She Reads & Writes

Women • Fiction • Life

Mobile phone and hardcover book on wood floor.

My maternity leave: 12 weeks, 12 books, one sweet little baby, and a whole lot of Bookstagram.

Since I was recovering from a c-section and nursing my husband and I’s daughter, maternity leave consisted of me sitting around. A lot. This was hard for me. I’m not one of those women who enjoy breastfeeding and I’m used to being outside of the house working full-time. I don’t care how cute my kiddo is, I can only stare at my child for so long without being bored or wanting to fall asleep!

Being able to read or listen to a book on my phone made it incredibly easy to enjoy books while breastfeeding. Look mom – no hands! This was a life saver for my mood and prevented me from going totally stir crazy.

I also happily discovered Read Alongs or Buddy Reads on Bookstagram. This is where people with accounts dedicated to books on Instagram choose to read a book on a schedule and discuss it using the message tool. An online book club, basically. So fun!

Again, a life saver for this social butterfly who was spending a whole lot of time sitting around with a precious, but not very interactive, infant. I read Middlemarch and Little Women this way and was thrilled with the friendly women and engaging conversation that took place in both online groups. What a positive use of social media!

Middlemarch Buddy Read Post on Instagram
Little Women Buddy Read Post on Instagram

And I can’t forget #Victober! Participants read and post about Victorian Literature (books written during the reign of Queen Victoria, so 1837–1901) throughout the month of October. As someone who loves Victorian literature but doesn’t get to talk about it much (it’s NOT a popular topic around the water cooler or at networking events…shock/faint), this was a blast for me. I read and wrote about Dracula since I wanted something a little spooky to go along with Halloween.

Dracula #Victober Post on Instagram

Below is a list of what I read over leave along with a link to my blog post when possible. Maybe you’ll find your next read!

What have you been reading lately? Have you ever had an extended period where you were able to get a lot of reading in? A time of recovery, a vacation, or maybe grad school? Let’s chat about it below!

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