Jan 5, 2015

In Which I Join the TBR Dare

Pile of Diana Wynne Jones books

In Which I Join the TBR Dare
It’s been nearly six years since I last made a concerted effort to climb mount TBR, and I’m afraid its height has more than doubled since then. There are currently over 350 unread books in my house, the vast majority of which are books I actually really want to read. But I keep getting distracted by the new and the shiny, and so they linger year after year. This is why I decided to join James’ TBR Dare. James describes it as follows:
All you have to do to win the TBR Double Dog Dare is to read only from your TBR pile between January 1 and April 1. You can still buy books, you just can’t read them until the TBR Double Dog Dare is over. (You can make exceptions for books clubs, arcs, and other things you really want to make exceptions for. The TBR Double Dog Dare is all about having fun. So if you join in for a week or a month, no worries.)

Are you brave enough to take the dare?
I like that the TBR Dare is so flexible, and my own version will have a few tweaks. Here’s what I’m planning:

  • Although the TBR Dare is not actually a book buying ban, my version is going to be. I hereby commit to not buying any books until April.

  • The only exception to the above is that I’m allowed to spend the Christmas/birthday gift cards I still have (which will mostly go towards pre-ordering highly anticipated 2015 releases).

  • For the next three months, I’ll be reading from my TBR pile, with the following exceptions:

  • I’m going to allow myself two library books a month. I know that trying to refrain from reading library books completely when they go through my hands every day would be setting myself up for failure, and I hope that by limiting them to two I’ll force myself to become more deliberate about the ones I take home.

  • (Picture books don’t count towards this limit, though, because I want and need to continue reading several a month for work.)

  • On a similar note, I’m allowed to read the library holds I’ve been waiting for for ages (like Being Mortal and My Brilliant Friend).

  • …and also the 2015 releases I’m pre-ordering (only a few of which come out before April anyway).

  • Even though the focus of the dare is my physical TBR pile, e-books are allowed as long as they’re already on my Kindle.

  • The one big drawback of focusing on my TBR is that there’s a chance it might be at odds with my goal of reading diversely. I do have books by authors of colour on my pile, but not enough to reach my goals for this year, I don’t think. The two library books a month I’m allowing myself will hopefully help when it comes to this.

  • The dare only lasts until April, but even beyond that I’d like to keep my percentage of TBR books for the year at 60% at least.

    There — wish me luck. I know the dare will require some willpower, but I’m hoping it will be as rewarding as it is challenging. As I said before, my TBR pile is full of books I genuinely want to be reading, and I really hope that focusing on it will result in three very satisfying months of reading.
  • 26 comments:

    1. Good luck, and enjoy all the reading! :D

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    2. The only way I managed to decrease my TBR by less than 200 was to actually spend a year away from book blogging and bookclubs (during Baby Year). It's tough!

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    3. 350! *grins* now I don't feel quite so bad about my tbr pile. But seriously, I am amazed at how many books you manage to read; it's like a superpower. I'm doing a tbr challenge thing too, because an ever increasing tbr pile is like a festering pile of guilt and I'd like to get rid of it heh. Good luck with your challenge!

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    4. 60% is a good aim. I have joined the Dare in the past and actually not struggled that much, but my library exposure is much less than yours! Good luck with the Dare!

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    5. Good luck! You have some wonderful books in your pile, at least the small sample that we can see.

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    6. Good luck! What Makes This Book So Great is a fantastic book. Have you read her, Among Others? The two books are very closely connected. Loved them both.

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    7. Wishing you much luck, Ana! It's sort of astounding just how hard a thing to do it is to focus on your TBR pile, isn't it? I mean on the surface, it just doesn't seem like it should be that big a deal, especially when you have so darn many books that you'd really love to read. And yet that lure of the books you don't already own is sooooooo strong! I cannot even imagine how much harder it must be spending so many days a week in the library. So yes, Ana, much much luck! :D

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    8. To offer you some support: mine is at 480 so you're doing quite well in comparison ;)

      Can we discuss Aya when you get to it? I recently finished the series (published as 6 volumes in Dutch) and I have some mixed feelings about it.

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    9. That's a great challenge! I joined LibraryThings's Reading our own Tomes challenge last year and managed to get through 15 books before losing steam and giving in to the lure of the shiny and new.

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    10. Great idea! I get so overwhelmed by my TBR pile - it'd be nice to make a dent in it. I may try this too!

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    11. Good luck! I also hope to read more from my shelves though I'm making no formal declaration. I can't wait to hear all about your reading! :D

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    12. Good luck, Ana! I definitely don't have the willpower to do this dare.

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    13. Yay for Aya! I finished Tomboy some time ago, though I didn't end up reviewing it. I had mixed feelings about it. I feel like she didn't quite bring me with her on her journey - instead, she just kind of seemed like she was terrified of being girly and I didn't quite know why.

      Good luck :-) My goal is to at least read 2 books a month from my TBR list, so basically... the exact opposite goal of yours ;-) And my concern is the same - I just don't think my shelves give me the opportunity to read as diversely as I have committed to doing.

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    14. Now this sounds like just the thing, and ties in nicely with my plans for this month and February anyway. Might just be joining you in this one. Good luck with your attempt!

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    15. I think your TBR goal of 60% for 2015 is awesome! Let us know what you think of Tomboy. Happy reading.

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    16. I'm in too, though I stopped counting my tbr books at 200....good luck to us both!

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    17. Good luck! I know I couldn't do this sort of dare myself, if only because la TBR is currently stacked with white writers, but I have every confidence you'll nail this. You've set workable limits for yourself, and that's the best first step in any TBR-reduction scheme. :)

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    18. Good luck, Ana! I did this challenge two years ago and really enjoyed it. It was fun to read what I had on my shelves, for 4 months, and I didn't buy any books til near the end. Last year though I went back to reading from the library. So far this year I have 40+ books requested from the library, so I think I will have better odds with the library challenge! lol That being said, this challenge is always tempting for reducing my mount TBR too. Have fun and enjoy reading some of the books you own!

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    19. Good luck! I do hope you have lots of fun with this - it can be great to discover something you acquired ages ago and just got pushed back for no actual reason. I'm looking forward to seeing what you read. :)

      I think I should do this myself - I'm already on a book buying ban (we're moving probably in the next couple of months so need both money and to reduce moveable possessions if possible) so this isn't much of a step.

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    20. Good luck! I am not setting any goals this year just because last year kind of sucked...

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    21. GOOD LUCK! I am rooting for you! You can do it!

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    22. Sixty percent would be great! I'm happy if I feel like it's been at least half my reading- which it was this past year- so good on that note. Yay for the Dare!

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    23. Good luck, Ana! I am doing this challenge, too. I have high hopes this year, if only because my TBR pile has gotten so big that I have more than enough to choose from--I have no excuses for not reading my own books because I'm not restricting myself to a specific list. I hope it works! :)

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    24. Thank you so much for the good luck wishes, everyone. One week in and I'm already pining for new and shiny books, but on the other hand I'm having a ton of fun with my reading.

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    25. Welcome to The Dare. Dun dun dunnn... I hope you enjoy it. Remember, the only rule I insist on is having fun with it.

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    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - interaction is one of my favourite things about blogging and a huge part of what keeps me going.