Open a book this minute and start reading. Don’t move until you’ve reached page fifty. Until you’ve buried your thoughts in print. Cover yourself with words. Wash yourself away. Dissolve. Carol Shields Republic of Love

Off the Shelf 2012

Image Links to Challenge Site

I know I’m not alone in this…in accumulating books more quickly than I can read them.

But I have been accumulating at a fierce rate in the past year.

I’d been keeping things tidy. At least contained on the shelves.

But the last round of college booksales last autumn took me to stacking on the floor again.

Even while I was borrowing more books than ever from the public library.

See, it’s the combo that’s deadly. If it was just one or the other, I think I could manage.

But things are way out of balance. And I know I will continue to rely on the library, so I just need to cultivate this habit of reading my own books alongside the library loans

Slowly but surely. Slowly enough to get the habit to stick. Surely enough to make me feel like I’m getting somewhere with the stacks. To take them Off The Shelf.

I’m signing up for Making a Dent, which will hopefully take 30 books off my shelves, though paradoxically it’s really getting them On the Shelf in my case.

(But hopefully I can reach the On a Roll level, with 50 books, by year’s end.)

I’ll record the books which count towards this challenge below and on the challenge review page:

1. Cathleen Schine’s The Love Letter (1995)
2. Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones (2002)
3. Gail Carriger’s Soulless (2009)
4. Z.Z. Packer’s Drinking Coffee Elsewhere (2003)
5. Elizabeth Taylor’s At Mrs. Lippincote’s (1945)

6. Maria Tatar’s The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales (2002)
7. Sinead de Valery’s Irish Fairy Tales (1973)
8. Elizabeth Jolley’s Miss Peabody’s Inheritance (1983)
9. Kate Wilhelm’s Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang (1976)
10. Manda Scott’s Hen’s Teeth (1996)

11. Mary Lavin’s In the Middle of the Fields (1967)
12. Sterling North’s Rascal (1963)
13. Homer’s The Odyssey
14. Elizabeth Taylor’s Palladian (1946)
15. Elizabeth Taylor’s A Wreath of Roses (1949)

16. Catherine Asaro’s Ascendant Sun (2000)
17. Dorothy Sayers’ Strong Poison (1930)
18. Elizabeth Jolley’s The Newspaper of Claremont Street (1981)
19. Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief (2005)
20. Colette’s Ripening Seed (1923)

21. Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time (1962)
22. Charles de Lint’s Dreams Underfoot (1993)
23. D.H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers (1913)
24. Maureen Jennings’ Under the Dragon’s Tail (1998)
25. Audrey Thomas’ The Wild Blue Yonder (1990)

26. Holly Black’s Tithe (2002)
27. Carrie Snyder’s The Juliet Stories (2012)
28. Alice Munro’s Who Do You Think You Are? (1978)
29. Brian Jacques’ Redwall (1986)
30. Lawrence Hill’s The Book of Negroes (2007)

From here on, it’s all (veggie) gravy, because I signed up for 30. (I know, I know: there’s a 2012 title up there, but you can tell that I made my 30 anyhow, right? And it was on my shelves, which was the point for me…that I wasn’t ONLY reading library books, but books at home too.)

31. G.R.R. Martn’s A Game of Thrones (1996)
32. Sigrid Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter (1920; 1921; 1922)
33. Elizabeth Taylor’s A Game of Hide and Seek (1958)
34. Nicola Beauman’s The Other Elizabeth Taylor (2009)
35. Alice Munro’s The Moons of Jupiter (1982)

36. Patrick Somerville’s The Cradle (2009)
37. Rosemary Nixon’s Kalila (2011)
38. Meg Mitchell Moore’s The Arrivals (2011)
39. Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book (2008)
40. Ann Marie MacDonald’s The Way the Crow Flies (2003)

41. Muriel Spark’s The Bachelors (1960)
42. Kim Thúy’s Ru (2009)
43. Alice Munro’s The Progress of Love (1986)

It’s December, and I expect I’ll add a few more titles here. I don’t know if I’ll make 5o (I hope so!) but I’m happy to have made a start at changing a habit, to be as likely to browse my own shelves as someone else’s.

Thanks for the fun!

[Edited to add these titles:
44. Lisa Moore’s Alligator (2005)  
45. Suzanne Collins’ Mockingjay (2010)
46. Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One (2011)
47. Elizabeth Hay’s Late Nights on Air (2007)
48. Rawi Hage’s Cockroach (2008)
49. Rawi Hage’s DeNiro’s Game (2006)
50. Margaret Atwood’s The Circle Game (1966)]

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