the sparkly life: My New Year, Old Books Challenge (Join Me?)

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

My New Year, Old Books Challenge (Join Me?)


After a bit of a lull, I've made huge strides in my reading this year (as I write this on December 31st, I'm at 119 books read for the year--almost 100 more than last year...! (That said, the 119 number is kind of killing me, so I'm hoping to squeeze in one more today to make it an even 120.)

But one thing has frustrated me about my reading this year: I've been focused on new books. Brand new books--and pretty much exclusively. I get caught up in the #bookstagram culture, tempted by all the amazing new releases, and also feel obligated to read and review any e-books I (very generously!) get free from NetGalley, and there just never seems to be time for the older stuff. And that's so annoying! There are SO many good, existing books out there. So many great books I haven't read. So many books I've already purchased (ugh--sooo many) that are just sitting around collecting dust on my shelves or lurking in my Kindle app.

So, I've decided to do something about that this year, right off the bat.

For the month of January, I'm going to be reading backlist books. Only backlist books. Even if I'm tempted by a great sounding new release. Even when my January Book of the Month box arrives. Even if an ARC of American Dirt somehow magically arrives in my mailbox. I'm calling it my "New Year, Old Books" challenge. It's going to be a little tough, but I'm focused, I'm ready, and I'm excited! 

There are so many great books out there that I have long been dying to read, and just haven't gotten around to for whatever reason. I recently went through my existing TBR pile (both real and virtual) and there are already way too many older books that I already own, so I'm not even truly going to make a dent in the old books already in my possession. But I'm looking forward to seeing how far I get! 

A few books now on my January TBR list (i.e. books I've, embarrasingly, never read): Bel Canto, A Gentleman in Moscow, Dark Matter, Firefly Lane, The Poisonwood Bible, All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance, Sweetbitter, The Rules of Magic, The Dream Daughter, and--ugh--so many more!

My self-imposed rules for the challenge are pretty simple: The books I read this January must be from 2018 or earlier (but I'm going to aim for even older). And I can't buy any of the books I read. But the library is fair game! And I am actually going to allow myself to do new releases on audio though. (I don't know if this is "cheating," but I already own a million new releases on audio and pretty much zero old ones, so I'm just going to do it this way. Also, it takes me forever to get through audiobooks. So, if I don't keep at them, I will absolutely never catch up with those!) 

If you want to watch my progress (or, better yet, try the challenge yourself!), you can follow me on Instagram at @alyssaisbooked and via the hashtag #newyearoldbookswithalyssa. Let me know if you are going to participate, so we can motivate each other and exchange some great (old) book recs.

Happy reading--and happy new year!

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