When I started blogging I was thrilled beyond words that authors and publishers wanted to give me books to read for free. I'm just a little more aware these days that, even though no money exchanges hands, there is a cost to those books. It's an obligation to read them sooner rather than later, often by a specific date. It's an obligation to be honest but with the awareness that a publisher and an author will be looking to see what you've written about the book. Feelings are involved and I hate to hurt anyone's feelings. More and more, it turns out, I'm not all that thrilled about the obligation of having to read books on someone else's timetable.
Andi, of Estella's Revenge, has been talking for years about reading her own books. In 2016, she's taken it one step further and set herself up some goals to really push her way through her own books It's not a challenge (having decided she didn't want to follow anyone else's rules), just some guidelines to read by.
Which is right in line with what I'd like to do heading into 2016. There are too many great books languishing on my bookshelves; to many books I'd really love to have time for sooner rather than later. Andi's effort allows anyone who wants to join in to make up their own rules. For me those will be:
1. Work to satisfy prior obligations (a.k.a. read the review books I accepted prior to 2016).
2. Read 20 of the books on my Classics Club list (all of which I already own). I can't believer there's only 15 months left to read the rest of the 50 books I originally designated to read in five years!
3. No more than 2 new books can come into my house in a month - that includes review books and those irresistible great deals that come into my mailbox every single day.
4. Read at least half of the books that others have previously loaned me. They might actually want them back and I need that guilt off my shoulders.
5. Any challenge I sign up for has to be one that will help me stick to my goals.
6. Don't forget the ereaders!
Clean Your Reader 2016 Challenge, hosted by Kerry of Entomology of A Bookworm is perfect. Because, somehow, there are sixty books on just my Nook. Even given that I've picked up most of those for only a couple of bucks, I figure to have spent at least a couple of hundred dollars on them in total. And there they sit, unnoticed. And there are some great books there! I'll really be looking knock out half a dozen nonfiction titles off of that (including those on my winter reading list) and at least a half dozen fiction titles including The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian, The Princess Bride by William Goldman, and Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight.
I'm not one for making resolutions at the beginning of a new calendar year - I've never been good at sticking to them. On the other hand, there's no time like the present to start making changes to make life better. That being said, Joy's New Year's Resolution Reading Challenge is just the thing to help me find the tools to do that. I'm fairly certain that this will revolve around Gretchen Ruben's work, including getting caught up on her Happier podcast. In fact, if I were to choose a word for myself for 2016 it might just be "happier."
As for other challenges, we'll see. I'll certainly join in if The Introverted Reader again hosts the Nonfiction Reading Challenge. But I want to make sure I have flexibility to join in readalongs, Readers Imbibing Peril in October, Diversiverse and other blogging events.
To my non-blogging readers, does it ever occur to you to make a reading plan for a coming year? For bloggers, what are you looking forward to reading in 2016?
Happy happy! Good for you. I have been pretty good about not collecting eBooks but I really couldn't tell you how many unread ones I have. I have 3-4 unlistened audiobooks, though. And BEST on the classics! If you know your probably line up and we overlap, I'll join you on some as a stalker-readalonger. (I did that to you once last year and I don't think I told you.)ReplyDelete
I, too, am planning on reading my own books. I laughed hysterically as you shared that you have 60 books on your Nook. Now, I know you want to read them and that's important to you and I support that totally. I will not share how many (hundreds and more) are on my Kindle. I've read a bunch of them, but certainly not all of them. I also want to read my print books. I've done this before, read and also done a big clearout, but it's about time again.ReplyDelete
Good luck to you! No, I don't think a lot of other people make reading plans. If I ever mention something like to my non-blogging or non-reading friends, I get the strangest looks. LOL
Oh god, hundreds would make me twitchy! I'm not sure why I'm so nervous about having unread ebooks when I have way more books than that on my real shelves.Delete
I'm not signing up for any challenges this year but I love the idea of Andi's. I definitely need to start reading my own damn books! They're piling up in ridiculous amounts. I also want to clear out some of my older review books. Good luck with your challenges!ReplyDelete
Yeah, I need to get those old review books off the shelves. I'm not sure why they all sound so good when I'm requesting them but like such burdens once they're on my shelves.Delete
I really think I need to jump on board with Andi's challenge too! Ah!!! But I know I'll have problems with number three on your list! Anyway, I'm not doing very many review books/ARCs these days, so you'd think I could tackle my own shelves, right? :)ReplyDelete
Number 3 is going to be tricky! In fact, I may already have requested half a dozen books on Netgalley!Delete
Huzzah! So glad you're in, and I can't wait to see your progress!ReplyDelete
Found a post I wrote in 2012 about your free range reading and how I wanted to emulate that. And then I went off track again. This year I swear I'm going to do it!Delete
Can I just say that I love Gretchen Rubin and her books on happiness? Her book about habits was really great too. I read all three in 2015. I think "happier" would be a great word for the new year for me too.ReplyDelete
I'm taking part in a lot of challenges this year, but I'm hoping that a lot of them will allow me MORE time to read what I already own as well as titles I just want to read. Less focus on review books, etc.
I will say, when I was signing up for more challenges a few years ago, I really tried to make sure I had books in my house that would qualify and tried to overlap challenges as much as possible. The problem has always been that then I couldn't get to them because I couldn't say no to new books. If I find a way to be better about that this year, then I can get back to some challenges.Delete
Good luck! I too am looking to read my own books more often in 2016. I have been really good about limiting what I request for review copies since I got absolutely buried by them last year. I never want to feel like that again. Plus, I think there is even greater satisfaction to read a book that has been languishing on your shelves for years.ReplyDelete
So true - it's really a feeling of accomplishment to get those older books read.Delete
Your blog looks great! I like your vision for the next year. A little lofty for me but it sounds great. I'm very honest when publishers send me books. I say I don't review but I can feature and most are okay with them. Of course, I do end up talking about the books in some way shape or form but a formal review rarely happens for me anymore. Happy New Year!ReplyDelete
I do get a lot of publishers that ask if I want to review the book or feature it. I could definitely do more of that. That way when I want one of their books, I'll feel more like I can ask.Delete
Good luck with your goals this year, Lisa! They sound very reasonable. I'm doing something similar to your Clean Your Reader, but a different challenge. I know about over committing to review books. I want to get caught up with the ones I have, several of which are coming out this next year still, but I plan to avoid accepting or requesting any new books until I am caught up.ReplyDelete
Those darn review books sound so good when I get the pitch but for some reason turn into weights almost as soon as they arrive.Delete
It's great that you keep it real with reviews and what's going on with you. I don't make a reading plan. I like the freedom of picking a book after finishing one by the seat of my pants, depending upon mood or what instinct tells me.ReplyDelete
I'm really only making a reading plan to get myself back to my own books!Delete
I love the idea of a reading "effort" to get me to read the books I already own! I'll have to check that out. I think you've inspired me to make a more deliberate plan for my reading. I had pretty much forgotten about my Classics Club goals and deadline, oops!ReplyDelete