Thursday, July 14, 2016

Challenges, Challenges! (Read My Books Finale)

Erin from TexErin-in-Sydneyland and Dani from Faster than Forever hosted a non-competitive book challenge last month in which participants had to complete one simple task:  

Only read books that you already owned in June.

This turned out to be an interesting challenge for me, given that I also started Megan's Semi Charmed Summer Book Challenge on June 1.  Fortunately, I had enough books and audiobooks already in my possession to choose from in order to satisfy several SCSBC16 categories and to fare well in this challenge, too.

If this task was a simple Pass/Fail endeavor, then I admit - I failed.  Of the 7 audiobooks that I listed to in June, I only owned 6 before the month started.  My achilles heel was that I found myself in the mood for a book by a certain author and I didn't have any of his books that I hadn't already listened to.  So, I caved... 

But, if percentage and letter grades are being awarded, I would receive an 86%, which would have been solid B on the grading scale back in my high school days.  A "B" is passing, so I'm pleased!  I consider my attempt a noble one.  

Here's are the audiobooks I listened to in June that I already owned:

  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum | Acquired (free from Audible): November 26, 2013
  • The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan | Bought: November 14, 2015
  • The 9th Girl by Tami Hoag | Bought: December 3, 2015
  • The Unidentified Redhead by Alice Compton | Bought: February 26, 2016
  • Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter | Bought: March 6, 2016
  • As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Gary Elwes | Bought: March 30, 2016

*These books were reviewed on Tuesday in my Recently Read post.

The one book that I bought and subsequently listened to in June was Sick Puppy by Carl Hiaasen.  What can I say?  I was in the mood for some of Hiaasen's noir humor and I didn't have any Hiaasen books that I hadn't already read and I wasn't in the mood for a re-read.

Read My Books Q & A

How many unread books do I have in my Audible library?  52.  Yep.  Fifty-two.  I have enough audiobooks to listen to one a week for an entire year.

Why do I have so many?  Well...  I'd say it's because many of them were impulse buys.  I always take advantage of any sales that Audible has, like their 3 books for 2 credits or their Daily Deal where you can buy the featured audiobook for anywhere between $1.95 - $4.95.  

Why don't I utilize my public library?  My preferred mode of reading is via audiobook, primarily because I listen to them during my 90 mile roundtrip daily commute during the school year.  When I'm off from work, I like the versatility that audiobooks give me.  I can do housework and still continue listening to a book.  Audiobooks allow me to multitask.  Anyway, my public library isn't the greatest at the audio format just yet and I've honestly had no luck in getting the titles I want when I want them.  When it comes to books/audiobooks, I'm sorry to say that I'm very much like Veruca Salt...

What are the five audiobooks that have been in my library the longest that I have yet to listen to and why haven't I listened to them?

  • Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl - Purchased January 2013 - I guess I just lost interest.  
  • 11-23-63 by Stephen King - Purchased November 2013 - I'll be completely honest here.  This book is 30 hours long!  That's a HUGE time commitment for me.  Every  time I download it to my phone, I have the best of intentions of listening to it, but I still haven't.  
  • Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl - Purchased November 2013 - I was inspired to read/listen to more of Pessl's work after I listened to her audiobook, Night Film, which I really liked. For whatever reason, my interest wained and I chose to listen to other audiobooks at the time until this one eventually got buried in my Audible library.
  • My Bluegrass Baby by Molly Harper - Purchased February 2014 - I haven't a clue as to why I haven't read it.  It has a cute premise, it's set in the state in which I live, and it's not long...
  • The Scarecrow by Michael Connelly - Purchased June 2014 - This book is the followup to another of Connelly's books, The Poet.  I thoroughly enjoyed The Poet, but for whatever reason, I just haven't been interested enough to see what happens in the next book.

What are the five most recent audiobooks I have acquired that I have not read yet?  When do I plan to listen to them?

