Celebrate This Week- January 2, 2015

02 Jan
Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

Thanks to Ruth Ayers of Discover. Play. Build. for creating this meme!

This week I’m celebrating looking at where I’ve been to see where I’m going!

Looking Back

Commitment to Literacy

My Commitment to Literacy in 2014 came in the form of volunteering with many different literary non-profits including Start Making A Reader Today (SMART), The Children’s Book Bank, Friends of the Library, and Multnomah County Library. As I’ve decided to not continue with a couple of them in 2015, it had allowed me to explore other cool volunteering opportunities focusing on Early Childhood Literacy. I’ve clocked in 160 hours of volunteering in 2014.


I continue to feel blessed that I get to be doing what I love at such a wonderful place. Being a bookseller is something I’m good at and gives me so much joy. Green Bean Books celebrated its fifth anniversary during the summer. I moderated our monthly Family Book Club and organized our Indies First event. I’m excited to see what’s ahead for me and the store in 2015


It’s been incredible to be part of so many supportive online communities- whether we’re sharing book recommendations through IMWAYR and other memes or writing about celebratory moments in our lives.

I’ve had 1498 comments over 405 posts since I started my blog in January 2012! March 29th (of 2014) saw the highest traffic on my blog with 176 views! My most commented post was my July 13, 2014 MWAYR post with 17 replies!

The Facebook page
is up to 68 likes since launching in April 2013!

I was also real thrilled to be part of CYBILS this year as a Round 1 Judge for Middle Grade Fiction.

I’m grateful for everyone who has made these things possible.

My Reading Life

I ended up reading 610 books n 2014- almost a hundred more than in 2013. Here’s the breakdown:

13 Adult Fiction
15 Adult Non-Fiction
19 Graphic Novels
82 Middle Readers
471 Picture Books*
10 Young Adult

*119 Nonfiction Picture Books

I’m extremely happy to have finished most of my reading challenges this year: E.B. White, Virginia Lee Burton, Beatrix Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, and the 5 titles in my Must Read in 2014 list.

Looking Forward

Commitment to Literacy

-Volunteer 125 hours.


-Read more of our inventory.
-Interact with authors and illustrators more- face to face or social media.

-Post one non-meme (IMWAYR, NFPB, Celebrate This Week) post every two weeks
-Comment on every person’s reply directly or on their site.
-Increase site visits and comments.
-Get Facebook page likes to 100.
-Change domain name.
-Use Goodreads more effectively.

My Reading Life
With all the books I plan on reading this year alone, I’ve decided to participate in these challenges:

-It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR

-Diversity #DiveIntoDiversity #WeReadDiverseBooks

-Non-Fiction Picture Book Challenge #NFPB2015
Goal: 104 books including MG and YA

-To Be Read #TBR2015
-Must Read in 2015 #MustReadin2015
-Check Off Your Reading List 2015 #CORL2015
Goal: 52 books

-Off the Shelf
Goal: 10 books

-Beverly Cleary
Goal: 4 titles

-National Ambassadors for Young People’s Literature
Goal: 5 titles

-Jeanette Winter
-Barbara Kerley & Edwin Fotheringham

One Little Word

My One Little Word (OLW) for 2015 is FAIL.

I’ve only wanted to succeed- and I still do- but I can’t get there when I won’t allow myself to fail.

I’m too scared to not be perfect, to not know everything, to not be liked, to not be the best, to not be able to do everything, and to waste time on something that might not work that I’ll avoid doing anything at all.

I’ve also tended to take any setbacks too personally instead of learning from them.

With my OLW, I hope to:
1. try new things even if I fail
2. be OK when I fail

New Year’s is actually a great time to FAIL. There’s too much pressure to start being better all at once. There’s the tendency to give up after one misstep.

A couple things that helped me choose my One Little Word:
1. This quote from The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho:

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

2. This YouTube video:

What’s your One Little Word? What’s your thoughts on failure? What are your resolutions?

What are you celebrating this week?


6 responses to “Celebrate This Week- January 2, 2015

  1. msyingling

    January 2, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    You are much more organized and diverse in your goals. Mine is always the same- read all middle grade fiction. Thanks for the insight into the OTHER things you do with your life!

  2. Linda Baie

    January 3, 2015 at 7:44 am

    I still love all that you do volunteering & your job in the bookstore, Earl. It sounds like a good life. I’m currently reading “The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, A History, by Lewis Buzbee. It may be a book you’d enjoy! Happy 2015 with your OLW!

  3. Leigh Anne

    January 3, 2015 at 7:45 am

    You have my dream job – a bookseller! It looks like you had a very productive and rewarding 2014 and have many things you want to accomplish in 2015. Good luck with your goals.

  4. Kendra

    January 3, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    My sis-in-law works at an indie, and while I Love being a first grade teacher, sometimes I do get jealous of the work she does. Let’s celebrate the indie bookstores! Thanks for your volunteer work, what an impact you are making! My oldest is working through the Chronicles of Narnia right now. I made a reading plan for 2015, but already today we went to the library and it changed. 🙂 I love reading about people’s OLW, I love the idea behind yours. Happy New Year!

  5. Michele

    January 3, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    That was a really great look at your year. I’m amazed at what you’ve accomplished and what you’ve taken note of.
    Your #OLW surprised me, but then after reading your thoughts really made me think about it. It puts things in perspective when you can learn from mistakes and failures. It’s what you do with them that counts.
    Happy 2015.

  6. cvarsalona

    January 4, 2015 at 5:14 am

    Earl, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I look forward to connecting with you more this year since I am new to your blog site. First of all, some of your activities resonated with me. Service is a part of your life and mine ( It is important as a means to offer ourselves to the world and not expect anything but internal joy. OLW search has brought you to failure. I write about that in a positive way as you have illustrated also. If you send me your Twitter handle, I will forward you my image that has been floated around the internet. Peace in your quest this year! (great video)


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