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Sunday, September 02, 2012

Unbreaking the Shelves - A Year End Reading Challenge

I've decided to join Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal in their Unbreaking the Shelves Reading Challenge.

 This a two part challenge:

Part 1: Actively organize, categorize, and otherwise be brutally realistic about the books you have in your TBR pile.

Part 2: Actively work on bringing that TBR pile down to something that isn't threatening you with bodily harm if you don't start reading it.

Now, my TBR pretty much comprises my entire house. I have bookcases in almost every room, in several rooms more than one and often stacked neatly on the floor as well, at least until the cats go on a rampage through the place which can cause a bit of shifting.  Furry little heathens with no respect for literature!  There is no way I could bring all of this to something manageable by the end of the year, so I'm going to pick one area, and that would be all of my Bookcrossing books that I have received from other people.  As the whole point of Bookcrossing is to share books with people, it's time for many of these books to move on, not languish on my shelves for years!

Here are the steps I will take:

1. Inventory the Bookcrossing bookcase for quantity in each genre:  done - Total 173
  • Mystery - 26
  • Teen - 17
  • Historical Fiction - 11
  • Romance - 18
  • Fantasy/Sci-Fi - 42
  • Paranormal Romance/Fantasy/Teen - 53
  • Other Fiction -6 

2.  Decide how many books of each genre to keep for reading, and give up the rest.  Either to other Bookcrossers, by wild release, or library donation. I think I'll say it has to be at least a 3.5 rating on Goodreads, or it goes, in general, of course there will be exceptions, there always are! done - Total 145 - gave up 28

  • Other Fiction - 0 (giving up 6)
  • Paranormal Romance/Fantasy/Teen - 45 (giving up 8)
  • Fantasy/Sci-Fi - 36 (giving up 6)
  • Teen - 17 (giving up 0)
  • Romance - 18 (giving up 0)
  • Mystery - 19 (giving up 7)
  • Historical Fiction - 10 (giving up 1)

3. Choose some from each genre to try and finish this year, and list them here. done - Total 20  I'll allow myself exchanges as long as they are Bookcrossing books, since I'm a mood reader. (also add to this list the same number of new that comes in, to keep the EOY at 125)

  • Espresso Shot - Cleo Coyle 
  • Mulch - Ann Ripley 
  • The Alehouse Murders - Maureen Ash

  •  Blood Line - Tanya Huff
  • Ghost Walk - Heather Graham
  • Spells and Sleeping Bags - Sarah Mlynowski
  • Midnight Alley - Rachel Caine 
  • The Discovery of Witches - Deborah Harkness 
  • Firelight - Sophie Jordan (added 9/8/12)

Historical Fiction
  • Cloud of Sparrows - Takashi Matsuoka 
  • The Scarlet Lion - Elizabeth Chadwick
  • The Italian Woman - Jean Plaidy  Gave up on, will pass along       

  • Kindred - Octavia Butler
  • The Light Fantastic - Terry Pratchett
  • Beyond Varallan - S. L. Viehl - Currently reading
  • Life as We Knew it - Susan Beth Pfeffer
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness
  • Welcome to the Ark -  Stephanie S. Tolan
  • Truly, Madly - Heather Webber
  • Free Fall - Jill Shalvis
  • This Calder Range - Janet Dailey 
  • Merry Christmas Baby Anthology - (added 9/8/12)

4. Goal - Beginning 173, culled 28, TBR Total 145, TBR by EOY 20, Final TBR at EOY 125

5. Track Bookcrossing books received after starting line and add TBR by EOY or cull additional to keep Final TBR at EOY at 125:
  • 9/8/12 - 2 books received.

It's still very hard to let go, even though I've identified probably at least 20 more of those that I've kept that I probably don't really need, like, the 5th of a series that I might have the first one of but none in between, but I don't know if I want to read it yet or not, etc.  Or a whole series that hasn't gotten very good ratings (per my 3.5 criteria) but that a friend really liked and gave me all of, so I feel obligated to read at least the first one to see how I feel about it before passing on the rest.  So I know there is more room to cut here (and I had honestly already started before this challenge, hence the couple of genres giving up 0) and I may do that later on.  It would likely be very liberating to just box up the whole lot and send them to another Bookcrosser (ahem, Elsi, ahem) but I'll start here and see how I do!  I must admit, seeing the 20 stacked up next to me is pretty daunting, I don't read as fast as I'd like to! I cannot even imagine doing this exercise for real on the rest of my books in the house.  It would take me months. *passes out*


  1. Good luck!! I spent the whole afternoon getting organized -- I understand your woes having too many bookcases and books. I have way too many, too!

  2. There's something a little liberating about diving in and cleaning up those piles, isn't there? Good luck and I'm glad you're joining us!


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