Friday, January 2, 2015

Oops, I did it again! Reading logs, reading goals, and failure

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Oops, I did it again. For the second year in a row I did not reach my Goodreads goal. Two years ago, I set a goal of 365 books after being inspired by Donalyn Miller to start tracking my books on Goodreads. I was reading tons of picture books to my first graders. Big dreams, ended in failure after reading only 108 books. I blogged about it here. So last year I thought I would try to read just ONE more book than 2013 and I happily set my goal at 109. And failed again, reading 73 books, mostly novels and a handful of picture books that are contenders for the Caldecott Award.

Did I fail? Or did I fail to set the right goal? I really wanted to reach my goal this year, but really, I don't think I failed. I read a lot of great books! Every long weekend and vacation I dedicated to reading in  my pajamas (sometimes all day!) and even did a few #bookadays! 

This post really has me thinking about two things: reading logs and reading goals. I have a love/hate relationship with reading logs. The kind I hate? Paper ones drug back and forth to school, maybe signed by mom or dad, kids maybe reading or maybe not. Reading logs that require X number of pages each night or books only at a certain level. Yuck. Reading logs I love? Google forms made public like in Megan Ellis' English class with a link to a student-written book review on Goodreads-- awesome! Kids fill in the form when they finish a book, rather than some nightly minute requirement. Megan's Goodreads group is closed but it totally inspires a reading community and it's authentic. Totally perfect for middle schoolers. But what about little kids? Several teachers at our school have tweaked Megan's awesome idea and use a Google form for students to complete at home when they finish a book. Love this! And I love Goodreads as a place to log my own personal reading. I can see what my friends are reading and it feels so good to log my book when I finish and watch my book total grow. These are the reading logs I love. 

So, about that goal and failing yet again. I don't think I failed, even though I really didn't come close to 109 books. I think about kids setting goals, and goal setting in general. Is it better to set a high goal and not meet it, or to set a low goal and blow it out of the water? I think the challenge is finding a just right goal. Ultimately this year I read 73 books. I read somewhere the average Goodreads reader logs 61 books a year. Above average? Woot. I love reading. It's not really about the number but this year I really want to meet my goal. So, this year my goal is to average a book a week...52 books. It feels doable and I know I will still have some all day pajama reading days on long weekends and holidays to catch up if I get behind. 

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Did you have a reading goal this year? 
What are your plans for next year?
No failing again for me, Britney.

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