It’s April 1 – and the end of the TBR dare, so time for an update.
If you consider only the books I’ve reviewed for this blog, I only cheated fully once and partially twice!
The full cheat was the pair of Quick Reads titles I squeezed in on convenient train journeys.
The partial cheats were: The Helios Disaster by Linda Bostrum Knausgard – which I had originally planned to review for Shiny New Books, but found too weird and my thoughts too bitty to write a coherent full-length piece for Shiny, and Lurid & Cute by Adam Thirlwell – another Shiny read which I disliked so much I couldn’t finish it!
Including those above, I have read 34 books so far this year, of which 16 were on my TBR before Jan 1st and 14 are Shiny Reviews for issues 4 in January and issue 5 coming next week and were excluded from the TBR Dare accordingly. I hope that James, TBR Dare host, will forgive me for my partial participation this year. As ever, my intentions were good – but I am fooling myself if I didn’t realise I had so many reviews to read/write for Shiny!
Needless to say, I have read some cracking books for Issue 5 of Shiny including several wonderful debuts, a couple of non-fiction titles, a much-loved re-read and that new novel by ‘Ish’…
Back to normal soon.
The Billy bookcases in my
library spare bedroom used to look like this:
That is, on both walls, jam packed, double depth, no space left at all. More on the top in boxes too.
Now, after a couple of months of real winnowing, one wall in that room now looks like this:
You can see a couple of empty shelves, and most of the rest are now single stacked only. I am on the verge of being able to consolidate these books into 2 bookcases on the opposite wall with a little more purging. Then I can reclaim this space to a) finally get rid of the horrid yellow paint on the walls and b) put the spare bed propped up in my garage in the room which has never had a bed in it!
Only problem is the huge desk in the opposite corner, which I was sitting on to take the photo – I’ll have to dismantle it to get rid of it. It’s a tall modular work station type one and was assembled in the room for those pre-laptop days – it won’t go through the door as it is!
I can honestly say though that this ongoing book cull is proving to be a good experience. All those impulse purchases from the charity shop that I’ll never actually read are going back there by the bag-load (the manageress knows my gift-aid details off by heart), plus many, many more – as I try to distil my TBR into more realistic numbers.
While my desire to add new books to the shelves is essentially undiminshed, I have begun, I hope, to move towards an equilibrium state in my book piles – it’s getting more difficult though…
We’ll see, and if I ever get to that stage where the room does get redecorated and remade into a bedroom with bookshelves rather than a bedroom of bookshelves I’ll be sure to post a photo.
Have a great weekend everyone. I’m off to play with my books some more.
For the past few years I’ve signed up to take part in James’s TBR Dare.
Hosted by James of James Reads Books and featuring his beloved pooch Dakota in the graphic, the TBR Dare is very simple –
Read only from your TBR from Jan 1 until April 1.
You can make your own exceptions for book groups, scheduled reviews etc. reserved books at the library etc.
You don’t even have to stop acquiring books – you’re just not allowed to read books that come into your house from Jan 1st until the dare is up. You could go out on December 31st and have a splurge on new books which would be valid to read during the dare.
You don’t even have to do the full three months – just set a target and enjoy revisiting your TBR piles, or in my case, mountains. James doesn’t like calling it a challenge – and I’m all for that – I nearly always fail in those – so it’s a dare.
This year I’m having to make a different exception because of my involvement with Shiny New Books which, by its nature, will require me to read some new books. However, as they will appear on a different website, I feel justified in saying that here at Annabel’s House of Books I am aiming to go the full three months reading only from my TBR (except for Book Group choices).
If you want to join in, head over to James’s TBR Dare page and sign up. Your TBR piles will love you for it.