February 3, 2013

TEA & BOOKS Reading Challenge


I hope your kettle is already boiling, because it's time for the first challenge update! Time to get out those heavy tomes too, but not to use them as coasters for that tea mug, mind you.

While I've got quite a head start in the other challenge I host, all I managed to do for this one is to devise a plan. Yes, a plan. To be fair though, I did get started on my first tome too.

So what about that plan? You see I usually never read more than one book at a time and seeing how my first book of choice has got 1.376 pages, thanks to Mr. King who couldn't write a short book if his life depended on it, I decided that I would read it over the course of the next month, with other books strewn in for good measure. And, so far so good.

It (Stephen King)
In progress.

Now I know those tomes can be daunting, but remember - the first level is "only" two books and if you're smart about it you pick a tome with more than 1.200 pages because that counts as two books. Sounds good? I thought so.

Those of you who already participated in this challenge last year had the chance to leave some thoughts and suggestions which I would like to address today. Some things I already implemented into the current rules as you might have noticed, while others need a bit more explanation. Here goes:

- Loosening up on re-reads. Done. You may now choose books you're read before too.

- Opening to audio-books. Done. As long as you pick an unabridged version of a book which comes in at 650+ pages in print you're all set.

- Monthly updates. I know I know I've been kinda sloppy in the second half of 2012, but I promise to better myself and post once a month, already announcing the date for future updates in advance too.

- 700 were simply too many pages. Agreed. I reduced the amount of pages to 650+ this year and, as a little incentive, I introduced the 1.200+ pages counts as two tomes rule. Be warned though - I have no intention to chop off 50 pages each year I am hosting it. That would only make C.S. Lewis roll over in his grave if I dared using his quote then.

- A bit of leeway with the page count. That's a tricky one. I totally understand that a bit of leeway would help, especially when all the other books you read in the challenge are a lot longer and make up for the missing pages. But we all know (well, I do) how this will end ... I allow someone to read a book with, say, 620 pages, and then the next person comes along and asks about a book with 628 pages, and so on and so on. Sorry, no can do!

But there is a tiny loophole you may peruse. Someone once asked about the page count of eBooks which isn't always obvious on your eReader of choice. In that case you may check out the book on Goodreads and look up the page count of the print edition there. What I'm trying to say is this - in case your tome falls short a few pages, you may check the page count of other editions of your book on Goodreads (not the large print edition, please). I know from experience that the same book can sometimes differ by 100 pages between editions (especially if it's a big book to start with). If you find such an edition which passes the 650+ line then you're all set.

Before I gentle steer you towards the comment section I want to remind anyone whose curiosity just got aroused by this post, that you may still sign up for the challenge and get acquainted with the general rules over HERE.

Updates for the challenge will be posted regularly on Sundays near the end/beginning of a month and the next dates will thus be March 3rd, March 31st, April 28th, June 2nd, and June 30th.

Now it's time for you to share what you've read so far or which book(s) you are planning to read for the challenge! Don't be shy and comment away!

18 comments:

  1. I am still struggling with Mantel's Wolf Hall, which I can't yet decide whether I will finish or not... I will let you know :)

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    1. If you've already managed to read at least half of it, it'd be a shame if you quit now. At least that's what usually keeps me going with heavy tomes - do I really want to give up when I've already come so far? Usually I keep on going. Or maybe you could take a break from it and continue at a later date? That may help too.

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  2. I finished Skippy must die for the extraordinary 666 pages (Dutch version). Am planning to read Harry Potter and the order of the Phoenix which has 668 pages in the Dutch version this month.

    Good luck to everybody else with reading those big ones.

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    1. Congrats, Ciska! I can see you're well on your way in the challenge! :-)

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  3. I am still looking forward to this challenge! I haven't started a 650+ book yet but am planning on starting soon. I have one more book to finish up for a requested review and then I plan on starting the first Game of Thrones novel. :) Then on to Les Miserables or the last Harry Potter book.

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    1. I like a reader with a good plan! Have fun reading!!

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  4. I completed Anathem by Neal Stephenson. I really enjoyed reading it. It was a challenging read that at times felt like a master class in the subjects of physics and philosophy but was ultimately rewarding as well. I am still pondering the story weeks later.

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    1. That's wonderful! *scampering off to check out the book on Goodreads*

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  5. I've completed 1Q84 which had 925, but apparently some of the other version have 1000+! I really enjoyed it and can't wait to get to my other tomes for this challenge :) Good reading everyone!

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    1. I believe Ally read that book last year ... it's interesting how so many participants gravitate towards similar books in the challenge. Of course it could be page-count related too, hahaha!

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  6. I've been ill for the past couple of weeks, so my reading has been very poor. Either way, I've finished Devils by Dostoevsky at 694 pages (loved it, of course). I'm on the last book of Les Misérables by Hugo which has a page count that ranges from 1040 pages (Wordsworth ed.) to 1463 pages (Signet ed.). These two are the C.E. Wilbour translation, but then I am also reading and comparing translations with the I.F. Hapgood translation which adds up to 1383 pages (Gutenberg download), so I'm going to go for a mix of the Wordsworth (that I own and love, but they have such a tiny text their page count is always about 50-200 less than other ed. - or in this case 400!?) and the Gutenberg, since I'm reading from both eds.

    Next I'll be reading Don Quixote by Cervantes for uni (I wanted to start something else, but meh). And also, one of my books in 643 pages, which I was going to cheat with, but since Les Mis is going to count as two books, it doesn't really matter. I'm starting to suspect I'll have finished my 8 books before summer :)

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    1. Seeing how you've been ill I am totally impressed that you've managed to read so much! With the current speed you might finish 8 books by Easter not summer!

      That whole page count thing can give you headaches, wouldn't you agree? Though it's always nice to find out a tome is big enough to count as two books *wink*.

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  7. Since Dec 1st I have finished five books and I am now reading an old book I picked up at a flea market called, "The Truman MerryGoRound" writtian in 1950. It is amazing how little has changed in Washington DC with the polititans from that time to now....

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    1. Ohhh I love to roam flea markets too for books! I wish I had the chance to go more often, then again, it's not as though I had no books just waiting to be read stacked in high piles all over the place ... and yes, I got my current tome by Stephen King from a flea market too!

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  8. Hi! I've just finished Moby-Dick, which is 700+ pages! (review here: http://irrelevant-scribble.blogspot.cz/2013/02/moby-dick-by-herman-melville.html)
    It's the only book so far, as I usually try to pick smaller books during the exam session. But now it's over, and I'm planning to read some Dickens, which is usually rather big)

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  9. I'm about half way through The War of the Flowers by Tad Williams which has 756 pages in the Bulgarian edition, and I just received I book I won earlier that turns to have over 700 pages too, so at least I won't have to worry I don't have enough chunky books for this challenge, lol! I would have read more, but those days I was busy making a Tea and books callendar (http://topchochan.blogspot.com/2013/02/three-essential-substances.html)... this chalenge kind of inspired me and gave me the idea, so thanks!

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  10. I've read Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos (http://irrelevant-scribble.blogspot.cz/2013/02/les-liaisons-dangereuses-by-pierre.html). Surprisingly fast for 653 pages! I guess it's because it is epistolary =)

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