I Dare. Do You?

I briefly mentioned the TBR Dare in my Sunday Salon post, as part of a list of challenges that will form the basis for my 2011 reading goals, even though I’m not officially joining them. But, since it’s a challenge (of sorts) in which I’m actually participating, I wanted to give the TBR Dare its own space.

TBR Dare Badge

On December 5th, Ready When You Are, C.B. sported the post title: Sunday Salon: The TBR Dare. Are You Brave Enough to Take the Dare? I was intrigued. Challenges, I’ve seen. Readalongs, yes. But a dare? A dare has elements of danger and adventure which its tamer counterparts often lack. I read on.

The Dare

The instructions on the TBR Dare page are simple:

Make a resolution to read only the books in your To Be Read stack for as long as you can in 2011. Start on New Year’s Day and see how long you last.

There was some discussion in the comments of JoAnn’s TBR Dare post about whether the dare was a sort of book-buying ban. It seems that it is not. Instead, the idea is to read only from your TBR stack, regardless of whatever else you buy.

The TBR Dare appeals to me because I have so many unread books. I move often enough that I really should love each and every book I drag around the country with me. I’m sure I’ve been carrying around some dead weight; I’m also sure there are some gems hiding in my piles that I would gladly move time and time again, if only I knew they were there!

The Particulars

I have a TBR list as well as TBR books on my shelves, and the two do not necessarily overlap. I don’t track my TBRs digitally; instead, I use a spreadsheet to note recommendations or reviews of books that interest me. So for me, I’m counting either books on my TBR list or books on my shelves that are unread. I don’t have a precise total of how many books that includes, but it’s high.

Books I acquire after January 1st that are not on my TBR list as of New Year’s Eve are not eligible for the TBR Dare. Books I add to my TBR list after January 1st are also ineligible. That means I’ll have to get better about my record keeping, but only for three months!

As most of the books I anticipate needing for challenges, readalongs, or projects are already on my TBR list, if not my shelves, the only exception I see myself making is with ARCs. I don’t review a ton of them, but I do like to try to post reviews around the release date. Should something turn up that will be published before the dare’s official end, I might have to read it anyway.

The Pledge

In short: I accept the TBR Dare. I pledge to read only books from my TBR list or shelves from January 1st to April 1st, 2011, with the exceptions listed above!

What About You?

Are you planning to participate in the TBR Dare? Or do you have similar goals of your own? Any books I should be sure to add to my TBR pile/list before January 1st? Speak now, or hold your peace until April 1st!

Join the Conversation


  1. I would totally take the dare, but the last two weeks of December and the first two weeks of January are the only time I have access to a public library (one that does not just carry academic journals and works) from September to April. I look forward to being able to check out books for pleasure reading that whole time, and just can’t give it up.

    1. Ooh, that’s tough. I don’t blame you for not wanting to give up your complete library and reading freedom! Enjoy!

    1. I decided I’m ok with exceptions for things to which I’ve already committed. It does kind of feel like cheating, though!

    1. Mine is now just integrated with my regular bookshelves, as the pile would be more like the entire floor of my office otherwise! And I had to split my TBR Google spreadsheet into tabs by genre so that it would load faster. I’m hoping the dare will help! Good luck considering 🙂

  2. I don’t dare! 🙂 I would never last – if I told myself I had to read what I already owned, all I would be interested in reading would be the new stuff I couldn’t resist buying. I do want to read more from my stacks, but I’m not brave enough to make is as official as this!

    1. I’m happy being able to buy books; I don’t need to actually read them. In fact, I rarely read what I buy right away, so this dare should be just fine for me! Perhaps there should be levels to the dare…100% commitment, 75% (where three quarters of what you read is from your TBR piles), etc.

  3. I would join in but for the fact that sometimes if I book not on my TBR is calling to me I’m likely not to enjoy my TBRs as much as if I let myself read that other book first. My TBR is small, easily finished in under a year, but I don’t think I’d be able to limit myself to older books.

    It’s a great idea though, and rather difficult I expect, so very much a challenge!

    1. That’s impressive that your TBR is so manageable! I’m jealous! I hate when people come to visit me and start asking about the books on my shelves. Probably over half the time I end up answering, “Haven’t read it.” I do have a wide variety of books, and they’re mostly ones I’m really looking forward to, so hopefully I’ll last!

  4. I’d lose in a heartbeat. 🙂 Although to be fair, I’ve definitely cut back on my book buying this year, and I’m slowly working through my vast stack of unread books. But kudos to you for your efforts!

    1. I figure if I do lose, no harm done 🙂 I should at least get through a couple of TBR books! It’s like as soon as I buy a book, I forget about it, like my own shelves are invisible to me. Must change that!

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