129. Reading on Waterside Inn’s Balcony


I’m on a Personal Reading Retreat!

When I found out I get to be a Cybils judge this year for Young Adult Speculative Fiction, I was daunted by all the reading I’m going to need to do.  When I talked with my coworkers about it, it occurred to me that I should just get *away* and read.

So — I booked two nights at Waterside Inn in Chincoteague!  And I took Monday off work.  It did take me 4 hours to get here, but I listened to an audiobook on the way.

But now the plan is to read and read and read.

I got here just in time to see the sun going down from the balcony.  There’s a view of the bay, and it’s going to be a perfect place to read!

I’m going to try to finish my first book tonight.

But what a lovely place to do it!

128. Reading on my Balcony

Okay, I’m blessed because I get to read!  I’m going to be repeating that for a bit.

I did notice that now I really <em>need</em> to read — the danger is that it becomes a chore and I start getting stressed out about getting it done.

So this weekend I reminded myself that I so love doing this!

And I finished a 600-page book and read most of that book out on my balcony on a glorious weekend.

This is the life!  I am blessed.

127. My Own Personal 48-Hour Book Challenge

This weekend started for me last Thursday.  I had two days off, then worked a day, then had two days off.  (This was because I worked 6 days in a row the previous week.)  So — I scheduled my own personal 48-Hour Book Challenge.  I managed to read and blog for 31 hours and 40 minutes out of the 48!  And it was just a lovely thing to do!

I got a great head start on Cybils judging.  And I had a lovely time.

124. A Cybils Judge!

Hooray!  I’m a first round judge for the Cybil Awards in the category of Young Adult Speculative Fiction!

I’ve been a Cybils judge four times before, but this is the first time for this category.  I’ve done Middle Grade Speculative Fiction and Fiction Picture Books.  This will be a LOT of reading!

The cool thing about that:  For three months, I need to feel guilty when I’m not reading instead of the other way around!

Another cool thing:  This is going to be much easier since I’m single and have an Empty Nest.  So it’s a *good* thing about those two things!  Yay!

90. Story Time at Old Town Square

The first two weeks we tried, the weather didn’t cooperate, but on Tuesday this week the weather was lovely and we had a huge crowd of parents, grandparents, and kids at Old Town Square in Fairfax for Storytime.

I haven’t done a storytime in more than a month.  This is going to change in coming weeks, since one of my staff just retired.  But having a little time off from it reminds me just how much fun it is to read books to small children.

And I get to do this on my job!


82. Seussathon!

Today’s Dr. Seuss’s Birthday!  I’m proud of our annual Seussathon at the City of Fairfax Regional Library.  And I just love carrying it out!

The idea was mine — spend the whole day reading Dr. Seuss books in the children’s area — and ask customers and staff members to sign up to do so.

Then my co-worker added to the idea by putting on Seussian activities in the meeting room in the afternoon — including Hopping on “Pop” — bubble wrap — and playing with Oobleck (cornstarch solution) and making Daisyhead Maisie headbands and things like that.  She also ordered Seuss bookmarks and temporary tattoos and bags, as well as Cat in the Hat hats for readers and Thing One and Thing Two headbands for kids.

One of the fun things is how great the readers are!  We had kids participating, staff members and patrons — all of whom were wonderful readers.

I personally took a turn when I noticed we didn’t have anyone available.  Let’s see, today I read <em>Fox in Socks</em>, <em>The Sneetches and Other Stories</em>, <em>Horton Hatches the Egg</em>, <em>The Foot Book</em>, <em>The Butter Battle Book</em>, <em>One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish</em>, <em>Green Eggs and Ham</em>, and <em>The Cat in the Hat</em>.  (And I didn’t think I’d been out there very much!)

Oh, and some of the children I got to read to were completely adorable!  They weren’t necessarily the usual story time crowd.  And unfailingly a joy to read to.

And don’t tell, but before the library opened, I sang a few songs from <em>The Cat in the Hat Songbook</em>.

It’s the sort of day that, looking back, definitely makes me smile.

I do have the best job.

80. What’s New in Children’s Books?

This afternoon I gave a talk at the library for a group of teachers on “What’s New in Children’s Books?”  It was so much fun to have an interested audience!  I went over the latest award winners and told about some new books I’m excited about and let them take Advance Reader Copies away with them.

It feels so good to share something I’m passionate and knowledgeable about with a group of interested people!

67. ALA Midwinter Meeting

Last weekend I got to go to ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston!e

The first $500 toward the cost was paid by a scholarship from the Friends of George Mason Regional Library for staff to go to training.  I’m very grateful!

At the conference I learned lots of things, met fascinating authors, got to attend the Youth Media Awards, and sent home 101 books!

I was so blessed to be able to go!