I read all the time, but I rarely finish a book. A month ago, I had a stack of unfinished books at least eight inches high by my bed, another unfinished book in my school bag, a few by my desk at school, and too many to count in my Kindle. Last November or December I started to see references to reading challenges on Pinterest and decided that I could tackle one as part of a New Year’s Resolution that would be good for me and good for my blog. In addition to following the guidelines set forth on the 26-book challenge I chose, I would write about the books, applying the lessons learned from the books to the classroom.
While reading a magazine in December, I saw a reference to Marie Kondo’s system of organizing your closet by keeping only the clothes that bring you joy. I’d seen Kondo’s approach in magazines and on tv, but never really understood how it could be so effective. I went to Amazon, ordered The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and planned for that to be my first book of the challenge. It has a bluish cover, so I’m counting it for my “book with a blue cover.”
I started the book on January 1st and on January 9th I cleaned out my closet. Two weeks later, I tackled my books—that’s why I can’t give an exact measurement for the stack of books by my bed: it’s gone! Both tidying sessions were hard, but strangely liberating. Although I finished the book quickly, the process is going to take a while—Kondo calls it a marathon. I’m still in the Komono stage and am working on cleaning out the papers in my life. Teachers have a lot of papers. To keep me going, I’ve purchased and am currently reading her follow-up book, Spark Joy, as my “book that was published this year.”
Between these two, I read my second book—“a book I loved before”—The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo. I thought I was going to teach a critical thinking elective at school this semester. A friend had suggested the title as a good assignment for the class and I wanted to be prepared. Although the class didn’t make, I think it was a definitely a good omen to rediscover the book.
Now it’s February, and although I’m doing the reading, I haven’t been doing the writing. As the boy understands in The Alchemist: “making a decision [is] only the start of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.” I hope you’ll swim along with me as I continue to read and write my way through these 26 books. Can’t wait to see where we end up!