Checking Out My Own Shelves: A New Reading Year

Posted January 1, 2015 by Lory in challenges / 40 Comments

Happy New Year, everyone! Sheila at Book Journey is hosting a “First Book of the Year” linkup to show how we’re starting our reading year. I thought this was a fun idea, so here’s a picture of me with my first book of 2015, Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen (Thomas Dunne Books, 2014). It’s a reimagining of the story of Peter Pan from the point of view of the villain, and since I just read Peter Pan to my son, I’m very interested to see how this develops. It also has a stunning cover design — be sure to look at a larger version to see all the details.

Otherwise this month, as I announced back in December, I’m starting out the year by joining up with fellow blogger Lark in a challenge to ourselves to temporarily stop checking books out of the library (with those pesky due dates) and read some of the perfectly good books that are sitting on our own shelves. I have some books that have been hanging around for years or even decades, and I’m excited to motivate myself to actually read them.

Here, I’d like to make it clear that I definitely support the library and check out oodles of books all year long. This challenge is just for one month to help me read some other things. Nothing against our wonderful public libraries! Anyway, here’s what I hope to check off this month (to be updated with my progress):

Sometimes I buy copies of books that I loved so I can read them again, but then neglect to actually do so.

  • Possession by A.S. Byatt – READ
  • The Dean’s Watch by Elizabeth Goudge – READ
  • The Papers of Samuel Marchbanks by Robertson Davies – PARTLY READ (part one of this omnibus edition, The Diary of Samuel Marchbanks)

Not Read Yet
These are usually books I picked up at a bargain price and then never got around to reading.

  • Studies in Words by C.S. Lewis – STARTED
  • A Short History of Myth by Karen Armstrong – READ
  • Eden’s Outcasts: The Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Father by John Matteson – READ

Review Copies
Books I received for review consideration or won in giveaways that have not gotten their due yet.

  • Finding Zero by Amir Aczel – READ
  • How To Be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis – READ
  • Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen – READ
  • The Bees by Laila Paull – READ

I think ten is enough to start with. I’ll check in mid-month and let you know how I’m doing, and I’d love to hear from you too.

How are you starting out your reading year? What books do you want to read this month?

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40 responses to “Checking Out My Own Shelves: A New Reading Year

  1. Ooo! I will definitely be joining this challenge. I have such a huge TBR stack of books I own that I think this is the perfect way to start 2015. Thanks for the idea!

    • If you're interested in a challenge to help cleat the TBR mountain, join us at the challenge hosted by Adam of RoofBeam Reader blog – you commit to reading 12 books in the year all from your TBR.

    • I'm very interested but I sort of promised myself to only do one challenge at a time. Otherwise I would get out of control! I would like to do this one for next year.

  2. Hey Lory! I returned all my library books yesterday. 🙂 And I've already started one of my TBR books; plus, I have a stack of books I'd like to reread sitting on my floor. Thanks again for the idea of putting the library on hold for a month. We should do this every January. Happy New Year!

    • I agree, I really like this way of starting out the year. And I'm sure by next January I'll have a whole new batch of books to read. Good luck with your stack!

  3. I definitely have a lot of books on my shelf, which I've included in my TBR Pile challenge. Still checking out library books though! I've started the year with Americanah and The Humans. Happy 2015!

  4. Going cold turkey is always the best way for me to get anything done. Everyone is different though — I hope your challenge proves fruitful for you.

  5. I had to laugh at your post… I am hosting a challenge for people to use their libraries more and you are trying to stay out of the library! 🙂 Thanks for joining in first book of the year!

    • Only for one month–I could never keep away for longer than that! I hope your challenge is a great success in encouraging more library use — I fully support that goal.

  6. Cat

    I returned my library books in the middle of December and so far managing alright without my weekly library fix. Happy New Year!

  7. Fractured fairy tales are always so interesting. Have fun reading. Love that you read to your son. Hau'oli Makahiki Hou!

  8. I've really made a push to read books off my shelves too.

    I own Lewis' Studies in Words — very academic but I plan to read a few of the essays in 2015.

    Happy reading!

    • I read some of it long ago but never got through the whole thing. Maybe I should try in smaller chunks, that's a good idea.

    • Well, these are ten possibilities — I don't know if I'll get through all of them. Some are more meaty than others.

  9. The cover is stunning! I believe there is also a movie coming out depicting Peter Pan's & Hook's childhood and how they became enemies.

    Good luck with your challenges & Happy New Year

    • Thanks Brona! This is a popular story for sequels and adaptations, but I haven't read/seen most of them. The movie sounds interesting.

  10. This sounds like a fun book! I love looking at classic tales from other angles. I hope you enjoy this one! The library challenge looks interesting. I definitely need to spend more time reading from my own shelves. Happy New Year!

  11. Kay

    I'm participating in the library challenge as well! I have yet to decide what book I am going to read first this year. I just stare at my pile of books. They all look too good to decide! Good luck and have fun with putting the library on hold for January. 🙂

  12. Good luck with your library challenge. It would be a hard one for me to stick to as I love to visit the library. I do try to read one of my own books for every 2-3 library books I read. Happy New Year.

  13. Hi Lori – Thank you for stopping by at my blog and commenting.

    I have been reading some of your posts. Your blog is very impressive!

    I really like this meme of first books. It looks like you have a great list of books lined up for the coming month. I must admit that a little jealous would have no chance of reading so many books in one month.

    Happy reading!

    • Thanks Brian! It's somewhat unlikely I will finish all of these, but I wanted to give myself some options. I'll post an update in a couple of weeks.

  14. This is such a fun idea!! And I also keep books and often forget to actually get back to them to re-read. SO MANY BOOKS! I read Possession last year and didn't LOVE it, but kept it around in case I might like it better next time. 😉 Happy new year!