  • ICE by Ice-T and Douglas Century - Perhaps for the second round of Book Challenge by Erin 5.0
  • Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter - Probably during the second round of BC by Erin 5.0.
  • Gulp by Mary Roach - Not sure...  
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - I might use this book during the second round of BC by Erin 5.0, but if I don't, I'll probably listen to it in late September during Banned Books Week (something I started doing last year...)
  • The Edge of Lost by Kristina McMorris - Soon.  I am using it for one of the categories in BC by Erin 5.0

Alrighty...  How about you?  Are you guilty of acquiring a lot of books (print, digital, and/or audio) that sit on your shelves unread as you go about reading/listening to others?  Why do you think that is?  Please share your insights, for I am genuinely curious to know.

Thank you for stopping by and happy reading!


  1. I know why I have so many. I'm a sucker for a secondhand bookstore. I love to rummage through them. I think it's more fun to shop there because it's always a gamble with what you will (or won't) find. Plus, the ones I frequent are either small, locally-owned shops or one that is connected to Lifeline, a Suicide counseling center.
    Also, my dad & stepmom regularly give me Amazon money at Christmas and birthdays. I just can't help myself...I always include some books with those gifts.
    I enjoyed your post, especially since we didn't give a whole lot of guidance of what needed to be discussed in it.
    Good luck with the raffle :)

    1. Before I starting utilizing audiobooks, I was a sucker for buying books at a local used bookstore. I remember the "thrill of the hunt!" LOL!

      Thank you! I wasn't really sure how I wanted to present my results and stuff when I started this post, but I'm pleased with the way it turned out. Have a good one!

  2. If a book I'm interested is free or cheap on kindle, I'll grab it. It may sit there for over a year, and that's okay by me.

    I tend to accumulate used paperbacks in batches and leave them to read for when I need something. I don't buy them super often, and I don't keep them.

    1. I went through a spell, before I started commuting solo and starting utilizing audiobooks where I would buy used books in larger quantities and read them whenever. Like you, if I got them free or cheap, it was no big deal. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I totally caved this month too and ended up buying some eBooks when they were on sale, but I haven't read them yet! I just can't resist getting something on sale, especially when they're so much cheaper than normal! I love that you went back and looked to see when you had purchased some of your Audible books! I totally need to do that!

    1. Until I sat down, pulled up my audible library, and started counting, I had no idea I had so many. I thought I'd have like 20 or so. Once I counted the 20th one, I thought, "Uh, oh..." Then I passed 30 and 40 and stopped at 52. I really, really couldn't believe it. I equate the experience to those who keep a spending log or a calorie log to get a real assessment of how much they are spending and eating. I am planning to institute a rule that I have to go back and listen so many books that I've already purchased every year. If I don't make a conscious effort to listen them, I know I might never do it.

  4. Nobody made you read TKaM in high school?

    Anyway, I do have unread books sitting no my shelves that I have had for quite some time. Partly because I read poetry in the daytime, and I can get that for free from the library. So my non-poetry reading is mostly done in bed at night, after the Victoria's Secret models have left. Partly because I prefer shorter books. So if a book is on the border of my maximum page limit, and it seems good, i might still buy it, but I won't be so eager to actually read it. The portability factor matters to me. In the daytime, I read elsewhere so I choose books I can carry with me easily. Hopefully small enough to fit in my around-town bag with my groceries on most days. Then at night, I'm lying down, so I need to be able to hold the book easily and comfortably. The last group is books that were interesting enough to buy, but not really exciting. Most of these were bought on the cheap.

    1. Nope, I had no class in high school that required TKaM. I had to read: Across Five Aprils, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, Canterbury Tales, Hiroshima, and The Great Gatsby. That was it. No TKaM, no Slaughterhouse 5, no Catch-22, no Catcher in the Rye... I admit, my exposure to the classics has been and still is very limited. Recognizing this, I strive to read/listen to 3 classics a year. (This year I have listened to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Breakfast of Champions. I have Huckleberry Finn in the hopper...) Sadly, I don't typically care for them, but I try my hardest to appreciate them, some have had more luck than others... LOL!

      I can definitely see where portability would be a big factor in book selection. During instances where I read-read, like with my eyeballs, I don't like a heavy book or one that requires two hands to hold.

  5. We have so many books we have not read, I don't dare count them. Probably 1,000. When I buy a book I give one or more away, often to those cute Little Free Libraries in our neighborhood. Like you, if I see a free or cheap Kindle book or used book that appeals to me, I buy it. My favorite author is Anthony Trollope and his books are free on Kindle. Well, book addiction is not a bad addiction, ha ha.

