Limiting My Book Spending

I never thought that I own too many books.  Until now.

I have never been a huge spender.  Really, the only thing I spend my money on are books and music.  So I’ve never really had to budget.  Now, though, I recently purchased a home and have to seriously think about my budget.  I’m going to stop spending as much in general, at least to start, to make sure I have enough money for my new expenses.

The first thing I’m going to limit will be my book buying.  I didn’t realize just how many books I had until I had to pack them all up to move!  I own so many great books already, that I don’t need to buy so many new books this year.  And I now have access to a really great library.  I’m hoping between the library and my NetGalley account, I’ll be able to resist the urge to buy new books this year.

I’m not going to ban myself from buying new books altogether, though.  I plan on keeping my Book of the Month Club subscription, and I’m still thinking about whether to keep my Parnassus First Editions Club subscription.  Maybe the knowledge of a new book or two a month will help prevent me from going out and and going on shopping sprees.

I plan on using another motivator to limit my book buying this year: the promise of a shopping spree next year. For every 100 pages I read from a book I didn’t purchase in the year 2018 (from a book I already own or a library book), I will set aside $1.  At the end of the year, I will take the money I’ve saved and spend it on books!  This will also be a great motivator to read a ton.  The more I read the more money I will have to spend!  I will be sure to update my progress and my page total on a fairly regular basis.

Is there anyone else trying to curb spending?  What motivators are you using?

January TBR

I’m usually not one for TBRs.  I am a huge mood reader.  But, I’m willing to give it a try, because there are a lot of books I really want to get through in the next couple of months.

Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau.  For my Classics Goal.

Vulgar Favors by Maureen Orth.  I’d love to finish this before the new American Crime Story comes out this month all about the assassination of Versace.

My Favorite Thing Is Monsters by Emil Ferris.  I have started this interesting and different graphic novel already, and it shouldn’t take long to finish.

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid.  Getting to this because it made the Tournament of Books Short List.

Idaho by Emily Ruskovich.  See above.

And finally, I’m going to start Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.  I have no dreams of finishing this month, but it’s a book I’d like to finish by the end of the year.

What are everyone else’s plans for the month?  Got any good reads in line?

Picking a Classic

With the new year, I’m going to start making a big effort to read from my Classics List.  I plan on adding a classic or two to my TBR stack every month, while still reading whatever new releases and backlist books speak to me at the time.

When I scanned my list, looking for the perfect read to kick off this project, I found myself stuck.  How do I choose?  What if the book I pick is a dud?  What if I hate the experience so much it discourages me from continuing with this project?

Finally, after stressing and indecisively weighing my options, I chose a book I’ve already read and know I like.  This is a safe choice.  I know I’ll enjoy it, and I know I’ll feel satisfied after reading it, thereby encouraging my continued pursuit in this reading journey.  I also chose a very short book.  I think a few quick reads to get some books under my belt will build some momentum, make me feel accomplished early, and encourage further reading.

So the first book from my classics list I chose was….

 

Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau.

 

I took a class on Thoreau in undergrad and adore all of his writing.  It’s been a number of years since I’ve read any Thoreau, though, and would love to see how my thoughts have changed as I’ve grown.

It is a really short read, so I’ll be finished quickly and plan on reporting back soon on my thoughts.

Why I Follow the Tournament of Books

I have always been fascinated by bookish awards. I would pick up children’s books when I saw the little silver emblem stamped on the front cover and hand them to my parents to buy without even attempting to find out what the plot was. Now, as an adult, I tend to do the same thing. When the Man Booker longlist is released, I feverishly scour the internet for the best deals on the books already released, and search for the ones that aren’t on NetGalley. The goal is to always read all the books before the shortlist is announced, and if not that, by the time the winner is crowned. Unfortunately, I lose interest when I do not have enough time to order and read thirteen books in six weeks, especially when half of them are arriving from overseas, and I fail to finish even half of them by the time the longlist is whittled down to half. I like collecting the Man Booker selections, because it is a chance to discover new books I haven’t heard of yet, and sometimes even get a heads up for something good soon coming to the U.S. Usually I’ve only heard of a few books and read even less.

Now, with the Tournament of Books, the novels selected are usually more popular and discussed online more often; they’re almost bordering on mainstream. They are books that I’ve picked up at the bookstore numerous times, telling myself I’ll get around to reading them someday. Well, someday comes during the Tournament of Books season.

