Monday, July 7, 2008

CHALLENGE: Orange July

So Many Books, So Little Time...

That's the mantra, right? Some people have actual piles of books they have bought because they want to read. I've even heard of people with whole rooms of TBR stacks, although at that point, I think you may as well open a library. (I didn't say your name, Wendy)

So challenges were born, to help the list-makers get organized, and enjoy the thrill of reading good books and crossing a title off the list. Then the compulsive types joined every challenge that came by their blog. A few rational yet compulsive types saw lists of award winners, and said, "Oh, a ready made TBR list of books! I can't seriously make/join a challenge with over 40 books to read. I'll call it a long-term project." And thus the Pulitzer, Booker, Nobel, and Newbery Projects were born.

Everyone reaches a point were they have to say: NO MORE! I can't read any more books! Although I personally think it's not the reading, it's the organizing of the titles. That is where my line gets drawn. I don't worry about not finishing challenges; I read what I can, I get done what I can. I only pick books I want to read, that intrigue me in some way. But I can only keep track of so many challenges at a time and still have fun.

Another long-term project is the Orange Prize Project. And here is where my organizational/Blogger Dashboard says enough. Looking through the titles I could easily make a list of books I'd like to read, even that I will read, but I'm not ready to be organized about it.

The Orange Prize is for female writers and they have two categories: best novel and best first time novel. I've read a bunch already and plan to read more, but not officially at the project. However, Jill at the Magic Lasso is having a personal challenge to read an Orange July. It's just a cool coincidence that she lives in Florida! She's got a great list of books she plans to read. I have had an Orange Prize short listed book I've been planning to read since I bought it a year ago. It got moved to my bedside to be read 'next' but it is also a Chunkster so it keeps being next. I started The Night Watch by Sarah Waters today, to join in on the Orange July with Jill.

I can only say no up to a point.


  1. This is a hilarious post! Thanks for the plug, and most importantly, thanks for joining! I hope you enjoy your selection.

    All the best,

  2. I am so tempted by so many challenges. I have finally broken down and joined a select few, but sadly none of them are orange. last year I joined 6 or 8 and did not finish any of them, so I hesitate now.

  3. I'm like you. I join a lot of challenges but don't really care if I finish them or not. But I do enjoy coming up with lists for the challenges :)

  4. I end up reading tons of books that aren't for any challenges and then I question whether I have time for it. This is my first year doing challenges and while I'm enjoying them I have to tell myself that it's okay to not get stressed over them! No one is going to hold me accountable for not finishing!

  5. I think the long term projects only add to my TBR mountain problem - now I have committed to reading all the prize winning books I have to buy them whenever I see one. I now have about 150 books which have been shortlisted for the Booker prize piled up waiting to be read. The Orange + Pulitzer book pile is tiny in comparison - but I love Orange July and January - it is a great way to clear out the piles a little bit, and compare notes with other orange lovers!


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