tbr dare 2014Just two days remain until the “official” end of the The TBR Double Dog Dare so I thought this Sunday Salon(ish) post would be a good time to check in and see how everyone did.

I have kept to The Dare this year, but overall, my reading is down from past years. My reading is down overall so this is no reflection on The Dare.  I did find some treasure in my TBR stack– A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr is a new favorite book that I might not have ever read but for The Dare.

My total for The Dare is 18 books, most of them on the short side.  I went after the short books in my TBR stack in a naked attempt to jack up my numbers this time around.  I’ve already culled 15 books that will be going to the Friends of the Library Book Sale un-read, and I’ll probably do another 15 this week once The Dare is over.  If they’ve been on my TBR shelf more than five years, it’s time to admit that I’m never going to read them.

And I will confess that I have a stack of about 20 books waiting to be added to my TBR case.  Remember, The TBR Double Dog Dare was not a book-buying ban.  I could never go without buying books for three months.  So the books I bought along with the ones that came in the mail mean that my TBR list will go down just about 20 books when it could have gone down much more what with the culling and the reading I’ve done.

I can’t say that I really learned anything this time around.  The first time I did The Dare was kind of eye-opening.  Forcing myself to read only what I already owned for three months changed the way I read a little.  But after so many years of running The Dare I’ve become someone who regularly reads from the TBR list.  I’m a lot more picky about what I add to the TBR stack than I used to be now that I so clearly know what happens to those books.

So, I’ve got a feeling that this may be the last time I run this activity.  Who knows how I’ll feel about it come next fall, but if you think you might be interested in taking it over, please let me know.  I’ll be happy to pass the dog leash over.

Meantime, how did you do?  And what bookstore will you be visiting on Wednesday, April 1?  I hope to visit Pegasus Books in Berkeley, one of my new favorites.

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42 thoughts on “Did You Double Dog Dare? How Did You Do?

  1. I’ve stuck to it since that one early slip-up. Haven’t tallied yet how many books I read (I’m trying to finish one more before the month ends) but work has been busier than usual so not as many as previous years. However I did cull a few extra off my TBR shelf because after reading a few pages realized they just weren’t for me. So that’s good!

    You’ve said before the Dare wasn’t coming back, but it always has- I hope to repeat next year…?

  2. I finished with 10 on my double dog dare list. Some of the books I really loved were: Rooftops of Tehran, Next to Love, and a Land More Kind Than Home. I did buy John Shors’s Temple of A Thousand Faces. We have a tradition in my MGUS Support Group (A precancer for Multiple Myeloma or Bone Marrow Cancer) for rewarding ourselves when we get stable blood test results. So my total TBR list is 285 which would have been 295 without DDD.

    The Rooftops book put me in the mood to read another Iran book so I picked from Amazon Vine and it is supposed to be here on Monday,The Rose Hotel: A Memoir of Secrets, Loss, and Love From Iran to America. The first one covered the time of the Shah and told of the many centuries of domination by a foreign country. The second one is of a Iranian family coming to the U.S. and their tragedies. There were many things that impressed me by the first but one thing is that it was actually an improvement when the Shah had 1,500 prisons built. Prior to that, people were executed in public, or had fingers cut off, eyes put out and so on. The older Iranians the prisons as an improvement because there was no more public humilation! Their history is so tragic.

  3. I’ll probably do a blog post about it or possibly a vlog, but ‘so far’ I have read seven books for the dare – the book I’m going to start today is short, so it might be an eighth. I had to allow myself exceptions so I could do Finish It Feb and read book club choices, so that kept my total down. I’m sure I’ve acquired more books than I’ve read during these months but it was still good to finally read some books I’ve intended to read for ages!

    1. And if you do decide to stop running the Dare, I think I’d enjoy running or co-running it. It would certainly shame me into reading more!

