Dear internet, I have a problem. A compulsion, you might say. A terrifying addiction, others might argue. It is the one thing that could potentially tear my family apart and cause my husband to leave me.
I can’t stop buying books.
Seriously. I have tried to stop and it doesn’t work. As evidence of this, I received at least 20 books for Christmas. This was 5 days ago. Since then, I have ordered one a online, bought 2 in Waterstones and downloaded 8 onto my Kindle. The last of these, at least, can be kept a secret, so perhaps my marriage will survive.
Because of all this, I am very grateful for the Rock My TBR Challenge, hosted by Sarah at The YA Book Traveler. The aim is to read at least 1 book per month which you already own; if I read at this rate and do not buy any more books (haha, I do amuse myself sometimes) I will beat this challenge while flying on a hoverboard in the year 2054.
So I will be trying to read at a slightly higher rate than 1 per month, but we’ll see, as there are lots of new books on the way which I urgently need to read the exact second they arrive in bookshops.
I’m also participating in the 2016 Classics Challenge, which I posted about here, and this will assist me in Rocking My TBR, as I have an addictive need to buy beautiful Penguin English Library editions of Victorian novels. So this year I’ll be reading the following classics: The Mill on the Floss, Hard Times, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, The Cranford Chronicles, the Brontes’ juvenilia, Under the Greenwood Tree and, if I’m feeling really brave or become housebound or something, Middlemarch.
Another challenge I plan to participate in during 2016 is Flights of Fantasy, which is hosted by Alexa and Rachel and which you can check out here. I’m planning a post about my newfound love of fantasy writing which I’ll link to when it’s done, but 2015 has been the year in which I’ve developed an overwhelming love of fantasy, particularly YA, and I’ve been accumulating more books than I know what to do with. In 2016, I’ll be reading Magonia, These Broken Stars (and the sequels), A Thousand Pieces of You, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising. And that’s just the books that are already published; in 2016, I’ll be looking forward to sequels to some amazing books I read in 2015, as well as debut novels like The Girl from Everywhere.
Amongst the enormous pile of books next to my bed, which will fall over and kill me in my sleep one of these days, are The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood, Beautiful You by Chuck Palahniuk, A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James (along with the rest of the Booker shortlist – and they’re all massive, so that’s not intimidating at all), The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin, Girl in a Band by Kim Gordon, Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins and The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. Additionally, there is a pile of books which I have tried to read and not managed to finish, generally just because I wasn’t digging them; I’d really like to be less of a wimp and finish these in 2016. The currently-DNF culprits are The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell, The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman, Swamplandia! by Karen Russell, The Girl in the Red Coat by Kate Hamer, Under Major Domo Minor by Patrick DeWitt, All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews and Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury.
Finally, because this isn’t sounding daunting enough, I have become an obsessive collector of short stories too; they’re amazing for school (I teach English in a secondary/high school) and great for dipping in and out of. I’ve accumulated collections by Flannery O’Connor, Roald Dahl, Ray Bradbury and O. Henry, and read bits of them, but I want to commit to these collections more fervently in 2016.
I feel exhausted just thinking about all these books but contemplating the Rock My TBR challenge, as well as Flights of Fantasy and the Classics Challenge, is making me feel very motivated to get all these books finished. Will you be reading any of these in 2016? Buddy reads, anyone?