    1. Those little free libraries are a great idea. I need to remember those the next time I clean out my bookshelves (and I need to remember where I've seen them, for they weren't in my neighborhood but they were somewhere in my city). True, there are worse addictions to have!

  6. So 11-22-63 was really good. It was long. And yeah, it went on forever, but it was good. Did you see the series on Hulu?(Does Hulu work in Australia? I remember it didn't work for us in Canada.)
    I would recommend the book.

    1. I look at it and consider it often, but will have to save it for a time when I am not participating in a reading challenge. Thanks for letting me know that you liked it so well. I'm not sure I know anyone else who has read it, so I've always wondered about it.

  7. Ah! Too many tabs open! I read through more than one post and then commented without double-checking the blog're totally not in Australia :)

    1. LOL! No problem! I read that and thought, "She's confusing me with someone who is in AUS...." No problem at all!

  8. Well, I think 6 out of 7 books being from your own "shelves" (in a manner of speaking) is excellent!

    Nothing to do with what you wrote, but a comment on a comment: I never had to read any of the "usual" books in school either. The parallel English class read Lord of the Flies but mine didn't. I've since read some of them and honestly I'm not sure I would have understood them as a teenager!

    1. Thank you!

      Lord of the Flies is another book that escaped reading while in high school (and college). I agree with you, I don't think I would have fully comprehended many of the classics that I've read recently when I was a teenager.

  9. 90 miles roundtrip? Every day during the school year? No wonder you're able to get through so many books! I hate my work commute, and it's seriously only 10 miles one way. That's nothing, I know ... I just hate dealing with traffic and horrible drivers.

    I wish I liked audiobooks. I may give them a try again sometime because I've admittedly only tried an audiobook once. But I hated it so much and found it so difficult to concentrate on what was being said that I was pretty much like, "Audiobooks are clearly not for me."

    I love that you were able to use so many of your own books for the Semi-Charmed challenge! I could only use four of mine, though I guess that's not too bad when you consider the fact that I only read a total of six books for the Read My Books challenge.

    Oh, and on a semi-random note: I didn't read To Kill a Mockingbird in high school either.

    1. Yep, 90 miles roundtrip a day. I go through a tank of gas a week (in car that gets 38mpg) and average 1800 miles a month. I wear out tires and cars like crazy. But, I am guaranteed at least 1 1/2 hours of audiobook listening time Monday through Friday.

      When I first started listening to audiobooks, it took me a while to acclimate to it b/c it requires a different type of concentration. My first audiobook was of a book that I had read previously and I found that to be a good way to ease into the experience since I already was familiar with the story. I think a person's success with audiobooks has a lot to do with their learning style preferences - auditory, visual, kinesthetic... You may be a stronger visual learner.

      4/6 is nothing to sneeze at!

      LOL! I am glad to know that I am not the only one who didn't read TKaM in high school!

  10. i have never seen a 3 books for 2 credits sale! that could be dangerous. i love audible's sales, and i am always cancelling my membership and getting sneaky credits that way haha for like 99 cents or something. i can't believe you have 52! that's awesome. i have like 2 or 3. i also have kindle unlimited, and some of the books you get there, you also get the free audiobook. but i am very picky about my audiobooks, so i rarely listen to those, and they disappear when i 'return' them from kindle unlimited. beautiful creatures is on my shelf at home, one day i will get to it.

    1. Audible has them several times a year. Granted, their entire inventory is not eligible during these sales, only a certain number of "selected" titles. But, I have picked up several titles that way that I enjoyed and that I probably never would have considered or even known about otherwise.

      Yes, I have 52. I'm not proud of that, either. I really, really, really need to rein in my audiobook buying and listen to the ones I already have. I fear, however, that the "moment may have passed" on several of the audiobooks in my library and that I may never be interested in listening to them... We shall see. I make a personal goal each year to read/listen to 3 classics, an area of reading that I consider a weakness. I may have to start implementing a personal goal to read X number of previously purchased books every year or at least X number of books that were bought more than 2 years ago. I don't know... LOL!


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