Saturday, September 7, 2013

A Blended Summer Reading Experience

As the last school year concluded, as usual, I selected many of the high interest young adult novels in our collection to read over the summer break. There would finally be time to relax, read, and emerge myself into the plots and characters of the novels on our library shelves.  The routine was quickly established with a walk to begin the day, some gardening until the heat drove me inside, chores around the house, and sneaking in time for reading whenever possible.  It was early in the summer that I realized my reading goals would never be accomplished with the many summer projects lurking around the house.

My strategy changed quickly with thoughts of the our digital eBook collection that I had purchased specifically for our students' summer reading incentive. In May I had encouraged our students to read and listen to the collection over the summer.  With the strategy change my day still began with a walk but I took my iPhone and listened to many audio eBooks from our collection.    I also listened to books while gardening and completing chores around the house by putting my iPhone in a fanny pack. My favorite way to listen was on the car radio through bluetooth while driving. In years past I would listen to the play-a-ways in the car through a USB cord but the process of Catalist Digital has made the process so much easier.

When traveling, I preferred to take my iPad and read the digital eBooks.  We were gone for 10 days and instead of dragging multiple books around on flights and into hotel rooms, I was able to read a few eBooks through one device.  I even read the eBooks on the cruise to Alaska but downloaded titles before we set sail.  We were unsure of the Internet connection and by downloading the eBooks I was able to read without being connected.

Finally, my summer reading included relaxing each evening with a regular hardback book in bed while at home.   I always had two on the night stand ready for a moment when I could stop and read.

Incredibly by blending reading and listening to high interest young adult novels it allowed me to become familiar with more books then I expected this past summer.  Now I'm ready for booktalks, book recommendations, and book club selections for my faculty and students in the new school year. I plan to continue this practice with the purchase of more digital and audio eBooks this past week. 

My #summerreading Reading Log

Hardback books:
Bewitching by Alex Flinn
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Insignia by S.J. Kincaid
Legend by Marie Lu

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielse

Audio eBooks:
Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt
Chomp by Carl Hiaasen
Countdown by Deborah Wiles
A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Messenger by Lois Lowry
My Brother Sam Is Dead by James Lincoln Collier

Update on our #summerreading Incentive

The overall response on The Big Summer Read at Pike was amazing.  We had 184 book entries that our students and faculty read over the summer entered into the Google form.  We are now in the process of smoothly transitioning into our 25 Book Challenge for the school year.


  1. Very nice... Indeed to do this. I admit, Im biased (hard copy!) but this made me realize I need to open up more! Thanks ;)

  2. Time is my issue. I need to be able to recommend as many books as possible. Being in high school most of my career left a huge middle school literate gap. I'm playing catch-up.


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