      1. Julianne, I’ll keep you in mind. Like Jeane pointed out above, I have said The Dare would end before only to change my mind, so who knows. I’m glad you had a good time with it and no shame intended. 😉

  4. I almost made it, but this week, Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life arrived unexpectedly at the library for me. And it’s 700 pages, and there’s a long waitlist, and there was nothing for me to do but dive right in. Darn you, library.

  5. I almost made it, but last week Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life unexpectedly arrived at the library for me, and it’s 700 pages, and there’s a long waitlist, so there was nothing for it but for me to dive right in. Darn you, library.

  6. I realized in mid-February that with the Tournament of Books and e-books I’d allowed myself too many exceptions to make as much of a dent in my TBR as I’d like. I only ended up reading 12 books from my physical TBR pile. I also started and gave up on a few more that I’ve put in bags to take to Goodwill, so that’s a good thing. But because I’d hoped to clear a little more shelf space, I think I’m going to stick to the Dare until I’ve read (or attempted) the seven books I’ve had since 2010.

  7. I did well with the TBR Double Dog Dare. Probably reading my last book for this month, from the TBR pile, which I have had for 5 years. I think my total of books off the TBR pile for January – March will be 20. I read 4 ARCs that I had committed to back in 2014.

    I did buy some books of course, but I also culled some without reading. My TBR always stays about at the same level because at the end of the year I go to a huge wonderful book sale with very inexpensive books I cannot resist.

  8. I did quite well, 14 books with the possibility of reaching 15 by the end of Tuesday. My book buying ban mostly held – the only books that came into the house were either pre-orders from last year or a couple for specific bookish events. I won’t be able to get to a bookshop but I have a nice order for eBooks set up and ready for the button to be pushed on 1 April. This is the first time I’ve participated and it has already made me look at the way I read, and as well as keeping on top of TBR I want to re-read more. So thanks for hosting this 🙂

    1. I found my reading changed quite a bit after doing this the first year. It’s funny how being forced to read from your own TBR pile really makes you look at that pile in a different way. I’m glad to hear you had a good experience with this “challenge.”

  9. Hmm… I did well or did not, I guess it depends. From one side, my DDD is a complete fail. Only half of the books I read are from TBR. I blame mostly the library, but there was that one challenge that asked for rereads, and the sudden urge to read manga. On the other hand, 19 books from the TBRs, real, audio and ebook is not a bad score, Especially given that the last time I tried doing the DDD (I think it was in 2013?) I gave up in the beginning of February and read something like 2 books from the TBR. So I’m happy and I really look forward to trying it next year too!

    P.P. Funny tho, for three months in a row I’ve been able to persuade the people from my book club to read book I have on my TBR, and still got distracted. Shame on me! 😄

  10. I pretty much did it until the other day when I had a good library fix. Though I have only read 2 of those this week, a children’s and a young adult. This was my 1st time on this challenge and I was quite happy with the result. Thanks for hosting it.

  11. I’ve managed not to read any of the new books that I’ve acquired, but I did fall for re-reading about half-way through the Dare. I’ve managed to clear off 44 books – some of which had been on the shelves for 10+ years. And I’ve only bought 27 so far this year, so that’s definitely progress 🙂 Thanks again for hosting us!

  12. If I manage to finish the book I’m reading now before Wednesday, I’ll be hitting 17 books read. Not my best, but a number I’m happy with, as I knocked some very old titles off my list and have been in the middle of my final semester of school at the same time! I did buy some books, but not more than I read so my numbers still work out in my favour at the end! =)

    1. I think in the end I bought a few more books than I read, but I did a massive cull at the start and plan to do one more smaller cull tomorrow. Afterwards, I’m going to the bookstore. 😉

  13. As of today, I have read 35 books during the first quarter of the year. I did have one slip-up early on, but other than that all 35 books were either from my shelves for from library “holds” I placed in the last week of December. Those holds trickled in at a steady rate and I’m down to only one. Still, I feel like I cheated, because so few of the books were actually on the shelves here for very long. I still haven’t forced myself to go very deeply (time-wise) into my TBR stacks. So I guess that technically I did pretty well…but overall it doesn’t feel that way. Too many library books that came in, I guess – and so many of them were published in 2015 although I requested them in 2014. (My library system allows that kind of thing if they have the book entered into their data base.)

