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TSS: Summer Reading Blitz and catching up on TBRs

tssbadge1As some of you are probably aware, I joined the Summer Reading Blitz challenge hosted by Shauna at Reading and Ruminations.  Our goal is to read 30 books in the 30 days of June.  I’m very pleased with my progress; I’ve already completed 15 books and it’s only the 14th.  Some of these were even slow, somewhat painful chunksters.  How am I doing this, you ask?  Well, my classes are over and I’m just writing and researching my dissertation.  I haven’t found a part-time job and since I’m getting married and moving away at the end of September/beginning of October, it’s getting to the point where it would be pointless to keep searching for 2-3 months of work just to search again when I get there.  I’ve already done most of my research, so at this point I am just writing 500-1000 words a day and then getting on with my reading!

I’m trying not to read short books just for the sake of the challenge.  Instead, I have been following through on last week’s mission of reading an ARC or review copy, a library book, and then the oldest TBR that I have.  I did have to cheat a little.  I knew I needed to get My Lord John by Georgette Heyer read for next week and Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea read for online book club today, plus I got a Harlequin survey that I needed to answer so I snuck in Married by Mistake by Abby Gaines.  That’s too many ARCs!  I’m going to stick with the plan this time, though.  I have found a great satisfaction in going way back through my LT catalogue and finding the oldest book that I have on my shelves and reading it.  I’ve had so much fun figuring out what I’m going to read next according to my new system that I arranged all the books for the next couple of weeks in a pile:

img_1280While putting together that pile and thinking about my new goal to read my oldest books, I have realized that the reason many of them are the oldest is because they are chunksters.  In the interests of speed and number counts, I have been passing over chunksters in favor of shorter, quicker books for the past couple of years.  I think it’s been mostly subconscious.  I will look at my shelves and think about what I really want to read, books like Possession and Crossed which you can see in the pile, but when it comes down to it I will pick up the smaller book.  I no longer want to do this.  My projected total for this year is almost 300 books.  I don’t need to read that many.  After June, I am going to read all those chunksters that I have been putting off.

Let’s take the two books I have read from the past this week, The Lieutenant’s Lover by Harry Bingham and Shadows and Strongholds by Elizabeth Chadwick.  The first is 500 pages, the second is 564.  I loved the first and I read half of the second last night instead of sleeping.  These books are fabulous and I shouldn’t shy away from the just because they are long.  Reading books I love should be more important than seeking the fastest read that will knock one off my TBR pile and add one on to my yearly total.

What about you?  Do you find yourself putting off longer books in favor of shorter ones?  Why?  Is it for your yearly count and TBR pile like me or do you have other reasons?

Keep on reading!:

  1. TSS: TBR Indecision
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23 comments to TSS: Summer Reading Blitz and catching up on TBRs

  • Keep it up! I am impressed. I have only read 8 books till date.

    TSS: Lets talk about books and related suff

  • I have found that lately I really need to be in the mood to read long books, and I thin it’s because that I am finding some books are too long without a purpose. Too long winded and having lots that don’t contribute to the story. That has made me very wary as of late. I love reading them when they are good, but it’s been a gamble.

  • I LOVE longer books! I tend to go the other way – pass over the shorter books for the longer ones. I know, I’m a weirdo. =)

    Elizabeth’s last blog post..TSS – Reviews – Sunday shorts

  • Wow, you’ve been a reading machine! Sometimes I do put off longer reads – a quick read gives me a sense of satisfaction for clearing another book off my stacks.

    Kathy’s last blog post..Check Out My Giveaways

  • I definitely keep shoving the chunksters aside, even when I really want to read them. I think it’s because I know it will be that much longer until I can say to myself okay I finished another book!

    rhapsodyinbooks’s last blog post..Sunday Salon – Review of “The Last Child” by John Hart

  • O wow! What a great list! Yeah I do notice that I put off reading some of my chunksters even though I really have been wanting to read them. I think it’s because they A) are a bit daunting in size and B) they are huge in my purse when I commute to work. I LOVE your book list though. Keep up the good reading!! P.S. I did NOT Like Slammerkin so I’m curious about your review. Thanks!

  • I often favour shorter novels when I feel like I need a sense of “accomplishment”. I agree with Nicole – some long novels are long without a purpose – too long winded. But – when you hit on a great long novel it is an amazing experience because a well written longer novel can be absolutely captivating. I loved On Beauty and I hope that you enjoy it too!

  • Woo good readings!

  • I am curious to know what you think of “Into the Beautiful North”. Chunksters are a challenge but I like the idea of reading the oldest first. I need to get my stacks organized the way you have.

