Sunday, November 29, 2015

Reading My Own Damn Books

Hello there, whirlwind weekend! I'm kinda glad you're coming to an end because you make a regular week look like tea and cookies.

A whole lot of Thanksgiving travel happened, and a whole lot of housework, grading, and writing happened, but let's hop straight to the book talk, shall we?

After much Christmas decorating yesterday, house clutter started bothering me, so I culled my books and did scads of rearranging shelves. I've had it in my mind that I want to focus more on my own TBR in 2016, so I got to work. I tossed books that I've lost interest in or set aside half-finished that I don't really want to finish. I tossed books that I was holding onto out of some sort of reviewer's guilt.

After I cleaned out my shelves, I decided to...da-duhmmmm....count how many physical books are in my house. Grand total: 210. Not as bad as it could be, but that's only physical books, as I said, and not the ebook stash. I don't even want to talk about that.

So the plan for 2016? #ReadtheDamnBooksYouAlreadyOwn is a hashtag that started thanks to a Twitter discussion...as most things do. When I mentioned wanting to shop my own book stash in the coming year, Adam from Roof Beam Reader suggested his long-running TBR Pile Challenge, but as it turns out, he won't be hosting it this year. I've failed miserably at this challenge in the past, so I was already a bit weary.

Several trusted blogger friends on Twitter suggested some alternative challenges like James Reads Books' final TBR Triple Dog Dare or My Reader's Block's Mount TBR 2016 Challenge. But....I kinda don't want to deal with any rules but my own.



The result: #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks. I'll be using this hashtag to talk about this personal challenge throughout the year. The rules are pretty nonexistent....

  • Read my own books
  • Try to knock off 100 in 2016 by either reading them or ditching the ones that are DNF
  • I can't buyyyy myself any books until I've read a significant amount of my own. Like maybe I can treat myself for every 5-10 of my own books I read. I'll be fairly flexible with this and see where my guilt leads me. 
  • If I'm itching for newness...use the library. Even if it's the shitty local one. 
I look at my shelves and there are SO MANY GREAT BOOKS waiting! And the ones that aren't great...be-gone-ya. The pic above is not all of my TBR, but it is the biggest chunk, nicely culled and organized. 

I'm a big believer in keeping a manageable amount of things in the house, and when you live in a small house, the culling, cleaning out, and only keeping what you really need is IMPORTANT. Clutter messes with my head...a lot...so this is also an attempt to keep what I really love instead of collecting, collecting, collecting. 

Wish me luck with #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks! If you'd like to join me, feel free to link up below. This is TOTALLY a choose-your-own-adventure, so don't feel beholden to my rules. You do you and holler with the hashtag on Twitter!

NEW! #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks Link-Ups!

In the interest of community, I've decided to post monthly link-ups for #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks! This is totally informal, but if you include #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks in your monthly wrap-ups, post a review of a book that falls into #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks, or otherwise just want to chit-chat in the comments, feel free to link up!

These will go live on the final day of each month throughout 2016. 

65 comments:

  1. I like it that you are setting your own rules for this challenge. Challenging yourself but not forcing yourself to do things for a whole year without bending. Gotta have a little leeway there, I think.

    http://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2015/11/thankfully-reading-weekend.html

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  2. This seems like the next logical step for you after free range reading, Andi. I only have a few after "Konmari" but I should do the same. I think I have maybe 10 to 15? If that.

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  3. I love this! I've been feeling the same way and have been pondering making a personal challenge for myself too. I haven't settled down on rules for myself yet. I might do "for every new or library book I read, I have to read 1 book that I have owned for longer than a year" - so that every other book I read is from my own collection that has been sitting around for far too long. That would help me read WAY more of my own books than I managed to read this year. Good luck to you! Hopefully 2016 is the year of reading our own damn books. :)

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  4. Wait - when you say 210, does that only include unread books? Or does it include all books? I'd be intimidated by 210 unread books...hell, I'm intimidated by my ten unread shelf-books!!

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  5. Woo-hoo! You go girl. I'm on the same wave length. I went a little nuts this year buying new/used books and am taking a book buying break until I make a dent in what I own. Like you, I won't join an official challenge because I end up sabotaging myself. Now on to get organized myself!

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  6. That sounds like the perfect plan to me. I've so many physical books that I haven't read yet continue to buy more every month. I've so many ebooks, they're hanging out together in the cloud because they won't fit on my Kindle, not to mention iBooks and Nook. You just put me in hastag heaven and made me feel as if I was granted a pardon. lol

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  7. Good luck babe! I don't know if I could do it! I love new books too much! lol

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  8. Good for you, and good luck! I have dreams of doing something like this, but I am such a weakling when it comes to resisting new books.

