Through this rush, #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks has kept me focused without putting inordinate pressure on me to read a set number of books by a set date. It has reintroduced me to what is turning out to be an exceedingly well-stocked library (my very own!). It has staunched the slow bleed of my monthly earnings. Oh yes, this reading challenge came at just the right time, and I’ve loved everything about it.
Still…the rosy glow of affection and good intentions can dim over time, can’t they? Who hasn’t experienced the pull of old habits?
Four months in, my itchy trigger finger lingers over the “purchase” button on a new biography that looks enticing. Then again over the e-book version of Station Eleven for that day in the future when I want to reread it (*rolls eyes at self*). I didn’t end up purchasing either of these (full-price) options, but my e-library has still managed to swell to 510 books. (I just want to say, some of them are samples.) Of the books I’ve read this year, about 55 percent have been my own, which means about 45 percent were new or borrowed. I could be doing better.
And I could use a little jolt. Andi at Estella’s Revenge and Melissa at BalletBookWorm are providing it with a supplementary reading challenge called #SmashYourStack: Read Your Own Books in May. I’m a little late here, it being May 3 already, but I’m in because I need this.
All the evidence is contained in my answering “yes” to each of the first four questions in Melissa’s post:
Yes, I acquire books faster than I can read them.
Yes, I have an e-reader filled to bursting
Yes, online deals and book sales are my kryptonite.
Yes, my Mount TBR is Out. Of. Hand.
For May, my #SmashYourStack pledge is for 80 percent of my reads to come from my existing library. I will read a new book, Brooklyn by Colm Toibin, because it’s my book club’s pick for our May 13 meetings. If I read eight of my own, then I’m allowed to read one more new one. No library books, no ARCs, and no borrows from friends unless I’ve already read my own.
There. Now I’ve said it.
Since I don’t want to be scouring my library every few days, I’ve compiled a list of appealing-looking titles. Some are left over from Readathon. Others are books that somehow got lost in the shuffle. I may not get to them all, but they’re not a bad starter list.
Long Division by Kiese Laymon
Saving Lucas Biggs by Marisa de los Santos and David Teague
Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead
The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
How to Write a Novel by Melanie Sumner
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Book 2) by Douglas Adams
All Roads Lead to Austen by Amy Smith
The World Between Two Covers by Ann Morgan
Books, Movies, Rhythm, Blues by Nick Hornby
Spymistress: The True Story of the Greatest Female Secret Agent of WWII by William Stevenson
Little Author in the Big Woods by Yona Zeldis McDonough
Any suggests for which of these I should start with based on your experience with them?