I read with interest Candy Palmater’s interview with Shelagh Rogers, and how turning 50 has her rethinking her reading list. Now, turning 50 is not that far away, though just a couple more years off, but still something that has me thinking of my own reading lists. Would I, should I rethink them, change what I plan on reading?
There are All those books on my shelf that sit unread. Should I turn away my eyes from the new releases and truly, fully focus on reading from my own shelf? My penchant to (stalk) peruse the library and other places for new titles has me believing this would be near impossible. But could I make a goal to read my own shelves? We are approaching 2019 faster than seems believable….could THIS be the reading goal for 2019? I know my family would be extremely happy to see the books I’ve purchased, been sent, and collected over the years finally be read – possibly their fixed looks at the bookshelves and their pointed ones at the library book in my hands might fall away? 😉
This piece was also sent my way questioning if I would be able to purge 1,000 books from my library, as comedian Robin Ince has vowed to do. I’m not sure 1.000 sit on my shelves, but I DO need a good purge. I have books in many nooks and crannies and all over the place in my house. I do need to organize, I do need to sort through and rehome books that I know I won’t be able to read, or have read and don’t feel the need to keep, as well as other miscellaneous titles that can go. I used to have it fairly organized where my Canadian books sat along one shelf. I have too many that are Canadian to fit on one shelf now, but there is plenty of room for reorganization just on those books alone!
By quickly looking at the books downstairs on my (self-titled) “wall of books” (that have now moved to the coffee table, the side shelves I moved down there, and the end tables too), there are So Many I want to read. I’ve requested or purchased them because I do want to read them.
So all of this begs the question – do I plan for my 2019 reading year to truly be the one where I read only from my shelves? Can I do that? Would I be successful at this challenge? Probably not a 100% realistic challenge for me – I get way too excited about new titles, and I doubt I wouldn’t be able to ignore what the library has got on order, or any new releases that are shiny and sparkly and begging to be read. But…..I can make a concerted effort to read most of the books that already sit on my shelves can’t I?
I see books like The Secret History and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, all the Maisie Dobbs books I need to catch up on, all the books that sit up here in the family room by the fireplace – those two shelves are completely unread! And they are bursting with books! They have now spilled out onto the end table in this room as well. I have plenty of Peter Robinson to read, two books by A.S. Byatt…so, so, so many books I want to read and they continue to be pushed aside by everything else. I want to read The Custodian of Paradise by Wayne Johnston, and The Headmaster’s Wager by Vincent Lam. There are so many chunksters like The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, The Nix, and We Are Not Ourselves, to name just a few. I have Min Jin Lee’s Free Food for Millionaires, I also really want to read The Signature of All Things. I have LOADS of books on my Kobo that are sitting there, waiting and waiting for me.
I have numerous “new” books that have been sent, or I’ve purchased and I really want to read those too. Books such as The Hour of the Fox, Refuge, Anna, Like Thunder, The Red Word, The Convict Lover….the list goes on and on! I haven’t really even listed any of the many non-fiction books either!
So it’s settled then? Should I be starting this challenge for a kick-start to my Fall Reading? And really build up a 2019 Year of Reading From My Own Damn Shelves challenge? I’m already excited to just read the small number of books I’ve listed here. 🙂
Happy First Day of Fall!
I managed to purge old books this past summer to Goodwill. My husband gave up books he hasn’t looked at for 25 years and I had quite a few also in the donation box. My bookshelves look so good. I cannot, however, seem to quit amassing books on my Kindle app and trying to read several at a time as well as listen to a book. Sometimes I am so stressed about all this. My goal for 2019 is to stop obsessing about and buyingtborrowing every new book or pretty cover and read one book at a time and listen to one book at a time.
It’s a great idea Eve. The struggle and stress is real! I need to do the same – not stress and just read one book at a time!
Also! Congrats on the purging! It’s a project I’m quite keen to get started on!
Hm, I wonder how aging will affect my attitude towards my TBR. Right now I read whatever I want whenever I want and constantly add to my TBR. Will I feel pressure to read a certain set of books once I’m starting to feel my own mortality? I think I will just avoid thinking about that for now, haha.
I once participated in a challenge that was to only read from your physical TBR for the first three months of the year – maybe that would be a good compromise 😛
That’s a great idea too Jenna — that’s a reasonable goal – and I think I’ll just put aside the ones that I really hope to read and focus on reading from my shelves, but not getting too stressed out if I borrow a few from the library and/or read new releases!
Sometimes I try to alternate new books with older ones. Or library books with my own books. I get on a roll with it at times, and fall off at others. But it feels more doable than limiting myself completely. Even for only a few months. I know myself too well – I wouldn’t be able to stay away from the library books!
I hear you Naomi! It would be near impossible, or absolutely impossible actually, to stay away from the library! I’ve been thinking more on this, and I think I can book a month or something where I read from my shelves and other months can let the library and new releases filter through. But definitely want to make a strong effort at reading most from my own shelves. 😉
I know I can’t resist new library books… but I am also trying to read more books from my own shelves & my Kindle. A move last year prompted me to purge 8 (!) boxes of books from my shelves. Uh huh. Eight. I probably still have a couple thousand books, I’m guessing. But it was a very freeing thing, getting rid of all those books I’d never read again, would never read, period, or that just weren’t precious enough to keep.
Nice Anne! Nice! I’m really itching to purge! Will it be 8 boxes? Probably not, but you never know… but that must have felt so freeing!
Year before last, I had to let go of nearly 1000 books, so I can attest to how difficult that is. My choices were also based on the fact that I have access to a terrific library system so there are some books which are very easy for me to find here. And I have found myself borrowing some of those books from the library and wishing that I still had my familiar copies instead. But I do (even still) have an unreasonable amount of books. Even when I am aiming to read every single book from my own shelves, I end up reading about half library books – so Naomi’s idea of alternating w0uld be a more realistic approach (but, then again, I might only read 20% if I wasn’t so “focussed” on it). Another thing you’ve said really resonates with me, the idea of preparing now to do this next year; my reading and book habits are very slow to change, so if I want to make something work, I have to think about it ages ahead.
So my update is that on the weekend I purged quite a few books! It’s definitely not 1,000, but I did box up two full boxes of books, but, I also boxed up two boxes of advanced reading copies! Those I will contact our women’s shelter and donate those to them. That was a wonderful idea that was planted in my head by a local bookseller that recently donated her ARCs to the Children’s Aid services. I’ve got two boxes of ARCs to go, so I’m pretty pleased with that. Then I’ll donate the others to the Goodwill – lots of hardcovers going out! I could probably do another purge but I’m still hanging on, thinking I will/do want to read them! 😉
Yes! Not using the library ever is truly an impossible approach – there is no way I wouldn’t go to the library, so I will more than likely implement Naomi’s approach of alternating! See – we’ll ease into it BIP!