My kids will be heading back to school this Tuesday, so in preparation I had to have The Talk with them. No, not that talk. I'm referring to the talk I give them every year about Accelerated Reader.
The local schools makes a big deal about earning AR points, and it turned my kids off reading at one point. C2, my reluctant reader, couldn't read fast enough to meet her AR goal and kept getting left out of AR parties. My other two middle schoolers are such fast readers that they run through all the books of interest at the school library quickly. I anticipate that C1 and DJ will finish all the AR books on their level before they finish 7th grade, leaving them with no AR points to earn in 8th grade. In addition, all three of them are frustrated about not being able to use their reading time to read non-AR books that they like, such as graphic novels.
Once I realized that AR points weren't something they were graded on, I starting giving all the kids The Talk. Basically, I tell them that as long as they read something for 30 minutes each night and can tell me about it, then it doesn't have to be an AR book. I let them know that I am prepared to talk to any of their teachers if this becomes a problem with them. I want them to understand that enjoyment in reading is the reward, not any party or prize the teacher gives you.
TBR List: As of today, my TBR list has 101 titles. I added one book (Extreme Barbecue: Smokin' Rigs and 100 Real-Good Recipes) and removed three books. Out of those three books, two I read and one I abandoned. On my bedside now, I have two books that are on my list and five that aren't. So, if I exercise restraint in adding books, I should be down to 99 books by next week.
Do you ever remove books from your TBR list without reading them? I have a couple books on my list that I thought I wanted to read when I added them to the list a year ago, but they sound totally unappealing now. For instance, I have Between the Bridge and the River at the top of my list and I've been skipping over it for months. I added it to the list when I was going through a Craig Ferguson phase and watching his talk show every night. Now that I've reread the synopsis, I realize that the book doesn't appeal to me. It feels like cheating to just take it off the list, though. I guess I will let it sit there until there is nothing else left!