From the Stacks Challenge

Around the time Guppy was born, I spent a fair amount of time participating in online reading challenges. I soon discovered that these interfered with the spontaneity and enjoyment of my reading. Sometimes, though, the challenges are enough in line with what I want to read anyway, or they give enough leeway to choose, that they still draw me. Such was last year’s From the Stacks challenge, which I read about at one of my favorite book blogs, Pages Turned.

I set out the books I wanted to read. Instead of the suggested five, I chose ten–five graphic and five prose novels. I took several pictures, trying to get the book ambience just right. (Does it strike anyone else that the shelf pics of book blogs are something akin to book porn?) I then found I can’t post pictures on my blog, which is just as well. I’m hard put enough to post regularly without something else to obsess nerdishly over. It is also just as well, because of those ten, I read only five. Of those, I loved only one; several of the others I didn’t even much like. Additionally, I veered off my list to read seven others from the shelves, nearly all of which I liked a great deal. (Several of which were quick-read graphic novels, in case this sounds more impressive than it is.)

I am reminded once again that online book challenges aren’t for me. I’ve begun using Gurulib to log my books and my considerable to read/watch/listen titles. My hope for this year (I prefer hopes to goals; I don’t think it’s a coincidence that a simple transposition makes them gaols) is to read two shelf books a month, to continue my library patronage, and to keep book buying to a minimum. I count over 100 shelf books (gulp) so even if I manage my hope, I still will reduce my home stash by less than a quarter. But this is my annual memo to self that I hope to shop and select from the home shelves as I can, rather than haring off after every challenge and alluring coupon.

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