I am aware that this activity that I do at the end of each year may be of interest only to me, but just in case, I share it with you. Without a clock to punch or a sign-in sheet, I had to figure out a way to evaluate my own attention to task when I retired from teaching to write. I do that with a weekly calendar where I record both my writing and reading activities. (How good is it to be able to count reading as part of your work?)
At an end-of-year inventory, I like to see how much and what I have read during the year. Let me say up front, one underreported part is the number of books for younger children. I’ve not written down the story before bedtime or nap or the stack of Winnie-the-Pooh books brought in by a four-year-old with a request to read.
With that explanation behind us, I have read 77 books this year. Twenty-seven were for adults, thirty-one were for middle grade or young adult, and nineteen were for young children. The books were 68% fiction and 32% nonfiction. A protagonist that fit in the category of diversity either by culture or some kind of physical challenge made up 22% of the books. Probably for the same number, the protagonist could have been from any culture since the book was generic or some kind of fantasy. Poetry formed an unusual part of this year’s list with seven younger children’s non-fiction books and one middle grade novel written as beautiful poems.
You would think that all this reading would have lowered my to-be-read stack and cleared my Kindle. Not so. As the wise man in Ecclesiastes 12:12 said, “Of the making of many books there is no end,” and he wrote before the day of the printing press. So if you will excuse me, I’ve started my 2017 list and need to get back to some diaries and letters in a World War II novel. The blog for that one is coming soon.