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2014 Reading ChallengeI am humming along on my 2014 reading challenge! I got through just three books this month, which might seem odd given that I spent half the month on holiday for March break. But the Beloved was not similarly vacationing, and I felt weird just lounging around while he was working. So I went on my annual spring cleaning kick and endeavored to occupy my time productively.

The books I did read were good ones though, and I met my goals in a few key areas. Here was how my month stacked up:

Goal 1: Read 100 books

Not even close. Goodreads is telling me I am about ten books behind right now. I can still catch up, and I plan to!

Goal 2: Do a thematic reading project

Check! One of my three reads was the amazing What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank by Nathan Englander, a collection of Jewish-themed short stories. Some were better than others, but when they were good, they were GOOD! The Jewish-themed books I have read this year have been universally excellent; having a special goal like this has inspired me to choose some quality stuff, and I will definitely pick a special theme again next year.

Goal 3: Read a book of daily essays

I got all caught up on The Book of Jewish Values, and am vowing not to fall behind again. This is a goal I am not sure I will renew next year; it has added some pressure and anxiety to my daily reading, as I feel guilty when I can’t keep up, and I have evolved past the self-help book phase anyway.

Goal 4: Read more French

Again, I failed at this. I did read some, but sporadically and without a lot of focus. I still find reading in French much harder than writing and speaking in it; I think I need to adjust this goal and focus on some literacy skills building for the rest of the year, rather than on reading proper books. I still am working on just how this skills-building will work; so far, I have bookmarked a website which presents a verb a day, and am reviewing those. I also might take advantage of my school’s Reading A-Z.com membership and avail myself of some of their leveled readers, which come in three languages.

Goal 5: Spend less money

I get a qualified pass on this. I still have not shelled out cashola for reading materials this year. But as part of my spring cleaning, I did offer some DVDs as ‘free, for the cost of postage’ on my workout video group. A few of the takers paid me in Kindle gift cards, and I used them to get the Kindle editions of two paperbacks which had just been reissued for $2.99 each.

Goals for April? It’s simple. Keep going with the stuff that’s going well, and work some more French into my reading routine. Happy April!

 
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