[Pinched from here
, via coalescent
]1. How do you keep track of your TBR pile?
I don't have to. It's everywhere. Books on shelves? TBR. Books in piles on top of shelves? TBR. Piles on floor? TBR. Piles on tables? TBR. Boxes of books? TBR.
Basically my book collection is one giant TBR pile. This is what happens when you have many and varied interests and acquire books far faster than you can actually read them.2. Is your TBR mostly print or ebook?
Let's see, I have >5,000 print books and <10 ebooks, so I think I'm going to call that one for print.3. How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?
By which I mean, I tried having a proper TBR pile, where I made a pile of books and declared "I shall read these, in this order! And any books I acquire before I finish will be added to the end of it!"
I don't think that even survived my finishing the book I was reading while I put the pile together. I can still see it at the top of my bookcase, where it's been for the past… must be nearly ten years now. Shit.
Looking at it, it appears I did accidentally read one of the titles from that pile when I took it out of the library instead (Carson McCullers, The Ballad of the Sad Cafe
These days my key considerations in the question of what to read next are:
1. Do I have an Inter Library Loan out? If so, this gets skipped more or less straight to the top regardless of how much I actually want to read it, due to the fact that fines for late ILLs are not worth thinking about. Potentially three-digits of not worth thinking about.
2. I'm a member of a book group. So that's 12 books I have to read each year. These get bumped up when necessary.
Other than that, it's a case of finishing a book and then seeing what's to hand that takes my fancy. I'll try and vary my reading so quite often the book I've finished will inform my subsequent choice. Sometimes I'll realise I've not read a certain type of book for a while, or that my reading has gone gender-imbalanced, so I'll try and course-correct those things. And sometimes I'll pick up something light to give my reading brain a rest.
In short, magic.4. A book that’s been on your TBR the longest:
Looking at my actual pile, I can see Delta of Venus
, American Gods
and The Time Traveler's Wife
, among others. But I own many books that pre-date those. There's probably a whole bunch of Clarke/Asimov/Heinlein or other assorted science-fiction that's been waiting to be read for maybe 20 years now. By this time it's probably safe to say I won't get to read all of it.5. A book you recently added to your TBR:
Most recently would be A Darker Shade of Magic
by VE Schwab. Also added recently would be The Way Inn
by Will Wiles, The Late Monsieur Gallet
by Georges Simenon, Nobody is Ever Missing
by Catherine Lacey, Unfinished Life of Addison Stone
by Adele Griffin, and actually I'm going to stop there before I start distressing myself.6. A book that will soon be added to your TBR:
I can see Fourth of July Creek
by Smith Henderson and The Three
(and also Day Four
) by Sarah Lotz getting added in short order.
I'm waiting for an ILL of Fresh Off the Boat
by Eddie Huang to turn up which will go straight to the top of the pile for reasons stated above.
Then there's a bunch of standard library reservations, including The Death House
by Sarah Pinborough, Acts of the Assassins
by Richard Beard, A Reunion of Ghosts
by Judith Claire Mitchell, and The Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins (which won't be added that soon, as there are over 200 reservations and I've locked myself to the bottom of the list).7. Numbers of shelves used to house your TBR:
Rather than count, I'm just going to say "All of them."8. On a scale of 1 to 10, how painful is it for you to discard will-never-be-read TBR books?
TEN! TEN! TEN!
It's one thing to discard a book when they've fulfilled their purpose (say, a reference book is no longer needed or is outdated), and it's another thing to realise that I actually have no interest in reading certain books (I was able to hive off a bunch of fantasy books when I realised it was a type of fantasy I didn't like reading; I was able to shed near all my Piers Anthony books through a combination of knowing their were badly-written and being uncomfortable with what I learned about certain of his predilections), but having to discard a book that I still want to read, even though I know I likely never will, is a ten every time.
It happens with library books when other people reserve them so I have to send them on. In that case, I don't re-reserve straight away because I don't want to deprive anyone from making full use of them, and because I figure that if I can't remember it after a couple of months… but even so. Still a TEN every time.
With my own books, I never discard the ones that are on the TBR pile, only the ones which have fallen off it.9. A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read but you:A Game of Thrones
. Because of the TV show, even non-fans have read it now and I still haven't.10. Name your sources of powers– where do you get your books from?
The library, Amazon, the Book Depository (so, Amazon), sometimes Waterstones, occasionally Better World Books. Also direct from dealers/publishers/creators at conventions, when the opportunity arises. It's probably just as well I've never found myself in a position where publishers send me books (even if occasionally there are books I want to read Right Now, Please and so it would be nice to get ARCs of those).11. A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read:
'Dying' may be putting it a bit strongly, but that would probably be The Dark Defiles
by Richard K. Morgan. It's actually been on my TBR for a little while now but it turned out to be a bigger book than I expected, so I've been trying to save it for when I have a healthy chunk of reading time blocked out for it.
Honourable mention: not on my TBR pile yet because it's not out yet, but I'm eagerly awaiting Way Down Dark
, the first YA novel from James Smythe. 12. A book you’d recommend others add to their TBR shelves:
I find myself recommending short books, because part of me feels that to recommend long books is an imposition. For a while I had a couple of old staples, but recently a new book forced it's way to the front:Young God
by Katherine Faw Morris. Bleak as fuck tale of a young girl in modern America, written in clear, emotionless prose (my taste for this kind of writing I trace back to Ballard). Picked it up after reading Eimear McBride's review
in the Guardian. 200 pages, you can probably read this in an evening or two.13. Is your TBR a force for good in your life?
I often think it would be nice if I could press a pause button and have everything stop and no more books happen for a year or two, just so I can catch up on it some. Make of that what you will.