    I find that I end up reading all the books I get from the the library because they have to go back. The books I own end up neglected, sitting in piles, waiting to be read. Part of this problem comes from reading other people’s blogs! I keep finding new books to read and then I get them from the library.

    Gavin’s last blog post..Sunday Salon

  • I totally put off longer books in favour of shorter books. I am always daunted by the TBR pile, so I will read shorter books to feel like I accomplished something. I still read longer books, but they are not very often my priority.

    Kailana’s last blog post..Sunday Book Coveting… Library Overload

  • I do sometimes put off longer books in favor of shorter ones. There are different reasons, though. Sometimes it’s my mood, other times I want to make a dent in my TBR and and go for quantity.

    Yvonne’s last blog post..Sunday Salon – My Travels through My TBR Room

  • That is absolutely amazing. When I try to read a book a day, I feel like I’m killing myself to do it.

    yes I sometimes pass over chunksters, but sometimes I want that book I can just fall into.

    Amy @ My Friend Amy’s last blog post..The Weekly Review: Week Ending 6/13/2009

  • Whether or not I read a long book really depends on my mood, although sometimes I’ll slip in a young adult title for a quick read (both for fun and to up the amount of reviews I’m doing).

    Right now I’m trying to read a book that’s 1000 pages long, and it’s slow going because school is out for the summer (so the kids are home).

    I am totally envious of your available reading time! Good luck with the rest of your June challenge!

  • Kay

    Congrats on your reading! :D Keep it up and you’ll have no difficulty finishing this challenge!

    I’m doing the challenge too and I’m on my 16th book, like you! Unlike you though, I think I’ve read smaller books (around 200-250 pages). I also read in french because I read faster, and I had a lot to catch up with my french language reading! :) Usually though, I love reading longer books. When I really connect with the characters or the story, the longer the better!

    Kay’s last blog post..Review : The Adoration of Jenna Fox

  • I didn’t know you were getting married so soon! Congrats :D

    I see Possession and On Beauty on your pile! I loved them both, and I hope you enjoy them too. They were slower reads, but definitely worth the time. And yes, I tend to shy away from chunkster too. When I pick up one a voice at the back of my mind says, “you could read 3 books in the time it’ll take you to read this!” I tell it to shut up :P

  • I avoided chunksters all last year, and I read very, very few books that really engaged me. I’ve already read almost as many chunksters this year as I did throughout all of 2008, and I’m having a much better time of it. I love how a really good chunkster allows me to just wallow in the story.

    Memory’s last blog post..The Sunday Salon: Giveaways

  • I want to read Possession, too! Let’s read it together. Whenever it works out in your schedule, let me know. That would be fun. I’ve been wanting to read that one for a while, too!

    Literate Housewife’s last blog post..The Sunday Salon ~ 06.14.07

  • This is just so impressive! I don’t think I would ever be up to doing a book a day challenge. It sounds like you’re having such a great time with this challenge!

    Belle’s last blog post..What’s Up Sunday – June 14

  • This is shocking. O.O I am currently unemployed, and I still manage only a book week. :P I think I’m just out of practice, though–for the past year I was working 60-hour weeks, and now I start getting jumpy if I just sit down and relax for five minutes. I think I’m starting to get used to it, though. ;) I’m hoping to finish a bunch of books for the Bloggiesta next weekend.

    I do put off long books. Unless it’s the best book ever, I start getting impatient and want to move onto another book, especially at the speed I read. Drood was a haul, let me tell you. It took me almost a month to get through.

    heidenkind’s last blog post..Bloggiesta!

  • As some encouragement, Possession really isn’t that long when you’re reading it. Byatt has an amazing capacity to write in multiple forms/voices.

    (and it’s waaay better than the movie adaptation)

    Melissa’s last blog post..Books, books, books!

  • There are some chunksters I don’t avoid (particularly not fatty-fat fantasy books), but I do understand the “must knock one off TBR/onto yearly numbers” mentality. I also do have quite a few fat books sitting around unread on my shelves… Possession, The Crimson Petal and the White, The Forsyte Saga, etc., etc. One of these days (well, probably more like one of these weeks for most of them), I swear!

    Fyrefly’s last blog post..Mark Pallen – The Rough Guide to Evolution

  • Eva

    What a great pile! And I”m so jealous of the Urrea. :D I haven’t heard of the Reading Blitz before; off to read about it!

    Eva’s last blog post..In Which You Help Me Write My Reviews :D

  • Ooo Possession, my #1 fave. It’s a long book but it reads quickly. It’s very plot-driven. Can’t wait to see hwat you think. I usually pick short books for trips but longer ones are fine if I have something else going at the same time, in case I need a break! :-)

    Marie’s last blog post..REVIEW: Forbidden Bread, by Erica Johnson Debeljak