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. Ms. Bixby has popped up before in my reads. I'm making a Goodreads list to curate what I'm finding here at Must Read 2017. Ms. Bixby is going on my list!

  8. 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.