Challenge Accepted: Read More

Diana Beebe, Mermaids Don't Do Windows, MDDW, Diana Beebe's Blog, science fiction, fantasy
Just a few books in my TBR pile.

It’s all because of Julie Glover and Jess Witkins. Mostly.

They didn’t make me buy all these books over the years, but they make me think about them. Collecting dust. Not being read.

For 2016, I plan to read more. I read a few books last year. Sort of.

I read a ton last year, but most of the words were all for critique partners. Counting my local writing group (I adore these people!), my amazing cohorts in Les Edgerton’s Novel Writing Bootcamp, and various writer friends, I read 15 works-in-progress.

The number of published books that I read can be counted on one hand with fingers left over. I’m not happy about that. I used to read a lot.

When I was a kid, I would drive my parents crazy with my reading habits. (However, they couldn’t really complain since they taught me to be as voracious a reader as they have always been.) As an adult, my husband made sure I had reading time. Sigh.

So I split the difference between Julie’s and Jess’s reading goals and decided I’ll read 52 books this year. One for every week. Huh.

I looked at the books that I own (paper and on my Kindle app) and made a spreadsheet.

Here are the rough numbers, based on the fiction spreadsheet I made to track my progress:

  • Nine books that I started at some point in 2015. Nine. Nine unfinished books. *twitches*
  • Twenty-nine fiction books that I own.
  • Four writing books that aren’t on that spreadsheet.
  • A million (slight exaggeration) more books that friends have recommended (including the lists in Julie’s and Jess’s posts linked at the beginning).
  • Two middle grade books to read out loud to Armadillo.

And, honestly, I didn’t count a few ebooks that I downloaded, a few books that I picked up at conferences, or the non-fiction books for researching new story ideas. The numbers should be higher.

This is the third week of the year, which means I’m already behind schedule. Maybe I can make up some time by finishing those unfinished books first.

What about you? What kinds of books do you like to read? Do you set reading goals? Do you manage your “to be read” pile? Is there a book that you think I should have on my list?

15 comments on… “Challenge Accepted: Read More”

  1. Well, I just finished my second book this year. I need to keep track this time, though! I’m bad about that.

    I know how it feels, though, to have so many books you want to read…and not enough time. I think your goal is a good one. And the way I look at goals like this is that even if you don’t reach that beautiful number of 52, you’ll probably read more than you would have without the goal. So enjoy!


    • Diana Beebe


      Congratulations on finishing that book! I love the way you look at this challenge, so I will enjoy it. The hardest part is deciding which book to read next.

  2. I finally finished the Wheel of Time series, 20 years after I started it. There are 15 books, ranging from 700-1000 pages each. It felt like a project…. Now I’m free to pick and choose from the roughly 150 unread books on my shelf – if I’m very strict about buying new ones, I might get them all done this year!


    • Diana Beebe


      Ohmigosh! That’s a huge series! Not that I need to add more books to my pile (LOL), but would you recommend it? And I’m very impressed with your goal to read 150 books. Keep me posted!

  3. I don’t even dust my TBR pile anymore. I should get on that. 😉 Reading it, too! Good luck with the challenge, Diana!!


  4. Mary Edelson


    I read a book a week… Sometimes I have two or three going at the same time. I have my kindle app on my cell phone so I can read in car pool line and during breaks at work and while sitting in the audience waiting for a show to start… I read all genres and if I find a writer I like I go through an obsessive compulsive period where I have to read everything he or she ever wrote… Amazon must love me… For you, Diana, I recommend Ordinary Grace by William Kent Kreuger. Don’t read anything else until you read this absolutely breath taking coming of age novel!!!

  5. Ooooooo! I LOVE to read…I start many books. I finish only the good ones…haha. 🙂 I did finish your early draft of Hunter’s Mark btw (back when it was Hunter Moon, I think, right?)
    It has not occurred to me to have a “reading goal”. WOw…thats a concept. I sort of wing it.
    Books to read – The Martian!! It is a very fast read – 3 days max if you eat and sleep. 1 if you don’t. 😉 You must read it. Its superb.
    Brene Brown for life-coaching type soul work. Any of her books.
    I unofficially started 52 books last year…ha. Not sure how many I finished, most are still sporting bookmarks and only time will tell if they make the cut.
    If you haven’t read “The Thirteenth Tale” by Diane Setterfield, then you should definitely put it on the list. I read it years ago, and it is still one of my favorites for her beautiful writing.
    Where is your book list? I’m interested to see what’s on it! IS that Walls Within Walls on your list?! I just started it! 😀


    • Diana Beebe


      LOL. You did read it. It’s SO different now. It deserved a new title with all the changes I made. 😀 OK. I’m adding The Martian and a Brene Brown book to my list. And also The Thirteenth Tale. I think my list is longer than 52 now. And, yes, Walls Within Walls is also on my list. I should do a follow up post with all the books on my list and update Goodreads, too.


  6. Suzi Ronning


    What a fantastic reading goal! Don’t forget to leave time for writing, too!! My reading goal this year is to read the entire Bible…..not just verses and chapters each week from devotions or Sundays…. but to really read it through with purpose which in my entire life I have never done and should have a long time ago. I also am currently reading The Battle Plan for Prayer from the Kendrick Brothers, just finished re-reading Getting Into Character by Brandilyn Collins (fabulous book for wtiters), and I have newly purchased: The First Hostage by Joel C Rosenberg (have never read this author before but heard his books are terrific), The Crittenden Files Trilogy by Creston Mapes (never read this author either but the series sounds fascinating…. Guess I am trying several new authors this year), When Night Comes by Dan Walsh (another new author to me), Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Mabel Question (this book was very highly recommended), and The Survivor by DiAnn Mills (I personally know this amazing woman, author, and writing mentor…. she originally got me interested in joining a writers group when I moved back from overseas… oh, twenty something years ago). Then I will have a number of books leftover to read from last year. I need more reading time *sigh*.


    • Diana Beebe


      Suzi, that’s quite a list! I have several new authors on my list, too (I’ll post it soon). I think it’s good to branch out, even with genres. Best wishes on your goal. Yes, we always need more reading and writing time! I’m glad you stopped by! Keep me posted on your progress.

  7. Pingback: Reading Challenge Book List | Author Diana Beebe

  8. Happy reading, Diana!! I agree with Julie that no matter how many books you read this year, it’ll probably be an increase so you should celebrate.

    What’s first up on your list? I’m excited to have finally started The Girl on the Train. I’m probably the last person to pick it up. No spoilers!!


    • Diana Beebe


      Thanks, Jess! I just posted my current list. Eeek! It’s not as long as yours. 😉 I haven’t read The Girl on the Train yet, so you’re not the last. Is that one I should add to my list?

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