Summer Reading: Prototype

number of staples removed while making this Prototype: 9

Here is what I learned when I made the BlogLily Summer Reading Program Booklet Prototype.

1.  I will have to call the finished reading program book  a prototype because otherwise the people who’ve signed up for the Summer Reading Program will think they’re getting the above-captioned, messy-looking item.

2.  The Prototype has a lot of staple holes in it but no actual staples.  That is because I cannot figure out which direction things should go in until I staple them and realize that, in fact, I have stapled the entire booklet closed and no one will be able to use it. Then I have to remove the staples and start again.  Note:  The Actual Booklets will be made using rubber cement.

3.  There is something out there that allows you to fold cardstock without making the folded arts & crafts item look like someone stepped on it.  I think it is called a bone folder, which is a weird name, when you think about it.

4.  I could have made ten different categories, but I have always been so relieved to realize that something I thought had ten parts actually had eight, so I went with it to increase the Summer Reading joy.  Also, I miscounted.

5.  I like those accordion-style books and have never actually had one, so I made one for the Program Booklet.  But because I wasn’t quite sure how to make it fold out properly or where to begin the numbering there was a lot of stapling and unstapling going on (see above-captioned photograph).

6.  It is better to use a fine point sharpie on flimsy paper than a thick one.  This is not a package you are sending back to Amazon.

7.  There are an infinite number of reading categories — I picked eight of them out of a hat.  Well, not actually a hat, more out of thin air.

8.  Everyone who signed up for the Summer Reading Swag Program will have to send me a mailing address.  Dorothy, The Bookseller’s Daughter, has reminded me that it would be helpful to know where you should send your mailing address:  to

9.  What is a reading program without a couple of rules, so you will feel that you have accomplished something?  I will have to pick some rules out of thin air.  This has been known to fall flat, but I’m doing it anyway.

The Rules:

You will need to read eight books.  In eight categories.  You will earn 10 points just for performing the basic activity of writing down the name of the book in your Program Booklet.  There are bonus points for doing more in each category, and although they are basically the same from category to category, I’m going to write them down, so there is no confusion.

1.  A summer read from ten years ago.  Bonus Points if you re-read (or read it, if you never did get to it):  10.   Bonus Points if you blog about it or otherwise write about it:  10.  (I love bonus points.  One of our family mottos is “always do the extra credit.)  Bonus points if you identify in your booklet or on your blog at least one other book that is like this one.  Bonus points if you check it out from the library:  10

2.  A book your librarian recommends.  What is a summer reading program that does not involve a trip to the library?  Go ask your librarian to recommend a book.  Read it (10 bonus points),  blog or write about it the conventional way  (10 bonus points), check it out from the library (10 bonus points), name a book that’s like it (10 bonus points).

3.  Genre Fiction.  Pick a book in your favorite genre. Read it (10 bonus points),  blog or write about it on paper (10 bonus points), check it out from the library (10 bonus points), name a book that’s like it (10 bonus points), answer the question:  is there any beautifully written genre fiction?

4.  Literary Fiction.  Figure out what that is and then pick one.  Read it (10 bonus points),  blog or write about it on paper (10 bonus points), check it out from the library (10 bonus points), name a book that’s like it (10 bonus points).

5.   Genre Fiction.  It is summer.  Repeat Number 3, above.  Read it (10 bonus points),  blog or write about it on paper (10 bonus points), check it out from the library (10 bonus points), name a book that’s like it (10 bonus points).

6.  Women’s Fiction.  Is there such a thing?  I am interested in this question.  You might not be.  If you aren’t, just pick any book you want to pick.  But make sure it’s written by a woman, unless you want to pick one that’s written by a man, which is fine by me.  Read it (10 bonus points),  blog or write about it on paper (10 bonus points), check it out from the library (10 bonus points), name a book that’s like it (10 bonus points).

7.  Men’s Fiction.  Why are there no books identified as “men’s fiction”?  Or are there?   Pick one.  Should it be written by a man or a woman?  It’s up to you.  Read it (10 bonus points),  blog or write about it on paper (10 bonus points), check it out from the library (10 bonus points), name a book that’s like it (10 bonus points).

8.  Whatever You Want.  Read it (10 bonus points),  blog or write about it on paper (10 bonus points), check it out from the library (10 bonus points), name a book that’s like it (10 bonus points).  If you don’t like any of the 1-7 categories above, then just do 8.

Prizes?  Of course.

