2018 Reading Challenge
For this year’s Reading Challenge, I’ve decided to forego the search of titles to fill a list of criteria, and instead look to the books that fill my shelves.
January Book Unhaul – January Wrap-Up
May Book Unhaul – May Wrap-Up
September Unhaul – September Wrap-Up
December Unhaul – December Wrap-Up
Yes, I’ve decided to set out and read all of the books I own. My personal library is not gigantic, but its number far exceeds the number of books I’ve been reading each year. Why, then, am I making this task my Reading Challenge? Inspiration for this goal comes from my experience with the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, and more specifically, the sections about books. I already know that many of the titles on my bookshelves (and tables, and floor) do not spark joy. Many titles I’ve kept are from specific points in my life – childhood, college – that I don’t ever want to let go, but I’m ready and willing to be honest with myself about which books I’m keeping for soul-reaching, knowledge-acquiring, joyful reasons, and which ones I’m keeping simply to satisfy my sentimentality.
For the books that spark joy, I will keep them in my possession.
For the books that spark nothing, I will feature them in a Book Unhaul post, where I’ll offer them to you, reader of my blog. After a month or so of checking with fellow book bloggers and bookstagrammers, I’ll donate the books that spark nothing to special causes, secondhand bookstores, and/or accepting libraries and schools.
Here are the specifics:
- I will be transporting the books that are still at my parents’ house to my apartment so I can really go through my entire personal library.
- I will then alphabetize all of my books by author’s last name. Rather, I will add those books from my parents’ house to the already-alphabetized books in my apartment.
- I will judge the books before reading any of them. Like I said above, I know that there are some I already know I don’t enjoy, so I’m not going to bother re-reading them.
- I will re-read books I’ve read. Even those that I’ve recently read. This does not apply, however, to books that were part of my 2017 Reading Challenge, or multiple editions of books that I own. For example, I will not read all of my copies of Pride and Prejudice (but if Pride and Prejudice no longer sparks joy, I will do away with all of my copies).*
- I will not stop purchasing books or asking for books as gifts. I think it would physically hurt me (in addition to mentally and emotionally) if I didn’t get a new (or new-to-me) book all year long. If the author’s last name is in a part of the alphabet I’ve already completed, then that book will move to the top of the to-be-read list. If it’s in a latter part, into the bookshelf it goes until I reach that section. However, I hope this Reading Challenge will curb my “excessive,” “unnecessary” (words from non-book lovers, obviously) book buying habit.
- I will not stop checking books out at the library. This Reading Challenge will also hopefully curb my habit of checking out five or six books at once and only getting through two or three of them. Instead, I will try to take out just one or two at a time.
- I will write a monthly recap here on the blog that will include the books I’ve read, those I’m keeping, and those I’m parting with. I’ll supplement each blog post with a #bookstagram post, too (follow me here).
- I will try to work in a couple of audiobooks and ebooks along the way. My new-found love for the former tells me not to avoid them for an entire year, and my NetGalley responsibility for the latter reminds me that they will be in my life.
- I will not be suspending my From My Bookshelf feature, and I will not be including my volume of Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales in this Challenge. The only way the FMB monthly posts would interfere with my Reading Challenge posts is if I decide to discard a book that I’ve profiled in FMB. But I’m not going to make a fuss about that now; I will cross that book bridge when I get to it! And since my reading of Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales is an ongoing project, I’m going to omit it from my shelves and from this Challenge. Maybe I’ll finally get one of those stately podiums seen in rich mahogany libraries!
Those are the guidelines for my 2018 Reading Challenge. It will span many genres and time periods, and by the end of the year, I hope to be surrounded by only the books that have brought and will continue to bring me joy. I will be back to update this post with the titles of each book, because I think it will be fun to collectively portray which books I’ve read, kept, or discarded.
Finally, link up to your 2018 Reading Challenge in the comments! Share your thoughts on mine, and tell me if you have ever taken on a similar challenge and whether it was a success or not. Enjoy the rest of your 2017 reading, and thank you for stopping by!
*Pride and Prejudice will not be a victim of this. I only used it for the example.
Good luck with that!!!
Thank you!! I think I’m going to need it… 😉
The day that Pride and Prejudice no longer sparks joy is the day that I lay down and die. Lol! I have an unhealthy life long love affair with Jane Austen! I really need to go through my own books though… I have SO MANY! I started a spreadsheet a couple of years ago to keep track of them (where they are, read and unread, etc.) That kind of fell to the way-side… I should really get back to it. I may re-kindle some old loves of my own! Thanks for the suggestions!
Haha agreed! I’ve softly and soothingly assured my multiple editions of Austen/Bronte/Louisa May Alcott/Other that I will not part ways with them (with the exception of an edition of Northanger Abbey of which I accidentally bought a duplicate). It’s funny that you mention the spreadsheet because after writing this post I decided to start a spreadsheet to keep track of all of my books! I’m still filling it in but it’s incredibly satisfying to look at/have. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂
My sister, who was a more prolific reader than I, used to keep track of the books she read in a little notebook. She started it in the analog days. The notebook was in alpha order by author and she would write down all the titles she read by that author so she wouldn’t take out the same book twice or buy the same book twice. She’d add paper as needed
Kelsey @ There's Something About KM
I started doing this for this challenge! I’ve always half-attempted to keep track of the books I own, but this year I sat down and made a complete list. It makes it a little more fun to physically check off books I’ve read.
I really need to work on ditching the books that I don’t love. There’s no reason to keep them around, and they just take up room!
Exactly! I’ve finally convinced myself that if my bookshelves are a little less full because I’ve removed books I’m not in love with, I will be okay. Plus, that means I can just fill that empty space with more books I love! 😀 Oh wait, that’s not why I’m doing this… 😉
Good luck with that. Last year I got rid of a lot of books through Sell Back Your Books and other apps that you can find online. My husband and I were downsizing and I had hundreds of books that I didn’t want to lug everywhere. I even sold my Harry Potter books. Now I have them on Kindle (and on Audible!) But now I’m finding that my Kindle is starting to load up with a lot of books. That darned Book Bub keeps sending me suggestions of free books to “buy” on Amazon and I keep falling for it! Although, I will say that now that I use the Kindle App on my phone, I’m reading more books because I have my phone with me at all times. So I read while I’m waiting.
I’ve gotten more into Audible which has [slightly] curbed my physical book buying, although I still cannot fall in love with reading on a screen (although I do have to for some books that are only available as ebooks, like NetGalley copies). Granted, I don’t have a huge personal library but the number is large enough for me to take on this challenge.
Hello in August. I just found your site via SIPB. So glad I did. I love your 2018 challenge idea and am eagerly anticipating the next installment.
Thank you for visiting! 🙂