I love to read all the Whitney finalists. It’s a personal goal (some might say compulsion). However, the idea of reading 40 novels between now and April 13th is seriously daunting!
And actually, you don’t have to read ALL of them to vote, or to earn points for the Read ‘Em All Challenge.
To vote in a particular category, you just need to read all five finalists in that category.
To vote for Best Novel of the Year, you have to read the five main categories: General, Historical, Romance, Mystery/Suspense, Speculative.
To vote for Best Youth Novel of the Year, you need to read the three youth categories: Middle Grade, YA General, YA Speculative.
Tips for Reading
Hopefully you’ve already read a few of the finalists. But whether you’ve got a jump start or are starting from scratch, here are a few tips to manage all that reading:
• Join the Academy. Make sure you’re a member of the Whitney Academy so that when all your reading is completed, you’ll be able to vote. Click here to join.
• Make a plan. When are you going to read? What will you give up to read?
• Prioritize. I’ve made a handy chart that you can download and use to track your reading. First check off ay titles you’ve already read. Are there any categories close to being finished? Read those remaining books first.
• Prioritize again. Which category is most important to you? Maybe you love Middle Grade but you don’t really care who wins Historical. Read the Middle Grade finalists first.
• Prioritize one last time. Look at what you’ve read and what’s important to you. Have you read a lot of Middle Grade and YA General, but not much YA Speculative? You might consider concentrating on those three categories so that you can vote for Best Youth Novel.
• Branching out. Once you’ve got your priority categories completed, look at the rest. Which of the remaining categories do you enjoy most? Read those first.
For more reading tips, visit LDS Women’s Book Review.
How I Use My Nifty Whitney Tracking Chart
Here’s what the chart looks like.
First, in the left column in PENCIL, I use a highly secret code to remind me of which books I have access to and where. This is the code I use:
P = I own/borrowed it in print.
I = It’s on my iPad
K = It’s on my Kindle
DB = It’s on my Deseret Bookshelf
OH = On hold at library (and since I have access to two libraries, I add the city initials; ex: OHPG)
Then, once I read the book, I erase that and write in an overall score. I go 1 to 5, but you can use your own scoring system.
In the right column, I write notes about what I really liked (if I gave it a high score) or what bothered me (if I gave it a lower score). Trust me, this info is invaluable when it’s time to vote.
So there you go. That’s how I keep track of all the crazy reading I do in February and March.
Do you have any additional ideas?
Leave your best tips in the comments below.