Reading Off the Shelf – March Results

Off the Shelf Challenge

I’m doing the Off The Shelf Challenge in which readers pledge to read a certain amount of books that they already owned before the beginning of the year. All in an attempt to reduce the number of unread books on their shelves.

I had a total of 31 unread books on my shelves before January 1st 2011. I pledged to read them all by the end of this year. In January I pledged to read just books from that list. I managed 11 in that month and 5 in February, so the old-TBR (yes, I got “some” new books since), was 15 at the beginning of March.

Now, how did I do in March and what were the books like?

I had a lot of reading that I had to do for all kinds of reasons, and I didn’t get a lot of time to read from my old-TBR shelf. I  managed just 3:

Gran Café Boulevard by Tomas Lieske (Dutch) 4.5 stars

The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters by Barbara Silkstone (ebook) 3 stars

The Bostonians by Henry James 2 stars

To summarize:

Only one book I didn’t like and two I was quite happy with. So, I’m glad I finally read these books.

That’s 3 books off the old-TBR shelf and 12 left.

So, is the shelf getting a lot emptier then?

Erm, I did acquire a few new books during the month. They were ARCs, books I won, and one or two from the library: 18 new books this month. Besides the 3 books mentioned already I read another 10 that were from the new-TBR (acquired since January). So that makes 8 extra books on my post-2010 TBR (which was 30 books at the end of February). The total new TBR since January is 38. In theory. I don’t think that number is completely correct.  But hey, it’s a lot more than I can read in a few months!

How about you? How’s your TBR reading going?

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

27 Responses to Reading Off the Shelf – March Results

  1. Vasilly says:

    My tbr pile is going great though I’m reading a lot of books from my new-books shelves like you! 🙂 I think as long as we finally get around to reading them, we’re okay. Have a great week!

  2. Not such big fan of James, either. I did read Daisy Miller and I liked it, but it was easy to get through since it was so short.

  3. Nadine Nys says:

    I’m doing the Off the Shelf Challenge too but there are to many new books that are calling me. So I think you have done great.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Nadine, it’s going from good to bad. First month 11, second 5, now only 3. For April so far, I’ve only been able to plan 2 off the old TBR. And the rest is all new-ish books.

      Good luck with the challenge! Remember that these old books are probably just as good as the new ones, you just don’t know that yet. And in my mind, trying one and deciding it is really not nice (and giving up) also counts as having read another one off the TBR. Hint hint.

      • Nadine Nys says:

        Yes Judith, I get the hint… but I find it so difficult abandoning a book.

      • Leeswammes says:

        Nadine, is it better to not read a book because it doesn’t look appealing, or to try the book and decide it’s not for you? Then you can put it away and you never have to think about it again. {helpful hints? }

      • Problem is, all my books look appealing 🙂

      • Leeswammes says:

        And still you buy new ones? Oh, Nadine!! 🙂

      • Nadine Nys says:

        So funny, I really have to tell you. Yesterday I went into town, straight into a bookstore (it wasn’t really my intention) and I bought a book, only one, though: Solar by Ian McEwan. So, the TBR-list keeps growing. 🙂

      • Leeswammes says:

        Oh, but I want to read *Solar* too! I can so imagine that you couldn’t resist! Actually, I got another book from the library that I shouldn’t have, but I couldn’t help myself either. 🙂

      • Nadine Nys says:

        There really is no hope for us

  4. Ellie says:

    Ohhh, I wish my TBR pile was getting smaller! I think so far I’ve read 15 off the pre-2011 heap, though only about 11 of those have actually left the house. Not bad, huh? But to put that in perspective, I’ve acquired about 15 books this FORTNIGHT, and Mount TBR currently sits at well over 1000 books…. *bangs head against the wall* 😦

    • Leeswammes says:

      Oh, Ellie, I know! It’s hopeless. At least you’re trying! I’ve gained a lot of books this month, and I really want to cut down on the number of books I get. I don’t even buy any. With 30-odd books unread I really don’t want to go out and buy new ones. But I would love to go out and buy some books. If you see what I mean.

      Maybe with your 1000 books you should have a good sorting through and decide which books really don’t interest you anymore. Giving them away will make you feel better than leaving them on the shelves.

  5. Grace says:

    I didn’t know about this challenge, but I’m doing something similar. My goal is to read 123 books this year and 40 of them have to be books I own. It doesn’t matter when I purchased them as long as I own them. So far I’ve read eight of my own books!

    • Leeswammes says:

      Yes, that’s very similar, Grace. Sounds like you have to speed up with reading your own books…. Just pick them up, most of them are bound to be just as good as the new ones you’re getting, because one day in the past, those books were the new ones that you looked forward to reading. If you see what I mean. Good luck with the challenge.

  6. Dorte H says:

    I am sure the books multiply when we turn our backs!

    I have been sooo good for three months, read 15-20 books or so from my TBR without buying any, but the other day I ventured into Awesome Books. The books held me hostage until I had paid ransom (9 books). Well, I am stlll better off than in January, but not exactly proud of my lack of restraint this week.

  7. Trisha says:

    I am one of those obnoxious folks whose TBR shelves have actually reached over 300. Yep, over 300 unread books on my shelves. It’s pitiful. And I just bought six more books today. Bad me.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Trisha, I think there are 2 kinds of people: you’re the sort that just keeps accumulating books and have maybe given up on the idea of ever reading them all. I’m the sort that has few enough books to actually read them in a relatively short time period. And I want to do so, too. So, it’s frustrating when the TBR increases because I *know* if I tried hard enough, it could be diminished within a few months.

      I keep trying. You might as well give up. 🙂

  8. Tes says:

    I will tell my husband about this challenge 🙂 he has mountains of unread books in living room, bed rooms, our son bed rooms and even in the bathroom and still he keep buying new books every other weeks.

  9. Cindy says:

    I’m exactly like Tes’s husband, my unread books are a heap taller than a skyscraper 😦

    • Leeswammes says:

      Your eyes are bigger than your reading time, Cindy (if that makes sense). Stop buying books! Or give some away to deserving friends and strangers.

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