Did your elementary school teacher track the number of books you read? My second-grade teacher did. We had large red paper apples tacked up to the bulletin board. We put one of those white circle reinforcement stickers with the hole in the middle for each book. You know, the ones that protected the holes of 3-ring binder paper. They were supposed to represent wormholes in the apples. Every time I put one on, I thought it was a strange way to represent a hole, but my mom was a teacher, and I know they worked hard with limited funds and a lot of imagination to make things exciting.
I was always in second place to my classmate Becky. She and I were friends, so we didn’t feel competitive with each other. She even gave me her shiny pink jacket one day when I went to school, not feeling well. Then I threw up. I was careful to get her jacket as far away as I could. We didn’t think of tracking the books as much more than fun. Then my teacher stepped in and started doing a secondary tracking of the number of pages read. Then it got uncomfortable. It occurred to my teacher that Becky was reading more books, but they were shorter and easier. Both Becky and I were mortified. I think the teacher was trying to acknowledge what I was doing, but it created a rift across us and the class that continued the rest of the year. I won a reading award, but it wasn’t for the most books read. It was for the most total number of pages. I remember thinking how much I missed being comfortable friends with Becky before we recorded the number of pages. Neither of us enjoyed our wins. The unintended consequences of our teacher trying to do what she thought was right.
Suffice to say, I haven’t kept a log of the books I’ve read since then. But I watch people record the books they read on social media, and I always think I should try it, even if I never tell anyone. What a fantastic record to keep. So, I decided to do it for 2021. Then I was accepted to and started grad school in January, and my plan for both reading and tracking was thrown off. I try to write them down when I remember, but I know I missed several along the way. Plus, I’ve been reading many articles and short pieces this year, and I didn’t add those. To help myself keep track, I made a page for my website titled Reading Corner to put the list there. Whatever I’m reading is going on the top. At the moment, it’s Mexican Gothic (so delectably gothic). I’m going to do my best moving forward to keep track.
I’m always open to book suggestions, or if you have questions about what I’ve read/am reading, please ask. I love to talk words.