One blog post I look forward to reading each week is Carrie Gelson’s “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?” Carrie always highlights at least a couple of picture books that I’ve never heard of (and usually many more!), and she writes about books in such an engaging way that nearly every title she features jumps to the top of my must-read-right-now list. Judging from the comments on her posts each week, I’m not the only one so affected by her words.
I just noticed this past week how she also uses her Monday reading summary to track her annual reading goals:
The only numbers goal I usually attach to my reading is to try to read more books this year than I read last year. I do realize that at some point, this won’t be possible. But just this little bit of intentionality has resulted in a big change in my reading. From 2000-2008, I read 70-80 books per year. In 2009, I decided I wanted to top 100, and without really trying very hard, I read 131 books. Since then, my annual totals have been 190, 105, 139, 171. 2013 is the first year I have tracked how many picture books I read: 555. Although I love breaking previous year’s grand totals, I don’t expect to read 555 picture books in one year every again. (In 2013, my older son and I sometimes read 15-20 picture books a day during the summer as part of a reading challenge I cooked up.)
This year, I threw out some random numbers as I wrote about my 2014 Reading Goals, not reflecting very deeply on what I might be trying to attempt or commit to. I hadn’t intended to track my reading goals numerically throughout the year. But I wonder how much more I might read and how much more intentional I might be with my reading if I did track it. Carrie has inspired me, so here goes:
My Reading Goals for 2014, the Numbers Edition
Nerdbery Challenge: 12 books
#MustReadin2014: 15 books
YA Shelf of Shame Challenge: 12 books
Professional Development Reading Goal: 12 books
Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 100 books
Picture Book Reading Goal: 350 books
Chapter Book & Middle-Grade Reading Goal: 100 books
YA Lit Reading Goal: 60 books
Latin@s in Kidlit Challenge: 12 books
Number of Books Total (not counting picture books): 200
Starting Monday, I will update my totals each week at the end of my Monday reading post.
I was thinking about Carrie’s different reading challenges this week as I assigned a blog post topic to my Adolescent Literature class last week: write about their reading goals for the course and design a reading challenge for themselves. Becca reflected on the challenge of coming up with a challenge given that she reads all the time anyway, but then set herself some tremendous goals, with numbers: 30-40 books this semester (difficult given that she has a full load of college courses), reading outside her comfort zone by committing to 10 nonfiction books (I can’t wait to make recommendations for her, because I LOVE nonfiction!), and reading 2 professional development books. I’m looking forward to observing her progress towards her goals!
Photo CC-BY See-ming Lee