  14. I made it. In fact, I think I’m going to extend it through April. Fourteen books off my shelves, baskets, Kindle, the other shelves and the other baskets. Had to buy two for my book club. Didn’t go to the library or order any books —- until last Saturday night. Bought 5 books. But, if I keep going through April, I can fit the new ones on my shelf. Have definitely culled and have also decided which ones I may not need/want to read. Discovered I need to be more picky. Thank you, James. Enjoyed the challenge. Please do it next year.

    1. Glad to hear that you enjoyed it. I’m undecided about next year. I will probably starting thinking seriously about it come October, as usual. We’ll just have to see what’s going on in my life at that time.

  15. I must confess I’ve been unable to meet this challenge. So far have read 11 books, but only a few days ago I was very much tempted to read a book published this year. Now I was going to extend the challenge for three additional months, but I’ve been tempted again by the books in the 2015 Petrona Award shortlist. Anyway it was fun to participate.

    1. I’m glad you had fun. I find that I really can’t go a fourth month myself. But I have also found myself looking at my own TBR shelf much more often than I did before starting this project.

  16. I had a great time with this Dare! I only cleared 17 books off my TBR, but I an working fulltime (drat) and I usually am retired, so I’m pleased. I think I will go on with it a while longer and I, too, hope you do it next year. I have so many books!!! I don’t seem to be able to get rid of them until I read them, hence a very large TBR pile. Thanks for doing this, James. It was my first year, but hopefully not my last.

    1. I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed The Dare. While I have no idea what will happen next year, It’s nice to hear that new people enjoyed it this year. 🙂

  17. Like you, I’ve found my reading habits changing over the years due to the TBR Dare and I also mostly read from the TBR list now and have been much more picky about what gets to stay on the list. It’s been a great education and I’m always glad to participate. Though, as I blogged this weekend, I called it a couple days short of April 1. For reasons.

    1. It’s interesting how applying strict discipline for a short period of time can change your habits overall. I’ve added to the TBR list, just yesterday, but I do stick much closer to it than I used to.

  18. wonderful, many thanks for the push….found it was easy cause i had such perfect authors in the tbr pile, sort of saving them..how foolish…only read 12..but read first 5 vol of ‘dance to the music of time’, ‘rebecca’, my first trollope, ‘the warden’, my first jane gardam ‘old filth’ etc and loved them all. the real surprise (i have lovely stack of nyrb cause damn they’re so gorgous to look at 🙂 )
    and couldn’t get enuf of ‘ride a cockhorse’ by raymond kennedy….a perfect howling gem.
    so many thanks for running the show….i will use tbr pile w/ more ease now..not ‘save’….thank u.
    quinn

    1. Glad to hear you had such fun. I also have a large stack of NYRB books with wonderful covers. Have you checked Europa Editions? They have excellent cover art and are generally very interesting reading.

  19. I managed to knock 28 off my TBR list – admittedly, I did go for some skinny ones, but the one I’m most proud of tackling has been sitting on my shelf for 21 years! (A non-fiction tome that took me 2 of the 3 months to read little by little.) And I only cheated (ahem) twice…since if I had remembered to make them exceptions beforehand I would’ve. I didn’t put myself on a book-buying ban, but it does make me think twice about what I actually buy knowing that the soonest I would read it would be April 1. So in that respect, the Dare really does help me a tad with self-control. (A tad – I had 16 incoming in the three month period, only a few of which were gifts.)
    All that to say, THANK YOU for doing this once again. My kids look forward every year to watching me test my self-control. Happy reading to you!

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