I hereby de-strictify my previously mentioned challenge

[sigh]  Show of hands, how many of you saw this coming?  Don’t worry, I won’t hold it against you.  It’s not that I’m quitting, per se, so much as canceling the central rule of the challenge.  Which…ok, that sounds like quitting, but it’s not.  I’ll explain…

About 5 and a half months ago, it was summer, and I was feeling super-ambitious.  And I decided to declare my super-ambition to the world:


And by “ALL THE BOOKS,” I meant all the books I’d bought in the past I-don’t-know-how-many-years but haven’t gotten around to reading yet.  And to really push myself, I declared that until I did finish those books, I was not going to buy or borrow any new ones.

This worked fine with books I really wanted to get to/finish, like the final installment of the Unicorn Chronicles, or Witi Ihimaera’s The Whale Rider, or Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis.  Those were relatively quick reads.  And I was enjoying the twisted tales in this collection:


But unlike the above-named titles, Happily Ever After isn’t the sort of thing I can just plow through in two or three sittings.  Well, I could, but it wouldn’t feel right — I prefer to read up to five stories, then take a break to digest them.  Then I come back the following week, or maybe the following month, for a few more stories, and so goes the pattern.  To rush myself through so I could move on to the next “Finish ALL the” book would mean not letting myself really savor and digest the stories.  And that’s not my purpose here, is it?

Also there’s only so much of this —


— that I can take in one sitting.  As I mentioned to sj recently, I’m seriously starting to consider skipping the next 500+ pages and just read the final chapter.  So far, the Stubborn/Nostalgic shoulder-angel is winning, but her Practical/Impatient counterpart is very close behind.  It had to take some serious nostalgic loyalty for me to buy a book whose jacket-flap feels the need to include such exciting plot points as “searching for wild edibles to make delicious meals,” or the fact that Ayla and Jondalar “participate in hunts to provide food, in travels to Summer Meetings for decision making, and in social activities.”  Wow-ee, I’ve never seen them do these things in any of the previous books!   I’m especially excited to see Ayla and Jondalar participate in those social activities!

Of course, I could also be kind of a *cough* impulse buyer, which explains much of the unfinished book list in the first place *cough*

Aaaaanyhoo, my point is — there are new projects I want to try, new books I want to read (looking at you, October Daye!), and telling myself that I first have to finish those 30+ titles that aren’t all made for a quick, straight-through read just makes me feel like this:


Look at those sad eyes.  How can I resist those sad little bug-eyes?  So I’m keeping the original challenge — to finish all those books at the foot of my bookcase (and I’m keeping them stacked there as a reminder) — but removing the no-other-books rule.  And THAT makes me feel like THIS:

Britta Christmas



“[Verb] ALL THE [nouns]” meme (c) Allie Brosh

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