A Celebration of Summer Reading Plans #celebratelu

celebrate link up

What are you celebrating this week? Visit Ruth Ayres’s blog to share and discover what others have found to celebrate.

There are still two full weeks of the semester left before summer vacation starts for me, but I like to start planning early for summer reading.

The only thing I know for sure about summer reading is that I’ll be doing #bookaday again. I basically do the #bookaday challenge all year long, but the only time I track it officially is in the summer. Since picture books count, this is a very easy challenge to meet.

In anticipation of all the reading I’ll be doing, I’ve been busily reading book lists, asking my students for recommendations of their favorite books this semester, organizing my bookshelves, checking out new stacks of books from my libraries, making a few book purchases myself, and requesting new books through inter-library loan and library purchase. (I just discovered this week that my local library will purchase up to 50 books per patron per year in order “to maintain a balanced collection.” I will now be balancing their collection to the tune of 50 books every year! Children’s and YA by authors and illustrators of color? YES PLEASE.)

summer readingI’d like to make progress on my different reading challenges, especially The Hub Reading Challenge (which I have to finish before the end of June), #MustReadin2014, and my YA Shelf of Shame. I’ve gotten a bit behind on my professional development reading goal, and I need to catch up. I haven’t been able to keep up with the Geisel Challenge, so I’m going to play catch up there too. I’d like to read more Scientists in the Field books and get my hands on everything Sy Montgomery has written that I haven’t yet read and I’m toying with a special summer challenge of Orbis Pictus and Sibert Award winners and honors. I know that I want to read as much middle-grade fiction as I can.

I do have plenty of reading for work to do. In the fall, I’m teaching a new course on Digital Literacy and I have so many digital and print books and articles I need to read in order to feel prepared to teach a course that is so far outside my field. (Which officially is Restoration and 18th-Century British Lit. I get to teach that in the fall too–well, as part of the Brit Lit Survey course. Other versions of the survey taught at my institution actually skip right over the years 1660-1820, but my version spends at least six weeks wallowing in my favorite long century.)

Perhaps the most important thing about summer reading, though, is reading serendipity. I do enjoy seeing progress as I read around in my various lists and challenges. But most of all, I like reading what I want to read and never feeling like there’s something assigned that I should be reading. I like making new discoveries, reading far more than a #bookaday, having the freedom to jettison my day’s plans and read Jinx cover to cover instead (just started it last night–sooo good! I want to spend the entire day reading, but instead I will be driving 120 miles to a soccer game. Can I just say that I feel like a heroic parent when I chauffeur my son 240 miles round-trip for a soccer game?)

So even as I’m busily making summer reading plans, the plans are still hazy and tentative. Just as I like them.

As I was editing my post celebrating summer reading, I discovered Myra’s lovely post about reading lists and reading at whim. I love the quotation she includes from Alan Jacobs:

Read what gives you delight–at least most of the time–and do so without shame.

What words could better guide summer reading?

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14 thoughts on “A Celebration of Summer Reading Plans #celebratelu

  1. 240 miles? I am still in shock. Is that every week? Whoa. Yes. I would say this absolutely qualifies as heroic! Enjoy Jinx when you do get to it! I am firmly in the land of the Urwald. My book club at school is reading Jinx and I am reading Jinx’s Magic aloud to my children. I love thinking about summer reading plans although that is still two months away for me so not quite there. Your book stacks look great. Many of my favourite recent reads or must read titles are in those piles. I am amazed at this purchasing plan by your local library. Wow. Can you submit “purchase requests”?

    • Not every week–we do have games in a town 60 miles away too, LOL. (I now think nothing of driving 60 miles to go to the library or the movies.) But next weekend is another long haul. We are always happy when there’s a home game! My older son is crazy about sports, so I can’t imagine how many miles I am going to cover by the time he graduates from high school. Luckily, I enjoy watching sports too (well, except for wrestling–we’re hoping he won’t do that one!) I remember when I taught high school, there was one boy whose parents were there for every single event, and he was a three-sport athlete, so it was basically year-round. They’d drive to games 3 or 4 hrs away to see him play, and I remember being so impressed by their dedication. They were the only parents I saw at every single event. I got up a couple of hours before everyone else this morning to have some reading time and got well into Jinx–loving it! And yes, I can submit purchase requests at my library! They have a lot of gaps in the children’s and YA collections, so I’m going to start making requests to address those! Can’t believe I just discovered this purchasing plan this week!

  2. I have made such trips for cross country meets and figure skating competitions. 🙂 We should get medals. I too am looking forward to summer #bookaday. It is such a treat to just read and read. Have a great weekend.

  3. Ah summer reading. Two beautiful words, but together…perfect. We have a few more weeks in front of us and while I hate to loose my students your post makes me look forward to it a bit.

  4. 50 books per patron per year??!! How is that possible? That is one heck of a library! I LOVE my inter-library loan. I wish I was ready to look forward to summer reading, but not quite yet. One can dream. Best of luck with the end of the semester.

    • I have no idea how they do it–and I wonder how many patrons actually use it. Because it’s not easy to find the request form on the website! But now that I know, I plan to do my best to improve their collection. They don’t even automatically order Newbery and Printz books, so the children’s and YA sections can be rather thin. If I had only known, I could have spent the past 10 yrs requesting books! I love interlibrary loan too–I use it a lot on campus.

  5. Thanks for sharing the link on reading lists vs reading at whim – I enjoyed drafting that post. 🙂 I know how you feel about driving your kids back and forth – although that 240 miles is absolutely crazy. Our 12 year old girl has way too many activities on her plate – from theatre rehearsals to actual drama lessons (those two are actually quite different) to private music lessons to dance class to swimming and book club sessions. That’s not even counting middleschool group projects. It’s good that Singapore is a small country plus the fact that my husband does the driving. Hehehe. 🙂

    • Since I work 60 miles from home, I don’t always want to get back in the car on the weekends to go to sporting events, but I do love watching my son play. Wish we’d had a good book to listen to in the car! Audiobooks make my commute engaging and worthwhile, but I don’t always remember to plan for a kid-friendly title for weekends! One thing that frustrated me at first about living in South Dakota but now is something I actually love about living here–there simply isn’t that much to do. We get plenty of downtime–despite the long distances! I need plenty of reading time at home to be happy!

  6. Pingback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 4/28/14 | the dirigible plum

  7. Pingback: 5 Things I Loved About Last Week #celebratelu | the dirigible plum

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