Yesterday, at something like 3:45 a.m. Alaska Time, the American Library Association announced their 2010 award winners, including the Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, Coretta Scott King, and others. I have read, uh, almost one of these books. That is to say, none.
I feel rather sheepish saying that publicly, and then I feel rather grumpy for feeling sheepish.
I have rarely, if ever, read books the moment–or even the year–they come out. I don’t live near libraries or book stores; no way will I stand in line at midnight to get my hands on a just-released book; and, generally speaking, I’d rather have two or three trade books rather than one hard cover.
Last year’s Newbery winner, The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman, is now on my To-Be-Read shelf, though the 2008 Newbery winner, Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz has yet to arrive there.
I’ve read thirty-four of the previous forty Newbery winners.
I’ve never before had a problem with reading books that are a few years old. Now I feel behind the times and out of the loop for not reading this year’s award winners. Why the change?
I blame the Internet, specifically kidlit blogs. These blogs are all about new books. They make me want to read the books they review, but they rarely hand them to me. Unless they do, I expect I’ll always be a step or two or fifty behind; i.e., asleep when the ALA announces their winners and just getting ready to read last year’s winner.
Do you tend to read just-released books or books that have been around a while?