I’m a failure


Why does March have to be so darn long? With only 8 days until April 1st and the end of the TBR Dare, I threw in the towel this morning. I actually made the decision to give up last night, but it wasn’t until this morning on the Metro that I took the leap and started reading a book that was not in my official TBR pile.

You may recall that when I first accepted the dare, I had over 300 books in my TBR pile. You may also recall that I subsequently decided that that was too easy and so I further limited my choices to the 40 or so books in my nightstand TBR pile.

And for the most part the TBR Dare has been wonderful. I finally got around to reading some truly wonderful books that would have gone unread for a much longer time if not for the dare. So what went wrong? It wasn’t the lure of other books so much as it was boredom of going back to the same pile of 40 books which had been whittled down to only 23. As I read the wonderful May Sarton novel The Magnificent Spinster last week I started to worry about what would be next. I just knew that there were no books in my nightstand TBR pile that would fit my mood when I finished the Sarton book. And then I realized that my despair over lack of choice was making me slow down my reading. And I don’t need any more reason to watch TV.

So last night, not in the mood for any of the four books that I have partially finished and somewhat bored, I decided I needed to choose something that wasn’t in my nightstand. But no biggy, my nightstand restriction was self-imposed and wasn’t part of the focal TBR Dare. I could go down to my library and choose from the 300* books in that TBR pile. Or at least that could have been the case. But this morning when I went in to choose something for the morning commute I was immediately drawn to a book that is not part of my TBR pile. A few weeks ago I got about 6 books from my book club. I was going to wait until April 1st to dip into them, but there was one that leaped out at me this morning. And I just knew that it was the one to fend off my impending reading slump. I wanted fun. I wanted American. And I wanted something that I knew, without qualification, I would want to devour in one fell swoop if I could.

So the culprit in aiding my downfall in the TBR Dare is also my saviour, and made me truly happy from page one: My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prud’homme.

So do I feel bad about my failure? No.

(*I just noticed that my first post about the dare I say that I have 400 books in my TBR pile. In my second post I say 300. I wonder which it is?)

16 thoughts on “I’m a failure

  1. winstonsdad March 23, 2011 / 7:46 pm

    well its the trying I have a ever expanding tbr and my wife keeps tuting so may need to get rid of some read ,all the best stu


  2. Laura March 23, 2011 / 8:33 pm

    Well you made a valiant effort, Thomas! Don't be too hard on yourself. And your “going off the wagon” selection is an excellent choice!


  3. Amy March 23, 2011 / 8:47 pm

    It is not a failure. Look how far you made it! That's a success.


  4. Amy March 23, 2011 / 9:14 pm

    I have been noticing the same issue with reading slower. Ah. I failed as well, though with buying a travel book. heh.


  5. M. Denise C. March 23, 2011 / 9:16 pm

    Oh my. I just borrowed My Life in France from a friend. I can't wait to begin. I started to participate in a few challenges before, and never accomplished one thing so I don't even attempt any more. I am too stubborn and independent. You, at least, whittled down your pile . . .


  6. Susan in TX March 23, 2011 / 10:19 pm

    Kudos to you – I barely made my two month goal! The best thing that I gleaned from the TBR Dare is a new appreciation for all the good books I already have at home just waiting to be read. :) (And, yes, My Life in France is on my shelf waiting for the perfect moment as well. ;) ) Happy guilt-free reading to you!


  7. Jeane March 23, 2011 / 10:41 pm

    you did far better than me! I only made it through a month before I started visiting the library again.


  8. JoAnn March 24, 2011 / 7:21 am

    Let me say that you chose a great book to 'fail' with – My Life in France was one of my favorites last year. I absolutely loved it!

    Wolf Hall will be my last title for the tbr dare, but it's so slow… will probably last until the end of the month.


  9. verity March 24, 2011 / 8:17 am

    I think you've done really well – and I'm keen to read My life in France, it is just that a copy has never come my way – I'm sure if I was on a TBR dare and one did, then I would break it too :)


  10. Jim Murdoch March 24, 2011 / 9:07 am

    I’m not a great fan of targets, they tend to sap the fun out of things. Writing books reviews has been helpful in that it has got be back into the habit of reading regularly again but I have to admit that I usually enjoy the books I’m sent to read less than the ones I choose myself because I feel I have to read them. There are enough things in life to pull us down without turning reading into another one of them. Reading is where I should be escaping to and if I can’t do that then what am I going to do, watch even more TV than I already do?


  11. ArchitectDesign™ March 24, 2011 / 12:39 pm

    Reading is to be a pleasure: when it becomes a chore you know it's time to move on. Thats my motto.


  12. Charlie March 24, 2011 / 1:08 pm

    Life is too short to be held hostage by a self-imposed reading deadline when you're reading for pleasure. I start and stop books all the time. Sometimes a certain book isn't what I need at that given moment so I put it down and pick up something else (because there ALWAYS is something else). I read _My Life in France_ and it was an absolute pleasure. Enjoy!


  13. Kathleen March 24, 2011 / 3:59 pm

    I'd say you succeeded considering how long you were able to hold out before you had to stop. I never like to be forced to read certain things so I know I would fail miserably at this challenge.


  14. motheretc March 25, 2011 / 9:07 am

    Well I say close enough. You fulfilled the spirit of the challenge by getting through so many TBR books, and My Life in France does command some leniency!


  15. Thomas at My Porch March 25, 2011 / 11:17 am

    Stu: Sometimes a little discipline can be a good thing. Especially with tutting spouses.

    Laura: I am loving it so far.

    Amy: Half full.

    Amy: At least we tried.

    Denise: I know I do terribly with challenges for the same reasons.

    Susan: I learned the same lesson. Gems just hiding away in my TBR pile.

    Jeane: A library would have meant early failure.

    JoAnn: I think I may be avoiding Wolf Hall for that very reason.

    Verity: I think the baker in you will appreciate the story.

    Jim: You are so right. Since this was focused on my own book pile I thought it would be pretty fun. And it was for the most part. I won't accept review copies because I know that I would hate feeling like I had to read something.

    Stefan: I totally agree.

    Charlie: It is an absolute pleasure.

    Kathleen: With 18 days to go I thought it would be a cinch. But then 10 days later it seemed like 8 days was too long.

    Mother: I think you are right.


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