20 New Books in 2014

20 New Books in 2014 Challenge  2014 Reading Challenge

I have signed up for a challenge to read 20 new books in 2014 through GoodReads.com. One of my goals for 2014 is to write a novel, which I plan to start after I finish my dissertation somewhere around May. I have been spending a few minutes a day on my creative writing by reading 15 minutes a day. I will never be finished with journal articles, have a few dissertations to read, and a few books that I can enjoy. 15 minutes a day can make a huge difference!

With more people using typing shortcuts for text messaging and email, I wonder if reading and writing will become lost arts. Littlefield (2013) claimed that twenty-one million Americans can't read at all, 45 million are marginally illiterate, one-fifth of high school graduates can't read their diplomas, and fewer than half of American adults read literature. One of the main ingredients for being a writer is being able to read because it helps learn genres of writing, story structure, and what to say to your readers. Students are even using text and email shortcuts as acceptable writing.

When I was teaching K-8 students turned in papers with email shortcuts and I failed them. Parents would ask why and I handed the papers to the parent to read. I asked what is wrong with the paper; parents sometimes didn't pick up that the letter "u" meant "you", the letter "r" meant "are", or even put "lol" to indicate that someone they were writing about was laughing. I personally type every word out in text or emails mostly so I don't forget how to write properly. I had to Google a few of these shortcuts like RT (ReTweet), FTW (for the win), or better yet WYCM (Will you call me?). That raises another question: What will happen to phone etiquette? What will happen to communicating in general?

Reference:

Littlefield, J. (2013). Promote reading: Share books. Retrieved from http://www.volunteerguide.org/minutes/service-projects/reading-books