I remember when I was graduating from high school with an unlimited amount of opportunities in front of me. Oh the Places You Will Go resounded in my ears, and dreams were mine for the taking. Fast forward a couple of years and I was married, graduating from college, and pregnant with my first. I chose to follow the dream of motherhood and have never regretted it.
It's easy to lose oneself in raising children. Those dreams that were once so vivid fade into the background. And rightly so. However, pursuing your dreams doesn't mean forgetting your children. It just might mean that the road to realizing some of those dreams might be a little bit longer than you expected.
Every mother should be a reader because she is human, she can always learn more, and she leads others. Here are 101 reasons (or books) that make a great argument for why every mother should be a reader.
A Mother is Human
While we love our title as mom, some days we find the job overwhelming and daunting. When there are only toddlers in her care, she desires conversation, mental stimulation, and to see the world. Books can satisfy all of these desires. Here's some great reasons to be a reader:
Get lost in a good story
1. My all time favorite series is the Mark of the Lion Series by Francine Rivers. I've been encouraged each and every time I've read these books.
2. A recent book I got lost in was Totto-Chan: The Little Girl in the Window. It's a light and fun read with short chapters that are easy to read bits at a time.
3. One of the greatest that will keep you turning pages is Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. It's a modern classic, but a fascinating window into humanity.
4. Sometimes it just takes walking in someone else's shoes to clear your perspective like in The Help
5. If you don't believe reading can nourish the soul, read The Book Thief.
6. Or get lost in the romance of the Dashwood sisters in Sense and Sensibility.
7. I love a good series of books that are easy to read and offer intrigue and mystery. Dee Henderson's O'Malley books provide a captivating mystery that will engage the mind without over stressing it!
8. Another great series are the Alaskan Courage books by Dani Pettrey. Not only does she captivate her readers with a great mystery, but she also inspires them with stories of lives changed by a new found faith.
9. My mother's favorite series is the Secret of the Rose stories by Michael Phillips.
10. Leif Enger's Peace Like a River is an absolute fascinating read.
Soak in Poetry...because every mother needs a bit of beauty in her life.
11. If you think poetry is for the birds, try this beautiful devotional/guide for Working it out: Growing Spiritually with the Poetry of George Herbert
12. Enjoy a modern poet with enduring values share his heart in The Collected Poems of Wendell Berry
13. Another collection of poems compiled by A.W. Tozer offer a beautiful opportunity for devotional contemplation: The Christian Book of Mystical Verse.
14. Meet with a woman who served the poor of India, and be inspired by her heart of worship in her book of poetry Made in the Pans.
As a Mom, You're running a Business...
16. There's a concept every mom understands that giving is the key to success, as The Go-Giver, A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea outlines.
17. Be inspired by Seven Women: And the Secret of Their Greatness
18. Get your day organized with Amy Lynn Andrew's little book Tell Your Time: How to Manage Your Schedule So You Can Live Free.
19. If you're needing to make a little income on the side while you're at home with the kids, get inspired by Money-Making Mom: How Every Woman Can Earn More and Make a Difference
20. Your home is your workplace, and The Nesting Place: It Doesn't Have to be Perfect to be Beautiful outlines tips for embracing a realistic design in your lived-in home!
There's always time for perfecting your craft...
21. Learn to cook
22. Be inspired by baking
23. Pull out the sewing machine and practice with some of these ideas
24. Or start working on Christmas gifts with a bit of yarn and a knitting book.
25. Get outside and garden
26. Why not learn how to repair your car
27. Or try your hand at woodworking
28. If that's too intimidating, work on photography
29. Or graphic design
30. How about learning flower arranging?
Reading offers the frugal mom travel opportunities at the right price.
31. Take a trip to British occupied India in A Passage to India
32. Experience St. Edwards Island through the eyes of young Anne, who has a lovely imagination, in Anne of Green Gables.
33. Travel with Cedric to the English countryside as he discovers he's the heir to a great fortune in Little Lord Fauntleroy.
34. Enjoy a trip down the Mississippi in the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
35. If you're thinking complete isolation sounds great right about now, journey with Robinson Crusoe to his very own island of solitude, and you might just appreciate your toddler woes a little bit more!
36. So maybe complete isolation is going a bit far...you just want to be alone with your family, then read The Swiss Family Robinson.
