“I wish I was a mole in the ground. If I was a mole in the ground, I would tear that mountain down, oh I wish I was a mole in the ground.” -Mole in the Ground (an old song)
Even a mole can tear down a mountain, one paw full of dirt at a time. This year I will channel TANK MOLE, and I will destroy the mountain that is my current to-be-read pile. This is my only reading goal for 2016. (Well, that and reading The Exegesis.)
In the back of my mind, I’ll still be trying to read more diversely and to keep author-gender parity even, yeah. But because my TBR was largely purchased before I thought about either of those things, I will have to ignore them in order to successfully read through it. Gender parity? Ha. Diversity? YOU ARE HILARIOUS. I would need to buy new books to support those goals, and the point of this exercise is to read books I have already spent money on and to free up some shelf space and some mental space.
So I’m joining My Reader’s Block’s 2016 Mount TBR Challenge. (Sign up here.) Committment level: Mt. Kilimanjaro. That means I will read at least 60 books from my TBR pile. I am also joining Bookish Lifestyle’s 2016 TBR Challenge (sign up here). Committment level: Married with Children, ie 50+ books (eww, that is so not a motivating challenge-level name). The more support groups the merrier. Hey! Just found another one: am tossing #RockMyTBR onto the pile too. Update: Also adding #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks hosted by Estella’s Revenge and the TBR Triple Dog Dare at James Reads Books to the mix.
The former challenge organizes via a review and update index site, while the latter challenge promises many updates and wrap-ups. The more interaction the better with these things, in my experience.
Considering the fact that by the end of June 2015 I had already read 91 books, this should be easy. Right? Right! YEAH RIGHT.
I have a hard time not buying books. They are such beautiful, magical things that make me intensely happy. This challenge’s true name is Stop Buying New Books Already, Nikki, Jesus, What’s Wrong With You. Cold turkeying book buying is utopian, so I’m just going to aim for reasonable. I know new things will come out that I will HAVE to buy immediately (and that I will love deeply, and be glad I did). I also know that I will occasionally find something awesome at the used book store and take it home. So I will set a limit: two new book adoptees per month.
If I succeed at this for six months, I will have met my goal by June. Shelves lighter, I will then purchase every book Nnedi Okorafor has ever written and read them all in one glorious binge. That is the carrot on the end of my stick.
This is what a TBR mountain looks like in my house.
My TBR is split among three different shelves, which are organized into three tiers of urgency. The books I want to read immediately are above my bed. There are 45 of them. The books I want to read after that are on a shelf in my library. There are 80 of them. The books I theoretically want to read, someday, I mean I bought them didn’t I?, are above the guest bed (also in the library). There are XX of them. I did not count digital books because they are smoke and shadow. I also did not count books on lists, ie anything I do not already own. (NOTE: XXs to be replaced with actual numbers once 2015 is over.)
Each month, I intend to read at least six books from tier one. I’ve already picked them out through May. Since I read between 10 and 15 books a month, this leaves room for a digital book or a review book that I want to slide onto the schedule. Or I can proceed to tier two and pick something new that I haven’t looked at in so long it’s starting to look new and shiny again. This is The Plan. Nikki’s Very Reasonable Plan. What could possibly go wrong?
Photo via ryot.org, (cc) Wikimedia