Friday, August 22, 2014

TBR Shelf Reading Challenge

One of the best parts of being a writer is that I get to be a reader, too.  It's part of my job.  I love to read, and always have.

(Actually, no, that's a lie.  When I was five, I swore I'd never learn to read because when my older sister did, she got boring and never played with me again.  But then my mom got me Cat in the Hat out of the library and I ignored my best friend during a playdate so I could read it again and again.)

The drawback to the love of books is that they start to take over the house.  We are currently in a frenzy of (long overdue) clearance and organization at my house, so I decided to add my TBR shelf to the list.

It's not just a bookshelf, it's the entire bookcase (with the exception of a few research books down at the bottom.  Note the Dictionary of Slang.  Best.  Research.  Book.  Ever.  Unless you're on a deadline.  When you open it, it's like going down a rabbit hole.)

So I've taken a leaf out of my friend Anna Billings's book, and decided to set myself a reading challenge.

I read one book off my TBR shelf, and I can buy a book.

Then I have to read two TBRs before I can buy a book.

Then I read three.

And so on.

I shall try to check in on Fridays, hoping that keeping myself accountable will help.

This week, I read Burial Rites by Anna Kent.  Fascinating historical fiction for adults set in early 19th Century Iceland.  History and culture I knew nothing about.  Great stuff.

I bought (on Anna's recommendation, curse her) The Magicians by Lev Grossman.

I acquired Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (also from Anna!).  However, I also read it in one day and gave it to a friend, so that's a free pass, right?


  1. Oh my gosh! I JUST (as in, minutes ago) got Burial Rites from the library! Can't remember where I heard of it (PM, maybe?). We must talk, so you can tell me if I'll need just a couple of tissues, or an entire box. :)

    1. I almost brought Burial Rites to dinner the other night! I didn't need any tissues--though it's a tough subject and wonderful characters, I think I was too engrossed in the stark setting and spare but elegant storytelling to cry! The end is amazing.

  2. Please tell me, too. I've been thinking of reading that. Thanks! And great ideas for reducing my TBR stack – okay, I admit it – stacks.

    1. I have a stack, too, Pat! It was definitely time to do something about it.

      And I think you'd like Burial Rites. Definitely made me want to go to Iceland.

  3. When people come over to my place, they see my bookshelf and act surprised that I've read all those books. I laugh and admit, "I haven't. You're looking at my to-read bookshelf." (I give away books I read or move them to storage if they're keepers.)

    1. I try to give books away when I finish them, too, Rachel! But I also like to keep the "keepers" at hand (especially research resources). Makes for a lot of bookshelves!