It’s April 1, which means the TBR Double Dog Dare is over, which means I’m allowing myself to put holds on library books again! (I haven’t yet, but I suspect I will do so pretty soon.)

Because I sort of padded my library hold list in late December (and also checked a whole bunch of library books out in December), my early-2015 reading was not entirely from my own shelves: the eight books I read in January were all library books, and so were three of the seven books I read in February. In March, though, I only read one library book, and it doesn’t really count because my boyfriend checked it out and we read it together. (It was a Calvin and Hobbes book). Thanks to the motivation of the TBR Double Dog Dare, I’ve read ten books from my own shelves so far this year, and am in the middle of another. Some of those books (like Conundrum, which I bought in 2004 for a college class on autobiographical writing that I didn’t actually end up taking, and Ten Walks/Two Talks, which I bought after seeing the authors read from it in 2005) were ones I’d bought a decade or more ago but somehow hadn’t read yet; others were more recent acquisitions (like Ibid, which I bought at Books for Amnesty in Cambridge last November).

I’ve missed the library and all its shiny new and new-to-me books, but it’s been pleasing to read books without the deadline of a due date, and to pick at whim from my own shelves. When I go to the library I often browse in the “New Books” area, which skews my reading towards what’s been published recently, whereas what I have on my shelves is a mix of old and new. And it’s been pleasing to free up some shelf space by giving away books I’ve finished, if I don’t think I’ll read them again. I’m almost tempted to carry on only reading books from my shelves for another month, but I doubt I’ll resist the lure of the library (which I literally walk by every weekday on my way to and from the subway) for that long*. I do, though, want to try to find a balance between library books and books I own, and not neglect the books I own quite as much as I have in the past.

* Edited to add: OK, yeah: after posting this entry, I … went to the library and checked out three books. See, my boyfriend and I recently finished watching the entirety of the Veronica Mars TV show, after which we watched the movie, and I remembered that I wanted to see if the library had the two Veronica Mars mysteries by Rob Thomas. So I checked online and found that the first one was on the shelf at my local branch. And then I couldn’t help looking at the New Books shelves, where I found the second Veronica Mars book. And also I picked up The Hollow Land by Jane Gardam, because it was there and I liked the two other books by her that I’ve read.

2 Responses to “TBR Double Dog Dare: Success”

  1. Jenny @ Reading the End Says:

    I can’t imagine how I would even live without checking out library books. I could go without BUYING books for quite some time, but without library books — not so much. I’d perish.

    (I do really, really need to read some books off my own shelves though. There’s some solid culling I could be doing, if I would just get down to the business of reading my once-off books.)

  2. Heather Says:

    Yeah, this was definitely the longest I’d ever gone without library books, and it felt really weird. I have joked for years that I am incapable of going to the library to return books without checking out more than I’m returning, so yeah, walking out of the library with zero new books was strange. There was one morning when my boyfriend and I ran in the park and then went to the Grand Army Plaza library for hot cocoa and pie (!), and I really wanted to look at the new books, but also didn’t want to tempt myself/make myself sad by looking at books when I’d resolved not to check any out!

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