Compassionate Reading may sound strange, but that’s my purpose in joining the Goodreads 2017 Reading Challenge. A book a week seems like a reasonable goal. Maybe I’ll read 52, maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll read 32, but probably not 520. Number goals appeal to me, especially ones connected with the calendar. As a teacher, I loved the definitive school year. There is nothing like a Monday morning every seven days to give me another jump start. The first of every month I take delight in turning the page of my wall calendar. I like numbers. However, this reading goal isn’t about adding books to a list. My goal is understand lives different from mine. Up until now I have read through the lens of my own life, one of ease, privilege, freedom and advantage; they never promised a rose garden, but I was given one. Now I want to wear the lens of the authors and their characters. I want to step into their feelings and experiences without comparing them to mine. I want to observe without judging. I want to appreciate the nuances rather than put everything into categories. I want to I want to read with my heart more than my head. My plan is to post how each book opened my heart to compassion.