Capitol Choices and Reading Plans

I had such a wonderful time at the 2012 Morris Seminar, learning how to participate in Book Evaluation Committees, I’ve decided to finally join Capitol Choices.

Capitol Choices is a Washington, DC, area group that makes lists every year of Noteworthy Titles for Children and Teens. I decided to join the Ten to Fourteen Reading Group.

I think this is a nice transition position to being on an award committee some day. It’s a voluntary group, and I don’t feel obligated to read every single book being considered (though I will definitely try). I’m planning to read more new books in that age group than anything else, but I’m not going to read exclusively from this group.

And that brings me back to my Crazy Reading Plan which I posted in January. It’s March 3rd. How am I doing?

Well, I find I love the plan and the variety it brings to my reading. The one thing I don’t like is how long it takes me to go through one cycle. Here’s what I’ve read so far:

Rereads: 3 books
Books I Own: 3 books
New Library Books: 3 books
Award Winners: 2 books (a Cybils Finalist & a Printz Honor book)
Prepub ARCs: 2 books
Older Library Books: 2 books
Capitol Choices Considerations: 1 book
Exceptions (read to finish Heavy Medal reading list): 2 books
Nonfiction finished (I usually read these a chapter at a time): 5 books
Short Chapter Books read between other books in the cycle: 3 books
Children’s Nonfiction: 2 books
Audiobooks: 3 books

Put that way, it adds up to 31 books, which is not bad at all for March 3rd. The part I don’t like is that I’ve only gotten through two complete cycles of my Plan.

But I am enjoying it. I love that I’m getting around to rereading favorites (so far, all three books were ones I loved and reread before reading a newly published sequel). I love that I’m slowly getting award winners, which I’d been meaning to read, read. I love that I’m reading books I own. I love that I’m getting a few ARCs read before they’re published.

In fact, I’ve decided to make the cycle even slower. First, I’ve decided, for awhile anyway, to alternate between books on my plan and books for Capitol Choices, either already on the In Progress List or that I think might be good candidates. That will be my way of compromising between reading more of these books than anything else, but still getting to read adult books.

But the other, very silly thing I’m doing is adding Awards to my Award Winners Workbook. When I started my plan, I had lists from six different awards of books I haven’t read that have been honored by those awards. Confession: I had lots of fun making those lists. When I hear about another award for middle grade or YA books, I find myself making another list.

So far I’ve added:
SLJsBoB books I haven’t read yet, from the present or past (18 books).
Andre Norton Award Winners and Finalists (27 books).
Edgar Award Winners and Finalists for Children’s and Young Adult Books (336 books).
LA Times Book Prize Winners and Finalists for Young Adult Literature (19 books).
I’m currently in the process of adding:
Past Capitol Choices List books for ages ten to fourteen and fourteen and up (hundreds of books).
Josette Frank Award Winners (74 books).

As you can see, this is getting completely ridiculous! I will be very lucky if I get ONE book read from each award list before the year ends, let alone all the books honored this year. My one hope is that by reading for Capitol Choices, I’ll read most of next year’s award winners before they win, thus meaning my lists won’t grow faster than they get depleted.

And there’s something about putting a book on a list that comforts me in the belief that I WILL read it some day. So many books, so little time is the story of my life. This way I can operate in the belief that I’ll get to the truly good books some time or other!

And of course the overarching principle is that I love rules and I love reading and I love variety — and I think this Plan is FUN! So onward I go!

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