I am thankful that James of James Reads Books is hosting another round of his annual TBR dare. This year, it's the Double Dog Dare! You may already know the dare: to read only from your TBR shelves from January 1st to April 1st of 2015. Any books on hold at the library by Dec. 31st of this year are also eligible. This will be my fourth year of participating, and it's not easy. But I do feel a sense of accomplishment (and a bit of relief) in crossing books off the TBR list, while trying not to add too many new ones. This year again I'll donate a dollar for every book (finished or not) to RIF (Reading Is Fundamental), a children's literacy non-profit. As the (pretty flexible) rules allow, I am claiming exemptions for book club books, and also for the new book by Laurie R. King, a Sherlock Holmes & Mary Russell story to be released in February. I am also mulling over allowing myself one comfort re-read each month if needed - because I'd still be reading from my own shelves.
I have an idea in the back of my mind that I might carry this on past April. We'll see - that's easy to say now. But for the last couple of years, I've had these little notes posted on my computers: "TBR Free in 2015." They're on my computers because that's where I often learn about new (or new-to-me) books and authors, from blogs and email discussion lists. And that's also where I all too easily click over to book-buying websites. Realistically, there is no way I will make that goal now. And there will be new books that I want to read, and some to add to my shelves. I don't think I'll ever not have a TBR stack - but it would be nice to have a stack and not shelves of them. Sometimes I feel like a book hoarder, sometimes I feel guilt over all these unread books, sometimes I'm almost paralyzed by so many choices of what to read next. So I have my eye on 2016 instead. Maybe. We'll see how the Dare goes first.