2016 B.Y.O.B. Reading Challenge

It’s been a work-in-progress for years, and maybe more literally for weeks, after I threw out my bookcase last month. I spent a good part of November with piles of book nearly as tall as me, books hidden under my bed, and books fit semi-nearly into a giant storage bin.

When I was packing and stacking my books I realized I haven’t seen some of them in years because my bookcase was double-packed. I found duplicate books or books I bought because I thought I wanted to read them. And do you know what I’m stuck with?

240+ books.

How did I accumulate so many books?

  • I kept some of the books I read for college courses.
  • I went to several library book fairs from when I was in college through today.
  • I went to used bookstores and couldn’t resist a deal.
  • I arbitrarily decided I needed to collect as many Norton Anthologies or Norton Critical Editions as I possibly could.
  • Must. Buy. All. of. Joyce. Carol. Oates’. Books.
  • My family and friends know me well enough that I will enjoy a good book… or two dozen.

What Do I Do With All These Books?

Now that I know I have # books, I need to decided What do I do with all these books? Do I keep them? Do I put certain books away in storage, like my treasured children’s books that I’ve salvaged from my childhood or were gifts from close family friends? There are only so many combinations where stacking and shelving work, and I don’t have space for a second bookshelf in my bedroom.

Another thing I realized when I was unloading my old bookshelf but definitely when trying to organize my new bookshelf was that I’ve read roughly 28 % of the books I own. Seriously. 

The Book Breakdown

This is a rough breakdown of the books I own (excluding Bibles, foreign language books, GRE prep books, and a few textbooks–Why do I own an algebra textbook?):

  • Adult Fiction: 97
  • YA Fiction: 7
  • Juvenile/Middle School Fiction: 12
  • Short Story Collections: 9
  • Biography: 9
  • Memoir: 9
  • Plays/Theatre (including Shakespeare): 23
  • Nonfiction (excluding some textbooks): 50
  • Anthologies (not included in challenge): 9
  • Total count for this challenge: 216
  • Of these I own, I’ve read: 68

B.Y.O.B. Reading Challenge 2016


While I’m looking forward to some great new books in 2016, I also need to be realistic about what I own. Hopefully I’m not the only one out there who has this problem. Rather than buying books next year (which I’m sure I’ve said before), I’m going to read more of the books I currently own, which is how I came up with the Bring Your Own Books Reading Challenge! And I’m hoping you’ll join me too!

And, for the record, I’m excluding children’s books I own from the challenge. As much as I love The Rescuers and Harry the Dirty Dog, they will not count if I decided to reread them in 2016.

The Details

  • This challenge is begins January 1, 2016 and ends December 31, 2016. (It’s already 2016?!)
  • You must review the book you read, whether it’s WordPress, Blogger, Goodreads, Tumblr, etc.
  • Books that count toward this challenge must be books you own.
    • There are a few ways you can go about this:
      1. Make an initial post that you are going to participate in this reading challenge and post the number of books you own (optional: a picture of your bookcase or bookshelves, or share a list of books you own); or 
      2. In your first review, mention somewhere–either at the top or bottom of your post–how many books you own and your progress. For example, at the top of my first review, I would write: This review is part of the B.Y.O.B. Reading Challenge 2016. This is Book 1 out of 216 I own. (Or something to that effect.) If you don’t have a blog and don’t want to state that on Goodreads, you can post something like that to Twitter and a link to your Goodreads review.
  • Every week (probably Mondays), I’ll post a link-up so you can share your reviews. I know the first few weeks of the year might be sparse, so bear with me!
    • If you review multiple books in a week, share them all in the weekly link-up!
    • You don’t have to wait until Monday to post your review (it’s not like Top Ten Tuesday).
  • Use the hashtag #BYOBooks2016!
  • I’m contemplated awarding a prize at the end (besides a virtual high-five for a great accomplishment), but that’s something I’ll consider as this reading challenge goes on.

This doesn’t mean you can’t go to your library and borrow books! Of course you can! But they won’t count toward this reading challenge. Shout out to my librarian friends! :o)

Questions, comments, concerns. Share them with me! Oh, and if my math is wrong, please don’t tell me! ;)

8 thoughts on “2016 B.Y.O.B. Reading Challenge

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