Beat the Backlist 2018 Challenge

Every year my resolutions are 90-100% about books. This year is certainly no exception. My resolutions:

  1. To read 100 books this year.
  2. For every two fiction books I read, read at least one non-fiction book.
  3. To read a least two books that I already own for every new book bought or book read from the library.

In support of the last resolution, I spent some time on New Year’s Eve rearranging my TBR bookshelf:


These are by no means all the unread books that I own, but a special bookshelf where I put the books I’m most excited about reading soon. The first shelf is all non-fiction, and the bottom two shelves are fiction and poetry. Last year I got in this weird cycle where I was checking out so SO many books from the library, and then because those had due dates, I would prioritize reading those, and read way fewer of the books that I was actually excited enough to pay real money for.

Of course, once I’ve read a book from these shelves, I’ll have to find a home for it on my other shelves, so how will I keep track of my progress? Well, that’s where this bullet journal spread comes in:


Given how focused my reading resolutions are on clearing out these TBR shelves, I was excited when I heard about the 2018 Beat the Backlist Challenge, hosted by NovelKnight!


I’m hoping to read at least 60 backlist books this year, the majority of which to come from the list and shelves above. (Don’t worry. Like I said, I have plenty of unread books to refill my TBR shelves from as I go.)

I’m team Novel Knights!


In the meantime, I am still struggling with whether I’m going to stay on goodreads or move to LibraryThing. Opinions?


Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now?
I just finished Andre the Giant: Life and Legend, which was a graphic biography. It was really lovely. So glad I randomly discovered it at the library.

2. How many books have you read so far?
Six! Loading the middle of my readathon with some graphic novels and little Penguin classics helps me feel accomplished. It’s long been a big part of my readathon strategy.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
I’m thinking it’s time to dive into the science fiction section of my TBR stack. I’m so intrigued by the description of Electric Forest by Tanith Lee. I think that’s where I will go next.

4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Not too many. My youngest child has been predictably squirrelly, but he’s also gotten a lot more reading done himself than in readathons past. My husband took him to the Y for a nice long break in the afternoon to get some energy out, which definitely helped!

5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
I’m surprised by how much I miss doing it as a fundraiser. I thought it would be such a relief to stop doing the every two-hour fundraiser update posts, which took quite a bit of time. But I miss it! It’s one of the primary ways my friends and family cheered us on. This will help me be less annoyed about doing them next time. 🙂

Dewey’s Readathon, 10th anniversary!

Apparently, I only use this blog to track readathons. I guess I’m okay with that.

Opening meme:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
I am here in Lansing, Michigan, where we are having the most beautiful sunrise right now.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
I am very excited about the new volume of Sex Criminals, which I barely managed to save for the readathon.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Mango gummi bears. Always.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I am reading with my two kids this morning. Jefferson, my twelve-year-old, is a multi-year veteran of the readathon. Solomon, my seven-year-old, likes the idea of participating in the readathon with us, and in the past has mostly come in to hang out and “read” long enough to eat the special readathon snacks, but loses interest quickly. I’m interested to see if he has a longer attention span for it this year. As for me, I am a science geek, a beader, and am actually in the process of starting my own micro publishing company to publish speculative fiction novellas!

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
In the past I’ve always used the readathon as a fundraiser for a reading, book, or literacy related charity. But since I’m actually getting the chance to participate in both of Dewey’s readathons this year, I decided that was a lot of asking for money, so this time we’re just doing it for fun. I love doing this to raise money for a good cause, but it also causes a lot of pressure to do regular updates and keep asking for money. I can’t wait to see how this changes our readathon experience.

Find other people participating in the readathon here!

end of readathon

Well, I didn’t get as much reading or as much posting done as I meant to do on the second day. For mixed reasons. On the happy side, a bunch of friends were in from out of town, and I got to go spend some time with them! On the less happy side, every time I turned on my computer I was immediately drowning in news of racist bullshit going down in Virginia, which both made it harder to take participating in a readathon seriously but also provided some pretty serious motivation for disappearing into a book.

Anyway, at the end of the readathon I’d spent a mere 10 hours reading (I was hoping for at least 15) and finished four books. I’ve already donated my $10 to the library and sent the confirmation in. My four books are depicted above, which looks extra impressive if you forget that I was nearly done with Drawing with Needles when I started.

This readathon was a good idea, though. I hope it becomes a regular thing.

Two books in

I have just finished Dept. of Speculation and OH GOD, THE FEELINGS. I would like to go smash the husband’s face in. I would like to go smash in Rabih’s face, from The Course of Love, of whom I was previously much more understanding, but now, of course, I know that he is awful, just awful. I would like very much for my husband to come home right now and give me a hug.

I need to pick a very different sort of book for my next book.

I’m eyeing the graphic novel I’ve had checked out of the library for months. Or maybe one of the “classic” middle grade novels that people keep exclaiming about when they found out I haven’t read it, really, I haven’t read it.

I took a picture to post with this update, but instead of uploading this newest picture first, Dropbox has decided to finish uploading the massive backlog of vacation pictures that I haven’t gotten around to uploading yet instead. The little red bubble at the bottom of the screen is telling me there are 92 pictures left to upload. I think this post will just be picture-less.

Hello, Readathon!

So, I had all the intentions of putting together a TBR pile and doing a little “night before the readathon” post, but then yesterday my whole life gotten eaten up by an impromptu art project, which meant both that I didn’t think about making a TBR pile and that the precious little flat space I have in my living room right now is currently taken up by art supplies that I have not put away. see them around the edges of the pictures above. So, I’ll have to just rummage through my massive TBR shelves and piles all over the house instead. I can live with that.

I’m just now settling in to get started on the readathon with my Scottish Breakfast tea (lately every time I make tea in the morning I think about what the different is between Scottish, Irish, and English Breakfast tea) and my sole vacation purchase, Drawing with Great Needles, which I am about 3/4 of the way through and intend to finish as my first readathon book. I bought this book at Cahokia, the largest pre-Columbian city north of Mexico, where I visited this vacation and became very curious about the facial tattoos depicted on almost all of the representatives of what a Cahokian resident would have looked like. Cahokia was a pre-historic city with no mummified remains, so how could they know what tattoos they might have had? This book is about exactly that, and it’s been fascinating (if sometimes academically dry) so far. It is making me want to read a lot more about the history of tattooing.
Okay, as long as I am posting a picture of what I am reading, I might as well participate in the first readathon challenge:

Take a picture of what you are reading this readathon and answer the following questions:
1) Favorite book ever?
2) Where are you reading from?
3) What library will benefit from your readathon participation?
4) How many hours are you trying to read during the readathon?

1) I still think it’s evil to ask a reader to choose their one favorite book, but the answer I usually give when forced to do so is Dune.

2) I am reading from Lansing, Michigan.

3) I will be donating to my local library: The Capital Area District Libraries.

4) I don’t have a set goal. I do have some other obligations over today and tomorrow, so I am just going to cram as much reading in around them as I can.

Libraries Matter Readathon

So, the kids are both away at Camp Grandma for two weeks, and what better way to celebrate having a whole lot of me-time than participating in a readathon? The Libraries Matter Readathon is a brand new event, but the basic gist is, spend some time reading between August 11th and the 12th, and donate to your favorite library according to how much time you read. All the details are here, if you would like to participate. 

I will probably not post quite as heavily as I do during the Dewey Readathon, but expect to see a few posts from me here and there.