This week I’m celebrating a couple of posts I’d been meaning to write- my Reading Resolutions Spring Update and my Children’s Institute Wrap-Up.
First up, it’s the my Reading Resolutions Spring Update.
My Reading Snapshot
176 Books Read (So Far) in 2017
11 Adult Fiction
2 Adult Non-Fiction
22 Graphic Novels
14 Middle Readers
126 Picture Books
1 Young Adult
Even though my Must Read in 2017 list is still an ever-changing monster, I would say I’ve completed about a quarter of it so I’m not worried.
I’ve read about 39 Nonfiction Picture Books already. My goal is 104. Three titles that have stood out were:
–Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing by Kay Haring
–Grand Canyon by Jason Chin
–John Ronald’s Dragons: The Story of J. R. R. Tolkien by Caroline McAlister
Some reading and literary events I attended as well as what I did for my Commitment to Literacy:
-I visited the new location for Microcosm Publishing. I didn’t even realize they had moved. I was just walking around before my volunteer shift at the library and all of a sudden I saw it!
-I continue to volunteer with the Multnomah County Library helping out with their Every Child initiative.
-I was able to volunteer again with The Children’s Book Bank in a couple new ways. First, Portland has the first ever non-profit brew pub. They choose six different nonprofits twice a year and the CBB was one of them. I was a server for a few four-hour shifts bringing people’s food to them and talking about the CBB to let them know more about where some of their money was going to. Then, on Dr. Seuss’s birthday, the CBB held an open house at their beautiful spacious new location. I was there as a greeter. It was a very positive uplifting night seeing familiar and new faces, all with a love of reading and wanting to give the gift of literacy to everyone.
-Earlier this week, I also got to volunteer again at Write Around Portland. They go to different facilities where the participants end up writing stories and poems which then get printed. (I was part of a Selection Committee to help choose which of their works get published.) There’s also a reading where the writers read their pieces in front of an audience cheering them on. Seeing them sharing their stories is powerful and moving.
Second, I attended the American Booksellers Association Children’s Institute last week. A lot has been going on since then and there was a lot to process so I wanted time to kind of reflect on it. But no matter how long I wait to write about it, it remains a highlight.
This year, it was held in Portland, Oregon. Green Bean Books was part of a couple of bookstore tours. It was kind of nerve-wracking to think what other booksellers might think of the store but, fortunately, everyone seemed to love it! I felt like a proud father every time someone walked up to me and raved about it because my boss truly created something magical and I’m glad people realized that!
It was two days of educational sessions and learning about upcoming great titles we’re looking forward to selling. Some memorable speakers included Jason Reynolds whose ode to Queen Latifah was pure genius; Marley Dias, wise beyond her tween-age years, who launched #1000blackgirlbooks; and Erin and Philip Stead who shared details about their upcoming work Mark Twain’s The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine. I was a huge fan of their work but I developed a greater sense of appreciation for them.
And, people may not know this little known fact but book people know how to throw a party. Here I am at a Scholastic party with Dog Man and Captain Underpants!
I would say the opportunity to be around other booksellers and book industry people and just book lovers in general was the ultimate highlight for me.
What are you celebrating this week?