoting more time to is exercise!

  • Ellen January 28, 2015, 10:50 am

    I love that you keep your posts honest…my kid watches tv or movies at least once a day while I try to get things done around the house or read. I just finished House in the Sky (thanks to you) and I got alot of reading done while he watched a movie. I also believe that it is good to ignore your kids once and awhile…they need to learn to play by themselves or know that Mommy and Daddy are talking so they have to wait. I am a huge reader…so I always have to read before I fall asleep…it helps me turn my brain off for the day and relaxes me. Love your posts!

    • Caitlin January 28, 2015, 10:54 am

      Thanks Ellen 🙂

  • Michelle January 28, 2015, 1:08 pm

    Great post! I love to read, too, and almost always would rather read than watch TV. My kids are now 15, 14, and 10, and are also readers (and excellent students), in big part, I think, because from the time they were babies, they saw me reading and could see that it was something enjoyable to me. I wholeheartedly agree that kids need time to entertain themselves, imagine, create, and just be in their own world, and for you to be taking time to read a book is great for YOU and them!

  • Melissa January 28, 2015, 1:09 pm

    I am with you on this one!
    While I don’t have children yet, I do have a very demanding job (12+ hours a day plus an hour and half commuting back and forth in good traffic) BUT reading brings me so much pleasure, I make time for it. Like you, I choose reading over television always and I sometimes ignore my husband so I can read (sorry honey). I am also a fast reader like you. Reading relaxes me and I don’t know what I would do without it. I am on my 8th book of the year and I don’t plan on slowing down. If you are looking for recommendations, here are a few (my favorite genre is fiction): The Husband’s Lie by Liane Moriarty, What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty, Us by David Nicolls, The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein…I could go on and on…

  • Tara | Treble in the Kitchen January 28, 2015, 3:52 pm

    So so so true about just “finding the time.” Love this! Thanks for sharing your “secret!”

  • Liz January 28, 2015, 4:14 pm

    I’d love to read some of the books you’re reading. I have a 27-month-old and a 4-week-old, so I’m also trying to take care of them and still have interests of my own. Your goal is motivating me to squeeze more reading into my day. Do you have a reading list?

    • Caitlin January 28, 2015, 5:01 pm

      No I’m just picking books based on everyone’s recommendations. I want to read Into Thin Air next!

      • Sara G January 28, 2015, 9:54 pm

        Just read Into Thin Air on a whim over the holidays. Seriously one of the most addictive, incredibly-written books I’ve ever read! I’ve since gotten (through – love it) all of Jon Krakauer’s books and am super excited to get started on them. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts, and also what other books end up on your list!

  • Beks January 28, 2015, 4:23 pm

    I LOVE number 4! I don’t have kids, but so many people get lost in their children, and I think you’re right. This will be good for him in the long run, because he’ll learn that people do like to read (for one), but also that it’s rude to interrupt people. My mom did that, too, and I think it only encouraged my sister and I to start reading, because we had to figure out why mom loved books. 🙂

  • Gretchen January 28, 2015, 4:52 pm

    I love this idea! I actually just started a blog, something I wanted to do for years. The funny thing is I didn’t start one until my newborn was 5 weeks old haha. So, it’s the hobby I’m dedicating free time to at this point. I just keep my laptop on my dining room table, and when I have a free moment, I work on it. You’re so right that if it’s important enough, we’ll make time for it!
    p.s. our babies are only 4 days apart (mine was born on black Friday). It’s been fun to follow along your pregnancy/motherhood journey!

  • Lisa January 28, 2015, 11:21 pm

    Hear hear! I have five children, and although they’re nearly grown up (only two at home now), right from when the first was a baby I’ve made time for ME. Always got asked (still do) – how do you get time to … read, embroider, run … quick answer, I’ve always MADE time and like you, I believe in children entertaining themselves, and now they’re older I can say I really really believe in it – my teenage/adult children are more than capable of looking after themselves, entertaining themselves, planning things themselves etc etc. Anyway – back when they were babies/toddlers, I would race around in the morning housework, playgroups etc – then for a couple of hours in the afternoon when they napped, played on their own I would do my cross-stitch/read. Now I’m working full-time and commuting nearly 3hrs a day, I get up early to run, I pre-organise meals … I always sit for at least an hour on the couch at night and do my embroidery/watch TV. Happy Mother = Happy Family! (and mother with time to do her own thing = less stressed mother = less stressed family)

  • Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork January 29, 2015, 7:20 am

    I LOVE that you read while your children entertain themselves. I think it’s really important for kids to learn to entertain themselves. I see too many adults always in kids’ faces and it drives me crazy! Maybe the kid doesn’t want you in his/her face! I know I wouldn’t want someone in my face all the time. Good for you!

  • Christine @ BookishlyB January 30, 2015, 1:30 am

    Are you worried that the obligation and forced aspect of this will take away from the fun of reading eventually?

    • Caitlin January 30, 2015, 9:55 am

      YES I am. I was actually thinking I will be so burned out on reading by the end of the year, hah. If I need to, I’ll take a week off or so. But so far, I’m really liking it. I thrive under deadlines/goals so it works fo rme.

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