I know. I know. I came up with three challenges earlier this year and almost immediately abandoned them, so can you really trust me when it comes to challenges? Probably not. However, a new year is on the horizon. I always become my most hopeful self when a new year is on the horizon. I'm the sort of person who if you're going to tell me I've got an incurable disease and only have six months to live, you should tell me in late November, with a new year right around the corner. I will respond with, "Ha! Incurable for most, but not for me Emily Barton, who can conquer anything come January. Just give me till January 1, and you'll see. I've got at least 50 more years in this old body." Tell me the same thing in March or May, and I'll be saying, "Six months, you say? You'd better start digging my grave now. I'm pretty sure it won't be more than two weeks."
2009 (and what disappointments it may or may not have) is already being swept under the carpet as I focus on how much better 2010 is going to be. And what's the first thing I want to attack in 2010? My TBR tome. I know, most of you only have a list, so this challenge is probably going to be a little easier for me than it is for you, given that I will have many, many more titles to choose from than you will. I also know that many of you refer to your TBR pile, an idea that just amazes me. To actually have nothing more than a mere pile (okay, some of you have piles but still) of books to read? I have a whole houseful of books to read, thanks to having married my husband, the former English teacher and pack rat (I hope those of you who have visited will attest to this fact). Not that I can blame it all on him. I didn't used to buy books at the alarming rate at which I buy them now, but I'm like a bulimic. The slightest excuse (broke a fingernail, it's raining/snowing/a brilliantly sunny day, I need a change of scenery...), and I'm off to the nearest bookstore to purchase at least five books, eyes too big for stomach, finding the need to purge (or at least set aside for months on end) after reading only two.
So, here is how this challenge works. It begins December 1, 2009 (because I always believe in challenges that give you more than one year to complete) and ends no later than December 31, 2010, but it really ends whenever you manage to complete it. Here are the rules:
1. Choose 20 books from your TBR list (or tome, if you are like me), and post them on December 1, 2009. If you'd like, you can tell us why you chose each book (I'm sure you can guess what I'd "like").
2. Read those 20 books.
3. Oh, did I mention? You are not allowed to buy any of them. If you don't already own them, you must beg, borrow, or steal them in order to read them.
4. Oh, I guess I forgot the other difficult part: you are not allowed to buy any new (or used. No, you can't get around it that way) books until you have read (or attempted to read at least 30+ pages) of all the books on your list.
5. There is one exception to the rules (because I am a fair kinda gal and belong to 2 book discussion groups): you may buy books you have to read for book discussion groups before you have read all 20 on your list, if you can't get them any other way (i.e. your library system doesn't have them and employs the Sloth Express to deliver all interlibrary loans). However, I highly recommend that you encourage your book discussion groups to read books from your list of 20.
6. And then that final thing: write a blog post about each book as you finish (or decide you can't finish) it.
That's it. Who's joining me?
(And now I'm off to flip through the pages of the TBR tome and start narrowing down my list.)