The 2017 Challenges are Beginning

snip20161106_2One of the book blogs I follow is My Reader’s Block.  I enjoy her posts as I find them motivating. She has good challenges each year including the TBR (To Be Read) books from her own library. As most of us know we all seem to have stacks of books in our home we bought with great enthusiasm and then left to set on shelves knowing we ‘WILL’ get to them. Then out we go again, pass a book shop and lo and behold see another book we just ‘gotta’ have.

This past year I belonged to two book groups. One has two books per month and one has one book per month. Looking back I realise there were very few books that struck me as interesting. Yes, it is fun to talk to other about books whether we enjoy them or not and the social value of a book group cannot be underestimated.  But enough is enough and one of the groups had to go. So I let it go. I still belong to the other group. I call it the Grand Chancellor group because we meet in the lobby of the big Grand Chancellor hotel in the city centre overlooking the fishing boats in the harbour.   I love the group because the age of the participants is varied from young to retired. Their interests are diverse. Sonia is fun  as she truly is an Australian born into an English woman’s body. So we treat her as if she is English. One day she hopes to make her visits there permanent. But in the meantime we listen to her Englishness and enjoy the laughs. Danielle is our facilitator and after we discuss the books we play a game relating to books. There are a couple that are commercial and others she thinks us. It is always a huge laugh. We have a veterinarian in the group who has great animal tales from time to time. We have a couple of teachers who are well read and interesting. We have an Army major who is up for most things. We have a youngperson who reads everything and is very well versed with what she reads. We have a woman who flies to Hobart from Melbourne several times a year and plans her visits around the group. We also have a woman who jumped out of a plane to celebrate an occasion and then started dating the instructor. I did mention how diverse we all are.

We usually discuss two books per month. One is our “regular book,” the main one. The other might be a children’s book or something light weight or very different to the mainstream one. We are invited to read one or the other or both.  Sometimes we might pass on the book and just come to hear the discussion.

As I am not the fastest reader in the world I have decided that in 2017 I am going to focus on one of the books decided and read that and let the other go. I want to read maybe 8 to 10  of the book club books per year (we meet monthly) and that allows time to be away travelling or to leave the 800 page blockbuster I can not bear to look at. I will also use my audible subscription towards book club books so I can listen to them in the car or while doing other tasks. My plan is to create more time to read the TBR books.

I have shelves and boxes of books I want to remove from the house. However I won’t get rid of them if I haven’t read them and I think they will be very good. Once read (Penguin books excluded) they must leave the house. I will either sell on eBay, give away to bloggers or to charity shops.  Be prepared for giveaways anyplace in the world.

This gets me back to My Reader’s Block blog. She has a mountainous challenge. I mean this literally. I am going to focus on it for the year. There are various levels.

Challenge Levels: (click for sign up page)

Pike’s Peak: Read 12 books from your TBR pile/s
Mount Blanc: Read 24 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Vancouver: Read 36 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Ararat: Read 48 books from your TBR piles/s
Mt. Kilimanjaro: Read 60 books from your TBR pile/s
El Toro: Read 75 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Everest: Read 100 books from your TBR pile/s
Mount Olympus (Mars): Read 150+ books from your TBR pile/s

I will commit to Pike’s Peak but am hoping to get as close to Mt. Olympus as I can. I can’t imagine reading that many books but many of the Penguins are short.

snip20161106_4That is the plan for next year as of today. I also have a couple of audible books I have not heard and quite a few kindle books. The only rule is you must own the books before 1 January 2017. It is hard to believe 2016 is almost gone. The year seemed to go so quickly. But I like this time of year as it is a time of buying a new diary which I love (all those blank pages) and setting up goals for next year. I doubt I’ll sign up to many if any other challenges unless I can incorporate them into the TBR one. We’ll see how it goes. I won’t make a prepared list as lists ahead of time become boring. I would rather pick and choose off the shelves as my mood strikes me.  So stay tuned and see what the Penguin and I find hiding around the house. We expect to travel to many places and meet lots of characters we either like or don’t like. We are both looking forward to the ride.