Saturday, January 7, 2017

Let's Read: It's All About a Plan #MustReadin2017

If you're like me, your "to be read" book stack is always growing.  When you have great book friends, this is just a good problem created from all they share....and I have a lot of great book friends.  I've started to realize that almost everything I read is amazing because I put it in my stack after hearing recommendations from multiple friends.  I can't keep up, but I'm not sure I can tell you the last time I wanted to abandon a book.

This means, of course, I'm continually overwhelmed by my book stack.  Continually!  Being overwhelmed means I honestly get less reading done than I could do.  I've been trying to figure out a way to be more intentional and take away that overwhelming feeling.  I think #readabration and Carrie Gelson's #MustReadin2017 have come together to help me create a plan to improve my reading life struggles.

Making a Plan:  #Readabration (A Little History) 
Right before winter break the literacy coaches began talking about starting their #readabration lists.  Readabration was an event started a few years ago in which teachers, principals, literacy coaches, and students took the time to plan their reading over break.  As a listened to them talk I knew this was just what I needed.  A plan to read over break would help me begin to tackle my ever growing, and increasingly overwhelming, "to be read" stack.

I opened my Goodreads and began to make an intentional plan.  Knowing I really need to grow my bookstack of middle grade books I've read, I put my concentration there.  There are so many professional books in my stack, that I knew I needed to choose one of those as well.  Of course, it was winter break so, I also wanted to read an adult book.  I wanted to keep my list manageable as the break was only two weeks and our house is quite busy for much of the time.  I came up with this list:

Of course, break came and some unexpected digital books became available to me from my library hold stack so I had to adjust.  This new availability required that I rethink my stack.  At the end of the two weeks, I had moved several books into the completed stack.  I had read several middle-grade books, a new adult book, and nearly completed the professional book.

How to keep this momentum going?

This #readabration experience reminded me, once again, of the power of a plan.  I decided that I would continue to plan monthly what I wanted to read in hopes of moving more books from my "to be read pile" to my "I read it pile."

Then, I head about Carrie Gelson's #MustReadin2017 post.  First I read Tara Smith's list as it came across my feed, then Margaret Simon's, then the many friends I found linked on Carrie's post.....and I knew this was just the push I needed to keep me on track.

Here's how it works (I think):
  • Have a TBR (to be read) list
  • Keep it growing 
  • Check back in 4/6, 9/7, 12/28 (optional)
  • Use #MustReadin2017 on Twitter

My Plan
I'm in!  I'm going to consider my "to read" list on Goodreads to be my #MustReadin2017 stack.  However, I want to keep this manageable and accomplish my reading goals for 2017.  Each month I will be creating a "plan to read" stack for the month.  I'm trying to keep the stack reasonable enough that I can accomplish it, flexible enough that I can adjust it (digital library holds can shake things up a bit), and open enough that I can throw new books in every now and then.  There also has to be room to pepper in picture books (I like a lot of pepper).  I hope to try to follow my #readabration plan:  a middle-grade book per week, an adult (or maybe YA) book for enjoyment, and an informational text (likely professional or "better life-ish).  

Here's January's Plan: 

Thanks, Carrie and #MustReadin2017 for the timely push.  



  1. Darn you, Cathy! I have read Wish, Gertie, and Mrs. Bixby, but you just "made" me buy Hacking Literacy because I trust your judgement that much! I have a hard time getting professional books here, so often stock up in the summer, but that was available digitally and seems like one I could read that way (I often prefer professional books in paper version because I can refer back to them more easily). Happy reading!

  2. This sounds like a terrific plan! I've been eyeing Carrie's hashtag for the last couple of weeks, wondering if I can possibly commit to one more thing. (I've been doing that crazy haiku writing thing for the last month and now it's continued into January- Yikes!) I did set a goal for 200 books, including picture books, on Good Reads. If you haven't read Jason Reynolds' ALL AMERICAN BOYS add that to your YA list. It's terrific!

  3. I so loved Wish I wish I could read it again. Maybe as a read aloud with kids? I also need to read Ms. Bixby's Last Day. When I read the first few pages to my students, it immediately started making the rounds.
    I also have a professional book going at all times. I like your readabration plan. I'd like to be a better curator of my Goodreads account.
    Thanks for jumping in!

  4. This sounds like something I need to do! I am finding just owning great books isn't enough. It seems actually reading them should be the goal! Look for my post and plan soon!

  5. I love how you are taking this a moth at a time. Great strategy! I keep checking back in with my list as I read all of the other things I hear about and find it keeps me grounded. Some books I might have forgotten about so I love that the list keeps them front and center! A Mango Shaped Space is such a fantastic read. Thanks for joining in!

  6. What a great list - now I have more titles I need to add.
    Have fun reading!

  7. Wish made last year's Christmas card (we put favorite reads in our letter) along with the PB My Two Blankets, and A Man Called Ove. I've read Ms. Bixby's Last Day and A Mango Shaped Space. Both are great books! I want to read Gertie's Leap to Greatness. Debating joining this group, but I figured it was too late.