Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Dreaded or Revered TBR Pile

by Kristi Belcamino

Before I became a published writer, my To Be Read pile was, in fact, a pile by the side of my bed. It made me super happy to look at this pile. It brought me great joy.

Now, a year into being a published writer, I've been blessed enough to have made many many friends in the mystery world. As a result, I've bought their books, I've bought books they've recommended, I've gotten scads of free books at conferences, and I've bought books from my favorite bookstores at every visit.

As a result I know have a smaller two shelf bookshelf exclusively for my TBR books.

And I've found that it is sort of bumming me out. Instead of joy, it seems like a chore. Now, I don't like that at all, so I've decided to bring the love back to my TBR pile and do some purging.

So, this summer I've decided to make a huge dent in this TBR bookshelf.

It works like this. Today was a perfect example of how I am purging.

Walking over to my bookshelf, I picked up a book, sat down and started to read it. Books that didn't grab me were put in a donate pile.

For some books, I stuck around for as many as five chapters before ditching them. Others only held my interest for a few pages.

Let's just say I put six books in the donate pile before I found the one that grabbed me.

The winner? COP TOWN by  Karin Slaughter​. Now, all I want to do is ignore my family and read this all night long until I reach the end.

Have you ever been totally ruthless about your TBR pile?

I truly believe life is too short to read a book that doesn't make you want to abandon the rest of your life ...

** Confession: On my TBR bookshelf I have one whole shelf that is dedicated to people I know in person who have inscribed a book to me. These books and authors are exempt from this ruthless purging process.


Scott D. Parker said...

My TBR pile tends to be old paperbacks I find in antique stores. Two weekends ago, I returned home with 12-14 paperbacks...and yet I'm still reading a newer book on my Kindle. Part of the fun of the paperbacks is the thrill of the hunt. But I'm with on the ruthless part. If a book doesn't grab me by...I think I give it 5 chapters, too, I donate it and move on. Life's too short to read bad books. This even holds true in my SF book club. Unlike my other pals in the group, I'll simple stop reading the book.

Kristi said...

Yes. I have no shame in stopping reading something. None at all! There are too many books I pick up that make my heart sing to waste time on ones that don't.

Dana King said...

I used to make a moral commitment to finish every book I started. No more. I still finish over 80%, but I've become much more ruthless (good word choice there) about what I allow on the TBR list. (Mine is very much a list, a spreadsheet where I keep the books I've read, and the authors I want to read, or continue to read.) My problem is, as my reading becomes more broadly based, I find it hard to keep up with the writers I like most. So, unfortunately, those on the margins find a higher bar all the time.

Anonymous said...

I used to catalog my books read in a journal, spreadsheet sounds good, too.
I love that those on the margins have a rising bar to match!