One Bite at a Time

TBRBooks As I’ve discussed before, my TBR pile is out of control. I mean, I have approximately 595 books labeled “To Be Read” on my LibraryThing inventory. It’s gotten so extreme, I’m at the point where I don’t even know where to start.

This past weekend, I wasted spent a good long day organizing my virtual shelves, which is a lot more fun than organizing my real shelves because I don’t get so dusty. I consolidated my tag designations, made sure I had inventoried any new purchases or e-books, and generally got a handle on what was what. While I worked, I came up with some ideas on how I could whittle away at my piles. For example:

1. I went through and labeled every book that I’ve started but haven’t finished as a “partial”. These are books that I’ve gotten more than a couple chapters into but that didn’t grab me by the throat and force me to sit down and not get up until every last page was read. They aren’t bad per se, not enough that I have no desire to finish them. I’m still interested. I’ve just gotten distracted and keep meaning to get back.

My thinking is that maybe I could start with these 50 or so titles. Pick them up one at a time, skim from the beginning to where I stopped just as a refresher, then actually finish the book once and for all. This way, I only have to read some of a lot of books instead of all of even more books.

2. I could tackle my TRBs in bunches. Group together all of the titles that are part of a series, start with Book 1 and work my way all the way through until I’ve caught up with the latest release or hit the end of the road. This has some appeal because I could fully immerse myself in a particular writer’s world and stay there for a good long while. The flip side – burn out is a real possibility. And if I have to finish all of the Game of Thrones books before I can read any others, it might be 2015 before I pick up anything else.

3. I could use the published date and work my way forward from oldest to newest release. I’d begin some time back in the 1930s (my oldest TBR title is Regency Buck by Georgett Heyer, published in 1935), traveling through the twentieth century all the way to 2013.

In a similar fashion, I could just work my way down my list alphabetically by title. That would have me beginning with 15 Days Without a Head by Dave Cousins since LibraryThing begins numerically before using the alphabet.

4. I could take the 100 pages approach. Pick up a book, read the first 100 pages and decide then and there if this is a keeper or one I should put in the Paperback Swap pile. This would be an efficient way to get rid of the bloat caused by the DNFs I know must be in there – out of 595 books, I doubt I’m going to love every single one. The problem comes with deciding if I keep reading past the 100 pages if I do like the book or do I stop, pick up another book and give that one the 100 page test. I could end up with 400 books that I’ve read only 100 pages of.

5. I could create a little random number generator on my computer, have it give me a number from 1 to 595, and read whichever book that corresponds on the list. This could be kind of fun, like opening up a Christmas present. But sometimes I have to be in the right mood for a certain kind of book. What if I randomly select a urban fantasy and I’m more in the mood for a contemporary comedy?

6. I could create little Whitman Sampler baskets, taking one book from a variety of genres and placing them in a bag that I cart around everywhere I go. Once I read them all (or taste them and spit them back out because they contain an icky flavor), I could refill the bag with another sampler set. This would give me variety, to be sure.

7. I could author glom. Read everything I have by a certain author until I’ve exhausted my supply, them move on to the next. Truthfully, though, I have a lot of one-offs because I’m always reluctant to buy more than one book by a new-to-me author. Those writers who have become favorites don’t have books that end up on my TBR pile because their books are usually the ones that I can’t put down. Thus the reason that they are my favorite writers.

Conversely, I could author purge. Recently I read a book for review by a new-to-me author, and to be brutally honest, I didn’t like it at all. Lo and behold, I had two of this author’s books on my TBR shelf, and I felt no distress in moving those to my Paperback Swap box without reading them. I could read one of an author’s books in my TBR pile, and if I don’t love her (or him), any other books by her (or him) could be dumped. That seems kind of rash, though. Everyone can have an off day. I’d hate to miss out on something great just because I only gave someone one chance.

8. I could genre glom. Read all of my fantasy books. Or all of my military romances. Or all of my Regency era. By the end, I bet I’d have a really good handle on which writers know how to do things right.

9. I could close my eyes, spin in a circle, point my finger and move toward my shelves. Wherever I land, that’s the book I have to read.

Which ever method I choose, I’m committed to making this a summer project. Obviously I can’t read 595 books in three months. But I could definitely challenge myself to finish 50 partially read books. Or to read one decade’s worth of older books. Or finish two or three series of books. I’ll report back in September and let you know how it goes.

