Mount TBR Virtual Challenge for 2019: Scaling Mount Mindolluin

I don’t know about you guys, but my TBR is starting to take on a life of its own. Not in the physical world (though kind of there too), but more in the digital sense. As of the very moment I’m writing this post, my TBR stands at 854 books.


Which is a ridiculous number, if you ask me. I discovered (too late to join in, I might add) last year that Bev over at My Reader’s Block hosts an annual Mount TBR Challenge to help people who buy books and then don’t end up reading them, clear out their TBR pile. And while I do have a fair number of physical books that I already own that I should probably read (but that somehow don’t make it on to my TBR list), once I realized my TBR was over 800 books long, I decided that I should settle my focus there. It works out perfectly because for the first time (at least I believe it’s the first time) Bev has decided to do a Physical Mount TBR challenge (Join the GR Group here!) and a Virtual Mount TBR challenge (Join the GR Group here!). There are separate groups depending upon which challenge you’re doing. The physical challenge is for those of you who have a bunch of books at home that are just sitting around waiting to be read. The virtual is for people like me, who maybe don’t have a bunch of physical books, but definitely have a TBR (to-do list) that’s taking on a life of its own.

While I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s a compulsion, I have a really hard time starting things after the start date, or when I don’t have enough time to mentally prepare for it, or picking something up right in the middle. I’m an introvert, okay… Especially something like this where I need to not only get myself in to the right mindset but actually figure out how I want to tackle this project. I knew in advance to look out for the 2019 challenge and I decided to get a head start on my preparation so I couldn’t make any excuses when it comes time to do it to it. So let’s get in to the details of this challenge, all of which were pulled from the Goodreads group(s) that Bev created:

Challenge Details:

There are 8 different mountains that you can attempt to scale for the challenge:

Mount Rum Doodle: Read 12 books from your Virtual TBR/Wish List/Library
Mount Crumpit: Read 24 books from your Virtual TBR/Wish List/Library
Mount Munch: Read 36 books from your Virtual TBR/Wish List/Library
White Plume Mountain: Read 48 books from your Virtual TBR/Wish List/Library
Stormness Head: Read 60 books from your Virtual TBR/Wish List/Library
Mount Mindolluin: Read 75 books from your Virtual TBR/Wish List/Library
Mount Seleya: Read 100 books from your Virtual TBR/Wish List/Library
Mount Olympus: Read 150+ books from your Virtual TBR/Wish List/Library

Notice how Bev named all of the mountains in the Virtual challenge after fictional mountains – which has earned her 1,000 points in my book. The mountains in the physical challenge are, you guessed it, named after real mountains.

For my challenge, I’ve decided to tackle Mount Mindolluin from The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien. It definitely won’t make a huge impact on my TBR, but keep in mind that I participate in two book clubs in the real world so 24 books that I read each year (which that’s another 2019 goal for me is to read every book club book) come from there and I can generally finish about 150 books a year, maybe more, depending upon what’s going on in my life. I feel like 75 books is a solid, conservative goal for me. Any time I set lofty goals for myself, I tend to get intimidated, and the goal here is to actually work on my TBR, not ignore it and just keep adding books to it, because that’s how it became so massive in the first place folks!

The Rules:

~First, you have to choose a level! Figure out how many books you want to try to tackle, and then, if you’re using the GR group to participate, open a topic under your challenge level folder and name your climb!

~Once you choose your challenge level you are locked in for at least that many books. If you find that you are on a mountain-climbing roll and want to tackle a “taller” mountain, then you are welcome to upgrade. All books counted for lower mountains carry over towards the new peak.

~The challenge runs from January 1 to December 31, 2019. You may count any “currently reading” book that you begin prior to January 1–provided you have 50% or more of the book left to finish when January 1 rolled around.

~This challenge is only for books you do not own. They may be borrowed from the library, a friend, found on a free e-book site (like Project Gutenberg), or anywhere else that allows you to temporarily checkout the book. Also–unlike Mount TBR, there is no date limit on your wish list. If you see a book online that strikes your fancy after January 1 and you just have to go get it from the library, then it absolutely counts.

~Rereads may count if you have not read it within the last five years [Bev’s arbitrary pick for a limit].

~You may count “Did Not Finish” books provided they meet your own standard for such things; you do not plan to ever finish it; and you move it off your mountain. For example, Bev’s personal rule (unless it’s a very short book) is to give a book at least 100 pages. If she decides she just can’t finish it and won’t ever, then off the mountain it goes and she counts it as another step on the hike.

~Books may be used to count for other challenges as well.

~Bev is even awesome enough to do a year-end check point and prize drawing!

So what’s my plan!?

Well, from now until the end of the year, I’ll be adding books to my audio overdrive wish list, my overdrive e-book wish list, and then adding whichever books my library doesn’t have on their overdrive account to my physical library book wish list, so that when I finish a book, I can immediately request a new one. I’ve worked my way down my TBR from 854 to 679, so I’ve added 175 books to my different wish lists. And Overdrive is nice because you can sort your wish list by which books are immediately available, and which ones you have to place a hold request for.
To stay true to the nature of the challenge, I’m going to try to stick to books that were on my TBR at the close of 2018 (as of 12/31/2018). I may read a few books here and there that I add throughout 2019, but for the most part, I’m going to try to stick to my actual TBR list and count only those that were on the list before 2019 started.
I’m kind of a nerd so I have at least 4 different books that I read during the day. (1) I usually listen to an audio book on my way to and from work and then throughout my work day. (2) I read a digital book on my Kindle app during my lunch break, and then (3) I tend to read a physical book when I get home, and then (4) before bed I read a different book and that is usually a physical book or a digital book depending upon what mood I’m in. I know, it’s a lot of different stories to keep straight, but I’m a mood reader and for me, it’s the best way to prevent reader’s block or getting in to a reading funk.
I’ll do my very best to post monthly updates about my progress up Mount Mindolluin (but I make no promises).
So, if you have a MASSIVE virtual (or physical) TBR like me, or just a decent sized one, I hope you’ll join me in my quest to conquer these fictional mountains.

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