"What was was the last book you read? What about the one before that? How about the five books before that?"
Those are pretty tough questions. And when you're reading two or three books a week, it's really hard to remember them all.
That's why I started TweenReading.com - as a way to keep track of the middle school-level books that I read.
First, I tried keeping a list in a little spiral notebook. That was fine for a while, but I needed more than just a few words scratched on a page. And yes, I lost the notebook. More than once,
My next step was to add the books to an Amazon.com Wishlist. That worked reasonably well. But of course, every time I wanted to view my list I had to log-on to Amazon. And Amazon kept sending me e-mails encouraging me to buy the books that I'd already read.
So, now you're seeing my next step: a blog that chronicles my "tween" reading experiences. I decided to go ahead and buy the domain ($10/year) and the web hosting ($8/month) to make it easy to access and presumably helpful to other librarians, teachers, and kids.
Of course, all of this was just an idea a couple of weeks ago. So, we'll see what direction it takes.
Here are some thoughts about the blog and my reading preferences, in case you're interested.
- This blog is about what I read, not what you should read, or what your students should read. As a librarian, it is tempting (and easy) to try to persuade a student to check-out a book that I like. Of course, that's not my job. My job is to suggest books that the reader might like. This blog doesn't pretend to be balanced. It is simply a record the books that I read. (So don't expect any books about fairy princesses or magical cats. That's not my style.)
- Some of the books might be older. I'm not going to make an effort to read the latest work by the greatest authors. If you've worked in children's lit, you know that there are hundreds of books published each month. So yes, I'm just now getting around to reading When Zachary Beaver Came to Town. No shame in that.
- Personally, I prefer a printed book to an eBook. Over the past few years I have been an avid supporter of eBooks and e-reading devices. I have managed the Overdrive account for a school district, and purchased hundreds of Overdrive and Kindle eBooks. But my personal preference is a printed book.
- I buy a lot of books. Because the books I read are short, I can usually read one or two a week. I am a big fan of used book stores, and I also buy many books from BookOutlet.com Have you been to BookOutlet.com? No? Well, go now. Go ahead...we'll wait.
- In this blog, I'm not going to try to write magazine-worthy reviews. That's just not the intent of the blog. I will probably write a sentence or two of plot summary, and then tell you what I thought of the book. I will probably also identify a potential tween audience. But that's it. The blog will probably be notable, but not quotable.
- For now, I'm disabling the "comments" on this blog. There are many book discussion forums on the Internet. However, I want to make sure that this blog remains positive and kid-friendly. And I really don't have time to monitor comments.
That's all for now. I hope you enjoy the blog!