Back in January, Leigh confessed that her To-Be-Read (TBR) pile had burst the boundaries of its allotted shelf. We book nerds all know this delicious, addictive problem – the teetering pile of books you want to read, the library holds that come in seemingly at their own whim, the books picked up on a quick run to the bookstore. Soon the last batch of books you bought, fully intending to read them, is buried under the next one. (This problem gets worse if you’re a reviewer who receives advance copies in the mail.)
Leigh issued herself a February Reading Challenge: for one month, the shortest month of the year, she pledged to read only books she owned. No library books, no buying new books. She invited us all to join in, and because my TBR table usually boasts four or five stacks of books, I took the pledge.
Then, of course, the holds – all six of them – came in at the library.
I couldn’t ignore the library stack. So I started the month working through it, eventually reading four of those books (I abandoned two). I also read the latest Flavia de Luce mystery, bought at the end of January, and a novel borrowed from a friend (Orphan Train).
Mid-month, I reread two middle-grade books about ice dancing (just in time for the Olympics), and tackled Spy Mom, a two-book set that had sat on my TBR table since August. (And – ahem – a few more library books, since apparently I cannot stop placing the library holds. It’s a sickness.)
Throughout the month, I read six of the advance copies that pile up on my TBR table. (One of them was Micha’s memoir, Found, which is SO good.) And I savored Brigid Pasulka’s wonderful second novel, The Sun and Other Stars.
So how did I do? Not too badly, until the last week of the month, when I bought two new books I haven’t read. (I’d bought one used book before that, but I’d already read it, so it didn’t expand the TBR stack.) But thanks to the copious library books, and the 12 (!) ARCs that came in the mail this month, the piles on the TBR table are unwieldy as ever.
I’m considering giving up book-buying for Lent, which starts this week, but I wonder if that will just make me cranky. Perhaps I need to tackle a certain number of books from the TBR table each week? Or clear off the ones I know I won’t read? (I do that regularly with the ARCs anyway.)
Your opinions – and book-nerd sympathy – are welcome. And if you participated in the February Reading Challenge, how did you do?