Project 24: did I read the books I bought in 2010?

project-24

Just under a week in, how is Project 24 going? Well, here are a couple of salient facts:

Number of books bought: 0.
Number of dreams about buying books: 1.

Yep, last night in my dream I bought four books – none of which actually exist (they were such wished-for gems as Sylvia Townsend Warner’s Slightly Foxed memoir, and books by A.A. Milne which he didn’t write), but this is what happened last time. I think it’s the limitation – it means I get all guilty, then wake up and remember that I haven’t, in fact, done the Wicked Thing. For my first couple years of being vegetarian, I used to dream I was eating meat all the tiiime.

Anyway, I thought it would be instructive (to me) to look back at the books I bought last time I did Project 24, and see whether or not I’ve read them. That was back in 2010, and I managed to only buy 24 books for myself – you can see all the books I bought, with pictures and explanations, in this round-up post.

Here are the 24, and how I’ve got on with them… the ordering is just the order I had the round-up, rather than the order I bought them in.

  1. The Love-Child by Edith Olivier
  2. The Provincial Lady Goes Further by E.M. Delafield
  3. As It Was by Helen Thomas
  4. World Without End by Helen Thomas

As I explain in that round-up post, I actually already owned copies of these books before 2010. I wasn’t expecting to buy duplicates, but these were all beautiful editions I couldn’t resist. And so, yes, I’d already read all of these. Total read so far: 4/4.

5. Roof Off! by Richmal Crompton
6. No One Now Will Know by E.M. Delafield
7. Susan and Joanna by Elizabeth Cambridge
8. Mrs Christopher by Elizabeth Myers
9. & 10. Letters vol. I and II by Katherine Mansfield

These were all books by favourite author that were too good to resist; ones that don’t come up very often. And… oh dear, I’ve not read any of them yet. I did start Susan and Joanna recently, but wasn’t in the mood, so will need to start again. How have I read none of the others? Pass. That’s a bit embarrassing. Total read so far: 4/10.

11. The Heirs of Jane Austen by Rachel Mathers
12. Miss Elizabeth Bennet by A.A. Milne

These two were always available on abebooks, but quite expensive. With the quantity of books I was buying going down drastically, I could afford them in 2010 – and, indeed, read them both pretty quickly, and loved them. Total read so far: 6/12.

13. Summer Will Show by Sylvia Townsend Warner
14. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
15. Travelling Light by Tove Jansson

Summer Will Show was a purchase in Shakespeare & Co. bookshop in Paris, because I couldn’t leave without a souvenir, could I? I did read it… though sadly wasn’t a big fan of it. And The Little Stranger… well, this one’s a bit embarrassing – I have read it, but the only reason I bought it was because I accidentally tore the copy I’d borrowed from a friend, and felt I had to replace it. I kept the torn copy and called that my Project 24 purchase. And Travelling Light was a new translation of a favourite author, so I couldn’t leave that one behind. Total read so far: 9/15.

16. A Brief Experiment With Time by J.W. Dunne
17. Strange Glory by L.H. Myers
18. The Music at Long Verney by Sylvia Townsend Warner

I bought these three in 2010 because I thought they’d be useful for my DPhil. Well, my DPhil was all done and dusted by 2014, and I’ve still only read one of these: Strange Glory. Which was definitely strange, and not at all useful for my DPhil – I don’t think it got a mention. Fingers crossed the other two wouldn’t have been useful… Total read so far: 10/18.

19. More Talk of Jane Austen – Sheila Kaye-Smith and G.B. Stern
20. Are They The Same At Home? – Beverley Nichols
21. Jane Austen – Sylvia Townsend Warner
22. Personal Pleasures – Rose Macaulay
23. A Compton-Burnett Compendium – Violet Powell
24. I. Compton-Burnett – Pamela Hansford Johnson

And my list was rounded out with books about authors! This was an unexpected concentration for 2010, but has proved pretty productive in the have-I-actually-read-them stakes. The answer is yes for four of them: I still haven’t managed to read the Beverley Nichols or A Compton-Burnett Compendium, but really liked all the others.

Total read: 14/24.

So, there you go! Even when I restricted myself to 24 books in a year, I’ve only managed to read 14 of them six years later. But I guess it’s over half? (Perhaps I should make an aim of finishing the other 10 during my second run of Project 24…)

10 thoughts on “Project 24: did I read the books I bought in 2010?

  • January 6, 2017 at 10:29 am
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    Oooh, yes, read the rest! There’s a Beverley in there – I’m interested to hear what you think of it! :)

    • January 8, 2017 at 11:42 pm
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      Every year I say it’s going to be the year I read Beverley… I’m hoping ‘Merry Hall’ will be on my list for 1951 Club.

  • January 6, 2017 at 3:26 pm
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    But then again, if you hadn’t made the resolution, imagine just how many of them you might NOT have read. Hee hee. Good luck with your planning! You’ve got lots of company in best-reading-intentions land! :)

    • January 8, 2017 at 11:42 pm
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      Ha! Yes, good point… I can always argue my way out of these things, of course.

  • January 8, 2017 at 6:52 pm
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    See, this is always the problem. Once you own the book, your motivation to read the book disappears. I am confident that the only reason I ever read books is that I’m frightened of the due date at the library. ALSO I do not use the phrase “done and dusted” enough and I need to do something about that.

    • January 8, 2017 at 11:43 pm
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      Oh, good point Jenny! In fact, case in point, I am currently reading a book I borrowed from a friend, rather than the hundreds of unread books on my shelves.

      If I have made you more likely to use ‘done and dusted’, then I count myself a success in 2017 already.

  • January 9, 2017 at 5:11 pm
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    How interesting. Maybe next year you should resolve not to buy anything until your 24 from this year are finished.

  • January 11, 2017 at 11:01 am
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    How funny, reading a post about reading books you bought in a not-buying year, I started searching for copies to buy. Hm.

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