Thursday, 2 April 2015


I like the sound of #TBR20 - a reading challenge in which one makes a pledge to read 20 books you already own before buying any more. I'm industrious when it comes to buying books and much less systematic when it comes to sitting and reading them. This doesn't bother me too much. I am in fanatical disagreement with the idea that there is something embarrassing or dishonest about having large numbers of books on your shelves that you have not read. What on earth is the point of having lots of books if you have already read them all? It's wonderful to have plenty of untouched reading matter on hand.

But like I say I'm rarely very organised about reading, and that leads to a lot of distortions - for instance I tend to neglect novels for nonfiction. So my TBR20 selection is skewed very heavily towards fiction, as an attempt to catch up with the novel-reading - 14 f to 6 nf.

A few other notes. I've cheated very slightly and included Richard Adams's SHARDIK, a book I was already reading - and what's worse, one I've read before, in my teen years. In my defence I haven't finished it yet and I remember precious little about it (which is why I started rereading it in the first place). The Shirley Jackson volume in the pile contains more than one novel, but I'll be reading WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE, so it counts as one. The alert among you might realise that this means only 19 books are pictured - because I'm including Nina Allan's highly acclaimed THE RACE, which I have on the Kindle.

I fear the main result of this process will be to reveal how slow I am to finish books and how ready I am to discard them halfway. I will do my best to update with progress.