I can feel new carpet coming on. Our carpet is sixteen years old and, as we live in a smallish unit, it suffers a fair bit of wear-and-tear. Moreover, our three miniature foxies (two aged 16, one aged 14) are entering the twilight of their lives: one in particular is very poorly and another is likely to follow that moonlit pathway quite soon. The third (and my favourite, I confess) is blind and deaf with terrible teeth and she, too, is not long for this world I’m afraid. “After the dogs!!” I have promised myself as I grimly vaccuum the threadbare steps and the doggy stains that I hate so much. And if we’re going to carpet, then we may as well paint while all the furniture is taken up…and all this means I NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE BOOKS.
I don’t actually buy a lot of books because I use my library a great deal. I love receiving books as a present but I’m too miserly to spend $30.00 on a weekly basis when I know that the chances of reading a book for a second time are not high. I am, however, a sucker for the book stall at the Uniting Church fete, the new op-shop down the road, the new Little Free Library installed in the park and the Bargains table at Readings bookshop. Then there’s Mr Judge, whose appalling library borrowing record and love of second-hand books compels him to bring home several books a week that pile up in his study, many of which I’d like to read one day (although I’ll give all the science fiction a miss).
But I really do need to READ some of these looming piles of books so that, when the new carpet beckons, I can sort out what I really do want to keep and dispense with two of the bookshelves in my cluttered and thoroughly unsatisfactory lounge room. The TBR20 Reading Challenge sounds like a good idea to me.
Started by Eva Stalker in Glasgow, the TBR Challenge involves reading twenty books in a year from your own shelf before buying or borrowing any more. Well, eschewing the buying part should be fairly easy for me, but the borrowing not so much. As a result, I’ll blithely ignore that part of the challenge and just undertake to read twenty books that I already own by 30th June 2016. You’re supposed to sign up on Twitter with the hashtag #tbr20 but I must confess that I don’t think I know how to work Twitter. I need a young person to help me.
I’m quite looking forward to it. As far as the brand new un-read books are concerned, I obviously thought that these books were so desirable that I shelled out the money for them at some stage. As for the second-hand books, well I must have brought them home for a reason too.
Some people do several reading challenges, but I only until now have signed up for one: the Australian Women Writers Challenge. I do try to catch up on the books that are short-listed for the major prizes, which involves reading a certain quota of new work. The TBR challenge, however, is going to plunge me into some retro reading, I suspect. Prepare for lots of reviews of early-twentyfirst-century books. Doesn’t matter! I’m looking forward to it!