Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Reading Challenges: The Final Countdown

This year, I read 173 books. I participated in seven book challenges, with mixed success. Two I am going to carry over into the new year, and hopefully complete by March or so.

By reading 173 books, I met my 150 book challenge. Going into this challenge, I really had no idea how many books I read in an average year. This seems about right---around three books a week. I don't want to pressure myself to read more, just for the sake of meeting a new challenge. I'm comfortable with this number.

I read 39 young adult books, and met my Juvenile Literature Challenge of two books per month. I enjoyed these books tremendously, especially the Pippi Longstocking and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books. I read portions of these books to my struggling second and third grade readers, and they were soon begging to check them out from the tutoring room library.

I completed the Classical Book Challenge. I read twelve classic books this year. Some of them were a little unconventional (The Bottle Imp by Robert Louis Stevenson and Helen Keller's "The Story of My Life," for example). If I had the chance to do this challenge over, I would have read Dracula and a few longer works.

I didn't finish the Love Bites Reading Challenge, the Banned Books Challenge, or the Gay Literature Challenge. I get way too in to the Twilight books when I read them, to the exclusion of everything else. Having several college courses to finish up and a ton of hours to build up for my AmeriCorps position, I just couldn't go there this year. I'll probably finish the last two books in the series this year.

I wish I had read more books for the Gay Literature Challenge. I read Annie On My Mind, and really enjoyed it. Unfortunately, my library has a very limited Gay Literature selection. I'll have to order some books off Paperback Swap this year.

Annie On My Mind also fell under the Banned Book Challenge, which was fun. I read a lot of hotly contested Juvenile Literature books, and shared some of them with my students. Somehow, knowing that a book is banned makes it all the more enticing, and spurred several reluctant readers to devour lengthy books.

I read a lot more young adult books than I expected to, and it's come in so useful for my reading tutor position. I can now recommend books with confidence. I have a huge collection of my very favorites lining the bottom of the whiteboard, ready for children to check them out. Some of my absolute favorites? Pippi Longstocking, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and The Rumplestiltskin Problem.

I didn't meet the Decades Challenge (I was two books short), but I plan to carry it over into the new year, along with the Gay Literature Challenge. This should be fun!

Happy New Year, and Merry Reading!

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