Friday, February 07, 2014

Finish It February Sign Up

I gave myself a minute to grab all the books I could see on my shelves from series that I haven't finished. You can see the results above. If I got out all the books I own from series that I haven't finished, I wouldn't be able to stack them up. The pile would be too big. I had a look at my 'series-have-started' folder on Goodreads and counted a whopping twenty-six different series that I have begun and definitely want to carry on reading.

Having so many series 'on the go' is an endless source of annoyance and dissatisfaction, and it's all my own fault. So why haven't I finished them?

Problem One: I Don't Usually Own Book Two

This is a genuine problem, or at least it was, until recently. I only work part-time at the moment, so that I can spend serious time writing, and as a result my book budget is about £5.

For the entire year.

Okay, it's a bit more than £5, but not that much more. There are lots of series that I've started, thanks to the generosity of their publishers, who have given me book one, but I fail to continue them because I rely on the library, and my library's stock is not that great.

But now, as I mentioned in my Why I Love...Libraries video, my library has joined the London Libraries Consortium. I can finally get all those book twos, for a mere 75p a time!

Which brings me on to...

Problem Two: My Arbitary and Ridiculous Self-Imposed Library Book Restrictions

For the last four or five years I've been restricting my use of the library, in a bit to decrease the size of the pile of unread books that I own.It began with the 'every other' rule. Every other book I read had to be a book I owned. This was pretty easy to follow. But my TBR kept getting bigger.

Then I decided that I had to read three books I owned before I could read a library book. This also worked okay, but my TBR kept getting bigger. Then I decided that I had to read four books I owned before I could read a library book, but still my TBR kept getting bigger...

As a result I've mostly been reading standalones and avoiding getting into series, so that I don't get tempted to break my rules. Honestly, this has probably hindered my bids to get my TBR pile down, because I read series books faster. When I am familiar with a author's style and a narrator's voice, the pages fly by.

I was reminded of all this when my copy of Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi arrived. I still haven't read Through the Ever Night, despite loving Under the Never Sky, and I was feeling quite annoyed at myself until I saw my fellow Bookish Brits Faye and Caroline tweeting about their #finishitfeb plans.

I decided to join in immediately. I did say that I wasn't going to sign up to any reading challenges this year, so I'm not going to set any goals. I'm just going to use this theme as an excuse to abandon my silly restrictions and attempt to finish some series this month, even if I have to use the library to do so!

I'm starting with the book on the top of the pile, The Sweet Far Thing, by Libba Bray. I love this trilogy, but The Sweet Far Thing, the final book, is 819 pages long, and it's quite hard to carry around. But the last few times I've gone out I forced myself to leave some other stuff at home so I could take it, and I've managed to  get up to page 206! This might be the only book I finish, but if so, I'll still be pretty pleased with myself!

If you'd like to join in with Finish It February you can sign up at Big Book Little Book or A Daydreamer's Thoughts. I'll be posting updates on Twitter, so keep an eye on the #finishitfeb hashtag!

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