Nov 11, 2012

In Which I Declare January Long-Awaited Reads Month

Long-Awaited reads month button
I’m sure I’m not only the only one who has a mental list of books I’ve been promising myself I’ll get to “before the end of the month for sure” for, oh, at least a couple years. I call it my perpetually immediate TBR pile, and it includes, just to give you a few examples, The Well of Loneliness, The Tenant of Widefell Hall (I can trace this one to my visit to Haworth almost two years ago), The House of Mirth, Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner, Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief series, etc.

The other day Iris and I were discussing our tendency to do this: to put off reading highly anticipated books, books we’re fairly sure we’ll really enjoy, because… for no good reason, really; it’s just that other books keep getting in the way, or we keep making reading commitments and they just keep falling by the wayside. This is not entirely a bad thing, of course – delaying gratification has its advantages, and I kind of like having a mental stack of bookish treats that I save for when I need cheering up. But what if the day I’m saving them for just never comes?

Which is why Iris and I decided to force that day to come, and January felt like the right time for us both. The month tends to bring me down a little bit, and I’m guessing a lot of people in the Northern Hemisphere might feel the same. The holidays are over, winter seems to go on forever, and staying indoors with a really good book sounds like a better plan than ever. So next January, we’re going to devote our reading time to nothing but these long-awaited reads.

The button you can see above is a combination of selections from both of our piles of long-awaited reads, and I gave you a few more examples in this post. But to keep things flexible, pressure-free and fun, I’m not going to commit to reading any specific books. Instead, I’ll just go with whatever feels right at the time.

We didn’t really want to make this project into a challenge, but because things like this are even more fun when you share them with others, we’re throwing an open invitation out there: if this sounds like something you’d enjoy taking part in, please feel free to grab the button and join us. If there’s enough interest, we could perhaps come up with a few activities, prizes to keep everyone motivated, and a Twitter hashtag to keep track of our progress and have fun chats about whether our long-anticipated bookish treats are living up to our expectations. But even if there’s only one or two of you who’d like to read along with us, we’d absolutely love to have you on board.

42 comments:

Lenore Appelhans said...

I'm totally in the same boat as you and Iris. I've bought so many books I'm excited about and then ... haven't picked them up yet because there are all these other books I HAVE to read first. January sounds like a great month for me to read these long-anticipated bookish treats :) So count me in!

Care said...

I can think of three books instantly that would fit this! Cool idea.

Ana @ things mean a lot said...

Lenore and Care: yay, so glad to have you read with us :D Also, I forgot to say that if anyone wanted to do this for only part of the month, or just read a couple of highly anticipated books along with other things, that would of course be totally fine.

Debi said...

Oh my gosh, I am so in! And as a fun twist, I'm going to make it long-awaited reads that are on shelves because of Ana! I could literally do that project for a year and still not get through them all though. Bad Science, Virgin, Singled Out, The 10PM Question, Saplings, Lady Audley's Secret, From Hell, The Secret History, The Influencing Machine...seriously, this list could go on for pages. Yes, yes, yes...I am so excited about this!!!

Ana @ things mean a lot said...

Debi: !!! :D Obviously I want you to read all of those books, but if this project gets you to read The 10PM Question it will all have been worth it :D

Iris said...

Yay, I am so happy to be part of this, and to see others enthousiastic about it as well!

@Debi: I actually think most of the books that I took a picture of are on my list because of Ana. You're right. We could do a themed month or year around "books Ana recommended".

Teresa said...

I think this is a great idea! I'm not sure that I'll join in officially, but I do plan to make more of an effort next year to read the books I've been meaning to read for ages. This would also fit in really nicely with the TBR Dare if CB James does that again.

katrina said...

I have so many of these books: from The Goon Squad from last year to The Peacock Throne which must have moved house with me 6 times!
I'm planning on doing CB James' TBR Dare for 3 months so this would fit perfectly

Lightheaded said...

I'm in. I think. I hope.

eveningreader said...

This sounds fun. I have a stack next to my bed and several things on my Kindle I would love to get to, so please count me in as well! I did pretty well with the TBR dare last year, so I think I can manage to read my own stuff for at least a month.

