Monday, December 19, 2011

The 2012 "Books I Started but Didn't Finish Challenge."

I know, I know. I have signed up for so many challenges, but hey, here is one more. :)

This challenge is being hosted by Jillian at A Room of One's Own.

It all started when Jillian discussed the stress of having a pile of "unfinished" titles going into the New Year. I know how she feels-I like to have everything wrapped up and ready to go come January 1! But, sometimes it doesn't happen, and sometimes, we set aside books for a moment. Before you know it, months have gone by and that book is still sitting there, unfinished.

This is a challenge to fix that, since all the books to complete this challenge, are well...incomplete!

Here are the details:

The goal:

  • Commit to finish some or all of the books you began to read in 2011 (or before) and never completed.


  • I will not give away prizes or otherwise motivate people to complete their goals for this challenge.
  • Instead, I encourage you to self-motivate.
  • Keep your list central on your blog (or elsewhere) and commit to buy yourself some sort of reward when you finish the task. (A book? A bookmark? Whatever you know will inspire YOU.)

The rules:

  • Post a list of the books you began reading in 2011 (or at some point in your life) and never finished reading. (Maybe even say why you stopped reading!)
  • You can list as few or as many titles as you intend to complete in 2012. One or twenty or a hundred – it’s YOUR challenge.
  • You can include whatever genres you please in this challenge.
  • It doesn’t matter how you go about finishing these books. You can combine them with any other challenges.
  • You do not need a blog to participate. You can simply list the books you want to finish in the comments below.
  • List the prize you will gift yourself when you complete this challenge in your challenge post (to make it official.)
  • Write yourself a little manifesto about how you intend to approach these left-over books.
  • Commit to finish your list by the end of 2012.
  • You are NOT allowed to stress if it takes longer than 2012 to finish your list! Just commit again in 2013!!

Doesn't it sound like a good time? ;)

I've decided to tackle a few of the books I've set aside during this project. I do have some books that I stopped reading from years ago, but I want to get through my 250 list before I worry about them.

Here is what I am going to read for this challenge:
  1. Kim by Rudyard Kipling: I started this one back in the spring and made it about 30 or so pages before I set it aside. I was having a hard time getting into it, so I took a short break. That break has lasted until now.
  2. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad: I actually think I started this one in 2010. I made it 50 pages in before wanting to stab my eyes out. Maybe a second try will work out for me?
  3. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray: I find it kind of hilarious that I hosted a readalong for this and never finished. I was 200 pages in when the end of school took over in June. The book got shoved aside on my nightstand, then somehow got reshelved. It is sitting right next to me on the bookshelf with the bookmark still in place.
  4. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak: This is another title I attempted to read and has a bookmark about 40 pages in. I think, like Vanity Fair, it just got shoved aside when I found other things to read.
  5. Tom Jones by Henry Fielding: This one has been sitting on my nightstand since we moved into this apartment over a year ago. And it sat on my nightstand for a year before that! Again, I probably stopped reading it about 50 pages in...for no real reason. This one is on another challenge list for the coming year.
My Prize:

My next project after my 250 is to read some complete works by some authors. When I finish this challenge, I am going to buy myself the rest of Gaskell's and Cather's novels. :)


I will read all of these to get closer to finishing my 250 classics! And I will enjoy them and cherish them (except maybe Conrad).


  1. Oh my. I couldn't even hazard a guess as to how many unfinished books I have sitting around. I'd end up curled up in a corner if I tried to make a list for this challenge!

  2. Horray!! I'm glad I'm not the only one with a pretty lengthy list. ;-)

    I can't wait to get back to Vanity Fair.

    Thanks for joining, and posting this, Allie!

  3. This is a great idea!! :) I have a lot of books sitting on my shelf waiting to be started *shame on me* I don't know why, maybe it was just one of those times when there are just too many good books to read and also I just moved so that may have something to do with it. Anyway I'm going to try to finish them soon.

  4. I found Kim slow going until around page 60, then it picks up! And I read Tom Jones this year: it's SO MUCH FUN! Seriously. It needed all those caps. I have mixed feelings on Vanity Fair, which I reread this year (I strongly prefer the first half to the second), and I haven't read Lord Jim or Doctor Zhivago!

  5. This is a tough challenge. As I only read one book at a time, I usually only set them down if I don't like them, so finishing would be hard. But good luck!

    And I really want to read Kim, so I look forward to your thoughts on it.

  6. I like the sounds of your prize! I keep looking for more Gaskell's, but the bookstore never seems to carry them. Sigh.

    The only book on your list I've read is Vanity Fair, which as I recall I finished the day it was due at the library--or else it might have very nearly been a contender for my on list! Good luck!

  7. Oh, Conrad. I read Heart of Darkness in high school and the only memory I have of it is wanting to curl up in a ball and cry for my mom. Never picked it up again.
    I love your list, it's a very challenging one. Best of luck with it!

  8. Ah! I could join in with KIM. I started that too and never got in to it. I still want to read it though.

  9. Dear God. I am so into this challenge. I'm in! Here's my link

  10. Egads, good luck. I am on p. 140 of Dr. Zhivago and it is a slog. Would never have gotten to page 40 myself if it weren't for my book club. It's going to be a real struggle to finish and I'm kind of depressed that this is my first Russian novel. I've heard many wonderful things about Russian novels, and I think (hope) I am getting a very badly skewed view of them thanks to Pasternak (I do have the new translation though and it is like butter.)