Thursday, September 6, 2012

Reading Totals

As the end of 2010 came around, I realized that it had been a dismal year for my personal reading. I'd hardly gone through much literature at all, and that was depressing. SO, I decided that my 2011 New Year's Resolution would be to read. And to keep myself from allowing this resolution to go by the wayside, as many resolutions do, I made it specific and with documentation. I stated that I would be reading at least one novel each month. I have a little wallet sized notebook in which I would record the titles of each book completed. I even decided that I needed to finish each selection within the parameters of the month, to keep me on track. No carryovers.

So, with simple goal of one book per month and a Book Journal to keep me on track, I began the year with 4 finishes for the month of January. Off on a bold start, I decided that I could up my goal to a minimum of 2 books each month. I kept that goal, and ended the year with a grand total of 33 books read.

I was quite proud of myself. January 2012 came along, and I recorded 3 novels total in my Book Journal. And that's all that are listed for 2012. I kind of slowed down on the reading when I was doing Ray Bradbury reviews each week. By the time that was all finished, I had forgotten the Book Journal altogether. I have certainly read more than 3 books this year. In fact, in the past 2 months, I have read at least 6. I just didn't record them.

Obviously, it's not important for me to record how much I read to keep me in the books. I think that I have done a fairly decent job of keeping the pages flowing, allowing one book to slide into my hands just as soon as the previous book has finished.

However, for my kids, it was very important for them to keep track of all they had read over the summer. Our School District Superintendent issues a Summer Reading Challenge to the students every year. It's simple: read 10 (level appropriate) books or 1,000 pages over the summer. Keep track of the titles and page numbers. Turn in the Reading Challenge sheet during the first week of school. Then the Superintendent sends you a certificate acknowledging the accomplishment. The idea is to keep kids reading during the summer, with the incentive of recognition when school starts again.

To my kids, this is a big deal. While younger kids can include books that are read to them, I encourage my kids to do the reading themselves, and not count the books that I read at bedtime. My boys love to go to the library, happily choosing books they can read alone and then diligently reading them. They kept me on track, and made sure their books were recorded on their lists.

Did they reach their goals? Oh, yes. My oldest son read 20 books with a total of 1,704 pages. His brother read a fabulous 14 books with a total of 626 pages. These were just the books they told me about. I'm certain that my oldest read quite a bit more than the 20 we put on his list, and the 14 on my younger son's list are just the books he read aloud to me. I'm sure he did some independent reading that we didn't think to record.

How does this compare to my 33 books in a year? I don't know how many pages that adds up to. My guess is that it reaches somewhere over 10,000 pages. But I had a whole year and about 25 years of practice. I am truly impressed by the enthusiasm my boys have given in reading a combined 2,330 pages in just 12 weeks. If we were to keep track of every book from January to December, including page numbers, I think they may just beat me. And for that, I am very pleased. Here's to a continued joy in the world of reading. Bravo!


mom said...

Hurray for reading! Good job to all of you!

Elizabeth said...

Jill, you are a most awesome mom. And those boys of yours are SO cute!

xo -E