Tea and Books

Part of the pleasure of reading is choosing books to read. So when I read about The Tea and Books Challenge I went to my bookshelves to see what would fit this challenge.

Birgit at The Book Garden blog was inspired by C.S. Lewis’ famous words, “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

She writes that ‘in this challenge you will only get to read … wait for it … books with more than 700 pages. I’m deadly serious. We all have a few of those tomes on our shelves and somehow the amount of pages often prevents us from finally picking them up. You may choose novels only, no short story collections or anthologies, and in case you’re trying a short cut by picking large print editions of a book, well I’m sorry, those do not qualify for this challenge! Let’s battle those tomes that have been collecting dust on our shelves, so no re-reads, please! 

Both physical and eBooks are allowed, though personally I feel that especially the Tea & Books Reading Challenge is more fun with real books.Reviews of the books read are not mandatory’.

I do like tea, but I like books more and at one time I thought the longer the book the better. These days I like to vary my reading but I still have quite an armful (or two) of big books to read.

There are 4 levels, reading either 2, 4, 6 or 8 or more books. Six books qualifies for the Earl Grey Aficionado level and at the moment I think these are the books I’ll be reading:

 From top to bottom they are

  • This Thing of Darkness by Harry Thompson (750 pages)
  • Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens (794 pages)
  • A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel (872 pages)
  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (894 pages)
  • Helen of Troy by Margaret George (755 pages)
  • Mary Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser (758 pages)

I do have more books that would qualify, so the following books are also possibilities which I could substitute or even add (some are on Kindle) and so I may ‘upgrade’ levels to the Sencha Connoisseur level (but I doubt this) :

  • Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens (848 pages)
  • Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens (800 pages)
  • Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens (800 pages)
  • Dreams of Innocence by Lisa Appignanesi (712 pages)
  • Ulysses by James Joyce (944 pages)
  • No Name by Wilkie Collins (784 pages)
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (720 pages)
I think I have quite a good mix of books – old and not so old, classics and biographical fiction, plus one biography. I’ve listed some of these books before as books I want to read, so it would be good to finally read them, but I have a feeling that some (Ulysses, for example, which I have started before) will still be unread by the end of next year.


8 thoughts on “Tea and Books

  1. It took me about 2 minutes to be inspired by your post, Margaret, and decide to do this challenge too. A perfect opportunity to get a few doorstops off the tbr mountain.


  2. Ah, I hope you are going to enjoy your tea and your treats!

    “Our Mutual Friend” is a wonderful story, and “The Woman in White” is also a fine, old mystery.


  3. Margaret – What a great idea for a challenge! And you do have some excellent choices there. I look forward to your progress.


  4. Yea! (Although I love its title) it’s a challenge I’m not tempted to join. I’d never finish this one. But good luck with your books, none of which I’ve read.


  5. I was inspired by Cath, and have a pile of books set for this challenge. I’m about to sign up. I have Ulysses too on my list. I did start it this year, and alas, it remains unfinished. We can hope and dream, right, to get through these lovely long books while we drink tea? It is a fun challenge. I have some Dickens on my list as well, as I need to read some more by him – I’ve read only one Dickens in my life, something I’m not proud of!


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