Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I Solemnly Swear: On Getting Through the TBR Pile

I'm a lucky girl.  Oh-so-lucky.  Like you, I have an unruly and beautiful stack of unread books that loyally sits on my bedside table, patiently waiting for the day that I will flip open various covers.

And then, every month, new books come out with shiny, pretty covers and (sometimes) captivating synopses.

Then, I glance at my nightstand, and I feel so, so guilty.  Some of the books there I have bought.  Some are ones I received otherwise, and while they remain there unread and unreviewed, they sadly are something else: a waste.  Because of me (insert puritanical guilt complex).  If books are not being read and discussed, then they merely are decorative dust catches, and that's a crying shame.  

So, here's what I'm going to do:
  1. I will not buy another book until I've gotten through this pile.
  2. I will not request more than two NetGalley or S&S GalleyGrab books per month until I get through my pile
  3. When I get through this whole pile, I will reward myself by buying a book series that I've wanted for a while: The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. 
  4. Two exceptions: I am scheduled for a few books tours, so I have to read those as they come in.  Also, if I don't get through this list before Maureen Johnson's The Name of the Star comes out, I don't care.  I'm getting that one!
 Here's the list I am determined to get through: 

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Ada: Legend of a Healer by R.A. McDonald
Noah Barleywater Runs Away by John Boyne
Dreamland Social Club by Tara Altebrando
Vaclav & Lena by Haley Tanner
Chime by Franny Billingsley
You Against Me by Jenny Downham
Misfit by Jon Skovron
White Cat by Holly Black
Spinning Out by David Stahler Jr.
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner
Don't Stop Now by Julie Halpern
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Tighter by Adele Griffin
Torn by Erica O'Rourke
The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

These are only the 'physical' books, but they've been sitting around for a while, and oh, the NetGally books I have in addition!  ***bites nails****

So, how 'bout you?
1) what's the size of your TBR pile; and 
2) what are some books you've been 'meaning' to get to, but just haven't managed it yet?


  1. JELLICOE ROAD!!! YES!! Melina Marchetta FTW!! :)

    I'm a little bit jealous your tbr is that small! :P I currently own (let me check...) 324 books that I have not read... Wow... I should probably get cracking on that!

    There's no way I'm prepared to make this kind of a goal until it's finished though... Maybe smaller steps for me... :P

    Good luck! I'll be anxious to see what you think of quite a few of the books on this list!

  2. I have about 90 books (70 print and 20 ebooks) in my TBR pile and I'm also working on making it smaller. But I couldn't stop buying new books until I read every book in my TBR pile, I'm not strong enough :)

  3. You have some awesome books in your pile like JELLICOE ROAD. I have about 70 books and I feel guilty even thinking about them. The one's at the top that I want to get to but just keep putting aside are Angelfire, Demon Trapper's Daughter, The Truth About Forever and Between The Shades of Gray.

    Good luck with your goal. I really need to set myself one.

  4. Oh, what a lovely pile of books. You'll enjoy them - esp. JR and Divergent. I'm slowly inching my pile down - forcing myself to read one book I've bought for every 3 I check out from the library. I suppose it doesn't help that I just bought 2 more. :(

    I need to check out what this netgalley thing is.

  5. @Ashley - I know, GO MARCHETTA!!! Oh, the pile - it's small by design. I am a very good shopper, and I am a beast about good financial habits, so I always ask myself, "Do I really need this book right now? Do I even have time to read this book right now?" If I have more than five books in the TBR pile, the answer is usually a resounding 'no'. If I had as many as you, I would feel so stressed out!

    @Sabrina - DAMN!!! I'd be going nuts! Even though the word 'bibliophile' is in the title, I am actually not to big on collecting books unless I know that I am going to be able to get to them! Plus, I have a huge advantage in that my local library system is amazing.

    @Nic - Can't wait to read JR! Oh, and I know - I get the guilts, too! I really liked Between Shades of Gray, Angelfire was DNF for me, believe it or not, and I haven't read the other two, so looking forward to your thoughts! Good luck!

    @Angie - Divergent's review will be going up soon! I actually finished that one right after I wrote this post! Haha, I know that problem! And YES - you must discover NetGalley!


  6. Good Luck! I have over 120 books in my tbr pile that I am determinted to read by the end of the year. Though I don't think its gonna happen.

  7. YES!!! I always feel guilty too! It's like the books in the TBR pile are judging me when they see me walk in with a new book instead of choosing one of them. DON'T JUDGE ME BOOKS! Good for you making it through the pile before you buy any more, can't wait to see what you think of some of those!

