Milestone birthdays and rethinking reading lists

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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!