Attacking the TBR Tome Challenge

This is Emily’s Attacking the TBR Tome challenge.

The challenge is to read 20 books from your TBR list between December 1st, 2009 and December 31st, 2010. AND you’re supposed to refrain from buying books until you have read or attempted to read all 20 of your chosen books, unless you need to buy a book for a book group. You also have to write a blog post about each book as you finish (or decide you can’t finish) it.

There’s been some discussion on blogs recently about feeling guilty about buying books and not reading them soon after buying them. This is something I’ve never felt. I often buy a book knowing I won’t get round to reading it for a while because I’m currently reading other books and this doesn’t bother me at all. In fact it adds to the pleasure of reading, knowing I’ve got some good books lined up to read in the future. The only time I feel bad about not reading books is when someone has lent them to me and months later I still haven’t read them. I’ll try not to buy any more books (I’m always trying not to buy books!) but I can’t see myself sticking to that for very long.

I attempted to read from my to-be-read piles this year and managed a few, but also added lots of books to the piles. So there are plenty to choose from. Emily’s challenge is to specify the books you’re going to read and not substitute them, but I think I’d better give myself some leeway and if I want to read a book I haven’t listed I will.

As there is a delay between our house sale and house purchase most of my books will be going into storage next week. This challenge has helped me focus on which books to keep out to read until I can get my hands on the rest. I keep changing my mind about which ones to take but so far these are in a box:

  1. The Day Gone By, by Richard Adams (autobiography)
  2. One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson
  3. The Children’s Book by A S Byatt
  4. The Country Life by Rachel Cusk
  5. Helen of Troy: a novel by Margaret George
  6. The Rose Labyrinth by Titania Hardie
  7. Ghost by Robert Harris
  8. Slipstream: a memoir by Elizabeth Jane Howard
  9. Rivers by Griff Rhys Jones
  10. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  11. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson
  12. Mollie Fox’s Birthday by Deirdrie Madden
  13. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel – read
  14. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  15. Eden’s Outcasts: the story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father by J Matteson
  16. Be Near Me by Andrew O’Hagan – read
  17. Map Addict by Mike Parker
  18. Resistance by Owens Sheers
  19. Corvus: a Life with Birds by Esther Woolfson
  20. Being Shelley: The Poet’s Search for Himself by Anne Wroe

This could easily change in the next few days.

5 thoughts on “Attacking the TBR Tome Challenge

  1. I don’t feel so guilty, because I get MOST of my books (not all! I am, after all a reader!) from the library. Such a good use of my tax dollars. I liked looking at your list. I know I started “One Good Turn,” by Atkinson but if memory serves I didn’t care for it that much, and skipped to the end. Of course, your mileage may vary. One of my troubles is that books will come in that I’d put on hold, interrupting my reading flow, or someone hands me a “must read,” or I get a great recommendation. I frequnetly get sidetracked by books on current event or hot topics — one recent example of that is an interesting book on health care and medicine, “Time to Care.” The author, Norman Makous, was a cardiologist for decades, and has much to say about how medicine has kind of lost its way, in terms of devaluing the personal relationship between doctor and patient. I loved the stories he included about patient situations (personal anecdotes make things real). Rationing is so in the news these days as a fear of the pending legislation. He makes the point it’s headed our way.

    And now, back to a Philip Margolin novel!


  2. I accomplished the Read Your Own Book challenge this year by reading 50 of my own books. I set my own goal and will probably set the same goal next year. I didn’t finish until October.
    I never feel guilty about not reading them right away either. The reason I buy them is so that they will be there when I want them, even if it’s 2 am on Christmas Day and there is not a bookstore open anywhere 🙂


  3. I just got a copy of Being Shelley through Book Mooch, and I’m so thrilled. It sounds really good, and I’ve read good reviews of it. I’m going to have to start thinking of my own list soon.


  4. I’m not sure I could refrain from buying any books while I read the TBR pile!!! I’m sure my husband would like to me to sign up for the challenge though! I did make good headway into books on my TBR shelves this year, as well as adding books to the shelves as I bought them. I think I will join this challenge. At least for continuing to read books off my shelves – like you, it is difficult to go without picking up a book here and there, and I don’t feel guilty at all! at least after this last year, I don’t!


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