Bookmarks?  One will be included in your packet, which will contain a Spiffed up Version of the Prototype, and a writing instrument.

Counting Points:  You will have to do that.  I know you would never cheat.  Because you do not know the prizes.  There could be cars, there could be boomerangs, there could be books, there could be candy.  Who knows?  (I don’t know, is the real answer.)

xoxo L

19 thoughts on “Summer Reading: Prototype

  1. Unfortunately, everything I’m reading right now (magazines!) falls into category 8. You can count magazines there, can’t you? Alas, I fear that the summer reading program is lost to me because of my “no reading novels while I’m writing a novel policy.” Please consider having a fall reading program. I’m pretty confident I’ll be able to do that one.

  2. You’ve gone to so much effort! I sent myself an email at home to remind me to send you my address. And I don’t think your prototype looks bad at all!

  3. Sonje — Fall Reading! That sounds like a great antidote to the post-summer blahs. I’ll see how this one goes, and whether the bookmarks turn out. Hope your writing’s going well. xo

    OOOO Tamara, You have no idea how thrilling this whole thing is going to be. Send me your mailing address, okay?

    You’re sweet, Stefanie. I love folding paper and putting rubber cement on it and sticking things to it So, not really much effort, except for the part where I had to think and measure. Which was mostly approximate anyway.

  4. Ok I’m on! The Bookseller’s Daughter is with the program. Does my Mom count as a librarian having spent her last 43 years of life running an independent used book store? Let me know. Where to send address….?

  5. too much fun!

    i’m in, and you have my mailing address (if you haven’t it written down, you assignment is to follow your nose on google earth and get it….ok, never mind.)

    since i’m in class, my ability to play by the rules is limited.

    since i’m awol on blogging, my ability to play is limited.

    i’m in anyway

    (ain’t bones fun? I used to help with someone-who-shall-remain-nameless’ newsletter to burnish those folds. It was actually smooth and rounded on the ends and maybe actually bone guessing from the color and the marbeling, and a wonderful handmedown from his letter press printing days. A fine old tradition, those fold-er-s)

  6. G – I have tracked you down, and not on google earth, either. Maybe there’s someplace on or near campus that sells those bone folders. They are, indeed, beautiful. I’m glad you’re playing along. Packets go out this Friday. Just in time for the long summer that is July. xoxo

  7. Eight books? I don’t think I’ve read eight this year so far. But I would like to try. It’s summer. Which means this girl is on a bit of mischief hiatus and to the library on a much more regular basis (central a/c is one main reason). And I do love that Prototype. It’s quite lovely.

    Oh. Just started William Boyd’s Thunderstorms. That opening chapter sure pulls ya in…

  8. Dorothy: Yay! I got your address. Booklets go out this Friday.

    Mari — This is a very flexible Program. If you want to review eight very short books, board books, picture books, cookbooks, I would love to hear about it. The categories are suggestive — they are not mandatory.

  9. Now THIS is exciting. Let other people get their thrills from bungee jumping or robbing banks or falling in love with the wrong person. This summer reading program is just excitement defined for me. And I have every possible faith in your abilities with craft work. I haven’t forgotten the Christmas stockings you made with your boys. I’ll be sending my address very shortly!

  10. Litlove — Ditto. The three activities you list have never, in the history of the world, led to the winning of worthy prizes, such as a boomerang. Not so with summer reading. xo

  11. Men’s fiction – I suppose the sudden flurry of news stories about Ernest Hemmingway suggests one direction. Gay erotic fiction suggests another. I’m probably more comfortable with ‘women’s’ fiction than either!

    And the concertina prototype looks lovely – I think part finished things with evidence of love, care and thought on their margins, are much more beautiful than most finished things)

    1. Hemingway! What a man. What news stories, though? I will have to look that up. And thank you for that comforting piece of wisdom about part finished things. (In fact, it occurs to me that maybe that’s why the Alexander Pope poem I talk about today appeared in my head!) xo

  12. This is what happens when you fall behind in blog reading, let the posts stack up in Google Reader and then can’t face sitting in a hot room over the weekend to read them. You miss all the fun things. Can I just join in and read along on my own (not that I need any prompting, but it’s more fun to read in a group)? This is much more fun than my library’s reading program.

  13. Dani — I am whipping up a batch this evening. (For litlove, for Linda, and for Karenne.) Send me your mailing address (, I’ll add you to the list. I feel that my arts & crafts skills are improving. Plus, I have some new bookmarks. xoxo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s