Jenny said...

I love this idea! Y'all are geniuses. I'm trying to think of some long-awaited reads on my list. It'll probably be all the massively huge books on my bookshelf -- I put off reading those because they are heavy to cart around the subway, but I know they're worth reading! Oh, and I have this book about Shakespeare that I think I will love.

Ana @ things mean a lot said...

Iris: I just really hope you both enjoy whatever recs of mine you end up picking up #onlyslightlynervous :P

Teresa and Katrina: They do go very well together! We're counting library books or recent acquisitions for this too, but it will be great to see people combine both :D

Lightheaded: Hooray!

Priscilla: As I was telling Teresa and Katrina, we're more than happy to see people combine them! I'd join in myself, but I suspect that half of my reads for this will be classics I'll download from Gutenberg.

Jenny: yay! I hope they all prove as wonderful as you hope :D

Charlie said...

I'm trying hard to be "reasonable" and remember that I'm no good with challenges, but to heck with it, count me in, I'll try my best :) I've a fair few books that could do with being read. I may read a few other books if I have review copies - is that ok?

Amy said...

this is such a great idea and I hope you have so much fun with it! I might join but at this point I'm really taking life one book at a time.

LibraryHungry said...

Oh, I haven't done one of these in ages! I call it a Personal Library Renaissance, because it's when I stop getting library books and read things I bought but never read. I only buy them when I'm incredibly excited about them, but someone once I own it, I rarely start it.

I think it's a combination of due date=deadline=pressure and the fact that something much-anticipated has the power to disappoint. You've definitely inspired me!

Kailana said...

I think I could go along with this. This post is basically the story of my life!!

Abigail@The Story Factory Reading Zone said...


I agree with Kailana, I seem to be doing this all the time.

A while back I made the decision to put all my TBR books in basically the order I got them, but with those given to me at the front. I was hoping it might stop the problem you're describing happening so often. As it is, I'm slowly getting there.

Meghan said...

This is a brilliant idea! For the last couple of years I've been posting about the books I can't believe I haven't read yet at the end of the year. Hopefully having the two of you reading along means that I'll be able to actually finish those highly anticipated books. I'm happy to join in!

Helen said...

I would love to join in with this - there are so many books I've been putting off reading or saving for a day that still hasn't come! And I like your idea of not committing to anything specific and just reading whatever feels right, as I usually find that works better for me than trying to stick to a list.

Stephanie said...

What a great idea ... and it's obviously well received. :-) It looks like you have Bronte and Wharton to look forward to this month, among other things. Enjoy!

Gavin said...

I'm joining in. This will go marvelously with James's TBR Double Dog Dare!

Vasilly said...

Count me in! My tbr stacks are great to look at but I think they're probably better to read. I'm combining this event with the TBR Double Dare and my own personal goal to read more of my own books.

Melanie said...

This sounds great! I'm in; i've got books from birthday gifts in 2010 still to read!

Tasha B. said...

This sounds like a great idea! I've been putting off so many books and it should be fun to devote some time to them.

PS~If you do decide to do giveaways, e-mail me or DM me on Twitter!

Aarti said...

You haven't read Megan Whalen Turner yet?! Ana, Ana, Ana, it is good that you are now setting priorities :)

I may try to participate in this but I am having so much fun with my strictly I scheduled reading life this year that I don't know if I want to give it up! Maybe I will just choosene book to take down from the long-term TBR pile.

Chris said...

OMG Ana I am so in love with this idea!!!! I cannot tell you how happy I was when I discovered this :D I'm tempted to do like Debi and just read Ana books during January…because there are SO many of them! I kinda want to make this last longer than January :p Because there really are so many books on the shelves that I've put off for so long that I just know I'll love once I get to them. yayayayayayay!!

SuziQoregon said...

I love this idea! I've been shifting to reading more of the books that have been languishing on my TBR list rather than new releases anyway so this is a perfect tie in. Perhaps I can take on a chunkster for January.

Jeremy Norton said...

