Am I succeeding or failing at reading my own damn books? Am I avoiding buying new books that will make the to-be-read pile groan and sigh? Am I focused and kicking the ass of the only reading goal I have set for 2016? Eh. Sort of. Well, actually no. But still sort of? It depends on how you do the math.
Of the 17 books I read this month, two were re-reads, two were audio, one was borrowed, and three were digital. Which is to say eight of 17 did jack shit for my reading goal. But fuck it, because in my head my other always reading goal is LOVE READING, and I succeeded there with firecrackers and cartwheels.
Nine of the books I read were from mount to-be-read. I bought two carefully selected, long-anticipated books just like I planned and then, OOPS, six more new-to-the-tbr books when I heard that the British Bookshop was having a going-out-of-business sale, and I rushed off to purchase things by William Gibson and Jonathan Stroud that I am excited about but totally didn’t need. So my tbr is, if I subtract books bought (8) from tbr books read (9), ONE smaller than it was last month. Dammit.
One small act makes up for this atrocity of a number: I weeded 14 books out of the tbr pile and gave them away. Technically this means I have reduced the pile by 15 books, but success-by-giveaway feels cheap.
On the other hand, I could ignore the books bought and think of it this way: In January I read nine books from my tbr and discarded 14. There. That sounds better. Twenty-three books gone! Now I’m feeling successful.
Though I prefer to count books bought against tbr books read, I can’t really call the reductions this month a failure. Onward to February, a short month in which I will be so busy I will (hopefully) have time to read books but not (too much) about books (biggest culprit for the must-have-it itch) and avoid book stores. No book stores, no new books. Right? RIGHT?!
Before the stacks of my tbr—currently shelfless and living in large piles behind a door in my bedroom—become tentacles and begin to creep across the room toward my helpless, sleeping form, I will prevail. I WILL PREVAIL. January was a warm up. February is for real.
If you want to join in the tbr destruction party, visit Estella’s Revenge and follow #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks on twitter. There are also group tbr decimation parties happening at My Reader’s Block, Bookish Lifestyle (#2016TBRPile), The YA Book Traveler (#RockMyTBR), and the TBR Triple Dog Dare at Sunday Salon.
January at a Glance:
17 books read, 9 from the tbr pile
8 new books purchased
14 tbr books given away
Photos. Left: Books I weeded from the tbr and donated. Right: part of the currently shelfless tbr.