New Reading Rotation

A Reading Rotation

As happens periodically, usually at least once per year, I get tired of my established reading rotation, and I revise it.

(So, why bother? Because I have found in the past that without some form of genre rotation, I get stuck in a rut reading the same kind of book over and over again, despite my wider range of interests. So, when I get tired of one rotation, I find it worth my while to reinvent the “beast”.)

This time, I felt like I was not getting to spend enough time in the genres I either write or love to read. So I revised.

Here is the New Rotation

How Does it Work?

The basic rotation is the column on the left and the top chunk in the middle. I read through this from the top down through the two columns and mark with the month and year each listing read.

Nightstand Book: If a book I’ve read in the rotation is a series, the rest of the series goes on my nightstand to pick from so I do not have to wait for a full rotation to read the next book in the series.

Other Fiction: This is a list of other fiction genres/categories (ex. Goudge is author Elizabeth Goudge, a long-time favorite. I just keep rotating through rereading her books.)

Mystery Rotation: This category allows me to rotate through my favorite mystery authors so I don’t have to wait for them to get their turn in the alphabetical rotation. (I have a lot of books in my favorite genres.) You will find the list of authors to rotate through in the right column.

Non-fiction: I both enjoy and need to read nonfiction (to expand my horizons, build my writing craft, and support the world-building for my fantasy writing). So, this is the list of non-fiction works I rotate through.

Byzantine

I know it looks rather crazy and complex, but it works for me. What really matters is not that I rotate through the genres but how much I read different types of books. This newest helps me read my favorite genres, while sticking to a desire to read other types of works as well.

Your Turn

How do you organize your reading time, or–not? What do you feel are the benefits of your method or non-method for organizing your life? I’d love to know! Just use the comment space below.

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School Starts Tomorrow: List Your Way to a Happy New Year!

School houseSchool starts tomorrow here in Salem, Oregon, at least for the staff. Most kids don’t actually come back until Wednesday. And for me–first as a student, then as a parent, and now as an educator–the start of school has always been the start of a new year.

I stand on the cusp of the new school year a little sad; summer is truly over, and it rains a lot in Salem during the fall, winter, and spring.

However, I also stand hopeful and a little excited. The commencement of the school year shakes up my routines, creating room for me to reflect on what is working and what is not, and what I need, long for, and aspire to.

My objective this school year is to live a well-rounded life. Balance has been my buzzword for so long, however I think in focusing on balancing my responsibilities to God, family, work, and self, I am missing what I really long for and what I need. This year, I want to live my life fully around the whole calendar, not constantly postponing what matters or what is needed until weekends or the holidays.

How do I propose to do this? Lists!

I know, your first thought is, “Crazy you! Aren’t lists the things that exhaust you and make you feel like a failure in the first place?”

Well, yes, but these lists are different. One set of lists are sane routines tailored to the demands of each day of the week. They cover the basics–like housework and exercise. However, the newest list is my “happy secret.” It is a reminder of what I love, what makes me feel content, creative, productive, alive–things like drawing, reading widely, learning something new, hand sewing, or crafting for people I love.

So with my little 3 x 5 cards of routines and my enrichment list of activities that I will no longer put off, I enter this new year ready to fully live my life day-to-day, month-to-month, throughout the year.

Lg Happy New Year!