Monday, December 30, 2019

Reading Plans for 2020

My 2020 focus and beyond is the never ending BOOKS-OWNED-BUT-NEVER-READ pile, otherwise known as the TBR pile or unread books pile

To add to the pile, my husband, who does not usually buy books as gifts (because he says they aren't a surprise), relented and bought several from the top of my Amazon wishlist.

There are already numerous unread intimidating classic tomes established upon my shelves. It is time to conquer them!

Thankfully, I learned of The Unread Shelf Project 2020 at The Unread Shelf. Yay! (Thank you to Hamlette @ Edge of the Precipice for the idea.)

Following the rules, I first found the courage to divide my books between "read" and "unread," regardless of genre. It seemed criminal, but it must be done, whatever it took.

Next, I arranged books in alphabetical order by title, not author. This isn't part of the rules, but it was along the lines of shelving unread books in one location.

In the photo below, the top two rows are my READ books. The third row down with the red stars contains the most important UNREAD books (spilling into one cubby below it), which I want to immediately read in the next two years (or more). The remaining cubbies on either side of the fireplace are also UNREAD books, but they didn't make the immediate urgent cut .

There are bookshelves in two other rooms with mostly non-fiction books or books we use for homeschool, some of which are unread; but again, those are not most urgent.

The next rule was to count my unread books: there are 91 "urgent" TBR and 81 "not-so urgent," for a total of 172 unread books. I thought I had 300, which is why physically going through your books makes a big difference.

Also, during the process, there is opportunity to eliminate books you no longer want. Hence, sixteen books were removed that I would NEVER reread or attempt to read, two of which immediately found new homes.

My next job was to make a list of the top 10-12 unread books I want to read this coming year. I did this several months ago, but since my new additions this Christmas, the list has changed.

I am totally excited to get started on my unread TBR list and to follow The Unread Shelf Project for ideas to make me accountable.

In addition, I am still participating in The Classics Club, with my third list, which contains many of these unread classics. I am still working through The Well-Educated Mind Histories. And Brona's Moby Dick Readalong wraps up in March.

Remember: Silvia and I will host a read-along through One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Márquez, beginning March 6. This fantastical, symbolic, and complex novel is considered significant Columbian literature. Details coming soon.

Finally - just a sidebar - January, 2020, is this blog's 8th year in existence. I've been blogging since 2012. The idea was born January 1st when I posted my Intro, which has been updated numerous times. But my first post on Don Quixote was made on January 9th. And the rest is history. 

Happy New Reading to You!


Anonymous said...

Hi Ruth,
This challenge sounds like a good idea. I also have far too many unread books on my shelves and yet I keep acquiring more. It must be a personality defect or worse, a maniacal acquisition disorder! I hope you and your family had a lovely and fulfilling Christmas, my family did. I'm looking forward to the new year and reading the books I already own. Have a wonderful week, and thanks for all of the good ideas you give me.

~ Dean

Emma at Words And Peace / France Book Tours said...

Happy blogiversary, and good luck on your 2000 challenge!

Jean said...

Happy blogiversary! Mine is tomorrow. I've got to take a look at that challenge; I do have my TBR pile shelved in one place, but I need help. :)

Jillian said...

OH MY you have Testament of Friendship on your list. I CANNOT WAIT FOR YOU TO READ IT. Happy 8th! You have read A LOT. I'm also doing the Unread Shelf Project. 400 books... Oops.

Sue Jackson said...

I can relate! We have a separate bookcase for TBRs that now has double rows on 3 shelves!! And I still got a stack of new books for Christmas!

I do a TBR Challenge every year, but they still seem to pile up faster than I can read them. But I love getting new books as gifts!

Sounds like you have an excellent plan for 2020 - good luck and Happy New Year!


Book By Book

Cleo @ Classical Carousel said...

Congratulations on eight years of blogging. You probably never knew it but your blog was a blog that I was following prior to starting mine and it was/is an inspiration! So thanks, Ruth!

I've seen The Unread Shelf on Instagram and like her ideas. Right now I have my classics shelved alphabetically but it might be beneficial to sort them by read and unread. Hmmm ....

I hope you have a great reading year for 2020 and am looking forward to seeing your progress!!

Ruth said...

Dean: Hello. You disappeared for awhile. Are you still reading? I think this is a common problem for readers who love books. They are so many books they want to own and read, but there is not the time for such an obsession. So, we get backlogged. But it is good to focus on what you already own, and control yourself from buying more in the meantime. I'm going to try that this year: restraint. (BTW, I didn't really use restraint in the past and allowed myself to keep acquiring bc eventually I would get to it. This is different now bc I've reached my limit.)
Thanks for stopping by. Happy New Year!

Emma: Thank you and Happy New Year!

Jean: Happy Blogiversay today, to you!! How many years?????

Sue: Thanks! I think we need to all practice better restraint, says me who was at the library last night and bought two used books...ugh. Happy New Year! :D

HI, Jillian! You do need to do the Unread Shelf Project! Yay!
Yeah, I am anticipating Brittain again. So happy my husband chose that one from my list.

Cleo: NOOO! I had no idea!!!! Well, I'm honored. Thank you.
I'll tell you was so difficult to separate my books. I even mixed my children's books in with my adult books, history with fiction, biographies with poetry. I was going crazy. But I told myself, if I focus on getting these unreads read...I will be allowed to put all my books back the way I had them by genre via author's last name. But until then...I'm on restriction. (LOL)
Happy New Year!

Stephen said...

The wealth of nations? As the kids say, "Respect!".

* Or used to say. My niece and nephew are both out of high school now and I have no idea what constitutes contemporary slang.

Carol said...

Congratulations on your 8 years of blogging. Long may you continue. Happy New Year & may you get through all your TBR's!
I started the Karen S Prior book about 2 months ago but got sidetracked so will have to get back to it. I was given a stack of lovely books for Christmas & my birthday so I'm not going to buy any more books until I've made a mark on the ones I have already.

amanda @ simplerpastimes said...

Happy Blogiversary! And Happy New Year!

I am really intrigued by the Unread Shelf Project. That really sounds like a serious way to tackle the TBR pile. Rearranging the book shelves - that's a major commitment.

Good luck and happy reading!

Ruth said...

Stephen: LOL! Well, I get it. But so you know...I'm totally intimidated by the Wealth of Nations. Yikes! But I can do it. I got through Democracy in America, right?

Carol: Happy New Year! I ban myself from book buying, too. I really need to stick to it this year. Well, I can't wait to try out On Reading Well. It looks like a fairly easy read. We'll see.

Amanda: Thank you! Happy New Year to you too!

Hamlette (Rachel) said...

Counting my unread books was soooooo helpful! But I'm getting a little disenchanted by The Unread Shelf blogger because she keeps adding arbitrary new rules all the time, so I'm pretty much ignoring those and just going with my goal of clearing one whole shelf by the end of the year and doing as many of the monthly challenges as I can.

Ruth said...

Hamlette: this is true; I think that daily prompts are helpful for some readers, but I agree. Clearing the shelves and designating one for unreads is a big step enough. Being able to focus on a tangible amount, seeing them, holding them in your hands, does help us to have better focus.