My Century of Books Project Progress

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When Lisa from TBR313 recently wrote about the progress she’s made on her reading projects I was prompted to examine my progress on my own project. The only ongoing project that I’ve committed to is the Century of Books challenge and, frankly, my progress has been pretty slow. This is the second year I’ve recorded all of the books I’ve read from 1900 to 1999 and I was really sad to see that I’ve only read 21 books published in the twentieth century in almost 2 full years. I could have sworn I’ve read more twentieth century books than that! Granted, I’ve not consciously chosen books for this project – I’ve just read what I wanted and then counted them if they fit into the parameters. Most of the books I’ve read are concentrated in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s, which is no surprise as these are my favorite years to read in. I haven’t read anything from 1900-1922 or from 1977-1998. Obviously I need to try to deliberately choose books from those years to read if I’m ever going to complete the challenge.

Next year, I want to pay more attention to this challenge and to get to the half-way mark. I’ve been a bit disappointed with my reading this year as I haven’t read as many classics as I’ve wanted to or as I’ve needed to to make me a happy reader. I’m still trying to find the balance between reading what I want to read and what I feel obligated to read as a librarian. This year I feel I went too far on the contemporary/popular side so next year I need to come up with a different ratio. Perhaps one for one – one classic for every contemporary book I read. It’s a constant puzzle that I’m still trying to solve.

How have you done on your challenges or projects this year?

15 comments / Add your comment below

  1. The one-for-one plan sounds good! I failed completely with my plans to read The Forsyte Saga but did quite well with German Lit Month and Novella November, plus also the 1924 Club! I think I need to keep any challenges simple and fluid.

    1. Simple and fluid sounds perfect! I had high hopes to participate in the 1924 club yet failed – October was a month of reading ennui for me. How I wish this didn’t happen – I might finish more challenges if it didn’t!

  2. Do you let me know if you ever find an answer to that question. I have periods when newer books call but in the moment I’m drawn to older books so my century is slowly filling up, It is slow though, because books seem to have a way of congregating in particular years.

    1. If I wasn’t a librarian in a public library I’d probably only read the occasional new book – it’s the classics that I mostly crave. They do congregate in particular years don’t they? It seems easy to fill up the thirties and forties, but not so easy to fill up the seventies.

  3. I’ve done quite well with the Read Scotland Challenge, not so well with reading the classics though. I’ve been reading more contemporary books than usual, mainly because I’ve been visiting so many libraries which are under threat of closure, trying to boost their lending statistics!

    1. I think it is wonderful that you’re doing your part to boost the circulation of libraries that are struggling! My library’s stats are certainly falling these days and we’re doing everything we can to market the collection. We so appreciate people like you!

  4. This and the TBR dare were the only challenges I took on this year – and this was actually a carryover from 2014! It has been pretty much a year of reading by whimsy, except for joining Audrey’s Trollope year.

    I hope we both make progress on this in 2016!

    1. Reading by whimsy sounds lovely. I don’t think I’ll be able to do that until I retire from the library biz. Will there be another Trollope read (with the Palliser novels) in 2016?

  5. My only on-going project is The Classics Club. So far this year I have read 6 classics off my list – I think I am well on my way to my goal of 10 books for my 4 year marker; which is in March 2016. I hope you are able to find a better balance for your reading next year.

  6. I wanted to keep my reading relatively less white and American than it’s been in past years, and that project went brilliantly. I feel very happy with the balance I’ve struck there. In the new year, I do want to read more comics though; I feel like compared to how much I enjoy them, I read relatively few. 15 percent next year, I am resolved!

    That said, I try not to beat myself up when I don’t meet my goals. A reader girl’s gotta follow her heart!

    1. I admit that I do beat myself up a little bit – I need to lose the guilt, for sure. Comics are something I rarely read, but thankfully I have lots of co-workers who do and tell me all about them so I’m not totally clueless! Good luck on reading more of them next year.

Thank you for reading and commenting.

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