Reading Challenge Update (December)

Of the fourteen titles I chose for the 2014 TBR Pile Challenge (one book a month, plus two alternates), I read seven. The seven books remaining are still on my shelf and I do plan to read them, but not any time soon. While I enjoyed the idea of the challenge, in practice I found that I prefer to choose my next book on a whim rather than from a prescribed list. I also figured out that just because I wanted to read a book seven years ago, that doesn’t mean I’m going to actually enjoy it when I get around to it. Sometimes it’s just been too long and I’ve lost interest in that series. In a couple of instances, the book didn’t live up to its personal promise to me.

I did read other books from the TBR pile that were not listed on my challenge. I didn’t think to make a note of those, though.

I have a mixture of success and failure to report from my other listed reading challenges:

Vintage Science Fiction Month: I read From This Day Forward by John Brunner.

Diversity on the Shelf: I read Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri.

The Sci Fi Experience: I read a number of books, all of which are listed at the review site.

“I’ve Always Meant to Read That Book”: I read nothing. I guess I wasn’t in a “classic” mood this year—and I know better than to say I might squeeze one in before the end of December. I’ve been saying that all year.

I am already listing reviews for the 2015 Sci Fi Experience. I am currently browsing my shelf for candidates for the 2015 TBR Pile Challenge. Those are the only two challenges I’ll be actively participating in next year.

On to my challenge for last month: I failed in my effort not to buy a book in November. I’d like to say I held out past the first week, but sadly, I did not. A book on my wishlist was reduced to 99c and the echo of my mouse click had long dissipated by the time I remembered my… I don’t want to call it a vow. My…personal challenge. Nope, no better, but it does sound less sacrosanct.

I did unsubscribe from several newsletters and that did reduce the temptation. But I sort the donations at my library every week. Books pass through my hands and so many of them are worthy. Also, Dreamspinner Press conspired to fill my ebook reader with free books by posting a daily tweetaway. At least I didn’t pay for those.

All in all, I bought four books, for which I paid less than ten dollars. That’s about ten fewer books than the month before and at a savings of about thirty bucks. Not a bad effort. I also culled the shelves again, pulling thirty-two books from my physical “To Be Read” shelf and packaging them up for the library.

Most months I acquire more than I read, which is why I have a…problem. This month, I read a lot more than I acquired. I read twenty-seven books. I don’t often read that many in a month, but that figure sure made a difference.

So, while I failed to stick to my word, I did make positive progress.

Coming later this month, my list for the 2015 TBR Pile Challenge and my annual round up of Favourite Things. Until then, happy reading!

6 thoughts on “Reading Challenge Update (December)

  1. Kama December 17, 2014 / 11:58 am

    Hello to fellow ‘challenger’ of 2015 Sci-Fi Experience. Congratulations on reading more than you got.
    I know so well the hardships you go through with buying books. I’m being tempted into foreign order. Gasp. I don’t want to think about that. Good luck on cutting the book shopping.

    • Kelly Jensen December 17, 2014 / 12:06 pm

      If only we could read more than we acquired every month, eh? Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Carl V. Anderson December 17, 2014 / 12:10 pm

    Hooray for progress!

    I’ve had good months and not-so-good this year in the book purchasing department. For the past two months in a row, however, my budget category for personal spending has had a significant amount of money left over in it, which means I’ve been staying away from the bookstore and Amazon.

    I’ve very much the same as you in that I much prefer to read on a whim. I generally find myself more engaged in the experience of reading, and ultimately enjoying the book more, if I have a strong, positive urge to read it right then. Because of that I’ve had books on my shelves for years, some of which I’ve been culling lately because I just don’t see myself getting to the point where I’m going to have the desire to read them. I would rather my shelves be stocked with books I loved, and may or may not re-read, and books to be read that still generate a spark of enthusiasm when I think about them.

    • Kelly Jensen December 17, 2014 / 1:18 pm

      Absolutely. I’m going to choose another 12-14 books for 2015, but this time I’m going to concentrate on books that have been only shelf for only a year.

      If I was truly brave, I’d toss the books I didn’t get to from last year’s challenge, but I still want to read the majority of them–when I’m in the right mood. 😉

      • Carl V. Anderson December 17, 2014 / 1:36 pm

        Earlier this year I swore I was only going to buy books if I was prepared to read them immediately. And while that has happened with some books, it is a very unrealistic this to try for someone who wants to get first edition books in pristine condition, as I end up buying many when they come out so I can comb through the piles and find the best copy.

      • Kelly Jensen December 17, 2014 / 5:10 pm

        I have both hardcovers and paperbacks on my shelf. I’m thinking of upgrading the paperbacks I really want to keep to hardcover (searching Amazon and ebay for deals) and just doing ebooks for the stuff I want to read, but don’t necessarily need to keep a physical copy of.

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