37. For the greatest epic adventure of all time read The Odyssey
38. Maybe that's too much adventure for your taste, and you'd like to journey to the French countryside and be a librarian with The Awakening of Miss Prim
39. Step into Amish country with Beverly Lewis's The Atonement
40. Travel with Christian on his journey to the Celestial City in The Pilgrim's Progress
41. Or journey with Much Afraid to the High Places in Hind's Feet on High Places.
42. Even though it's a kids book, you're never too old to journey through the wardrobe in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
43. Or travel with hobbits in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
44. Take a journey out of this world with C.S. Lewis's Out of the Silent Planet
45. Go back in time to the Canadian West in When Calls the Heart
46. Or to the deep south in the Civil War era in Gone With the Wind
47. Travel with Pechorin through the wild Caucasian mountains in the Russian book A Hero of Our Time
48. Discover what life looked like in a Siberian concentration camp in One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
49. Walk a day in the shoes of Ralph Moody in his Little Britches series (autobiographical fiction).
50. Why not take a bus ride from hell to heaven in The Great Divorce.
A Mother Can Always Learn More
I finished my college degree, but I know many become mothers before they receive that special certificate of achievement. Even though I got my diploma, it really didn't change anything in terms of my learning potential. If anything, it made me more aware of how much I could still learn. As my children learn and grow, I want to set an example for them in my desire to continue pursuing education whenever I have the opportunity.
Reading Expands Your Understanding of How we Learn
These books have dramatically shaped my understanding of education: the struggles we face, and how to make a difference in the education of the next generation.
51. The Core by Leigh Bortins
52. A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver Van DeMille
53. Norms and Nobility by David Hicks
54. Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child by Cheryl Swope
55. How to Develop a Brilliant Memory by Dominic O'Brien
56. Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman
57. Begin Here: The Forgotten Conditions of Teaching and Learning by Jacques Barzun
58. Beauty for Truth's Sake by Stratford Caldecott
59. Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child by Anthony Esolen
60. Why Johnny Can't Tell Right from Wrong by William Kilpatrick
Be Inspirational as a Lead Learner to Your Students
61. Read Carry On, Mr. Bowditch to gain encouragement for continuing to learn through difficult circumstances.
62. Or Amos, Fortune Free Man to discover what a humble learner looks like.
63. If you're feeling discouraged, read The Miracle Worker and discover what it looks like to move beyond limitations and expectations.
64. Be inspired by The Count of Monte Cristo to see how education can change someone's life
65. Or the transforming nature of education through the most difficult circumstances in The Trumpet of the Swan.
Continue to Study History
66. There are so many wonderful history books out there, but a great beginner series for a mother to read is the The Mystery of History. Linda Lacour Hobar does an amazing job of connecting events and people in history, while drawing out the Christian worldview. They're worth every penny!
67. Susan Wise Bauer also does a wonderful job of writing a full history text that starts with The History of the Ancient World.
68. Try out Nobel Prize winning Daniel Boorstein's The Landmark History of the American People
69. Or if you're looking for a greater challenge, read The Discoverers.
70. If you're interested in the secrets behind familiar historical stories, check out Hidden History, also by Boorstein.
Continue to learn about Science
71. Learn from Joy Hakim in The Story of Science: Aristotle Leads the Way
72. Or Susan Wise Bower in The Story of Science: From the Writings of Aristotle to the Big Bang Theory
73. Discover the history of the men and women who are responsible for our periodic table in The Disappearing Spoon.
74. Find wonder in the universe with The Stargazer's Guide to the Night Sky
75. And learn to defend your faith in Defeating Darwinism
Continue to learn about worldview
76. If you desire to shape your children's world view, you need to know what they're up against as members of our current culture. Read Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey to equip yourself for an unseen battle.
77. Continue down the journey of world view training in her next book: Saving Leonardo.
78. Get a glimpse of the spiritual battle behind the scenes in The Screwtape Letters.
79. Sometimes there's the trouble of a worldview getting out of balance, and Ed Welch does a great job of straightening it back out in When People are Big and God is Small.
80. Discover other worldviews in The Universe Next Door: A Basic Worldview Catalog
A Mother is a Spiritual Leader of Her Children
Not only are you a leader in education, but you're also a leader in faith. Your children are watching how you respond to life, your husband, and others. Read to continue to grow in your spiritual life so that you can be a beautiful example to your children.
Read to be inspired by heroes of the faith that have lived great lives.
81. Corrie ten Boom's The Hiding Place.
Gain Encouragement as a Wife and a Mother
91. One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voscamp
92. Missional Motherhood: The Everyday Ministry of Motherhood in the Grand Plan of God by Gloria Furman
93. Strong and Kind: And Other Important Character Traits Your Child Needs to Succeed by Korie Robertson
94. The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian
Gain Encouragement as a Christian
96. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
97. More Than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell
98. Humility by Andrew Murray
99. Don't Waste Your Life by John Piper
100. The Cure: What if God Isn't who you think He is and neither are you? by Bill Thrall
101. Replenish: Leading from a Healthy Soul by Lance Witt