All year I’ve been struggling with a personal goal to get my TBR below 100 books. I haven’t gotten there and I now know it’s not going to happen with less than two months to go. But I still want to work on having a more manageable TBR and when I saw this post over at Cleopatra Loves Books I thought putting my own cards on the table might help with this ongoing goal. Perhaps this time next year I’ll be telling a story of minimalism success.
How do you keep track of your TBR pile?
I use a database called Collectorz. Hate the spelling, love the software. I have it on my computer and there’s an iOS app for my phone and a website for…well…whenever I don’t have my computer or my phone. As soon as I order or buy a book I add it to my database and then keep track of things like reading date as well as a swag of other data. The books I count for my TBR are the ones that I own but haven’t read. I don’t count books I’ve ordered but haven’t received yet or books on my wishlist.
Is your TBR mostly print or e-book?
Print books win by a country mile. Back in 2011 I wrote about my plan to go all digital within 5 years. I was on a minimalism kick and had other reasons. But that plan was a failure. Not only because I bought something other than the device from the store named after a river though that didn’t help (books were never that cheap, nor that readily available and Adobe’s eReader management software offered the worst user experience of any software I have ever used in any context). But also, I don’t really like reading eBooks much. These days I use my iPad to do it when necessary but it’s not often. This year for example I have only read 11 eBooks (and 43 physical books and 27 audio books)
How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?
Whim. I don’t accept very many books from publishers or authors for review these days (that turned out to be way too much pressure) so can generally read what I want when I want. I have a couple of reading challenges that come into play and the vagaries of the library hold system (which sometimes delivers a dozen books at once and then goes for weeks offering nada) factor in but this is my leisure hobby so I like it being my choice.
A book that’s been on your TBR the longest?
I was given a copy of Jared Diamond’s GUNS, GERMS AND STEEL for my birthday almost a decade ago (in 3 weeks it will be a full decade). That was right around the time I almost stopped reading non-fiction all together. I used to read heaps of it, now…not so much and I can’t really explain it. I still have some vague notion that I will read this. Maybe a 10th anniversary celebration?
As far as fiction goes I’ve got 4 books by Australian crime writers that I’ve had since 2008. It’s ridiculous that I haven’t read any of these yet. I have read later books by all the authors. But still. In a recent purge I got rid of quite a few other books I’d acquired around the same time on the grounds that I wasn’t ever going to read them. But I’m still hoping to get through my Aussie crime writing back catalogue.
A book you recently added to your TBR?
Tom Keneally’s CRIMES OF THE FATHER is my most recent addition to the TBR. It was only published last Monday. Funnily enough given the title it’s not crime fiction (although it does explore horrendous criminal activity) but when one of my favourite authors tackles the subject of the Catholic Church I feel compelled to read.
A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover?
I really, truly don’t buy books based on their covers. If they sat on my shelves long enough Sulari Gentill’s books would qualify because I love their covers but I read ’em as soon as they arrive.
A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading?
I have had a purge this year of the books I could admit that I will never read so there’s really nothing else that I don’t plan on reading. Though I will admit there are a handful that remain using the “there might be a zombie apocalypse one day and I might survive but be locked here in the house for a long time and grateful for the distraction“. These might have to go in the next purge.
And I’ll probably have to decide soon about GUNS, GERMS AND STEEL.
An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?
As I accept so few review books I don’t have any unpublished books on the TBR at the moment.
A book on your TBR that everyone has read but you?
There’s really not anything I can see that would fall into this category. I don’t tend to read a lot of mainstream popular books and those that I do read are easily available from the library (which are not counted on my TBR). I suspect if I leave it for too long Hannah Kent’s recently published THE GOOD PEOPLE might be in this category soon as her first book, BURIAL RIGHTS, was much talked about for the longest time. This one was only published in September though.
A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?
Jock Serong’s THE RULES OF BACKYARD CRICKET has been much recommended. You guys even voted for it to be my recommendation for my face-to-face book club so at least it won’t be on my TBR much longer.
A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read?
Surely this is a trick question. I want to read them all. Promise. I guess it’s Denise Mina’s RESOLUTION which is the third book of her trilogy featuring a feisty Scottish social worker. For a while I saved it because I knew it would be my last meeting with a favourite character but now it’s just ridiculous I haven’t gotten to it.
How many books are in your Goodreads TBR shelf?
I don’t do the Goodreads thing but my database tells me I have 130 unread books as of today. On the one hand I should be happy about this because at the end of October last year I had 201 unread books! Still at my current reading rate this is more than a year’s worth of reading and it is highly unlikely I’m going to acquire no new books in the next 12 months so this number won’t be going down as quickly as it ought to. But progress is progress.
The breakdown is
- Physical books – 88
- eBooks – 32
- Audio Books – 10
Other numbers of curiosity
- Number by Australian authors – 36
- Number by female authors – 65
- Number classed as crime fiction – 120 (hashtag obvious fact)
- Number on the TBR 5 years or more – 37
- Number bought new – 80
Wanna play along with this meme? Or tell me how many unread books you have? Or give me your favourite justification for owning more unread books than 1 human being can read in a year? Or a lifetime?