First of all, I love this challenge because I think it is a really positive way to approach our TBR piles. Instead of focusing on TBR guilt or "getting through" those stacks of books, it's all about showing our books some love and that is a sentiment I can wholeheartedly get behind.
For Shelf Love 2015, I only read 20 books I owned before the first of the year. I did read a whole bunch more (including a ton of picture books) from my collection, but they were added during 2015, so they didn't count. And let's be honest, I was a library-book-reading fool in 2015! I read a LOT of graphic novels, audiobooks, and childrens' books and those are precisely the types of books I most often use the library for. I love my library, but it's time to try for a better balance (again!)
Last year, this challenge also emphasized a goal of (ideally) no book buying or sticking to a limited budget. Instead of a budget, I opted to make up a whole bunch of complicated exceptions and let's just say that part of the challenge was a major fail for me. Even though I fell off the wagon, I think I learned a lot from the experience that will help me going forward. This year, the goal is the same, but the emphasis is to "responsibly obtain books for your personal library" and I love that shift in perspective.
I've come to realize the most important thing for me to consider when buying new books is whether or not I will actually read them in a reasonable amount of time. If I'm not going to read them soon (or at least soon-ish), I really don't need to be buying them at that moment. So instead of a total book buying ban or a specific budget, I am simply doing the 2016 Show Your Shellves Some Love challenge in conjunction with the 2016 Read the Books You Buy Challenge. So my combined goal is to read more books already on my shelves AND to read whatever new books I add in 2016. If I find that new purchases are piling up unread, I will put myself in a book-buying timeout until I have caught up. Sounds simple, right? Well, I am hoping that keeping things simple will be the key to actually achieving a better balance in my reading and keeping my purchases in check.
My #ShelfLove 2016 goal: 51+ books (My Shelves and I are Going Steady)
A part of me thinks I am aiming too high, but I want to truly challenge myself this year. Also, I know I have some unread children's books, shorter books, graphic novels, and audiobooks in my collection that I've been meaning to read. So if I read those as well as full-length print novels, I really think I can do it -- wish me luck!
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My Read the Books You Buy 2016 goal: 80-100% (Mission Accomplished)
I'm aiming for the highest level because I really want to hold myself accountable when it comes to adding to my collection. I am really so spoiled to even be able to buy books, so if I buy 'em, I should read 'em! And if I am perfectly honest, I also really miss the excitement of diving right into a book as soon as I bring it home. I think the last time I did that was for the final Harry Potter book! It's time to get excited about new books again instead of shelving them away for another time.
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For more information about these challenges or to sign-up, click the badges to go to the host sites. And if you are joining these or any other challenge in 2016, I wish you the best of luck! Happy reading :)