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  9. This is one that resonates with me! I keep trying to self-impose rules on my buying related to my reading, but haven't had much success. I do better when I feel like I've got someone holding me accountable. With 310 physical books on the shelves (and more coming in between now and year end), I will definitely be trying to "play along." Wishing you much success!

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  10. 201 - wow! I wish you all the luck. I try to do the same thing ... and sometimes I get distracted by the new and shiny and pretty :-)

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  11. I culled my shelves almost two years ago and really need to do it again. This is a wonderful idea.

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  12. Yes!! I love this!! This is one of my 2016 goals too.

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  13. Love this idea! Its something I need to do, too. Count me in!

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  14. Lately, I too have been feeling the need to cull my collection. I'd already planned to participate in the TBR Dare, but I've been hesitant to signup for anything year-long. This hashtag is simply lovely; a gentle reminder to #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks.

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  15. So on board with this. I just had a major buying spree (which I thoroughly enjoyed!) but now I think it's time to show the books I already own a bit of love! I think I will be following suit and adopting your flexible rules ;)

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  16. Oh yes oh yes. So excited to tackle Mount TBR with friends! I gotta clear some shelves before I move for school.

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  17. I have 218 book in my TBR bookcase, so I win. ;-) You know, you can set your own rules for The TBR Dare. And if you sign-up you could win a thousand dollars.

    Kidding.

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  18. I'm totally in on this... my post will go up tomorrow and I'll link it then. :)

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  19. I just culled my shelves a couple of weeks ago and it felt SO good to get rid of 3 boxes of books. I tried to do more TBR the past couple of years. I make sure I'm always reading one book I own, but the progress has been slow. It would be great to have others trying to do the same thing. I hope you don't mind I signed up with Twitter.

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  20. I've already signed up for the TBR Triple Dog Dare, which lasts for 3 months. If I'm serious about reducing the number of unread books on my shelves it will definitely take longer than that. Love your hashtag!!!

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  21. I am so in! Especially since I bought/ordered 7 books this weekend.

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  22. I'm not a big book buyer but I've won or been gifted a few I haven't read yet. I actually read one this weekend so I'm feeling smug. I'm in.

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  23. I have purged fairly consistently throughout this year, getting my total in physical books (not e-books) down to 400. These, however, are not unread books. I don't cull those. My relatively small stack of unread physical books is under twenty.

    I will be focusing on reading more of my e-books this year, and I have been doing it for a while. I will try not to request many review books, either.

    I also like the idea of setting my own rules. Good luck!

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  24. I know I need to do this too! I keep adding to my stack then reading off the library. I seriously need to start every month with a read from my shelves!

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  25. I was going to create a challenge exactly like this because I keep reading library books instead of books I've bought but will just participate in yours!

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  26. This came at the perfect time for me. I am in!

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  27. Oooo. So much better than the other challenges because it works on my own rules. I was just going to cheat on the Mt TBR challenge to work my own rules. But this is SO much better! Because I like to include books in series' I've already started as part of my TBR pile. Plus, I have different audiobook rules than hard book rules (yeah, yeah...but there's a reason, there really is). YAY for no rules!

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  28. It must have been in the air! I did my second major culling of the year this past weekend. So much easier the second time around. I too want to read the books that I already have, but I am sooooo attracted to the new and shiny. I've been thinking of trying some kind of rotation among old, new, print, ebooks ...

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  29. This is just what I need. I think I'll join you (and everyone else!). Especially if I get to make up my own rules - I've already been pondering them.

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  30. Fabulous idea. I'm sure we've all had it, but you are putting it to paper and challenging us all. I'm in!

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  31. I love this so much--it's perfect timing. According to Library Thing, I have just shy of 1,400 unread books. *sigh* Thing is, I just haven't had the desire to blog lately...mind if I just join you on Instagram?

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  32. LOVE this!
    really need/want to lower the amount of unread books I own, but I don't like following a set of rules. buying bans etc. don't work for me, I need something a little less strict.

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  33. This is exactly the challenge I posted for myself December 2014, except you have a much better title for it! It turned out well. I didn't buy a book until June 2015, when I preordered Go Set a Watchman, which I think can hardly count, it was a given! And then one as a souvenir on vacation. And I really enjoyed reading books I already owned. I'm going to do it again this year for sure.

