I talked about SPFBO before. It’s essentially three hundred books, and no one, practically speaking, has time to read three hundred books, even if you wanted to. So, several authors on Twitter, starting with Steven William Hannah, have done threads where they read the first chapter of each book and either add them to a TBR [To Be Read] pile (sharing the cover and the good reasons) or DNF [Did Not Finish] them, sharing the reasons without any identifying information.
It’s proven to be fascinating and mildly addictive for the author-entrants. We have a tendency to follow them intensely, and even though the DNFs are anonymous, a train of authors will ask to be told privately about theirs.
I’ve planned on doing mine for some time, but reading a bunch of individual chapters requires a different focus than reading a whole novel, so I’m behind where I wanted to be.
I’ll divide the books as I read them into three groups – TBRs, DNFs, and a group that doesn’t have a nice acronym but essentially means that the author’s craft is fine but something else is turning me off. Style, authorial choices of some kind, whatever. Lots will fall into that category, I expect. We’ll see.
I’ll be honest – the first requirement of any book is that it holds me in the story. This is where I expect books will fail. If I can put it down and not worry about getting back to it, that’s it, and that’s the criteria I use for any book in any situation.
I want to find the book I didn’t know I needed. That’s why I’m doing this more than anything. To find the new thing that I can love. So I’m going to try not to reject any book based on sub-genre and go into them as open-mindedly as I can.
(Caveats that yes, this isn’t exactly how readers would choose books, and in the real world, we would weed through them in a variety of ways before hand, etc.)