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.)
I’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?