  8. Oh man, my physical TBR pile fills up one shelf in some very creative ways, but I have a huge amount of ebooks to read aside from all those NetGalley and Galley Grab ARCs. A lot of the books I keep meaning to get to are 2011 debuts from earlier in the year like Unearthly, Clarity and The Demon Trapper's Daughter. It's just new books keep coming out and they call my name too ...

  9. I want to see your review for Vaclav & Lena! My library has it and I checked it out and almost read it, but didn't. I want to know how good it is!

    And I really hope you love Divergent!

    Wait a minute! You haven't read Jellicoe Road?! I figured you had already, haha.

    I put myself on a self imposed book buying ban. I did buy a couple books with gift cards though because I traded books and got gift cards, otherwise no new books for me until August, possibly later.

    I've been meaning to read the latest Sookie book, but haven't read it. Also...that's really about the only one I know I should read, but haven't really yet. At least from the books I own.

  10. Blahahaha! This post has me crackling. I should swear to the same. Not to buy another book until some that have been on my TBR forever are read, including Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta.

    Good thing that Sept 29th is a while a way. Still, I'm not getting the big deal with The Name of the Star. Maybe because I'm not a fan of the cover.

  11. @Savy - you are a reading CHAMP! Your job is amendable to that, though, right? Lucky girl, you.

    @Jenny - I think I am going to have a very feng shui moment getting through them. And then a massive giveaway.

    @Audrey - Oh jeez don't even get me started on the e-books I have - these are only my PHYSICAL books I need to get through. Deep breath, Linds, Deep Breath.

    @Jacinda - that's one of the ones I am MOST looking forward too! I'm saving the JR for a special 'just me' stretch of time, and what do you mean you HAVEN'T read Sookie #11??? You need to get on that, my dear!

    @Missie - **cracklecracke** we should read JR at the same time and be review twins. And dood, I betcha I LOVE The Name of the Star, and you're going to be soooooo, can I borrow that? MmmmHmmm, I betcha.


  12. I'd say Jellicoe Road should be your priority. Then White Cat. With JR just remember that you have to be patient. It took me a long time to get into it and I think most people have the same experience. But it all makes sense after awhile. I wasn't so enamored with Chime.

  13. I don't get free books because I'm not that cool yet, lol, and I can't afford to buy books, so every single book I read is from the library. I do have a virtual to-be-read list on Goodreads that keeps getting longer and longer and my requested book list from the library kind of swamps me sometimes. I usually have about 10 books checked out at a time so I try to read super fast! It's hard with so many good books out there. Good luck getting through your pile!

  14. It pains me to say my TBR pile is so out of control that I worry about receiving new books! I have yet to read or review any of the books I've physically bought lately haha

  15. @Alison - Oh yes, I agree, and it pretty much is once I get through some tour books that I have to pass on! Can't wait to read White Cat, either!

    @Katie - haha, some of these ARE library books :) Most of my 'free' books come through book tours or from LibraryThings Early Reviewers or something similar. Rarely do I receive one directly from the publisher. So don't worry about the 'not being that cool yet' thing - I'm not, either :) But I don't need to be, because I am very choosy with what I buy, and I have fantastic local library system!

    @Melissa - I'd flip! I'd be so stressed, because when someone does send me a book that I've agreed to review, I am accepting a responsibility to do it. I think that's why I am so strict with myself about how many books I will actually allow into my TBR pile - I hate feeling overwhelmed.


  16. Goodluck!
    I hope you manage to find time to read them ,some great books there! =)
    My TBR is way too huge! Maybe around 250ish books but l daren't count them lol

  17. I so need to make a list like this. It's getting cray-cray up in my house. My husband, bless his soul, hasn't said anything yet, but I can feel it coming... :)

  18. I feel very guilty too. I actually signed up a reading challenge called "Off the Shelf" for the same reason and I have only read...4 of them. *Facepalm* Sigh. I hope kick it up a notch and read them. I just get distracted by the new releases! And don't get me started by all the awesome reviews of books on blogs.

    By the way, I really enjoyed "White Cat". I liked "Chime", which I will warn you is a bit slow but it was brillantly written. Good luck with the tbr list!

  19. I need to read Jellicoe Road too! I feel like a terrible YA fan for not reading it yet.

    Best of luck on your goal, YOU CAN DO IT!

  20. @BooksforCompany - totally keep it small by design. I would absolutely rip my hair out if I had one that large, but good luck to you!

    @Logan - HAHA, not 10 minutes ago, I informed my hubs that I had just won a book. I definitely got a 'look'. He's a trooper!

    @Rummanah Aasi - I KNOW! I look at the list, and honestly, between the NetGalley books and blog tour books I have coming, I'll be lucky if I get through it by mid-September! Good luck with your challenge!

    @April - Marchetta is bank. That one is at the top of my list! Thanks for the well wishes! YES I CAN!