Saturday, June 23, 2012

Not Quite #bookaday

So there's a great challenge on twitter that you can follow with the hashtag #bookaday that, obviously, encourages people to read a book every day over summer vacation. What a beautiful, beautiful challenge.

To sit and read a book in one day is heaven to me, and I do it often. It's not unusual for me to read 30 or 40 books over the course of summer vacation. I'll fill up the baby pool we have, pull out a beach chair, and switch back and forth between enjoying the sun (with sunscreen, of course) and enjoying the shade of our patio umbrella. Throw in some of my favorite tunes, and you can easily see why summer is my favorite time of the year.

I have an email folder just for my Goodreads newsletters and updates I get from friends. I'm so busy reading kids' books and mentor texts during the school year that I feel like I can't really give books of my choice the attention they deserve from September until the beginning of June. And by "the attention they deserve" I mean I will sit and read them until I'm done, completely ignoring or forgetting any other responsibilities. Once school is out I dive into that folder and make a list of all the books I would like to buy or find in the library, and I can't wait to get started.

With the changes we've experienced this year, my list of books to buy has been put on the back burner for now. I'm hoping to find some of them in the local library or to borrow some from friends, but they may just have to wait until Christmas. To fulfill my never-ending desire to read lots and lots of books, I'm trying a new approach this summer.

Because of some very kind and thoughtful students and families I have a few gift cards to Barnes & Noble that I will lovingly use very soon. But until I get shopping I've decided to take a step that, prior to this, I had refused to take: I'm venturing into the world of e-readers. I love the feeling of having a book in my hand, hearing the spine crack the first time you open it, the smell of the pages, turning down the corner to mark my page, and seeing just how much farther you have to go to find out what happens! But, desperate times call for desperate measures.

I have an iPad from my district so I went into iBooks and started downloading all of the free classics that I could get my grubby little paws on. From Les Miserables, to A Tale of Two Cities, to Hukleberry Finn, I found 23 classics that piqued my interest. Some, like Little Women and The Secret Garden, are my favorites so I thought it would be interesting to try them on in an electronic version. Others, like War and Peace, are simply classics, and I thought it would be fun to give them a go. I'll admit, I tried that with Grapes of Wrath last year, and it didn't work. We'll see how much luck I had with some of these.

My tally to date is two books: 50 Shades of Grey, in traditional paper form (go ahead and shake your head, I just needed to see what the hub-bub was about!), and The Secret Garden, in electronic form. I do still love the feeling of a book in my hand, and I can't say I'll be taking the iPad with me into the sand for beach reading. But I didn't hate e-reading as much as I thought I would. Maybe I'll read a few more classics and learn to love books in the electronic format before this summer is out.

We'll see.

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