Don't we all need to feel like we are a winner from time to time? Somehow it just gives us a brighter outlook on life for a while.
Those of you who know me recognize that I'm a book lover - well, I am a hoarder of books, really. I don't mind admitting that. Someday when I'm dead and gone my children can give all my books to some school or prison or even just recycle them if they choose. But, I do love books. I have since I was a small child. My mother tells of me being sent to bed even before I was of school age and she allowed me to keep my light on and read my books. Well, that hasn't changed. I still love them and like to take one to bed which encourages me to relax, leave the thoughts of my day behind, and lose myself in some other place which unfolds as my eyes drift across the pages. So, after many friends recommended that I check out a website called http://www.goodreads.com/, I took some time and really perused the site and began to use it to my benefit - and to the sharing benefit of others, I hope.
One of the features of goodreads.com is that there are giveaways. In these giveaway opportunities, the user can sift through the choices and only register for the ones of which one really has an interest. So, I don't even have to register for something I care nothing about further pursuing. I registered for several of the giveaways. Some of them were books I thought might be good additions to my classroom library and some of them were things I thought I'd like to dig into for simple pleasure reading this summer. Well, in a matter of days, I got an email notification that I am already a winner! How wonderful is that?
The subject of the email says, "Congrats - you are a First Reads winner!" Well, that in itself created a stir of excitement in me. Then, when I clicked and read the email, I found that I am soon going to "receive a free copy of Good Things Happened Today in the mail." Now, that made me just feel ecstatic. Free! A new book! How wonderful is that? Their only request is that I post the title to my currently-reading shelf when I get it and perhaps post a review to get early feedback about the book. Posting a review is optional but those who post a review are also more likely to win free books in the future. So, actually, all they want me to do is read and share my opinion. How easy is that? I love to read and always have a couple or three books going at once anyway. Plus, I always have an opinion about ANY topic. So, for a change, somebody wants me to share mine. Isn't that as easy as pie?
The book might even be a positive one which will provoke me to improve. The review says that it blends spiritual connection and introspection with action and adventure. I have grown to appreciate those books which promote introspection. How will I ever change toward the better if I don't think about the direction in which I hope to change?
It is interesting, too, that I just shared with my friend, Marcy (who really needs to start her own blog about her life as a busy teacher with a four-year-old and twins - nudge, nudge), about a book I read which I picked to add to my classroom library. It is one that I got from the recent school Scholastic Book Fair entitled The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks.
What I liked about the novel is that it showed the introspection and inner struggle of the main character trying to work through wanting to have a cool, handsome, popular, older boyfriend yet not be taken for granted by him or being compartmentalized by him. It also showed the struggle she had with bucking a 'good-ole-boy' system which was established in our culture years and years ago - that classic feminist struggle that we women have battled to overcome since the establishment of time, I guess. The thing is, I'm not sure that the maturity level of my middle-school students will see them catching the nuances and the concepts of this. I fear that these are concepts which one has to be more mature and experienced in order to recognize, understand, and appreciate. I put it on the shelf and just hope that somebody does read it and pick up on these things. Even if the reader doesn't see these concepts, I think she will probably enjoy the book anyway - just for the action and adventure that the main character involves herself into throughout the unfolding of the story. It is also a goodread!
If you are a reader, and can take a few minutes to scan through goodreads.com's giveaways and register for the ones which interest you, you might be a winner, too. Happy perusing!