I love to read, though I am picky about what I read. Generally, I will read several YA titles that appeal to me and then read an adult book to keep up with what my adult friends recommend. I like fiction, and only read a non-fiction title if the subject is one of my passions. Sometimes I need to read a book because a student has begged me to or because someone objects to a book's content and I need to see if I agree (usually I don't) or because the author is going to visit my school.
I have always thought that I was capable of writing book reviews for the journals for librarians. I am reading all the time, and I have been writing reviews on this blog for years. I would see the call for reviewers in School Library Journal (SLJ) but never respond. I was gun shy and didn't know if I could live up to their standards. After winning the Gale TEAMS Award in October, I was asked by Library Media Connection (LMC) if I would review for their magazine. Then I got a call from SLJ and asked if I would review for them too. The nice part about writing reviews is receiving new books for the library. The bad part is that I have to read books that I have not selected. SLJ wants reviewers to read a book a month, and LMC wants reviewers to read two books a month.
I received my first box from LMC the other day. There were four books to review, two for January and two for February. Uh oh, now I have to read books that I might not like, or even books that are so poorly written that they might be really awful. Now what am I going to do?. No more 50 page rule for me. You know the rule where you read 50 pages to decide if you like a book, if you get to page 50 and still hate the book then you stop reading. Relief. I hate reading a book that I don't like. It brings back memories of all the boring textbooks that I had to read in school. Yes, textbooks are extremely boring.Where were all the beautifully photographed non-fiction available today when I was in school?
Reading to review is going to put a big crimp in my ability for choice. I wonder how I will fit in the title that my adult book group selects every month. This is not a permanent job, so I will see how it goes. If I have no time to read what I want, then I will have to pull back and ask to review less books. I am willing to try it, and I am hoping to find some real gems in the boxes that I open every month.