The long list has been released. Seventy-two of the year’s best books, as decided by the staff at The Morning News. I’ve heard of well over half of the long list selections, and actually own a large portion of them. I’ve read very few this year, however, and now I will take a slightly strategic approach to reading the selections. Strategic because my goal is to read the books that will end up on the shortlist, which won’t be released until January 3rd. There are a few that are pretty safe bets, like Fever Dream (the Summer Reading Challenge winner) and Lincoln on the Bardo (the winner of the Man Booker this year). But there are others that I really want to read that have less of a chance, like Huck Out West and My Favorite Thing is Monsters (I don’t think there’s ever been a graphic novel on the short list).

So, here’s my plan for the next month leading up to the release of the shortlist: read whatever I want, and keep an eye out for online discussions of longlist selections that are favored to be selected for the shortlist. And when in doubt, I’ll read the short books I can get through quickly so I can get to more books!

Any others out there who will be reading along with the Tournament of Books? What are some from the longlist that I shouldn’t miss?

24 in 48

This weekend is the 24 in 48 Readathon! The goal here is to read for 24 hours this weekend. I’m a bit of a late entry, but I’ve got very little plans this weekend, so I think I can do it!

I’m starting the Readathon a bit late, but here’s my answers to the Intro Survey:

It’s here! It’s time!

Welcome to the January 2017 edition of #24in48! Right now, it’s midnight ET on the official readathon clock, but we’re kicking things off with a bang. If you’re just now discovering the ‘thon or have been unsure of your weekend plans, you can still sign up and do so throughout the weekend.
A few notes as we get started:
If you’re planning on reading a full 24 hours (or even just trying to get close), make sure you track your time. You can do this a number of ways but the preferred method is with a stopwatch on your phone or computer or the new Bookout app for iOS devices (per a helpful readathoner). If you finish 24 hours of reading, you’ll be eligible to win one of three prize packs, including one just for non-US participants.

There is ZERO pressure to read for a full 24 hours. Seriously, guys. This is the fifth year I’ve been doing this thing, and I say every time, this is supposed to be fun and low pressure. The goal is to set aside some serious time to read with other like-minded readers.

Take a break, get some sleep, eat well. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

Make sure that your sign-up entry is correct (including email and social media/blog URL). If you’re not active on that social platform during the ‘thon, you won’t be able to win any of the amazing prizes we’re giving away. By URL I mean, don’t just type “Twitter” or “Facebook.” I need to be able to find you, so list your username or the URL of your feed (i.e. http://twitter.com/24in48readathon). If you need to update your entry, you can do so by going through the link you received in your confirmation email. If you didn’t get an email and need to update your entry, email me ASAP at 24in48readathonofficial@gmail.com.

If your name is announced as either a door prize winner or a challenge winner, go over to the Prize page and fill out the form. If you don’t check in there, you’ll miss your shot to win.

Follow the conversation (which honestly is my favorite part of the ‘thon) on social media. I’ll be posting from @24in48readathon on Twitter, on the official Facebook page, and @24in48 on Instagram and Litsy. You can – and should – use the official hashtag #24in48 everywhere as well.

I’ll be posting here every three hours with challenges and door prize giveaways, so check in early and often.
Where in the world are you reading from this weekend?

The Great Midwest

Have you done the 24in48 readathon before?

I participated last winter. 

Where did you hear about the readathon, if it is your first?

Not my first!

What book are you most excited about reading this weekend?

I have a lot of books I’m currently in the middle of reading, and I’m really just looking forward to getting lots of reading in, so all of them!

Tell us something about yourself.

I’m a knitter. Audiobooks may be in use today. 

Remind us where to find you online this weekend.

Right here on my blog, or on twitter (@BooksBeyondM). 
Good luck today!  I’ll check back in soon!

Top Ten Tuesday 

Top Ten Tuesday is here! I always love the first few of the year. Recapping the previous year, looking back on what you missed, and looking forward to the year ahead. This week: Top Ten 2016 Releases I Meant to Read but Didn’t Get to. 
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles


Commonwealth by Ann Patchett


Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple


The Mothers by Brit Bennett


Lady Cop Makes Trouble by Amy Stewart


Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi 


The Wangs vs The World by Jade Chang


The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee


When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi


You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott


Any other books I need to add to this list?

