The TBR Triple-Dog Dare has begun, so for the next three months I'll be reading only from my own TBR shelves, with the exception of a few library books already checked out or reserved. This year I did not load up my library list, because I really want to tackle the TBR stacks. I bought a lot of books last year, and my TBR total has reached a new high. Many of these books are from the authors I was introduced to last year, including Monica Dickens and Margaret Kennedy; and others that I found again after many years, like Mary Stewart, Alexandre Dumas, and Barbara Pym.
At this point, I have to admit that my TBR-reduction project, which originally began in 2008, has been a spectacular failure. This blog was meant to help in that project, but instead it has led me to other blogs featuring alluring books and new-to-me authors. The net effect has been like a chocoholic let loose in a Ghiradelli factory. Hopefully in these months I can make something of a dent, and also restrain myself from adding too many new books.
Other than the TBR Challenge, I don't sign up for challenges, really, though I enjoyed the RIP Challenge last fall. My reading is generally pretty eclectic, and I want to follow my own whims or interests in choosing books. I am hopeless with reading schedules, as my two RL books groups can testify. I cannot read to a deadline. I just don't want to turn the comfort and joy I find in reading into another source of stress (I have enough of that already).
All that said, I have been intrigued by the "A Century of Books" challenge, which Claire and Simon among others have completed and which is now starting a second round. Intrigued by the idea of reading a book from every year from the 20th century, though not enough to join in. But then Jane came up with a twist for her second round - reading mid-century as it were, from 1850-1949. And that really piqued my interest, encompassing my favorite Victorians down to the mid-20th century. It is a sad commentary on my TBR shelves that at this point, I already have 67 of those 100 years covered, some with 2-3 books. The 1850s are the biggest gap, to my surprise. The Dumas books I have waiting are too early, and the Trollope mostly too late (though coming in strong in the 1870s & 1880s).
So I think I am signing on for this one, but more with the intention of reading what I want to for the most part, and fitting those books into the century. That means it will most likely take me more than the two years Jane has set as her goal. The most important thing to me is that this should be fun. I won't read books just to fill up a year - I don't have enough time to read as it is. But I am looking forward to discovering new authors, particularly for those 1850s. I have a feeling I may finally have to read some e-books for the earlier years. Also, I am going to borrow Jane's idea of periodic updates, since she found them helpful and encouraging. But unlike Jane, I am going to read more than one book by some authors (Trollope comes to mind first), though I will try to avoid filling 1920-1949 just with Georgette Heyer, Dorothy L. Sayers, Angela Thirkell, Josephine Tey and Margery Allingham. (I do have unread books by Heyer and Sayers that fall in those years, however.)
This is new territory for me, and a little outside my comfort zone - so a challenge in more than one sense.