I've got a confession to make: I'm not doing such a great job as a reader right now.
I suppose, in some ways, I have an advantage over other folks stuck in reading ruts because I know the probable cause of mine. I happily spent all of last year reading a ton, in a specialized and critical manner. And I know that I should give myself permission to take a break from reading for a while now that that intense reading year is over.
But the thing is, I don't want to take a break from reading. I love books. I just can't seem to get into them right now, and that's really disappointing for me.
I love reading a great book. I love getting to know the characters, inhabiting the world of the book. I love the surprises, the twists and turns of an excellent plot. I love great language, the conversation between characters. I love reading.
I just can't seem to find the right book for me right now.
Which has given me opportunity to think a bit about the readers' advisory aspects of youth librarianship. Namely, do we give kids space to be struggling as readers? Do we recognize, in the way we do our jobs, that a reading life is fluid? That it's not all the same all the time, with readers and reluctant readers statically on two ends of a spectrum?
Because what my personal reading rut is affirming for me is that if there is a reading spectrum, it's spherical and we each individually move across and around it all the time. Sometimes our preferred genres may very; sometimes we may only want to reread favorites; sometimes we voraciously read anything we can get our hands on; and sometimes we just might not be able to get into anything at all. It's all normal. The reading life is a fluid one.
So while I try to claw my way out of my own reading rut, I'm going to slow down in my readers' advisory interactions with kids to make sure I'm listening to what's happening in their reading lives, and to do everything I can to help them find the right book right when they need it.