I know exactly how you feel. I buy more books that I can read at that time and end up agitated because I don't know what to read first. I'm sure I'll enjoy everything but I'm afraid I'll finish it soon and miss the characters and the story so much. January sounds like a good month to catch-up on reading.

Alex (The Sleepless Reader) said...

I often tend to look at half of my shelves as permanently long-awaited books.... that's about 100 books :S

Will you make a list ahead of time? Will you only read long-awaited books?

Stefanie said...

Great idea! Though I think I might need a year or maybe a decade before I caught up with all those books I've been meaning to read!

gricel said...

Love it! I'm definitely in for a challenge :)

Ana @ things mean a lot said...

Charlie: Yes, of course! Feel completely free to tailor the experience to your needs.

Amy: Always a good idea, to be honest! Still, I hope that in January you'll feel like joining the fun :D

LibraryHungry: I love that you have a name for them :D It definitely sounds like I should make this a regular part of my reading life.

Kelly: I would love to have you on board :D

Abigail: It's the curse of the bookworm, it seems :P I'm glad you have found a system, but yes, even then it's hard.

Meghan: yay! So glad to have you.

Helen: Yes, same here. If I try to commit to a list it all begins to feel like a chore.

Stephanie: Yes, I'm particularly looking forward to those two!

Gavin and Vasilly: Hooray!

Melanie: I probably do as well, and they're books I really want to read too. This seriously has to stop :P

Tasha: Will do! Iris and I are plotting how to structure it exactly, but we'll be in touch very soon.

Aarti: I know, I know, I know! But if there's a book I'll DEFINITELY get to in January, it's The Thief. And yes, feel free to participate with just a book or two instead of committing for the whole month.

Chris: So glad you like it! And yeah, I have a feeling January won't seem like nearly enough.

SuziQoregon: So glad you're joining us! Whatever you decide, I hope you'll enjoy it :D

Jeremy Norton: Yes, I know. Sometimes, especially with books by favourite authors, I put off reading them because I don't want to already have read them. The anticipation is part of the fun.

Alex: No list, as I think it will be more fun to keep it spontaneous. But yes, I'm committing for the whole month!

Stefanie: Ha, yes - one month will barely make a dent :P

Gricel: yay!

Andi said...

GREAT idea! I'm totally in. Will also post this on The Estella Society "Water Cooler" page.

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

This is a great idea! I always want to dive into Dickens in January, so this is perfect. There are a couple of his I've been saving for years for no good reason.

Susan said...

I'm in! I missed your post, it was really busy the past few weeks for me, so I'm very glad Gavin posted about it, I found out through her. So right away I came here,cause you just know that I have stacks of books I've been saving for that rainy/snowy day....and I think this January would be perfect for reading some of them! I have so many mystery series I've been buying to catch up in, and Charles de Lint, and fantasy series.....non-fiction books on England and history, biographies, some science.....I need more than a month! So count me in. Love this idea, thank you Ana and Iris!

JoAnn said...

I LOVE this idea! It fits in perfectly with James' TBR Double Dog Dare.

Joanna said...

I'd love to join you! Though my list will change as I expect several long-awaited books as presents. :-) What a fun January it will be!

Cheryl @ Tales of the Marvelous said...

I love this idea! If I wasn't already committing to read Sci Fi and Les Mis and possibly L. M. Montgomery in January, I'd definitely be in...and I might be anyway. At least some of those books for my current planned challenges are also long-awaited, after all...

Melissa said...

Oh, I am absolutely in. Definitely. I can think of several books right off the bat that I want to read. Whoo hoo ... something to look forward to in January! Thanks so much!

Lisa said...

Sounds like fun! I'm trying to decide on exactly what book still. I might do a buddy read of Les Miz.

Kathleen said...

I definitely have a TBR list like this. I look forward to hearing more about those long awaited reads of yours!

Susan said...

I'm in! I've decided, I bought so many books last year, in crisis mode (and fear that I wouldn't be able to buy any if we separated) that now I have to read them all! lol So I'm joining you, and doing CB James's Double Dare. I have to get some of my TBR - long awaited read pile, down! :-)

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