Sometimes as I'm reading blog posts I see in someone's sidebar that they have a reading goal that they're tracking through Goodreads or Shelfari or something. And I've been thinking about that. I mean, I read a fair amount. And I certainly want to promote and encourage reading, not just with my students, but in general.
But the thing is, there are a lot of
crappy -- okay, mediocre -- books out there. And I feel a little bad about putting them down after I start or even just passing them by completely, because I know that someone worked really hard on them. Usually quite a few someones, I'd guess. However, I don't feel bad enough about it to force myself to slog through them. I'm sorry, hardworking writers and publishing folks of the world. I really, really am. But I'm just not gonna do it. Life is too short for that.
Instead, I'd rather set a different sort of reading goal for myself. My goal is to find and read as many four and five-star books as I possibly can. I'm thinking three per month, starting in September? I have no idea how easy or difficult it's going to be to meet that goal, but three sounds like a nice number. It's sort of magical.
The tricky part, of course, is going to be finding them. Because once I find a book I really-and-truly love, I find that I look up to catch my breath and holy heck how did it get to be so late? That's the feeling I get with a fantastic book, that feeling like when you're swimming and you take a big breath and then let it out as you sink underneath the water and you can still hear but the sounds from above are muted and muffled and instead you hear the swushies of everyone else splashing and kicking and the gentle schlub-schlub-schlub of the waves.
So I think I will also commit to going to the library each week to look for new possibilities and return the previous ones. It'd probably be a good idea to have it be the same day every week. That way I won't have overdue fees (yikes!) because I've lost track of time and gotten caught up in things and holy heck the summer's gone and I owe fifteen bucks!
Hypothetically speaking, of course.
And finally, I will commit to reading at least ten pages of each possible fantastic book and logging each one with my Goodreads account, even if my review is simply: "Ten pages. Didn't grab me. Oh well!"
I guess the next step is to take a look at our schedule and see which day of the week would best suit! It will be interesting to see if I actually end up reading any more than I otherwise would, or not.
September's Power Up column now online at ASCD
4 hours ago