I’m reading #sixtybooks in 2016.

60-books.jpgAs a pledge, it may seem pretty odd that someone would set out to read 60 books in one year, but when it was first suggested to me by a friend on Twitter it had a strange appeal. This might be a goal from which I gained and #sixtybooks just might be achievable.

The #sixtybooks movement aims to improve our empathy and understanding of each other by having us read more widely. If we all read sixty books imagine the conversations we could have and the topics we could discuss.

Here, at the start of February and with nine books down, I can start to see how that might be. Let’s face it, if you asked me to name 60 books I wanted to read I would quickly run out. Instead the pledge is ensuring that I read about things I might not normally read.

One of the first books I read this year was Hunger Games. I chose to read it because it is the novel my Year 8 class is studying. I am not their English teacher. Instead, by reading the book, I am able to get a sense of learning about what they are learning, giving me the ability to further empathise and understand my Maths and Science students.

Fortunately, my own children have novels to read and joining in on this has meant a renewed and vigorous dinner conversation. There is a temptation to read very small novels but so far I have resisted, basing my choices on how am I going to expand my understanding of others, rather than page numbers. Since 1981, I have read The Lord of the Rings trilogy every year so I’m keeping December free for those books, which have about 1000 pages between them.

I know the year has already started but can I suggest you take the time to look at https://sixtybooks.com/ and perhaps watch the short video. But, even if you don’t – keep reading; it is still the best way to understand how we all tick.

Mr Carl di Stefano

This post first appeared in St. Joseph’s College Literacy News