Monday, July 18, 2016

Sticking to My Shelves: My Read My Books Challenge Experience

Erin and Dani co-hosted a challenge during the month of June with a very simple, straight-forward premise: read only books you own. Easy enough, right?

I'm happy to report that I actually stuck with this challenge! Need proof? See my screenshot below:

 photo ScreenShotLibraryJune2016_zpskjfrs0rj.jpg

(You can ignore the 8 books I have on hold, though. They were all paused for the month of June, so I didn't have to worry that something I'd been waiting for would suddenly become available.)

Seriously, though, this challenge was harder than I thought it would be. As I said in my last post, I think there was probably a reason a lot of these books had been sitting untouched on my shelves. 

Sometimes their size intimidates me (I'm looking at you, Carrion Comfort ... I didn't even consider attempting that one in June!). Sometimes I'll reread the blurb on the back and feel very "meh" about it (Mister Sandman is a great example). Sometimes I have every intention of reading it, but just get sidetracked by a shiny stack of library books (I've seriously packed The Silent Wife in my bag on the last five trips I've taken, and every time I've chosen to read one of the library books I've packed instead).

When I started the challenge, I didn't have a definite goal in mind. I really just wanted to finish as many books as possible. I think my ideal was 8 or 9 (as you can see from one of my book "photo shoot" pictures below), but I didn't get through quite that many.

 photo ReadMyBooksJune2016_zpswfbnufh5.jpg

Before I share my final book count, though, I feel like I should tell you three things:

1. I didn't officially start this challenge until June 2. I was finishing up a library book (Hurt People by Cote Smith, which I highly recommend!), and couldn't get through it until June 1. I don't consider that "cheating," but I was technically reading a library book at the beginning of the month.

2. I didn't finish my final book until July 9. I started it at the very end of June, and it was honestly so boring that I wasn't inspired to pick it up most of the time ... So it took me forever to finish it. I'm still counting it as a book completed for this challenge, though, because it's a book I own and I started it in June. 

3. Half of the books I read were newer purchases. (I bought them in April.) They obviously still qualify as books I own, but I probably should have focused a little more on some of the books that I've owned for years. 

Now that that's out of the way, here's my final list:

1. Wreckage by Emily Bleeker - 4 stars

(Read my short review here, in-depth review here, and check it out on Goodreads here.)

2. The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter - 2 stars

(Read my short review here, in-depth review here, and check it out on Goodreads here.)

3. Forsaken by Andrew Van Wey - 2 stars

(Read my short review here, in-depth review here, and check it out on Goodreads here.)

4. The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison - 4 stars

(Read my short review here, in-depth review here, and check it out on Goodreads here.)

5. Hillary: Tail of the Dog by Angel Gelique - 3 stars

(Read my short review here, in-depth review here, and check it out on Goodreads here.)

6. Mister Sandman by Barbara Gowdy - 2 stars

(Read my short review here, in-depth review here, and check it out on Goodreads here.)

As you can see, half of the books I read were only worthy of 2 star ratings. I guess it's nice to know that I don't need to keep them (I clearly won't be rereading those), but it's also a little frustrating. I mean, who wants to waste money on shitty books? 

I know I won't stop buying books, but this challenge made me appreciate my library even more than I already did. If I check a book out from the library that sucks, it's no big deal. Yes, I wasted some of my time, but it's not taking up space in my apartment and I didn't spend any money on it. 

Overall, I'm happy with my results. I stuck with the challenge, and managed to cross off three categories for the Semi-Charmed Summer 2016 Book Challenge (including one of the two book categories) in the process. I would have been happier if I'd loved all of the books I read, but at least I got through them.

Thanks to Erin and Dani for co-hosting this challenge! 


  1. I agree, it's frustrating when you buy a book and the book ends up being a dud... Kinda like movies. You pay for your ticket and leave the theater feeling robbed... LOL! Congrats for sticking it out! Hopefully July is being a nicer months for you in terms of reading!

  2. most of the books i read for the challenge were newer purchases as well, like may haha. but it counts. you did really good though! i am going to keep trying to read books i own as well as utilise the library, but i am also going to try and read the older ones, and stop impulse buying so much. it's hard though, because i am such a mood reader, so i don't want to force myself to read anything that doesn't sound good at the time.

  3. You knocked a good bit off your shelf!!! I am like you, there are lots of reasons why I still have books sitting around and I just need to read them already!

  4. The "pause" feature at your library is genius! I don't have that option.
    Overall, I think you did a fantastic job of clearing some books off the home shelves. That was the purpose of the challenge.
    Wreckage is on my radar. I assigned it to one of my never-ending challenges (Around the World in 80 Books). The Silent Wife is on my tbr as well.

  5. I had super low expectations for Wreckage, and I ended up really liking it. Enjoy getting back to your library books this month!