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  • Writer's pictureShannon Wilson

Goal #2: Read 120 books in 2023

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” Walt Disney

For as long as I can remember, I have loved reading. When I was little, I would read with my mom before bed. It is because of these nights with mom, that I will always have a special place in my heart for Louisa May Alcott’s books. After lights out, I would read under the covers with a flashlight. In fourth grade, my teachers hosted quarterly reading challenges for our class. Each quarter ended with an ice cream party, complete with all the toppings one could ever want. I don’t remember how much we were challenged to read for each scoop of ice cream or topping, but I do remember my teachers telling me I could have whatever I wanted each time because I had read so much. Growing up, the adults in my life encouraged my love for reading.

My love of reading has continued throughout my life. After becoming a Language Arts teacher, the books I read became more focused on middle grades and young adult fiction. I felt it was important to be well read in these genres, so I had an answer to the ever present question of “Miss, do you have a book recommendation for me?” One joy I have as a teacher is watching students enjoy books I have recommended to them; because of this, I do read the majority of the subgenres within young adult fiction.

While I still read mostly young adult fiction, I realized I wanted to expand my reading repertoire more and read the books adults were discussing. My first step in expanding my reading shelves was joining the Book of the Month club. This monthly subscription box is great since every month it offers a choice of 4 - 5 books. In this way, I can expand the books on my reading list but still avoid genres I don’t enjoy — horror. Joining this subscription helped, but I found it easy to let the books just sit on the shelf, unread. The solution to this was joining some book clubs.

Joining book clubs seemed like a no-brainer. I enjoy reading. I enjoy discussing books. I work well under deadlines. My first “book club” began when a coworker wanted to read books with various different people to help her reach her reading goal. We chose a book to read and then met at a local place to discuss it. She also belongs to Book of the Month so this past year we have focused on reading those books. Then, my best friend and I started a book club with our friends. Finally, I have joined a couple of book clubs through meet-ups. It is because of these clubs, that I have read books I would never have picked up. Some I liked. Some I didn’t. Nonetheless, I am thankful for each book.

Currently, as I continue to work towards my goal of reading 120 books this calendar year — ten books a month — I have read 74 books. While this does place me ahead of schedule, I am going to wait until after the first month of the school year to consider increasing the goal.

What are you currently reading? Any book recommendations? Happy summer reading!

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