My friend Betsy and I had a class in 7th grade called “Advanced Reading & Writing.” I don’t remember exactly what qualified it as “advanced,” but I do remember that it was the first time in my life that reading wasn’t enjoyable. I think a lot of students reach a similar place in early middle school where they suddenly realize that something they love doing can actually be challenging, boring, or just plain uninteresting. Luckily neither Betsy nor I allowed the class to permanently turn us against reading and we both grew up to become educators who like to read in what little free time we can find.
Last week, sent me the following text:
“I’m in a reading funk. I’ve gone through MAJOR fits and spurts in the past few years. I just haven’t been able to get myself into the last few books I’ve tried. I realized I should probably ask a librarian for suggestions. :)”
Then she sent me the following image:
“This is what I’m trying to do. I will probably ask you about ideas often. The only things I’ve decided on is The House of Seven Gables, which I’ve abandoned about four times.”
Now, New Year’s reading challenges are nothing new. Miss Jenn showed me the one she’s doing for 2016 about two weeks before Betsy sent me hers. I’ve tried them before, but either I never found the right one for me OR I never had the right motivation to finish. Although Betsy didn’t directly challenge me to take this one with her, I decided that I couldn’t let her do it alone. And I also decided that if I declared publicly that I was going to take the challenge that I’d have to be accountable to not just Bets, but also my coworkers and all of the wonderful people who come into the library every day! That’s a lot of pressure, but sometimes that’s exactly what you need to get the job done!
I already have tentative list of books I’m going to tackle. On my last blog of each month, I’ll give you an update on how my Book Challenge journey is going. (Full disclosure? I haven’t started any of them yet. This means my next blog will probably be about the book I can finish in a day.)
I’d like to challenge YOU, the blog reader, to take the challenge as well! If you do, please let me know. I’d be happy to suggest books (the list does have a category for a book recommended by your local librarian, after all) and I’d love to know how your reading adventure goes. Let’s let 2016 be the year of reading books we wouldn’t normally read, books we’re intimidated by, and, of course, the books we love best!