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.


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.


A Rhythm for an Intentional, Literate Life


Now that school has started and I am back to working five days a week, I am reminded how important it is to be intentional with the use of my time, especially if I want to maintain a literate lifestyle year round.

I made some plans before school started and have already tweaked them while only three weeks into the academic year. Why? Because weaving reading and writing into each day enhances my satisfaction and contributes to my sense of well-being.

My Rhythms

Working a five-day work week, my days fall naturally into weekday vs. weekend patterns.


Monday through Friday, I get in at least a half hour of reading time each day. In our efforts to provide a buffer for students between life outside the classroom and our time together, we start both our morning and afternoon sessions with “Reboot” time. This is 15-20 minutes when both teachers (as models) and students engage in either writing or reading. I choose to read and cherish those two little pools of peace each day.

During lunch, a half an hour at my site, I enjoy reading writing magazines at my desk while I eat. I subscribe to Writers Digest and The Writer, and also get member bulletins from both SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America).

Specialized Days of the Week

Like anyone, all my days do not look the same. Monday is blog day. After work I prepare the week’s blog post.

Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, I arrive at work early and write for a half hour each morning.

Wednesday is writing day. (The best day of the week!) I only work the morning session then, I get to spend the afternoon at home: writing, revising, preparing chapters for writers group meetings, and submitting manuscripts.


Saturday: After sleeping in, with or without an alarm clock, it depends on what the day holds, I get up, make a “poor man’s mocha” and read, first, a chapter of the Bible, then blogs and e-newsletters for a deliciously long chunk of time.

If I stay home for the day, I’ll spend some time writing or submitting manuscripts using the awesome interval method I discovered this summer. It is great for breaking things down into manageable chunks and getting multiple tasks done!

Sunday:  My husband and I go to church in the morning, so reading time doesn’t start until the afternoon. Then, I read a chapter or two of the Bible, some of the latest issue of Christianity Today or whatever book, usually a novel, I happen to be enjoying at the time.


I love to read before falling asleep, mostly novels, but occasionally nonfiction, as my reading rotation dictates.

Poetry Writing

Poetry just happens–the quality of light flickering through the trees on a sunny afternoon, a particular word encountered in reading or conversation that just sticks with me and grows, a special event, or just a quiet moment. When it happens, I grab the nearest piece of paper and a pen or pencil and jot thoughts down to later play with, mold, and form, when I have more time.

Reading and Writing Lifestyle

I treasure my opportunities to engage in a literate lifestyle. It enriches my life in so many ways–the peacefulness of quiet activity (I am an introvert to the bone!), the adventure of following different characters into different worlds and times, the stimulation of encountering the ideas of others, the sheer pleasure in a well-turned phrase… I love our big, beautiful, quirky English language, and I delight in wallowing in wonderful words.

It is important to make time for what you value. How do you fit what you value into your days?

*Background Art: Depositphotos_3968847