Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Books of Summer

As a librarian, I am required to join a summer reading program. Like, not officially, as if the library police are going to come after me if I don't join one. And I'm not technically a practicing librarian right now, since I don't have a job (although I think I may be more of a practicing librarian than I am a practicing Jew). But how can anyone not join their local library's summer reading program? They give you free stuff! For reading! Romy has already received a free meal at her favorite fancy restaurant, The Rainforest Cafe. It's easy to have her succeed in the kids' program, which is measured in minutes, since I read to her every night for a half hour plus she reads in the car and at other random times (Let us not pretend that she doesn't also watch way too many episodes of Imagination Movers). For me, though, I always struggle to complete the program. I wish we adults could measure our accomplishments in minutes instead of pages, too. Our program (every library does it their own way) is that every time you read five books, your name is entered into some big raffle. I may check out five books at a time, but damn if I even manage to finish one of them. If only the summer reading program had started when I was tearing through The Walking Dead collections-- that would have been fifteen books! I don't know why I take it seriously enough that I won't fudge when I read the books in order to enter the titles into the program. I think I'm afraid they are going to see when I checked those books out and when I returned them, note that it wasn't during the summer reading program, and call my bluff. So here will be my final five (sadly, that's all I'll manage, and I will be stretching the truth about finishing all five of them as it is):

1. Walking Dead Volume 15 (I did read this one during the summer!)
2. Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way by Mayim Bialik (I had to inter-library loan this one, but then I won a copy from kveller.com!)
3. Tough Shi*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good by Kevin Smith (What is it about celebrity books that they need to have annoyingly long, explanatory titles? I may talk more about this book in another post.)
4. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris (I thought I'd try these for light fare, and also to see if Godric is in the books, but the first book starts exactly like the first episode of the series. Are all the books exactly the same as the show? Because I don't want to repeat myself.)
5. Um, I totally can't remember the other title on my list. I have until the 28th of July to turn in my list in exchange for (the possibility of) fabulous gifts and prizes.

My reading habits as an adult are exactly the same as when I was a kid: I love to read, but I have to be able to do it in my own time. It's a rough position to be in as a parent, librarian, educator, and author. How can I justify trying to convince kids to read when I can barely do it myself? Or perhaps all of the kids I've charmed into reading books (and, proudly, I can say in ten years as a librarian there have been a lot of them) are making up for my lack of reading prowess. If only I could add all of those titles to my summer reading list! Think of all of those raffle entries... The restaurant gift certificates would be mine. Oh yes, they would be mine.


Betsy said...

I am a bad librarian as I am not signed up for any summer reading program, but since I read all the time anyway I think I'm ok.

Our adult program is pretty simple. You read a book that fits into one of our 8 categories (basically any book can fit into any category...we are easy) and then you get a raffle ticket for one of our 8 prize baskets. I can't imagine if we told people they had to read FIVE books before they got a raffle ticket. We'd have a revolt on our hands. We much try to make each program as easy as possible so people don't get discouraged and so it doesn't feel like work.

I started giving teens a prize for every book they read this summer and my sign up and participation in the program has doubled. I don't know if it's related to the prizes, but I like to think it encourages them. I've also had teen book reviews coming in like mad because they get an extra raffle ticket for every one they fill out. And they are really taking time with them. It's been a pretty sweet summer here.

Harmony said...

True Blood doesn't follow the other books in the series as closely. Alan Ball does take a few story lines from the books (though there are significant changes made within the story line), but he adds lots of his own stories. I, personally, like the books better than the show. The show is a bit too scattered and I wish it focused more on Sookie. However, all that being said, the Sookie Stackhouse books are my guilty read and a bit like cheesepuffs in book form.

How did you like Beyond the Sling? I have been raising my kids by attachment parenting (now it's a bit different because they are 12 and 7), and I'm curious how the book stacks up.

Julie H said...

Betsy, Can you enter the contest at your own library? I like the sound of yours. I would have way more of a chance of winning something. Harmony (real or Buffy name? Awesome either way!), thank you for the Sookie info. Does Godric appear in the books? I love his character. Beyond the Sling is good. It is just sort of reaffirming that I also raise my child by attachment parenting and just never labeled it as such. It feels good to read about it from such an intelligent perspective. You can hear her voice as you read it.

Teenage Librarian said...

I'm not allowed to enter the summer reading program at the county library system that I work for and since I live in the county I work in. It kind of sucks. There are also some city library systems that within my county but I've either worked or have family members who work there so I can't enter either. It makes me sad. But I totally get what you mean about not fudging the rules.

For the record, I loved Beyond the Sling and I'm not a parent nor planning on being on anytime soon. I'm not even crunchy! But it really opened my eyes to how I will probably want to parent my future children. Plus I just love Mayim.