James of James Reads Books is one of the most lovely of bookish men in the blogosphere. And every year, he invites us all to stop acquiring books for the first three months of the year, and to simply read from what he correctly assumes to be our mountainous "to be read" piles. It is not a challenge. It is a dare. As James so invitingly puts it, "It’s a Dare which means you only have to do it as long as you can; then you can walk away. With a challenge you either have to complete the entire thing or write a post about how guilty you feel about not completing the challenge. With the Dare you can just say, “I’m cool,” and move on with your reading."
"Plus, keep in mind that while there are many challenges out there, there is only one Dare."
You still have a few hours to go here and join the other cool kids putting a leash on their bookish acquisitive natures for a quarter. But some of us are not the big dogs we wish we were. We are fraidy cats and we do everything we can to make our dare acceptance as painless as possible. Pre-orders don't count against you (I have 4 in), nor do holds at the library or books you may need for book club. And you may shop until midnight on December 31.
So in the interest of preparedness (preparing to not cheat), I visited my favorite local bookstore today and picked up the lovelies you see above. The Old Filth Trilogy popped up in many blogs this year, interested me and comes in this lovely boxed set from Europa. In the basket. Thunderstruck and My Life in Middlemarch appeared in the "best of" lists of too many smart people for me to ignore. That's only five books. So to make it an even half dozen and out of curiousity, I added The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami. I read my first novel from this much-lauded author this year, and things did not go as well as I had hoped. Second chance. And I blame this one on Bellezza who posted this today.
So are you ready? Signed up? Made a plan or winging it? I have absolutely no plan whatsoever and will go in whatever direction the book piles lean.