Taking Stock of my 2014 Reading Goals

In the process of taking stock of my reading goals for this year I've come to the conclusion that I just might have too many towers of books around my house

Last January I picked 56 books for my 2014 to read list. At this point, I've only read 34. To be fair, a few of them are not yet published...

But the truth about me, is that in general I'm easily distracted, and specifically, can get a tad over excited about books.

I'm thankful that books are significant in both my work and leisure times. I spend a lot of time reading book reviews and other book bloggers. Then I get swept up in their enthusiasm, and faster than you can say what list? I've put these new books on hold at the VPL. As they start to arrive, my planned reading list gets abandoned....

Here is a perfect example of how distracted I can get. Today I opened up a box of new books. Inside was this one. After swooning and fighting with a few readers over who gets to read it first, I realized that these flashy new hardcovers that I have been waiting to read also push my to read list into the background.
I'm used to towers of books all over the place. At our house, a flat surface is just an invitation for books to pile up, but on Sunday, while listening to the end of Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson, (more about this book in another post) I went to tidy my sewing room. I discovered completely forgotten piles of books I brought home to read over the summer.

You see what I mean? These towers have gotten out of hand. I collected all the school library books I brought home to read and put them in a cart to return to the library. 

I ask students at our school to limit their number of borrowed fiction from our library to 5 books at a time, (although I'm not hard core about this.) I think it's time I started following my own advice. I'll try to limit my school library books to five at a time. You never know, I might just succeed.

I've also decided to be realistic. I'm choosing 5 books from my 2014 to read list, and forgiving myself for not reading the rest this year. I haven't abandoned them forever, but for now I'm saying, "See you later."

Here are the five I'm keeping. I'd like to say I have high falootin' reasons for their remaining on the list, but I chose them mostly because they are easy to get my hands on. My goal is to have at least one of these on the go until they are done.

  1. The House you pass on the Way by Jacquelie Woodson
  2. Waking Kate by Sarah Addison Allen
  3. Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea
  4. I'll be Watching by Pamela Porter
  5. Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze by Alan Silberberg

Wait! Before you think I am a slothful and lazy teacher librarian, I want to brag that I have actually read 114 novels so far this year. I also read picture books, but I don't usually remember to keep track of them. This isn't to shabby is it?

Out of all my finished books I'm going to try to identify 5. I want everyone I know to read them so we can talk about them later.

  1. Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
  2. The True Blue Scouts of Sugarman Swamp by Kathi Appelt
  3. The Water Castle by Megan Frazer Blakemore
  4. Revolution by Deborah Wiles
  5. Five, Six, Seven, Nate by Tim Federle
  6. Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith *
  7. American Gods by Neil Gaiman*

Ok, that's seven, but those two starred books are really not appropriate for anyone under 16 or 17.


  1. Hehehe.... biting off more than I can chew is also a bad habit of mine! I started out with 36 books on my list and then added more to get to 44! I'm getting close (about 7 left?) but I may not get them all in..

    1. I 'm impressed you added more books, and even more impressed you think you will get to them all!

  2. I could relate to so many things in your post--the towers of books, the easily distracted move to a new and different book from the one I intended to read, the biting off more than I can chew. The Water Castle and Revolution are definitely on my list for 2015--doubt I get to them in 2014 because I have so many other challenges I'm trying to finish up. I did read Grasshopper Jungle this year--what a ride! What a story! And Rose Under Fire (liked it a lot but not as much as Code Name Verity) and True Blue Scouts (thought I'd hate it--ended up loving it!). You were very ambitious in your goals for 2014. I'm still hoping to be able to finish the measly 15 books on my list! (Of course, like you, I've read a million other things!)

    1. I agree that Code Name Verity is stunning! I listened to True Blue Scouts read by Lyle Lovett. I adored it so much that I no sooner finished than I started it all over again!

  3. Love the towers! I think I have seen those towers . . . This 5 rule - may need to try it too :-) You have done so much great reading this year! Love following along.

    1. Thanks Carrie! I love following your posts. Just how many picture books have you read this year alone?

  4. I hear your distraction problem! I was so sure I had a modest plan for my Must Reads list and then everybody starts talking about what's new and what's a must read. A good problem to have, I guess! Rose Under Fire is on my list still and I'm looking forward to it. I absolutely adore Revolution and Federle's Nate. Happy, happy, reading!


    1. Happy reading to you too! I'm sure you will enjoy Rose. it's different from Code Name Verity, but still a stellar read.

  5. Thanks Lorna. I agree that there are worse problems to have, but sometimes I am so overwhelmed as those towers of books pile up!

  6. I'm so glad you mentioned this. I set some reading goals back in January (as 2014 reading resolutions) and have met most of them but found I still have some left and it's more than halfway through October already! And this is the time of year when the coolest new books come out. More idstractions. BTW, you will LOVE Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze. One of the most extraordinary books I've read in a long time.

  7. Thanks Iron Guy Carl. I brought Milo home this evening on your recommendation. Now I just have to carve out some reading time!