Challenging that TBR stack

Call it coincidence. Call it serendipity. Either way, the conjunction of a post that reminded me just how big the “to be read” stacks are and the announcement of a reading challenge have motivated me to whittle down those stacks.

It’s the Random Reading Challenge. The rules are fairly simple: (1) randomly select any number of books from the TBR list, (2) assign a number to each book based on how many books you selected (e.g., 1 through 10), and (3) use a random number generator and then read the book assigned to that number.

I’ve modified (broken) the rules a bit. First, I didn’t choose a random number of TBR books. Instead, I’m using the 51 that were in that recent post and numbering them by the order in which they appeared in the post. I figure that was arguably random as it freezes the list at a specific point in time. Second, although the challenge begins August 1, I started a week early, figuring even if the one or two might not count toward the challenge, every one helps reduce the stacks. Thus, I’ve already read one book and decided another was going in the box heading to the used book store as I’ve started it twice and it just hasn’t generated any continuing interest.

And reducing any guilt I feel over the large number of unread books helps bring serenity.


Book 1 completed (August 8, 2009): Blameless in Abaddon, James Morrow

Book 2 (August 17, 2009): The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography, Sidney Poitier

Book 3 (August 30, 2009): Voices From the Street, Philip K. Dick

Book 4 (November 21, 2009) (I know, a bit of a gap): Windows on the World, Frederic Beigbeder

Book 5 (November 27, 2009): To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Book 6 (November 29, 2009): The Innocent, Ian McEwan

Book 7 (January 26, 2010): Black Dogs, Ian McEwan

Book 8 (February 14, 2010): Death in Spring, Merce Rodoreda

Book 9 (April 27, 2010): Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer, James L. Swanson

The love of books is a love which requires neither justification, apology, nor defence.

John Langford, The Praise of Books

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1 comment to Challenging that TBR stack

  • Hi Tim! Glad to see you joined the challenge…and have already completed your first book – excellent! I updated your sign up link to reflect THIS post 🙂 Thanks for the heads up on that!