Monday, September 01, 2014

Third Quarter Review and Setting up September

According to Goodreads, so far in 2014 I've averaged about 20 books a month. That's 160. My public library account history shows that I've checked out about 100 books this year.  The community college library doesn't keep my history, but I estimate I checked out about 30 books there.  Through various giveaways and gifts I've acquired about 70 and I've purchased about 60. This means that about 100 books that I haven't read have passed through my hands and/or ended up on my shelves.

All this is approximate and not necessarily accurate. Take the library books: a few are ones I checked out for someone else and weren't anything I intended to read. Some landed in the did not finish pile--this often happens when I am pressed for time on my library visit and don't properly vet them whilst still in the library.

The books I own (whether from wins, gifts, or purchases) tend to get set aside for library books, unless they are ARCs or other giveaways that I feel need a timely review. After those, I've been reading things for various challenges and spotlights (Women in Translation Month, Japanese Lit Challenge, Spanish Lit Month, various lit prize long and short lists, and book discussion groups). This has meant a lot of reading somewhat scheduled by outside forces. In all fairness I should point out that much of this "directed" reading includes things I would have read anyway.  However, I might not have read it during this eight month period.

So where do I go from here?  Do I stop requesting ARCs? Do I stop entering blog contests? Do I avoid new and used book sales? Do I stop going to libraries? Do I cancel my subscriptions with five indie publishers?  No, No, No, No, and No! Should I ignore the challenges and spotlights? No.

Why "no" to all of these? Because I've found so many great reads through all of these sources.

Should I be more selective (especially with the ARC and contests)? Actually, I've been pretty selective--only 26 books got less than 3 Goodreads stars or didn't finish and more than half got three or four stars. Of course that's books finished, not tbr shelves.
Should I make more effort to tackle the to be read shelves? Yes.
Should I continue with serendipity? Luck? Whatever? Yes, this is lots of fun. And I read for pleasure.

When I started this post I was thinking I would set up a specific September reading list with ten books from my owned shelves, five slots for library holds, and five for what comes along.

So....I can't do specific titles.  I'll do a more general list:
  From my shelves (8+ 3 to be finished):
      one Open Letter Press Book
      one from other indie press subscriptions
      one from the Dalkey Korean Literature purchase
      one book from the Friends of the Library May sale
      one from the bolg wins
      three ARCs from Goodreads & LibraryThing wins
      three holdovers from August: I Am Istanbul, All My Friends, Hart's Grove (a Goodreads win)

  From the library:
      one my daughter suggested- Battle Royale; by Koushun Takami, Yuji Oniki (Translator) 
(checked out on her card, due late next week) 600= pages, but she says it goes quickly, we'll see
      The Kalevala -- due 9/16, renewable; I don't plan to read the whole thing.
      any hold that comes in (5 on hold, but none are in transit)

And that is enough to plan on since the two library ones are both long and I need some room for browsing.


  1. I'm tickled by the revelation that even with your Olympian reading prowess and your laudable use of multiple library systems, you've still managed to accumulate over 100 as yet unread books this year. Well done! I buy most of my books new and only read an average of one a week these days, so my backlog is getting longer and longer, too, only in a different and presumably less budget-friendly way. Anyway, continued happy reading to you!

  2. I'm retired so I can find plenty of time to read, prowl around used book sales, visit libraries, and search the net for giveaways and bargain.