Recently, I had a wonderful conversation with Veronica about writing and publishing. I’m taking the year off conferences because, well, babies, so I’m looking for opportunities to double down on writing. After we got off the phone it hit me that the biggest thing missing from my writing life was reading. READING!
It’s not that I haven’t been reading, per se. I haven’t been reading deeply in the LIS or SoTL literature in a way that stimulates my thinking. When I do read the literature, it’s hit or miss, jumping around from topic to topic. I have breadth but little depth. I read a blog post, follow a few links, end up on an article, and if it’s good I save it in a Zotero folder for “later.” The problem is, I’m not connecting any dots. “Later” never comes. I’m just… reading. Admittedly, lately my capacity for thinking is somewhat limited by the amount of uninterrupted sleep I get, but I can certainly be more intentional about my reading depth.
To that end, I recently purchased the following books:
- Research Strategies: Finding Your Way Through the Information Fog by William Badke
- Teaching Research Processes: The Faculty Role in the Development of Skilled Student Researchers by William Badke
- Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, and Mark A. McDaniel
- Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions by Dan Rothstein, Luz Santana, and Wendy D. Puriefoy
- Facilitating Seven Ways of Learning: A Resource for More Purposeful, Effective, and Enjoyable College Teaching by James R. Davis and Bridget D. Arend
- Not Just Where to Click: Teaching Students How to Think about Information by Troy A. Swanson and Heather Jagman
I’ve marked also a number of articles from the In the Library with a Lead Pipe spring reading list. I can’t say I’ve totally picked a direction, but it definitely appears that I’m heading towards “question formulation” with a distinct flavor of William Badke. We’ll see where I end up.
I read a lot in my non-professional life, too. These days, it’s mostly in the middle of the night after night feedings, but it still counts. I have pretty strict rules about what is appropriate for middle-of-the-night reading, and I really enjoyed The Boys in the Boat this fall. I love the What Should I Read Next podcast for bibliophile talk and book recommendations, which is where I heard about The Boys in the Boat in the first place. Apparently, it’s also great on audio if that’s your thing. I also just today discovered a great Chrome extension called Library Extension that will search your libraries for books you find on Amazon. Just enable the extension and add your libraries. The next time you search for a book (or are redirected to a book, such as those above) on Amazon, you will also be able to see if your library has it and check it out from there. Genius!
What else should I be reading?