Weekly Geeks 2010-24: Shiny Book Syndrome

This week’s discussion topic asks book bloggers to divulge whether or not we suffer from Shiny Book Syndrome which Tara defines as “when a person only wants to read their newest book and leave piles of poor unread books on their shelves to collect dust“. Tara then goes on to make some suggestions about how to overcome this affliction.

Much as it pains me to admit it shiny book syndrome does appear to be something I suffer from. Back in February I divided a big chunk of my then TBR pile up into categories and shared them in a list called Games, Sets and Matches. Since I posted the list of 86 books on February 10 I have read 69 books (well I’ve started 69 and finished 66 if you want to be pedantic). Alas only 14 of them are from the list. The other 55 books are in one way or another new additions to the house: new books I’ve bought or downloaded, new borrowings from the library, a few ARCs and some gifts from my reading fairy godmother/evil stepmother. It doesn’t help that this year I discovered pre-orders from Book Depository and have become something of a junky for them.

I can in part blame participation in such worthy activities as the Global Reading Challenge and the CWA International Dagger Award Shortlist for being attracted to my new books more than my old books but in reality that only accounts for a small fraction of my total reading. Although I rarely read a book as soon as it arrives (Gunshot Road being a recent exception which I finished within 36 hours of its arrival on my doorstep) I do tend to remember why I wanted to read the books newer to my shelves when I am wondering which book to pick next.

Am I ready to do something about the problem? Join one of the challenges that Tara suggests to denude my TBR shelves of their old content? Not really, though I will cull the couple of dozen books I know for sure I will never read just as soon as I find a bit of time and a charity shop that will let me through the doors with a bag of books.

One day I know I’m going to say out loud to my employers all the things that I currently only say in my head which will result in my being sacked and suddenly lacking in book-buying funds. And then I’ll rediscover all the old, dusty delights on my TBR shelves. Until then I’m just going to live with my shiny book syndrome.

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8 Responses to Weekly Geeks 2010-24: Shiny Book Syndrome

  1. Bernadette – It’s hard to blame you for Shiny Book Syndrome – especially if it’s Gunshot Road. The beautiful, wonderful thing about books is that they are always there, dusty or not. You can read your dusty friends when you are ready and they will still love you then. I, personally, don’t see it as a problem.


  2. Kerrie says:

    I htink you are very strong to cull your unread books Bernadette. That’s one thing I can’t do, although I have been known to lend them


  3. BooksPlease says:

    Any time I cull my books I always regret it because sooner or later I want to read the ones I no longer have!


  4. kathy durkin says:

    I donate books after I read them to the public library or to Housing Works, which sells them and then uses the funds for programs and housing for people with HIV and AIDS.


  5. JoV says:

    Phew. I am so, so relief I am not the only one! I plan to join some TBR challenge soon and cull some of the books I read and don’t want to keep.


  6. Bronwyn says:

    Shiny book syndrome must be closely allied to the collectors passion. There is something deeply seductive about the excitement of the unread book just waiting to be opened. But there is a remedy-the power of the Library. Our local library has a new book shelf, an acquisitions newsletter, inter library loans and a staff who are brilliant at choosing a wide and exciting range of titles. So I get the delights of anticipation without the dreaded “where can I put this book on my already groaning shelves” syndrome. Plus of course it’s free


  7. kathy durkin says:

    Yes, the library system is one of the best features of living in my large city. I can get most books that I want–but that are published in the U.S. International translated crime fiction takes a dog’s age to get into the library system here, or else the library buys one copy of a book and puts it in a collection at the main branch and it’s noncirculating. This, even with award-nominated or very popular fiction. Examples: The library doesn’t yet have “Thirteen Hours,” and it has one copy of Badfellas at the main branch, and it doesn’t circulate. And many books posted at Petrona, EuroCrime and this website aren’t even available at the library–now, anyway. So it’s back to the Book Depository.


  8. For some books, I don’t mind jumping the gun!

    I think all of us suffer from it to some extent or the other!

    Here is my Weekly Geeks post!


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