I mentioned a few weeks ago the state, at the time, of my TBR and how it had hit the over 700 title mark and I was quite surprised at the response that post received. A few of you admitted you were in very similar positions (which made me feel much better), some of you said you were heading that way and would use me as an excuse for buying more (making you feel better) and quite a lot of people were shocked and I felt possibly a little disproving (making me feel confused and rather guilty).
As book lover I have never seen there has ever been anything wrong with owning lots of books. As my Gran, who I know you all love, often says ‘to not have any books on the TBR or only just a few is a rather depressing thing’ and I couldn’t agree more. Since I got back into reading about six or seven years ago when I was having some health issues people bought me books… lots and lots of books. Then I ended up working next door to TLS and was given lots and lots of books. I lived near a ridiculously cheap weekend book market stall (10p a book) and then moved to an area that had another brilliant book shop and so without really knowing it I suddenly had lots and lots and lots of books and started the blog over two years ago when I probably had about 1100+ books.
When I then got the books pages of the magazine and new more books would be coming in after picking my self up from the floor after a joyous faint, I cleared them out to around 900 (I thought it was 700 I was so wrong) and that’s where the figure stayed until the weekend before last when the feedback made me brood and fret a little. I felt a bit all over the shop to be honest. I had a big chat with The Converted One, a couple of bloggers and my Gran who all said “why cull just reassess” and that’s what I have done. You can see part of the process below…
So I have reassessed and had a good old clear out and am now down to about 650-ish, the charity shop up the road has benefitted and quite a few of my friends will also be reaping the rewards and having their TBR’s added to with some lovely books. You can see My Mighty TBR has a new system and already lots of you are making comments about what I should read from the list. A few of you are also telling me books I should add to it like little bookish demons on my shoulder, ha.
I also have a plan of attack, I need to get reading one book by each other I have more then three titles of but have never tried. I started with Kate Grenville and ‘The Secret River’, maybe I will try Peter Carey, David Leavitt or Jeanette Winterson next, who knows? And that’s why I love having the TBR I do, its like having my own little library. It’s exciting choosing what next, there’s contemporary and classic, new authors I haven’t tried and favourite authors to return to and I am embracing that. End of.
Oh before I wrap up I must add that the clear out didn’t stop at my TBR either, the books on my bedside (there were a lot) got sorted and my shelves in the lounge of books I have actually read have been whittled. Why did I have The Turn of the Screw, Heart of Darkness and The Catcher in the Rye when I finished them but didn’t actually like them? (I will admit it was so when people come round and have a gander they might say ‘oh you have read that’ rather than me actually ever opening them again.) Now my lounge just has shelves filled with favourite books and authors that one day I may possibly get around to reading again, no pressure.
So how do you organise your TBR? When do you cull (if you do and if you don’t please don’t be ashamed)? How do you decide which books you keep? Which books end up on your bedside? How do you work out what to read next?
P.S If you like seeing pictures of piles of books, incoming lists and don’t frown on overflowing TBRs you might want to read the post below… a small tonic for book ridding!