Wednesday, June 16

The Summer Reading Un-Challenge

Now that the school year has ended (or is just about to end) for so many educators, we take a big breath and exhale.  We made it.  The stress leaves us and our shoulders are no longer stuck around our ears.  Breathe.  For many of us, it is a time to re-group and rejuvenate.  What are your plans?

I know what I won’t do: count books I read.  I’m fascinated by the number of summer reading challenges in my email, twitter and blog groups.  My summer reading is a time to sample, savor and simply read.  Maybe I had a particularly difficult year, but I just can’t face the pressure of tallying the number of books I finish.  I applaud those that are enthralled by the challenge.  I’m rooting for your success, and most importantly, I am not  judging.  I simply want an un-challenge.

Typically, I read too fast.  I also tend to read more than one book at once.  I usually keep books in various places throughout the house.  I’ve been banned (whohoo) from cooking because I would hold a book in one hand  and not pay attention to the overflowing pots.  (Boring.)  My goal for my summer reading is to slow down and let each word I read embrace and envelope me.  I don’t want to rush.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I adore Young Adult Fiction and the books I’m reading are breathtaking.  My TBR (To Be Read) pile is enormous and varied.  It is filled with fiction, non-fiction, and books on teaching.  I have a collection of book markers and sticky notes that hold my place in many of the books.  I have a buffet of book delicacies.

Recently I attended my first Un-conference, Edcamp Philly and felt an excitement for learning that I haven’t felt in years.  What made it so unique is that the typical “conference” rules were thrown out and educators had choices.  (Imagine that in your classroom!)  I love that I was in charge of my learning for the day.  I’ve decided that my summer reading will be a Un-challenge.  I will read and not count how many books I finish.  I will read simply because it is what I do.  I will not be intimidated by the book counts that others produce.  I will allow myself to un-self-consciously jump from book to book because it is what I choose to do.

If you need me, I’m sitting in the sunshine with a pile of books.  


Barbara Day said...

I'm with you on this, and the things I read will probably not be very high brow either. In fact I enjoy Sue Grafton and Janet Evanovich. Sometimes, I think we forget how to relax and enjoy, and that's what I plan to do. Happy reading!

Nancy Hniedziejko (Nancy Ehrlich) said...

Barbara! You get it. I have some secret reads too. Sometime you just want to get lost in a book. I try to remember this with my students as well when they choose something that is not up to their "level." I was feeling overwhelmed by so many "read a book a day" challenges that I thought there must be others who feel as I do. Thanks - as always!

Cathy said...

Nancy, I am joining your unchallenge! I have quite a stack of professional books in my stack, and am not a fast reader. Additionally, my classroom library needs some work so I will be spending much time finding new books. I want to read blogs, work on my writing and spend time with my family. Thanks for your honest post.

Nancy Hniedziejko (Nancy Ehrlich) said...

Thanks for joining the un-challenge and for the following my blog. One of the greatest gifts we give each other is support. Good luck with finding new books - so much fun! Thanks again for appreciating a different point of view.

Sarah said...

That sounds like a fun conference! And... "a buffet of book delicacies"-- I love that! Happy summer :)