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  34. Count me in!! I have hundreds of books I haven't read. It's awful. 2016 is going to be THE YEAR THAT CHANGES!

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  35. Hey Andi I'm definitely going to join you on this one and try to read 100 books next year to knock off some of my many unread books.I've only bought one book lately and that's a beautiful edition of A Brief History of Seven Killings which I'm rereading. The only other books I could receive are a few pre-orders but I4ll be trying not to buy one book until I manage to get my unread piles under control. I culled earlier this year but my shelves are already looking messy and I'm sure there are some more DNFs lurking - a few not a lot. So yeah Baby let's do it! Not sure I'll be able to read 100 books but I'm going to try. Thank for this cool challenge! Are you going to be doing any videos on this or anything soon? Miss you over on Booktube. :)

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  36. No real rules for me. Just a reminder to try to pick up and read one of the many many many books I own! We'll see how it goes! :) This is a great idea and I'm sure there are many of us who need this reminder!! :)

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  37. I was thinking how annoying it is to keep building my virtual TBR when I have so many physical books begging to be read! Totally in next year ... post upcoming ;)

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  38. I'm so happy to have stumbled across your blog! My reading goal for 2016 is similar to yours. I am SO TIRED of seeing all these awesome TBR books in my house and not getting to them. I'm doing Book Riot's Read Harder Challenge and I for 2016 my goal was to use only books in my house but the list is so specific that I can't (but only for 6 of the 24) so I'll use my local public library. I'm looking forward to coming back and checking in to see how you're doing!

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  39. I saw someone mention this on their YouTube challenge and was instantly excited to do it as well. Such a great idea as I had told myself that for 2016 I would tackle my TBR shelf and not purchase any books until I've read 20 of what I already own.

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  40. This is a great idea. I was going to do a more "strict" TBR pile challenge this year, but realized that I don't much like having to stick to a list. Your idea is much more appealing. :)

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  41. This sounds fab!! I can't wait to get started :-D

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  42. Hell yeah I'm joining you on this one!I'm going to make an effort to knock off as many as I can, while going through my shelves for a second time in 11 months. We need to do a collar together on Booktube. I'm missing all of my favorite Booktubers who aren't making videos at the moment. Please come back my Dear! I'm begging you....(insert lots of groveling here) ;)

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  43. Definitely on board! I haven't done a full count, but I'm pretty sure I have more than 100 unread books either on my shelves and e-reader combined. So it's about damn time I read them. I just posted about this and linked back here..hope that's alright. :)

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  44. Sounds really good, and I love your sense of humor about it!

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  45. We're hosting our Shelf Love challenge again this year for the same reason - we own too many books that are unloved heh. I like your hashtag :)

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  46. Yes! This is my goal as well because I have a freakish amount of books and I am finding that I have lost interest in some and have buyers remorse for others. I'm excited now that I am not the only obe

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  47. Yep! This book whore's on board. My count of unread is in the high hundreds, if not in thousands territory. Hell, I can't count that high. Maybe my goal should be to whittle it to a number I can reach, with my limited cipherin' abilities. The first step is admitting the problem.

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  48. I am doing this!!! I am also putting $1 in a jar for ever book I read and that is what I will use to buy new books!

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  49. Better late than never...I'm joining!!! Hopefully I'll have better luck with this challenge than the other TBR challenges I've signed up for in the past!

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  50. I really like this challenge. I'm setting my goal for 12, but we will see if I manage to read more.

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  51. I officially sign in, Andi! How exciting!
    I made a list of all the books I have (becasue rearranging my shelves is not an option) and I'm ready to panic! hahaha
    Good luck to every one!

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  52. Great challenge idea!
    I've decided to overall read more this year and get to all the review books I have accumulated so far (which I now see as my own!)

    My plan is to read just 2 review books a month and then continue with my own, so I might slowly but surely join the challenge this year!! :)

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  53. This is a great challenge. Count me in! I'll be signing up once I catalogue the waves of books I have at home.

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  54. My owned-and-unread list never seems to get any smaller. Hopefully this challenge will help me!

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  55. I'm looking forward to whittling down my ever growing book piles.

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  56. Woohoo, I FINALLY got my reading challenge post up after stalking and tweeting about your challenge for months! Thanks for hosting, climbing Mt TBR last year didn't work so well for me so I'm ready to #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks cause it's about time to get these books read!!!

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  57. I love this! Thank you for creating it. I'm a little late to signing up, but this might be the only challenge I complete this year. I've made my goal small, but it's better than nothing. ;)

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