The To-Do list is long and the days are getting shorter, but today (and many other summer days) I gave myself over to reading. Some days I read a book from my ‘grown-up’ stack, just enjoying the ebb and flow of a novel be it contemporary or historical.
Other days, like today, National Book Lovers’ Day, I give myself over to reading children’s book. Today, I read a sampling of the new books that we purchased for the literacy center last spring. They have been waiting in boxes since May to be organized, categorized, and generally brought out to the learning community.
Most of the books are series, new series to replace tired ones, to better represent the readers in our community and their lives, or to expose students to lives they don’t know about yet. Fresh volumes, many in a series, waiting for readers to fall in love. I organize them into book boxes, add them to the library list and squirrel them into a book bag to read in the coolness of my reading chair at home.
Today, I read.
Reading children’s books for me is enjoyment and an exercise. How will this book fit in with the curriculum? What lesson might bookend this book? Is it for independent reading, shared reading, guided reading, or a read aloud? Might a teacher use it as a mentor for writing? What time and place could this fit?
I read decodable books. I listened to an audiobook. I read 2-3 books in a series. I read just the first book in another series. I read two book sent to me by a publisher.
Some books I added to my social media. I tweeted. I instagrammed. I put them on my goodreads. Some books I flagged for a longer book review later. Some books have a sticky note on the front with an idea for a mentor lessons or a note about features to highlight in a read aloud. These books are easy to read and easy to consider.
I have two more stacks of books. One stack of books is about culturally proficient teaching. Getting to know our students and letting them get to know us and each other. Another stack of books is about learning to read, phonics, reading workshop, book clubs. There are still a lot of books in that stack. That stack that requires lots of brain power.
I heard a talk early in the summer that we (as a people) are losing our concentration, our ability to sustain that hard thinking over time. I’ve been trying to build that back up. An hour a day, two hours this day, gradually working my way through the books.
I’m disappointed in myself. I didn’t read all those books in the stack. I am not completely prepared to be a dazzling, knowledge driven coach in a mere three weeks. I’ll be closer when I get to that last week in August. But my list and my stack will be incomplete.
Hopefully, I’ll keep reading and learning into the fall. I’ll carve out some time each day to keep reading. To think about ideas. To grow.
For today, I’ll celebrate spending another day thinking about books. A Book Lover’s Day.