Every year I tell myself I want to do something about my tbr-pile and by now I have slowly begun to realize how my reading-mind works and what is a good way to challenge myself:
- just saying ‘read X books from your pile’ is not good. If I aim too low and finish after half a year I’ll just end up going ‘yay! I finished! Let’s reward myself by buying more books’ and if I aim too high and realize I’ll never finish it I’ll just get anxious and not read at all
- most reading-challenges out there have a theme of ‘broaden your horizon’ which is great but not what I want. I don’t have that book for squares like ‘post-apocalyptic novel’ or ‘GR choice award winner’ and I don’t want to buy new ones because that’s not why I challenge myself.
So I was very happy when I found this group on Goodreads that lets you mix and match from a selection of yearly, quarterly and monthly challenges. So I went and picked some and intend to combine those with a personal one just for myself:
For every five books from my tbr-pile I read I can buy one new one. If I read about as much as last year that would mean I got to buy 12 new books which should cover the books coming out that I want, and a few instances of ‘this looks really good’ or ‘I do not feel like reading anything except this one book I don’t have’.
- no buying in advance
- the only exception for that are deals/2nd hand finds of books that are already on my wishlist. My actual wishlist is not that huge.
- Kindly Freebies count as new books bought
- I have an Audible subscription. Spending credits/buying audiobooks doesn’t count. I mostly listen to audiobooks when I go for a walk/drive longer distances aka occasions where I couldn’t read anyway (that also means listening to audiobooks does not count as diminishing my tbr-pile)
- any books that are on my (real and virtual shelves) on January 1st count as part of my tbr-pile. Including review-copies and the books I started reading in the old year
- I ordered two books and requested a review-copy in the old year. They will also count as tbr-pile
- apart from those anything I acquire after January 1st will not count
- after some thought I decided that books I dnf-ed will count as one read book. I’ll still do separate counts to avoid the temptation of dnf-ing too many books just so I can buy more
tbr-pile books read/dnf: 7/5
Books bought: 3
Additionally, I am a NetGalley member. More recently I have managed to cut down on randomly requesting books because they sound nice. I read and reviewed everything I requested last year (with the exception of one I only got towards the end of December) but I still have some I requested ages ago and that fell behind the virtual cupboard. I don’t want to do the same ‘For X review copies I read I get to request another one’ because it’s not that easy to plan that since you never know which of the books you requested you actually get.
So plain and simple: Currently, I have twelve review-copies on my kindle. By the end of the year, I would like to have five or less.
Review copies on my reader: 9
Now for the group challenges I signed up for:
The A – Z Challenge (Yearly)
Read a book for every letter of the alphabet. Any first letter of a word in the title (that is not an article, a conjunction or a preposition) counts. (In other words: A Game of Thrones could be read for G or T but not for A or O)
|B||Before the Storm||Before the Storm|
|C||The Code of Love||The Poisoned Chocolates Case|
|D||Death Comes to Pemberley|
|E||Empire of Ivory|
|F||Fields of Blood||Foreign Bodies|
|G||The Ginza Ghost|
|H||The House of Shattered Wings||Have His Carcase|
|I||A Fashionable Indulgence|
|K||The Santa Klaus Murder|
|L||A Lily Among Thorns||The Lake District Murder|
|M||Murder in Belgravia||Murder In Belgravia|
|P||In for a Penny||In for a Penny|
|Q||A Quiet Life in the Country|
|R||Red Seas Under Red Skies|
|S||Stalking Darkness||Seven Dead|
|T||A Country in the Moon: Travels in Search of the Heart of Poland|
|V||Victory of Eagles|
|W||The Woman on the Orient Express|
|Z||The Henchman of Zenda|
The Colour-Challenge (Yearly):
Read a book with a cover in the following colours + two bonus tasks:
|Yellow||Death Comes to Pemberley|
|Dark Blue||Empire of Ivory|
|Brown||Murder in Belgravia|
|Black||Victory of Eagles|
|Metallic||The House of Shattered Wings|
|Five Colors||Stalking Darkness|
|Color Word in the Title||Red Seas under Red Skies|
|Descriptive Word in Title (Rainbow, Stripes, Polka Dots, Etc)|
Places and Spaces (Quarterly)
For this challenge, see how many places and spaces you can visit. The place or space should be a primary element of the story or historical account and may include natural, man-made, and imaginary terrains and structures.
Signed up for 4
- A Victorian Mansion: Murder In Belgravia
- A clubhouse: The Poisoned Chocolates Case
- A train: The Woman on the Orient Express
- A Castle: The Henchman of Zenda
The Bibliophile Challenge (Quarterly)
Signed up for 6 of the following:
1. Read a book about books or reading.
2. Read a book-in-a-book.
3. Read a book that is an author’s memoir.
4. Read a book about language or linguistics.
5. Read a book that takes place in a library or bookstore.
6. Read a book before you see the movie/watch the tv show.
7. Read a book whose main character is a bookworm.
8. Read a book that is mentioned in another book.
9. Read a book that is a retelling of a classic or modern classic.
10. Read a book that has a palindrome in the title.
11. Read a book that uses an alliteration in the title.
12. Read a book that has a full sentence as it’s title.
13. Read a book with a title that rhymes.
14. Read a book with a one-word title.
15. Read a book with an oxymoron in the title.
16. Read a book with a homonym or homophone in the title.
17. Read a book with a homograph in the title.
18. Read a book in translation or a book that merges two or more languages, e.g., Spanglish, Pidgin, or Creole.
19. Read a work of epistolary fiction or nonfiction.
20. Read a book you can’t get as an ebook.