Monday, February 06, 2006

Monday Musings...

The other day, one of my neighbors came over for a visit.

While we were sitting in my living room having coffee, I couldn’t help but notice all the furtive glances she was shooting at my TBR pile.

Okay. It’s not really one pile of books. It’s more like five piles. (And those are just the ones in my living room. I have more in my bedroom. And in my office.) I have the books sorted by their TBR order, though the order is constantly changing. Some new releases go to the top of the stack (because of great PR, for example) while others get moved down a little.

Anyway, there we were, sitting in my living room, making small talk when she suddenly turns to me.

“Why do you have so many books?”

She’d had this look of semi-horror on her face when she’d asked me the question, too. I’d seen that look before. It was the look of a non-reader. It was as if she’d just discovered one of her neighbors had a meth lab in their living room, instead of 20 odd books waiting to be read.

Anyway, as I sipped my coffee this morning, I started thinking about my TBR piles and how non-readers can’t understand the concept of buying more books to read when you haven’t finished reading the ones already stacked in your living room. But she did have a point, I suppose. It’s probably time I started making a dent in at least one of those piles.

So, my question for this soon-to-be-snowy February morning is this: How many books do you usually have in your TBR pile(s)? And how do you decide which books to read first?


Gina Black said...

I usually have at least 100 books in the TBR pile (which is really a double shelved shelf) and I don't know how I pick the next one to be read. Sometimes I pick the one that is calling the loudest. Hmmmm.

Loribelle Hunt said...

Don't you hate that? Non-reading first time visitors to my house always ask if I've read all those books. And I always want to answer, Naw, I just buy 'em 'cause they look pretty.

Anyway, I try to keep my tbr pile to 20 or less. It's creeping up to about 30 right now. Right now I'm working my way through research and fiction is at the bottom of the pile.

Milady Insanity said...

My TBR pile fluctuates. As of now, I've got 21 books on the pile, not inclusive of books I get from the library.

Typically, I try to read them in the order I got them, or some will never be read. I've gotten better at it lately

Ann Roth said...

Great topic! LIke Milady, my TBR pile ebbs and grows, depending. At the moment there are books on the shelf behind my bed, books on the floor beside it, and books waiting at the bookstore for pickup. I'll get to each and every one, in due time. LOL.

Recently a friend, who also reads copiously, was lamenting about her brother and sister-in-law, who are non-readers. They don't even look at magazines! Sadly, their four-year-old daughter doesn't like to sit still for stories, either. This breaks my book-loving heart. I just hope the little girl defies the non-reading habit in the future.

Carolyn B. said...

I had to giggle at this posting; I could have written it myself. Hey, I even knew what TBR means! ;o)

I've got a teetering stack of To-Be-Read books on my beside table, a laundry basket of them UNDER the bedside table, two or three in the bathroom, and a few scattered around the sofa and end table. It's probably why I keep 4-5 books in progress at all times (by the bed, in the bathroom, on the sofa, on the dining table, in the car, at work, etc.) depending on my mood, location, and what I feel like reading.

The dense stuff, like "Condi vs. Hillary," I save for bathroom reading so I read it in small bits. Not very dignified, I supposed, but what the heck.)

Hmm, do you suppose this comment falls in the TMI category?

~ Carolyn B.

Allison Brennan said...

I have over 100 books in my TBR pile. Maybe more. I pick what to read depending on my mood, what I just bought (like I've been dying to read Andrea Kane's latest, but I just got MEMORY IN DEATH in the mail and that might go first . . . ) but everything is pushed back because of RITA entries, but I've read 3 of 7 so I'm doing okay there.

Suspense books come first, usually; my autobuy authors are at the top of the list (when Tess Gerritsen comes out with a book, she gets read first, hands down); books by friends also get to the top of the pile. If I feel like a comedy or feel-good book, I'll look through for something lighter than my standard fare. I also like trying new authors.

I'm trying to read one book a week (I used to read 3-4 a week, but writing cut into reading time!), and considering I add to my pile at the rate of about 6 a month, I'm always behind the curb. Sigh.

Carolyn B. said...

It gets even worse when you read blogs, doesn't it; I have a bulging list of books to add to the TBR pile just based on intriguing comments I've seen on other blogs. A nice problem to have, I guess -- "too many good books lined up to read." ;o)

JoAnn Ross said...

I wouldn't even begin to count how many books are piled up in every room of the house. (And the car's full of audio books.) It'd be too scary. But there's always the need to have lots available. Just in case. I've no idea how I choose them.. . I suppose by the ones that call out the loudest, although I usually have 3-4 going at any one time.

Once after my sweetie and I got snowed in our mt cabin for two weeks and -- horrors! -- ran out of new books to read, I wrote an entire Beauty and the Beast erotic romance I titled The Taming solely for our own amusement.

Over the years I'd tell the story, just for fun, to editors and friends in conference bars, and actually received offers, but since I could never figure out how it'd be marketed, and was writing more family centered women's fiction for Pocket at the time, I kept it tucked away in a drawer.

Then, when we were packing up to move across the country, I ran across the diskette just as hot books were getting, well, hot, so, although I wasn't writing for HQ anymore, I called Birgit Davis-Todd, who'd wanted it ever since she'd heard the story over dinner in Toronto a few years earlier. She was starting to buy for her upcoming new Blaze imprint, and my snowbound book ended up as Thirty Nights, the 5th title in the line.

I suppose the moral to this tale is that sometimes running out of books might not be such a bad thing. But I'm sure not willing to risk it ever happening again!

Nancy Morse said...

I can't imagine having 100 books in my 2B read pile. That would create so much angst for me, not knowing where to begin, that I might speed through them just to get on to the next 100. Right now I have but one in my 2B read pile, A Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It's a biggie about Lincoln which I hope to savor at a leisurely pace. If there were 99 others waiting, I'd go berserk.