Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The creaking TBR list

All through January I kept getting prompts from reading websites suggesting I set a reading target for 2015. Are you kidding? I put myself under enough pressure as it is, conscious of all the wonderful reading matter around me waiting for attention - family history magazines, novels, non-fiction books (novel writing research), gardening magazines, interesting blog posts...

But book bloggers and other avid readers seem happy to give themselves targets.

Jo Barton, on her book blog, Jaffareadstoo, has set herself several challenges, with the intention, I imagine, of ensuring she encounters a wide variety of reading matter.

There is The Eclectic book challenge (e.g. an autobiography, a debut novel, a romantic comedy), a Round The World Challenge (books set in different countries) and a Just For Fun Challenge (books from her own bookshelf).

But I particularly liked the concept of her 50 Books Challenge, a list which includes; a book set in the future, a book from childhood, a book that was originally written in a different language or a book based on a true story. Why not pop across to her website (later - when you've read the rest of this post!) and get some ideas.
Books galore at the Cullompton Book Festival last year.

Lots of Goodreads readers set themselves targets. There's even a group called Novel Books & Reading Challenges which describes itself as a "one stop, multi genre all-you-can-read book club."

It occurred to me that to be so prolific these readers must have some sort of clever strategy (unlike me!) which keeps them focused.

I wondered if they worked religiously through a list without deviation, whether they alternate fiction and non-fiction, crime and romance, literary and genre. Do they read one book at a time? Or have several on the go at once?  Do they read specific reading matter at particular times of the day?

How do they fit reading around 'life'? Does cleaning the loo 'earn' an hour's indulgent read? Is lunchtime sacrosanct reading time? When they curl up with a book do they take the phone off the hook and pin a DO NOT DISTURB sign on the front door?

If I do have a target for 2015, it must be to make more effective use of my reading time as I'm starting to feel inadequate!

So - how do you organise your reading? Go with the flow? Or follow a plan?

Have you set yourself a target for 2015? Do you have any reading challenges? Do you belong to a book club, either online or in person?

Have you any helpful suggestions of strategies in tackling your TBR list which have worked for you?

If so, I'd love to hear them.