Celebrate This Week- January 1, 2016

01 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!

First of all, Happy New Year!

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

Commitment to Literacy

My Commitment to Literacy in 2015 came in the form of my continued volunteering with many different literary non-profits including The Children’s Book Bank, Friends of the Library, and Multnomah County Library.

At the beginning of the year, my goal was 125 hours but I ended up cutting it down to 100 hours since I took a break to recharge. I’ve clocked in 109 hours of volunteering in 2015.

I completed a three-year term with the Friends of the Multnomah County Library. It was a lot of hard work but it was for a good cause and I truly felt appreciated. I continue to support them.

I also held an LGBT Book Drive collecting 47 books for Basic Rights Oregon. I loved the experience of having friends, strangers, writers, and librarians come together because they all believed in the power of books to change lives!



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.

I continued moderating our monthly Family Book Club and organized the author line-up for a kids book and music festival even appearing on TV to promote it. And I helped organize a holiday book drive which was rewarding to see people respond so positively to it.

I also lead a Junior Booksellers Boot Camp which was a real learning experience for me since I was doing it from scratch. But I would completely do it again!

I went to the Children’s Institute and was even quoted in Publisher’s Weekly:

For first-time attendee Earl Dizon, of Green Bean Books in Portland, Ore., McLean’s was one of the standout sessions. “The rousing featured talk on the U.S. children’s book market reminded us—or reassured—that what we’re doing is not a dying profession, that children’s bookselling is very much alive, and thriving,” he said.

I also did my first School Book Talk.

But, to cap off a wonderful year, I was honored to be one of James Patterson’s holiday bonus to booksellers!


Oh, and I also got to dress up as the Very Hungry Caterpillar!



I was able to change my domain name from a rather long complicated one to just my name. I also tweaked the name of the blog (and its Facebook page) name.

I started using Goodreads again to keep track of things.

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.

The Facebook page has over 100 likes now since launching in April 2013!

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

My Reading Life

I ended up reading 610 books n 2015- which is oddly the same number as last year. Here’s the breakdown:

21 Adult Fiction
16 Adult Non-Fiction
27 Graphic Novels
80 Middle Readers
440 Picture Books
26 Young Adult

130 Nonfiction Picture Books
52 We Need Diverse Books
55 My Most Favorite Favorites

I’m extremely happy to have finished my reading challenges this year.


I actually have a rough draft of a picture book I’m excited to share and get feedback on so I can send it out. On those one-on-one instances when I shared my work, it was quite touching to see their reactions. I even read my work out loud to a group of about a dozen people (my first critique group) and it just made me excited to do readings once it’s published!

What are you celebrating this week?


9 responses to “Celebrate This Week- January 1, 2016

  1. Jen Vincent (@mentortexts)

    January 2, 2016 at 6:05 am

    You accomplished a lot in 2015!!! That’s awesome! Are you part of SCBWI? I joined in 2013 and have attended a few of their events, it’s so nice to be in a room of writers who are in a similar space. I’m glad you are part of IMWAYR. You’re always such a friendly face. For a long time, I’ve wanted to spend more time commenting on others’ blogs. You are such a good example of this! Thank you for always stopping in and sharing your story with me!

  2. Leigh Anne

    January 2, 2016 at 6:09 am

    What a great literacy year for you! I admire what all you do for literacy, especially dressing up like the hungry caterpillar! What fun! Here’s to another great year ahead!

  3. Linda Baie

    January 2, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Someday I hope to come to visit the bookstore and meet you, Earl. What a blessing you’ve been to so, so many people in the book world this year. I’m happy about your picture book writing, too. Best wishes for a happy new year in all the parts of your life!

  4. carriegelson

    January 2, 2016 at 10:13 am

    Oh my goodness! So much here. I must say I am completely enchanted by the fact that you dressed up as the hungry caterpillar.

  5. hollymueller

    January 2, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Wow! What a wonderful year – and 610 books?! Amazing! Thanks for posting a picture of your LGBT titles. I’m going to share them with a friend who started an LGBT club at her high school recently.

  6. Haddon Musings

    January 2, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Earl, What an amazing and super busy year. If anyone deserves that award it is you.

  7. Andrea Payan (@payanar)

    January 2, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Wow! you accomplished so many things in 2015! Congratulations on having your draft ready for sharing. That is an amazing start.

  8. Kendra Limback

    January 2, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Much to celebrate in 2015! Thanks for sharing all you are doing. Please keep us posted on your children’s book and the progress there. I adore the picture of the Hungry Caterpillar. 🙂

  9. Terje

    January 3, 2016 at 9:22 am

    You live a literacy rich life. I am sure the new year will bring new adventures. Happy reading and writing!


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