TBR – To Be Read – To Be or Not To Be?

By Debra H. Goldstein
Once again, my TBR (to be read) stack is out of control. I know I shouldn’t buy anymore books, but I can’t help myself. It seems that every time I’m on a panel, I need to buy at least one or more of the books written by the authors I appear with. I can’t help it. Their comments and descriptions of their books call out to me.

The same thing happens when any of the writers I share blog space with (The Stiletto Gang, Booklover’s Bench, Writers Who Kill) or who appear as guests on my own, It’s Not Always a Mystery, has a new novel. It’s even worse when I’m introduced to a writer’s works a few books into a series. If I like the one I read, it is humanly impossible for me to refrain myself from reading all of them.

When we downsized a few years ago, I donated my personal library to a rural library that had a wonderful building but no money for a collection. I only kept three or four bookcases of children’s books for my then upcoming grandchildren and another for my cookbook collection (yes, the woman who doesn’t cook collects cookbooks). The biggest bookcase we moved housed my TBR collection. As I write this, TBRs are piled on my desk, my dresser, and an old fashioned telephone table.

During the past few months, I wasn’t writing, but I was reading a book every day or two days. I made a dent in my TBRs, but I quickly filled any gaps in the bookcase with new books. What’s worse, I’ve taken to buying e-books for my Kindle. It is amazing how a click here and there probably means my kindle has more unread books on it than are on my bookshelves. I shudder to think about the numbers of books waiting to be read. To be or not to be is the question.

How about you? Do you keep up or are you overwhelmed by your TBR list?

20 thoughts on “TBR – To Be Read – To Be or Not To Be?”

  1. My TBR pile became so unmanageable that I purchased a bookcase to house them. It is filled. The collection of digital books on my Kindle keeps mounting up, especially with all of the $.99 offers. How could I not take advantage of those promotions? The problem is that it weighs on me that I may have to live another 50 years to read my TBR pile.

  2. Always have books TBR…on my nightstand, living room table, on my kindle, and…in the “reading” room. I try to read at least three/four books a week. I’m retired and should have plenty of time to read, but, alas am just as busy at home as I was when teaching. But, never too busy not to read!

    1. Jan, I know what you mean in that I sometimes find myself busier now than when my day was fully structured. Like you, I have started books in different places. My only regret is that I can’t ever seem to get caught up on TBR, so I know I’m missing some good ones.

  3. Judy McPherson

    I like to savor the best books so it takes me close to a week to finish one, hence a significant backlog. I just completed the entire set of Slough House writings, including short stories and novellas. Looks like you have Dead Lions in the queue. So good.

    1. I enjoyed the first Slough House book at exactly the same time the series started being shown on Apple TV. This season, they are doing their version of Dead Lions (which I have started, but haven’t finished). I also read a few of the short works. All engaging. Hope you are doing well… thanks for stopping by.

  4. Nancy Miller-Borg

    Do you think we could come up with a ‘syndrome” name for TBR addicts? Too many books, too little time. I love all the comments and they totally fit.

  5. I’m with you, Sister. I’ll never make a dent in my TBR pile, but if I’m ever stranded on an island with my books, I’ll have years of entertainment.

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