Today, it’s the third and final substitute category for the RWC 2017 Reading Challenge.

How do substitute categories work? Maybe you really hate short stories. You can swap in one of these substitutes instead.

Substitute Category #3: A book that’s been on your TBR for over 3 years

One of my reading goals for the year was to reduce my TBR, especially the shelves of physical books I haven’t read. I choose this goal every year and I’m not sure I’ve ever succeeded.

This category is about assessing the books you’ve planned to read for a long time and deciding if now’s the time. If not, perhaps it’s time to donate it to someone who might enjoy it. I frequently donate or pass on books from my shelves if they’ve been there awhile or I’ve lost interest.

Use the “3 years” as a guideline. Maybe you’ve had this book for longer, maybe not that long. But either pick it up and read it or put it back into the world for someone else. I might even consider a donation of an unread book to fit this category.

From my shelves:

Bel Canto (Ann Patchett)

on TBR since Sept 1, 2011

This book was given to me by a friend. It was very popular at the time and has a 3.92 avg rating on Goodreads. It’s all about San Francisco and music so it should be a winner. But before I could read this book, I read Run by the same author – and really didn’t like it.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore (Robin Sloan)

on TBR since June 2, 2013

Another popular book with a decent rating (3.75). It’s about books! And yet I’ve started reading it once or twice and never quite got into it. One last try or send it along?

The Angel’s Game (Carlos Ruiz Zafon)

on TBR since Dec 16, 2013

This is the second book in a series (perhaps a trilogy?). I adored the first book but so long went by before I bought the second that I feel I should read the first again. Taking the time to reread a fairly complicated and long book never seems to win out over reading something new.

  The Art of Hearing Heartbeats (Jan-Philipp Sendker)

on TBR since Mar 11, 2014

This book is one of the first I bought in a used bookstore. I loved the cover with the shiny gold details and it has a 3.98 rating. But somehow I’ve never gotten around to it.

In all, 23 of the 83 books on my TBR shelf have been there for over 3 years. Maybe it’s time to pass some of them along?

What will you read to complete this category? Leave a comment below with your thoughts about these or any I may have missed.

If you have suggestions for books that fit in future categories, let me know. I’ll include your name (and a link, if you like) when I share those suggestions.