My idea of heaven on earth is a good book, a cup of tea and a snowstorm raging outdoors, (maybe add a few warm chocoloate chip cookies). So, it was a recent discussion, aka argument, with my son about reading that prompted me to begin a new challenge. The conversation went something like this:
Me: You really should be reading more. If nothing else, it will help you with your SAT vocabulary.
Him: I already read for my English class.
Me: But that’s not the same as reading for yourself. Do you know the average person reads fifteen books per year. Are you even anywhere near that number?
Him: (unconvincingly)…er…maybe. (defensively) Are you?
Me: Of course I am! I probably read twice that amount!
Him: Name them…
At this point I start rattling off titles, some from previous years, just to prove a point.
Me: Now that I think about it, I probably average a book a week.
Him: I doubt it.
My son is sixteen and could really care less how much I read. In fact, he is so pleased the conversation has taken a turn away from his own reading he’d be willing to continue this conversation all evening if it means avoiding a trip to the library with his mother. But, now I am already too far in…
Me: I am going to read one book every week for the rest of the year and then we’ll see.
We’ll see what? That I read more books than the average American? That I have committed myself to a year of missing deadlines, takeout and a dirty house?
Him: A big teenaged smirk.
Teenagers have a way of throwing you off your game. One second you have the upper hand and the next, you are raging about something completely off topic or pledging to commit to an activity you have absolutely no time for. Being a mother of my word, I have been working dilligently toward of my goal of reading a book a week (in addition to proving his point that I am overcompetitive and petty).
Here’s where I am so far. I am counting Partial Reads, as long as I’ve read more than half. Life is too short to waste on books I don’t connect with. With the daily challenges of life, you will note that I am several books shy of my weekly goal. Hopefully I will make some headway this summer. Surprisingly, I do still manage to get some writing done, cook a decent meal, and straighten up the house now and then. As for my son, he has still not read a single page…
My titles since January:
Son by Lois Lowry
What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang
Will Sparrow’s Road by Karen Cushman
Serafina’s Promise by Ann Burg (out in September)
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson
Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Middlesteins by Jaim Attenburgh
The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier
Daddy Love by Joyce Carol Oates
The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
The Good Daughters by Joyce Maynard
Touch and Go by Lisa Gardner
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis
Dear Life by Alice Munro
Wash by Margaret Wrinkle