Sunday, December 30, 2018

Giving Grace

It is the night before New Years Eve and a time where everyone is sharing their favorite books of 2018 and completing their reading challenge on Goodreads.

But not me.

This past year, my reading life was placed on pause while I worked on my Master's degree.  I remember tweeting about my personal dilemma one day, and Donalyn Miller replied. It said something about how our reading lives ebb and flow and giving myself some grace.  She then led me to her Nerdy Book Club post about her own reading slump.

I wouldn't really call mine a slump; it was more of a guilt trip. I felt guilty reading when I knew I should have been reading or studying for a class or writing one of my many papers.

I know that my own reading life plays a large role in the reading lives of my students, and this bothered me. It is much more difficult to get excited about books and share them with my students when I was not reading. I felt like a fake reader. The door of our classroom, where I display my reading life, remained pretty bare the entire year. I would have former students come in, look at the door, and say, "Mrs. Eck, you're slipping."

And they were right.

Then I took Donalyn's words to heart, and I gave myself some grace. She reminded me that our reading lives ebb and flow, "alternating between reading binges and dry spells."

And that is OK.

So tonight, I look at that Goodreads reading challenge and remind myself of the reason for the dry spell. (Yes, I graduated on December 11th - one year, three months, and eleven days.)

And that is OK.

I spent some today cleaning, sorting, weeding, and re-shelving many boxes of books. I have a plan.  I welcome 2019 because I am ready to binge once again.

And that is OK.


  1. 38/50 books read, grad school, and teaching. You deserve a medal, my friend. Loved looking at your shelf. Librarian in Auschwitz and The 57 are both on my want to read someday lists. I highly recommend The Truth According to Mason Buttle. It's on our Mock Newbery and so is Front Desk. I have one left on our library's Mock Newbery to finish, The Book of Boy. Enjoy a bit more time to read and congrats on your master's. Way to go, girlfriend!

    1. The Truth As Told by Mason Buttle. I can never get that title right!

  2. Grad school is so hard on a reading life, and I can't imagine grad school while working too. Congrats on your Master's and I wish you much happy binge reading!

  3. Congrats on your Master's! It is such an accomplishment! I read this post a few days ago and can't stop thinking about it! You captured the feeling in words that I was having all year! Happy Reading!

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