Hello, Paperbackers! My first half-year of bookish record keeping has come and gone and my bookish spirit has at last been revived! Since becoming a reading teacher a year ago, I made it a priority to get back into books. And since I’d asked my students to keep track of all of the books they read, I decided I’d better do it, too. This blog was born out of my love for books, my desire to talk about them with other bookworms, and wanting to hold myself accountable for my reading (oh, and for making my espresso exploration account for something, too!).
As far as record-keeping goes, I keep an updated list of book titles and the dates I finish them on my phone. Finishing a book is always rewarding in its own way, but seeing my list grow over the year has been really empowering. It’s like, oh, I HAVE been doing something in my free time after all! Having something to show for it is actually exhilarating.
However, simply typing out the title and day’s date on my phone can sometimes feels kind of insignificant. This was especially true in February when I was slogging my way through 1,000+ pages of Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84. Thus, I’ve been experimenting with other ways of celebrating my reading successes. Inspired by this Instagram post by @lottie_world, I recently gathered some stats on how many pages I’ve read per month, which I turned into this awesome/fun/even more rewarding graph:
I also think it’s fun to take some time every few weeks to update my Goodreads account to reflect the books I’ve read and am currently reading. It’s not always up to date, and I’m a huge failure at rating and reviewing every book I complete, but it’s just another one of those validating things. Goodreads also tracks how many books I’ve read (you can set your own yearly goal after signing up for the reading challenge!).
PUSHING UP THE PAGE COUNT
Speaking of 40 books, a huge reason why I read so many pages in May was due to the 40 Book Challenge I issued to my 6th grade readers. This idea is adapted from Donalyn Miller, and is basically a fun way to challenge kids to read widely in a variety genres, as well as read a lot of books. It turned into a pizza party celebration for those who had completed the challenge in my classes. Here is a snapshot of my own 40 book challenge record:
In an attempt to push myself to actually reach the goals I set for myself, I went about mucking about on the internet for inspiration. I found this really cool color-your-own-bookshelf printable on The Reeding Librarian’s site. I took the idea and made it my own, and composed a bookshelf housing 40 books (my personal reading goal for the year), and here’s the result:
In July, I got in on Booktubeathon‘s reading challenge, which racked up my page and book counts, and plan on doing #TheReadingQuest, which spans August 13th to September 10th (you can read my TBR for the Quest here!) Participating in readathons are another awesome way to feel supported in a reading community.
Last but not least (and you might already know this), I’m much more active on Bookstagram than my blog. I really enjoy taking pictures of books and using the hashtags, feeds, and accounts to find new book recs. It’s also a lot easier for me to post pictures than write blog posts, because I tend to overthink literally everything I do. Plus, I feel like it’s easier to interact with other bibliophiles (albeit, less deeply) because it’s more of an app than a need-to-be-on-your-computer-and-read-whole-long-paragraphs-of-text-while-being-distracted-by-the-internet’s-wonder thing. Disclaimer: I’m super new to the online book community, so I could just be spewing nonsense. If this is the case, ignore! Ignore!
Looking back on my records, I realize that I’ve done a LOT of reading (more than I expected)! Making fun ways to record my own accomplishments has made it easier to push myself to read more, tackle my huge TBR, and feel rewarded for completing my goals.