It’s Monday and here’s what I’m reading: December 2, 2013

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
is hosted by Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts

I should be ashamed of myself, but this Thanksgiving break I did not read a single YA or picture book.  I caught up on back issues of the New Yorker and the New York Times, I read lots of poetry and cook books…but nothing whatsoever for my classroom.  
The day before the break, I met with each of my students and crafted reading goals for the new marking period:
It was a happy morning, filled with talk about wonderful books read, to be read, and to be re-read.  My kiddos were proud of the work they’ve done, and eager to push themselves further in the weeks to come.  But, as I listened, I came to realize that I’d lost a little bit of my own reading excitement.  Why?  I wasn’t sure as I packed up to leave for our Thanksgiving break, but the reason began to dawn on me later.  
It’s not that I didn’t have a reading plan in mind, after all, here are just some of the books I returned with from NCTE:

…plenty to read!
And it’s not that I wasn’t looking forward to reading any and all of the above.   I absolutely am.
And it’s not that I didn’t have the time – four days stretched ahead, four days of blissful reading experiences to be savored.
But…I had lost something in my reading life, a spontaneity, perhaps.  I had become a sort of reading machine, moving from one book to the next in a determined effort to read everything worthwhile published for my middle school students, and for their reading- writing-history teacher (me!).  
Hence the stacks of New Yorkers and NYTs, piling up, waiting patiently to be enjoyed and paid attention to, too.  So I did.

But I promise to check in next Monday with news of YA books and picture books…I have quite a few lined up, already!

7 thoughts on “It’s Monday and here’s what I’m reading: December 2, 2013

  1. Well, we don't have quite the same reason as I referred to on FB, but I am a little overwhelmed, reading too much, Plus too many choices coming from NCTE too. I think I'll try to read one of the many adult books I've skipped. Like your New Yorkers and NY Times, just for me! Best wishes Tara-that reading life sounds wonderful!

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  3. We are in the same boat. As I was blogging to my students about my reading life, I realized that I had started so many different books (mostly professional) and hadn't finished any of them. I am now focused on working through those books before I start any new ones. I read lots of cookbooks this weekend too. 🙂 I think you've stumbled upon a great lesson for our students too…the importance of taking time to read for ourselves too. Good luck and enjoy those new books in your stack.

  4. Love your reflection, Tara. It's hard to get as much done as is always in front of us. Your daughters and your students might really be interested in Nicholas Kristof's column yesterday, if you didn't get to it.Have a great day!

  5. I enjoyed your reflection and your solution! This happens to me occasionally too, especially if I get too bogged down in my reading challenges and don't include enough space for reading spontaneity and serendipity. Or if I focus too much on trying to read all the kids lit mentioned in all the blogs I read, and I don't read any books for grown-ups for awhile. Loved seeing your students' goal charts! Thanks for sharing.

  6. A reading slump! We all have those. Sometimes I feel that way with our bimonthly themes in GatheringBooks – while it affords us an amazing amount of focus, and leads us to really spectacular books we would not have known otherwise, there are times when it feels like a chore especially as the number of books pile up waiting to be read. I also try to let go for a bit, and read poetry. Poetry is always great. It's food for the soul. It rejuvenates. You should write about your experiences with your students, Tara. I am sure that would be such a wonderful read.

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