Reading resolutions for 2011

By Kristen Tribe | Published Thursday, January 6, 2011

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In the inevitable lull after the hustle and bustle of Christmas, my mind always turns to the new year – habits I want to kick, habits I want to create.

Tribe_Kristen.jpgI take time to refocus with a clarity often absent in the chaos of day-to-day life.

You know the routine.

And even though I don’t regularly write down my goals, I’ve found myself making a list this year and have included several reading resolutions.

1. Read a classic. The last one I read was a re-read: “Little Women” by Louisa Mae Alcott, and that was a little more than a year ago. If I wasn’t suffering from literary guilt, I would happily re-read “To Kill A Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee, but I should probably expand my horizons and read something “new.” Since I usually prefer American fiction, I’ll likely choose something by William Faulkner or Eudora Welty.

I took a literature class my senior year of college that focused on the works of Faulkner and Welty, and although I hate to admit it, I did more skimming than reading. Time was short.

But I promised myself I would pick the books up again one day. This is the year.

2. Re-dedicate myself to book club. I’m not sure how I got so out of sync with my book club, but I didn’t make it to many meetings in 2010. It’s one of my favorite “extra-curricular” activities, so I hated missing so many discussions and good times with friends.

By the time you read this column, I will have finished the selection for January 2011. So good news: I’m already ahead of the game.

3. Read ahead of my kids. I miss the days of picture books and stories told in rhyme. It seems like after my son learned to read, it was no time before he had advanced from simple readers to chapter books.

While it delights me to see him enjoying books, I was slapped by the realization that I have no idea what he is reading most of the time. I’ve read the back covers of books he brings home from the school library, but we would both be better served if I had at least skimmed his selections.

I haven’t found much he can’t read, and just because he can, doesn’t mean he should. Not all topics are appropriate for a seven-year-old.

So here’s to parental supervision!

4. Cover more school-sponsored reading activities. I know every campus in Wise County has them. From Battle of the Books to a million-word reading challenge, local schools do a variety of activities to promote reading, and I want to cover more of those for the paper.

This is where I may need your help, though. Shoot me an e-mail or give me a call to let me know when something is going on at your child’s school. I may even want you to submit photos on occasion. This one will require a little teamwork, but I know I can count on you to lend a hand.

5. And blog again. I’m actually cringing as I write this. Blogging has been a sore subject, mainly because I haven’t been doing it. I know you’re tired of my empty promises, but with the new year will be a recharged Shelf Space.

Feel free to encourage me with comments, criticisms and a kick in the pants if you see I’m slacking.

Happy New Year, and may 2011 bring you many blessings Tribe_Kristen.jpgand books.

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