Monday, January 2, 2023

Celebrating My Own Reading!

I'm excited to share, I met my reading goal last year for the first time after several failed attempts using
Goodreads. As I reflected on the reason why this year was different for me a few things came up. I simplified my recording plan at Goodreads and made a few other changes thanks to the guidance of Stephanie Affinito at A Lit Life.

Instead of lots of shelves for genre or format I now have a want to read, currently reading, and read shelf. This made recording my books quicker. I also kept my reviews simple and short sometimes mentioning the format or genre - usually just a sentence. My plan is to share more here on the blog and these reflections would be longer. 

I also learned about Stephanie's google form - My Reading Life A Bookish Spreadsheet I could collect data about what I was reading.This year the form had me track titles, authors, my personal rating, intended audience, genre, format, abandoned, and source. Many of the things I tried to keep track of in Goodreads. I found this personal spread sheet to be easier to use and one I could easily catch up with after a read several titles. When I saw Stephanie share this format, I was intrigued with the graphics the data could then generate. Looking at the graphics I found areas of reading comfort and opportunities to stretch.  

I also nudged myself to read more for fun - adult literature only on vacations. I joined for the first time in my life an book group for a fun read via Stephanie's Patreon Community. Thanks again to Stephanie for nudging me to gather with others around a common book and experience a book club beyond the ones I do with students. I find myself collecting quotes to share during our monthly meetings, sharing surprises, wonderings, and disappointments. Participating in a book club gives me a reading goal and helps me set aside time within my week to prepare for the book club. 

I always thought I was leading a reading life by reading books and realize these changes during the past year have made my reading life more engaging, intentional, and reflective. All things I try to model and ask my students to do. 

Three things have come from these experiences this year. I increased the volume of books I read. I learned how to look at my own data and stretch my reading choices. I connected with others around books and found a community I could participate in and not lead. I look forward to continuing these actionable steps in 2023 and hope to connect with more readers here in this space and the other ones mentioned earlier. I also want to nudge you to find your own path in being a bit more intentional with your reading.

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