Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Confessions of a Bad Reader

I checked out a brand-new book (put it on hold at the library months before it came out).  I read it by the pool.  The bottom of the pages got damp from resting against my tummy after I'd been in the water.  You know how thin paper wrinkles even after it's dried?  I did that.  To a brand new book.  That isn't mine.

The scene of the crime.



This got me thinking about all the other, um, problematic things I do (or fail to do) as a reader.  Once I got going, it was hard to stop.


I place books open and upside down to hold my spot.  I don't care about the spine getting broken.

I eat while I read, and I leave smudges (usually chocolate).

I let my kids watch movies before they've read the book.  Then I don't even make them read the book.

If I visit a blog, and don't recognize any of the books, instead of thinking, "Oh, I could learn so much on this blog!" I think "Not interested" and never come back.

It took me way too long to see the racism and genocide lurking in every single pioneer/ covered wagon/ Oregon trail story.  I still have to fight the urge to make excuses for cultural appropriation and insensitivity in Eleanor and Park and Ghosts.

I have spent well over a thousand dollars buying books for my classroom library this year, then I turn around and tell my kids we're too broke to go out for dinner.

Of all the attributes of youth I've lost--eating like a pig without gaining weight, having energy all day long, not having any serious responsibilities, doing headstands, drinking strong men under the table and waking up feeling fine the next day--the one I miss most is being able to read in a car without getting nauseated.  Well, okay, it's really the "not having serious responsibilities" one, but reading in a car is definitely second.

I don't read to my kids every day.  I don't even read to them every week, although when we're involved in a book, that's not the case.

When I was a teenager, someone casually referred to me as "well-read" and I was so flattered that I spent the next ten years trying to prove them right.  Most of my classics and serious lit-ra-chur reading came during this time period.  Okay, this sounds like a humble-brag to me, because I still can't quite shake that feeling that a) being "well-read" is an actual, quantifiable thing and b) it's something that would make me better than other "less well-read" people.  WHAT IS THIS NONSENSE?!?

Ursula Le Guin is my literary idol.  I accidentally sold a book she'd signed to me because when the buyer said, "oh, and it's signed!" I was too embarrassed to snatch it back from him. *Kicks self.*

I totally believed the whole "story behind the story" thing with The Princess Bride and actually argued about it with a colleague who was teaching the book.

I used to sneak-read the smut books my dad kept by his bedside.  I was appalled by some bits ("She put his WHAT in her mouth?  Why would she do that?") but fascinated overall.  Then my parents caught me showing my best friend, and they told her parents, and her mom laughed at us.  It was horrifying.

I pretend I shop at local independent bookstores because it's the right thing to do, but actually it's because I can't stand waiting for books to be delivered, and I love wandering around looking at books.

Look at those awnings.  Wouldn't you rather walk down this street than fill a cart online?

Which of these confessions horrify you the most?  Which can you relate to?  Best of all--WHAT NEW AND DIFFERENT BOOK CONFESSIONS do you have?

I don't have a pool, by the way.  My kid wisely made friends with a kid who lives in an apartment complex with a pool, and in exchange for being the adult in charge, I got to spend a few hours there yesterday.  This is what we mean when we tell our children "Make good choices."

Monday, June 19, 2017

TTT: Incomplete Series



The delightful bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish host this weekly list challenge.  If you want to quadruple the size of your TBR AND find a bunch of great book blogs to follow head on over and check them out!

The topic this week is Top Ten Series I've Been Meaning To Start But Haven't.

This is perfect timing because just last weekend I made a series tracker in my bullet journal, and included a few I haven't actually started.  Although I may be contrary and fill out my ten with some series I haven't started AND HAVE NO INTENTION OF EVER STARTING mwah ha ha.

Oh, and one more thing--I'm writing this while sitting outside at my reading nook, drinking my second cup of coffee, while my children are at school but I am not, so my general smugness happiness level is pretty high right now.  

1.  Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older
I'm also writing this on the chromebook my school just issued me, and I don't know how to do accents on it.  
2.  The Reader by Traci Chee
I actually read the first few chapters, but the library wanted it back before I could get very far.

3.  Seraphina by Rachel Hartman.

4.  Serafina by Richard Beatty.  Okay, yes, I JUST NOW realized these are two different series.  What's up with that?!?

5. Willow Falls by Wendy Mass.  First, there's the Wendy solidarity.  Next, I have at least half a dozen books by her in my classroom library, but have not read a single one.  Must fix.

6.  The Selection by Kiera Cass is not something that sounds interesting to me, but so many of my students have loved it that I kind of feel like I should at least read the first one.

7.  Not gonna read Mortal Instruments.  I've tried my Cassandra Clare with the Clockwork Princess series, and while I liked them, I hear the two series are fairly interchangeable, so I'm going to move on to new things.

8. Might read Emily of New Moon by Lucy Maude Montgomery.  I will always love Anne, but I'm not sure that I can fall in love with Emily at my age and with the constant background noise of comparing her to Anne.  Still, some claim Emily's story is even better, so I'm curious for sure.

9.  Never gonna read 50 Shades.  Please don't make me justify this.  Not judging anyone who read it.  Well, not too harshly.

10. Not planning on reading any of Sarah J. Maas's series.  I tried the first book twice before realizing it just wasn't going to work for me.

Okay, now I'm off to work on my re-read of Megan Whalen Turner's Queen's Thief series so I can read the fifth installment all freshened up.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Summer Book Nook

I brought so many books home from my classroom library that I haven't had a chance to read yet.

Too many to find room for in the house, really.   So I took some other stuff I'm storing over the summer and created a book nook on our front (covered) porch.  



There are fewer than 100 books on here, so, no problem, right? RIGHT?

I'm sharing the porch with broken bikes, the lawnmower, and my kids' random junk. But it's okay!