Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Goodreads, Here I Come!

Dear Kim,

Welcome to a new month.
A new school year.
And based on your last letter to me, a new start for you!

Even though I have been out of the classroom for over a year, September still feels like the start of the year for me. New goals with a hint of autumn air just make sense to me.

There are the writing goals.
Organizational goals.
And goals for the year's author events.
This year I am adding a social media goal.

For years, thanks to my good friend, Judy Pryzstup, I've kept a reading journal. I write down all of the books that I read with one quick line next to the title. Way back when Judy made the suggestion I was probably reading twelve titles a year. As my desire to write grew, so did the number of titles I would read each year. (I didn't include the books that I read for school or to my students, just my reading.)

Now with my work at the Foundation, along with SCBWI, I want to read all of our faculty's books, and the books of fellow conferees. I need to read award winners and buzz worthy books. My list keeps growing and growing and growing. I know that the easiest place to keep track of these book titles, as well as interact with other writers, teachers, and librarians, is on Goodreads.

I've had an account on Goodreads since 2011 (so my profile tells me). The last book I entered was Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mom. A quick glance at my hand-written reading journal and I can see that I have read 243 novels since Amy Chua's parenting memoir.

While I haven't been active on my own Goodreads list (-243 to be exact), I use Goodreads to look up book reviews, find book quotes, and even follow discussions about controversial books.

Sorry, Goodreads, I've been a taker.
Worst of all I haven't given to the authors on your site who need reviews and ratings.

That changes this year.

I will embrace Goodreads, adding books and writing reviews as I see fit. (I'll also add picture books, which I've never been great at keeping track of in my journal.)

Say goodbye to pages like these:

And hello to:

Happy New Year to YOU!
Much love,

P.S. Since my journal writing is super sloppy, here is my 2016 summer reading list:

The Great American Whatever
Girls on Fire
If I Was Your Girl
My 7th Grade Life in Tights
True Letters from a Fictional Life
Beyond Magenta
Blood Brothers
Everything Leads to You
Boy Meets Boy
Women in the Walls
Three Sisters, Three Queens
True Crime Addict
You Will Know Me
Bink and Gollie