More of my New Design for my Reading Life

I wrote a while ago that I’m aware that I’ve read less then I used to, and less than I might, and that I’ve been spending far too much time working on plans and lists, and hunting down books. I’m happy with the projects I have in place now, that I have the right balance of plans to give me direction and freedom to read what I want to read.

Now I need to address something more fundamental.

I live in a house full of books, many of them are unread, and the number unread – and the number of books I want to read again – is growing and growing.

That means I need a change in outlook.

I need to be more aware of the books that I have, the books that I do want to read, and be a little more patient when I find that there are more desirable books out there in the world.

I’m not going to give up new books, and I’m not going to read a book just because it’s here in the house, but I need to strike a better balance.

How do I do that?

* * * * * * *

Well, I’m accepting the Double Dog Dare from James Reads Books

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 ….

tbr-dare-2014Here’s my plan.

For three months I will read:

  • Library books that were in the house on the first day of the new year.
  • Books that I owned on that same day.
  • Just the occasional review book, that I really want to read and will read straight away.
  • Books that I’m hoping might arrive on my birthday.

I’m going to find giving up the library trickier than giving up book buying, but I have a plan. The man in the house has agreed to take books back so that I won’t be tempted to borrow more, and I can’t resist a visit I’ll borrow books that I own or books that I’ve already read, just to help their statistics and support the library.

I’m not sure that I can do this, but I have to try. I’m going to take it one month at a time and see what happens …..

* * * * * * *

I’m making some specific plans for books on my shelves too.

Amanda at Simpler Pastimes has a Classics Children Literature Event next month.

2015_childrens_lit_originalI have some interesting possibilities:

The Young Pretenders by Edith Henrietta Fowler (1895)

The Children Who Lived in a Barn by Eleanor Graham (1938)

Mermaid House by Gwendoline Courtney (1953)

An Episode of Sparrows by Rumer Godden (1956)

Linnets and Valerians by Elizabeth Goudge (1964)

And there are one or two more events I have books ready for a little further ahead ….

* * * * * * *

And I know that there are one or two other things I can do – I’m not going to talk about them now, they’ll happen as and when – to try to make sure that I’m choosing the best books to read from the ones on my shelves and the ones out there in the big wide world.

That’s all I want to do ….

33 responses

  1. “And be a little more patient when I find that there are more desirable books out there in the world.” – what a lovely way to put it. That’s something I’ve become more conscious of, how quickly I grab for new-to-me books that sound so intriguing. Good luck with the Dare, and your further plans. I’m off to check out the Classic Children’s Literature Event.

  2. Lovely plan Jane and good luck! I’m trying to resist the lure of the new now that Christmas is over and I shall try to concentrate on books I already have – it’s often very exciting exploring your own shelves and reminding yourself of all the lovely books you own!

  3. Welcome to the TBR Double Dog Dare. I hope you enjoy it. Remember, if you’re strict about the rules, you can still buy books during the Dare, you just can’t read them until April 1. 😉

    And I allow for exceptions. It’s all about having fun, so do have fun.

  4. I tend to have a library problem too, although I’ve managed to be a little better about it in recent months–but there’s still plenty of unread books on my shelves. I’m happy you’ve books on your shelves that you can read for the Children’s Classics Event. And confession: I’ve not heard of some of them! I look forward to learning more. Thanks for participating!

  5. I could have written this entry. I am exactly like you. Do you think it’s an illness? 🙂 It has gotten worse since I’ve found a thrift shop that keeps having 50% off days and I’m coming home with armsful of 75 cent books. But I cannot give up the library. And I cannot be as disciplined as you. I’ll be watching anxiously to see if you can do it. That might give me hope. Good luck!

    • There were years when I thought I should do this but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to resist the library. I think I can manage it now – if only for a few months – because I work out of town, because hours have been cut, and I have given me the safety net of borrowing their copies of books I own.

  6. I understand completely and had to pick myself up off the floor laughing. You are me, I am you Jane. Oh my oh my. I have books inside of books. I need to read them. I too have signed up for the double dog dare so I will be watching with bated breath. I’m trying to psych myself up to do this dare. I have vowed only to buy one new book in that time and that is for my March book club I don’t have yet. Now Kindle is having end of sales for a $1.00 and book and I just bought about 10. They are so cheap and I can read them on both my samsung tablet and my kindle fire and they even sync the pages for you when you go between the two. My husband loves reading on his samsung tablet too. So easy to see. My gosh , isn’t 2015 going to be fun. Can’t wait to get stuck into all these books and to read everyone else’s. I need to stop spending so much time reading blogs on my blogroll. I love all these people. I have decided to only read the top 6 or 8 blogs updated (first come first serve) at 5:30 am after I feed my 3 dogs and 2 cats and we all come back to bed with my coffee. Get off from Facebook, only once a day, maybe at night when I’m tired. And no computer games like soitaire, scrabble or candy crush at all at least for 6 months. I’m hoping I’ll be over them by then. I just waste too much time. Believe me, 2015 will be the year of the book. Or should I say year of the 3000 books. haha. Have a lovely time in 2015 and I look forward so much to reading what you get up to. All the very best. Pam

  7. I’m glad you’ll still support the library. It always puts a little chill in my heart to read of bloggers giving up checking out books from the library. I can understand the desire to simplify your reading life – I want to do that too, but I’m surrounded by temptation at work every day and I just can’t resist!

    • Right now my library is shrinking, and I suspect that its new home in the town hall will be smaller, so I have to do what I can to show that there’s a demand for books and library services. I have the advantage over you when it comes to simplifying things, because I can just dash in to look at the new books shelf, pick up my reservations and leave!

  8. Good luck with the plan …..i am also going to try to resist the lure of buying new books and focus more on my TBR esp my large pile of French books which i avoid through tital laziness. Book buying can become a bit obsessive but i hsve begun to ask myself what is the point of buying a book to have it lie unread in a heap fir months and months !

  9. I’m doing the TBR Dare too, (with a Shiny exception!). In previous years when I’ve done the TBR Dare, I’ve found it a joy to get to know the deeper recesses of my bookshelves again – in fact my book of the year (which I’ll announce tomorrow) is one I read last January whilst exploring my TBR. So good luck on that – I hope it works for you. Now I’m off to check out the Children’s Lit Classics event – that’ll fit in nicely with my plans too I think.

  10. Good luck with your challenge, Fleur. I’m also trying to focus on my TBR by adopting the #TBR20 idea, so I’m planning to read twenty books I already own before buying any others. As Karen has said, it can be quite exciting to browse your own shelves and I’ve rediscovered books I’d forgotten about.

  11. These are great resolutions! I’m giving up the library for one month, but I”m sure I’ll check out all the more in the remaining eleven. I also like the idea of the TBR20 challenge. Your Children’s Classics look lovely and I will look forward to reading about them.

  12. I love the you’ll still support the library by checking out books you’ve read or own! For me, the TBR Dare will be for January only and then I will re-evaluate… we’ll be in Florida most of the winter this year and I love both the library and independent bookstore nearby.

    • I have to support the library, and I couldn’t give it up entirely. I’m not sure that I’ll make it through the three months, but I’ll post some sort of progress report at the end of each month, and aim to do another month later in the year if I fail in one of the first three,

  13. You are so very brave…the very resolution of not doing an impulsive just-added-to-the-TBR list sends me in spasms…but I know what you say is right…I should too get more practical about the way I approach my reading…I just have to figure out a middle path for myself among all of this!!

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