28 March 2010

ROOB: Reading Our Own Books Game

I love to participate in challenges and to play games. You might remember that I lost the last one: BLOB. Oh well, I had fun. So much fun, in fact, that I joined another Twitter-born game that will start in April: Reading Our Own Books Challenge (ROOB) .

The general goal is to read books that we owned before March 15, 2010. This is similar to a clear off your shelves or TBR challenge, but we have a point system to make the competition a bit more fun.

The Points

  • −5 points for reading a book from your TBR stack (owned before 3/15)
  • −3 points for reading a review copy (review promised in April)
  • −2 points for reading a library copy
  • +6 points for reading a new book (owned or borrowed after 3/15)
The person who reads only from her TBR will win, but most of us have a library book or two and at least one review commitment. Unfortunately, I have a few review commitments, so will likely lose ROOB too, but I'm going to have fun playing!

Playing and Scoring

We count books started no earlier than April 1 and finished no later than April 30. Books started in March but finished in April and books started in April but finished in May do not count for the ROOB game. (I'm holding off starting some books, trying desperately to finish up others!)

At the end of the month we add up our points. The ROOB winner is the person with the lowest score. If I read 4 books from my TBR stack, 2 review copies, 3 library books, and 1 new book, here's how I'd figure my score:

(4 × −5) + (2 × −3) + (3 × −2) + (1 × 6) = −20 + −6 + −6 + 6 = −26

Now some of you may be wondering about reading speed and size of the books read. For example, I may read 10 books a month but someone else may read 15. I might read two 500-page books, but another player reads ten 100-page books What to do? No worries, we came up with a equalizer: We simply divide our final points by the number of books read.

So for our example, my final score would be −26 ÷ 10 = −2.6

The best strategy for winning is to read books you've owned for a while and that are not specifically for an April review or blog tour. There is a big penalty for reading new books.

The point to this game is to motivate us to read some of the older books we've been dying to read. I can't find the down side to playing ROOB.

The Players
Honorary member: Jen from Devourer of Books


The winner is the person with the lowest score at the end of the month. The prize is bragging rights as the ROOB champion, until we play again. The losers will each pick a book from her stacks and send it the winner. I wonder, Is that prize or punishment for the winner?

Starting Your Own Game

If you'd like to start your own group or play solo along with us, feel free! We capped the number of players for our group at eight so that it would fairly easy to keep track of scores and so the winner would not be flooded with too many new books in May.

This is all for fun and not meant to exclude anyone. If you're on Twitter, then you know two things: (1) Twitter pressure is the strongest force on earth and (2) if you pop off Twitter for even a second, you lose out!

April is shaping up to be a great month for reading: ROOB and the Readathon (more on that later in the week).


Vasilly 3/28/10, 8:41 AM  

We're going to have so much fun playing this game. While I was reading your post, I realized that I haven't set a goal for how many of my own books I want to read.I need to do that this week. Good luck!

Sandy Nawrot 3/28/10, 8:51 AM  

I swear, Twitter is idea central!! What a great way to weed through the hundreds of books on our shelves! I'd join, but I'm not anywhere near prepared. I have my April pretty much planned out with commitments before the month even starts. I'll have fun cheering you guys on!!!!

bermudaonion 3/28/10, 10:24 AM  

Twitter gets you in more trouble! LOL ROOB sounds like a great idea that will be a lot of fun! Competition like that is a good thing.

Susan 3/28/10, 10:44 AM  

This sounds like fun, but I would have a hard time winning, as I haven't bought a book I wanted to just read in over ten years...I get almost everything from the public library.

Anonymous,  3/28/10, 6:40 PM  

Are you sure this isn't a math challenge? That formula looks awfully complicated.

Heather 3/28/10, 6:48 PM  

oh this would be so hard. I really do want to get at 'my own books' but I have a hard time saying no to those really good offers of review books and those online contests. I try to mix in my books with the others and get to at least one or two a month.

Beth F 3/28/10, 7:20 PM  

Heather: the joy of ROOB is that you don't have to say no to anything -- just hold of reading the new stuff until May!

Barbara 3/28/10, 7:58 PM  

I'm with softdrink since it does sound like a math challenge.I get most of my books from the library although I do own books. I just don't buy them that much. I have been working through them though. Maybe I'll think about it when I feel better but right now I'm in a NyQuil haze.

Julie P. 3/28/10, 8:06 PM  

Good luck! I'll be anxious to see how this plays out.

Jen - Devourer of Books 3/28/10, 8:29 PM  

I hope you all do awesome! I'm bummed I can't join in after all.

Jenners 3/28/10, 8:32 PM  

Too much math for me!!! But I'd probably do pretty well ... I've been reading all my own books this year since I instituted a book buying ban ... but I have been liberally accepting review copies and winning books like mad!

Carrie K. 3/29/10, 1:29 AM  

I am so excited! I really need to finish The Lotus Eaters and I'm wondering if I should hold off on finishing Admission until afterward. It's a buddy read with Vasilly and Nicole, so I'll have to see what they think. I can't wait to get to some of my OWN books!

Dorte H 3/29/10, 3:14 PM  

What a fun game!

Now my TBR is not as huge as many other bloggers´ so I have not even begun feeling guilty about it yet, and as certain people keep tempting me with challenges and books to read, I won´t even try to favour the oldest books on my shelf.

Robin M 3/29/10, 4:52 PM  

What a neat idea. I'm going to continue my buying ban after lent and continue to read my own books until I get the pile whittled down. Will be playing along vicariously. Will be interesting to see what happens at the end of April!

Beth Kephart 3/29/10, 7:04 PM  

Now THAT is some math.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks 3/30/10, 3:03 PM  

I'll show your post to my 2nd grader and ask her to devise a word problem: "If Beth Fish reads 3 books from her shelf, 1 library book, 4 review copies; and Jenn reads ..."

Yikes! Break out the calculators and have fun with this. May the biggest ROOB win!

Veens 3/31/10, 4:43 AM  

I really dnt know why yu guys have so much planned on for Monday.. the other day I read Jill's post and was exhausted thinking abt it LOL!

I am sad i will be out of action the whole time and you guys won't even miss me with so much happening LOL!

I wish i could participate but start Apr (tomorrow) i will be happy if i can make thru the 3 weeks w/o breaking down with anxiety. :D dnt u worry.. it is just that I m nervous that's all

Marg 4/1/10, 7:54 AM  

I am so excited at the prospect of this challenge, and at the books I am going to read for it! The surprising thing for me is that it is having a beneficial effect of my library pile as well because I haven't requested anything new for a couple of weeks and I have been taking books back. I will reborrow them eventually but for the time being the number of books I have out is dropping rapidly!

Dawn, your second grader can work out my points for me! Either that or I will have to find the calculator! LOL!

Unknown 4/2/10, 11:35 AM  

This is such a good idea. I have a basket full of my own books that I really should be reading, but every time I go to the library I come home with three or more from there. It's a sickness!

Perhaps I'll follow along next time, when I've mentally prepared myself and *not* visited the library two days ago...

Care 4/2/10, 1:09 PM  

Good luck to everyone! Now I know what #ROOB means. :)

Michelle 4/3/10, 7:15 PM  

I don't know how successful I'm going to be in this endevor but I'm going to give it my all! I finished my first book towards the game today and I am proud to say I scored -5 points!

Woo Hoo! Good luck to you :)

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