Winter Reading List

So lately I’ve been failing at reading. My Fall Reading List was a complete fail. I did start most of the books on my list, but didn’t finish any. I haven’t been reading much in general, actually. But, the end of the year always makes me hopeful for the future. I become motivated to do more, do better in the new year. This is why I’m going to try once again to form a reading list I can use for the winter months. Hopefully I will be more successful this season. 

Classics

  1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. 
  2. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  3. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronze

Nonfiction 

  1. The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
  2. Salinger by David Shields and Shane Salerno
  3. Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham
  4. Hillbilly Eligy by JD Vance

Books Outside My Comfort Zone

  1. Swing Time by Zadie Smith
  2. Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple
  3. Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
  4. The Girls by Emma Cline

So that’s my winter reading list! This time of year is the perfect time to curl up with a good book. With the snow and cold, I love getting under the covers with a big, thick book. Here’s hoping this will help me accomplish my seasonal reading list this time around!

Hour 8

We’re 1/3 of the way through the day, and I don’t know about you, but I’m having a blast. I’ve started Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, and while it is not at all what I expected, I think it’s even better than I hoped. 

We just got through the lunch hour not too long ago, and a simple dinner is planned, so there’s very little that will distract me from my books, except for maybe sleep. I may take a nap before dinner so I can stay up extra late tonight!

I hope everyone else is having a successful reading day!

Pages read: 149

Books finished: 1

Coffee had: 4

Fall Reading List

This is my version of this week’s Top Ten (or Twelve) Tuesday, which is the Top Ten Books on My Fall TBR.

I really enjoyed putting together my Summer Reading List (even though I didn’t quite finish it), because it got me reading books I wouldn’t normally think about.  I used to love reading classics, and I’ve had reading jags where I only read non-fiction, but I hadn’t been doing much of either until I created my Summer Reading List.  I got out of my comfort zone  little, which was wonderful!  So wonderful, in fact, that I decided to create another list for the Fall.  Fall, my favorite season, creates a different mood for reading than Summer, so I decided to forgo the forgotten books on my Summer list for now and create a new list of completely Fall reads.  Same categories, same goals, to read three of the four in each category.  Here’s the list I’ve come up with to start my Fall reading:

 

Non-Fiction

  1. Southern Daughter by Darden Asbury Pyron.  A biography on Margaret Mitchell, the author of one of my favorite books.
  2. The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer.  I actually know nothing about Amy Scumer, but I’ve heard fantastic things about this memoir.
  3. In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahari.  Sounds different and interesting.
  4. Charlotte Bronte by Claire Harmon.  A bio on one of my favorite authors? Yes, please!

 

Classics

  1. Emma by Jane Austen.  This will be a buddy read with a friend of mine, just started this weekend.
  2. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.  I really want to participate in some way in the Austenatious Book Club, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to work out for me unless I jump in on this now.  Two Jane Austens?  I’m not sure, but I’ll try…
  3. Dracula by Bram Stoker.  What better way to spend Halloween than reading this?
  4. Bleak House by Charles Dickens.  This just feels like it may be a fall or winter read.  We’ll see how it goes.

 

Fiction Outside My Comfort Zone

  1. Hag Seed by Margaret Atwood.  So looking forward to this!
  2. Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee.  It sounds kind of creepy and cool, and I’ve been hearing great, great things.
  3. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.  Sounds like it’s going to be a big hit.
  4. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware.  This feels like the perfect Fall book.

 

 

Other Goals for Fall

  1. Read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  The second Illustrated edition comes out next week, so of course that requires some rereading!
  2. Read (Listen) to two audiobooks.  I was pretty big on audiobooks last year, but since I got a new job and my commute time has been cut in half, there just doesn’t seem to be as much audiobook listening time for me, and I want to find ways to re-incorporate it into my life.
  3. Read two Book of the Month Club picks.  My gift subscription has ended, but I loved my time as a BOTM Member, so much so that I’m considering getting a new subscription for myself.  Nevertheless, I intend to keep an eye on the monthly picks when they’re released so I can add to my TBR.

 

What are everyone else’s goals for the Fall?