How about you? Any ideas on how to tackle the TBR pile? Anyone up for a challenge – pick a method and stick with it all summer, then report your results in September.

– Jenna Harper

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49 Responses to “One Bite at a Time”

  1. Minnis says:

    Why not list some of your tbr books here and put it to a vote? Or invite readers to quote their favourite (non-spoiler) lines from these books? If a quote makes you laugh (or cry), even out of context, then the book is worth a second look.

    • AARJenna says:

      Oooh, that could be fun! I could maybe list 10 that seem particularly appealing and let the readers vote…

  2. JG says:

    How about not buying any new books until the pile is close to empty?

    Always works for me!

    • AARJenna says:

      This is a most brilliant and practical solution. Unfortunately, I’m simply not that disciplined. I think my problem is that I see a review for a new release or a book that I know I will enjoy, and I feel compelled to get a copy of it so that I have it for “when I have time”. I’m afraid I’m going to forget all about it which is ridiculous because I could just keep a wish list, which I do do on Amazon. But yes, this is how I got into this mess in the first place. I am committed to checking for books at the library rather than buying them. But sadly, I will always be compelled to add to the TBR pile. I never claimed to be that smart!

  3. PatW says:

    I think glomming and author has it’s dangers, although I like to appeal of a series. Some of my favorite authors tend to “feel” repetitive when a group of books are read all together. Something I don’t notice if spread out.

    I do however, tend to glom a genre in my reading patterns.

    You could combine some of your suggestions = use a random approach to choose several partial books, or to choose a genre and go from there.

    I’m afraid to tally my TBR pile/lost any more!! I applaud you for tagging everything.

  4. CindyS says:

    I have done the sampler idea before with some success. I picked 20 books I was sure I wanted to read and they all had great reviews and then I made myself finish any book I started. (I was also trying to kill a slump). About 6 books in I was done looking at the 14 titles left but at least I got 6 read. I think it’s about making it simple to pick a book. When I look at all the books I want to read at one time I get overwhelmed (I’m sure my pile is equal to yours) so taking books off the shelf and putting them in a room that doesn’t cause anxiety definitely helped.

    And I could never read all my books and only have a handful left. Years ago I didn’t have a TBR mountain – I had a small pile (10 books). It was 9 at night and I lost it because I didn’t have a book I wanted to read – luckily we had a big box store 20 minutes away and my hubby drove me there immediately (they used to close at 11pm). Since then I know that having at least 50 books is a must ;)

    Good luck!

    • AARJenna says:

      You are spot on in that seeing all of these books – every single one of them a book I want to read – in one place is overwhelming. I have a bookshelf in my bedroom (overflowing) and maybe what I should do is empty it and fill it with the top 50 or so books I want to read now. Don’t even look at anything else until those are done. Pretend there isn’t even another book in the house. That way it’s a lot easier to manage.

  5. Sandlynn says:

    I have a huge TBR pile as well, and when it was time to select my next book to read, I’d agonize over which one to choose. I used to try all kinds of schemes to select the next one, but I finally settled on joining the book challenge that is on the message board of this site. It helps put parameters on my choices, so that I can narrow down the selection, but it also forces me to read a book that’s not at the top of my list.

    If left to my own devices, I would probably always choose a book that’s getting all the praise or appeals to my particular likes, while leaving unread for months, if not years, many other books that I might have picked up at a sale or which might involve a subgenre I don’t favor. And, I’m always amazed to discover, among the latter group, some real gems. So … reading challenges have been a big help to me. (Plus, since I’m a rather slow reader, they encourage me to keep going since there are always numerical milestones to reach as well.)

  6. lauren says:

    I also have a large TBR, about 200 books. It started me thinking that maybe I should start to read one or so here or there. But I think the romance of collecting books and series and organizing them into authors is far more seductive than reading them. :)

  7. maggie b. says:

    For the last four years I’ve joined the reading challenge on this board. This year it has helped me get rid of 47 books so far. The nice thing about the reading challenge is that it offers a variety of ways to get rid of the books. We do “themes” reading 13 books in a series, 13 books based on holidays, the 13 original states etc. We also just do a Dirty Dozen where you remove 13 (a baker’s dozen) worth of books from your pile. It can be any book about anything. The challenge is on the potpourri board.

  8. LeeB. says:

    595 books?!?!?!? Well you’ll never not have something to read. :)

    • AARJenna says:

      No kidding! I have this vision of myself as an old, dottering woman reading book after book in her comfy, overstuffed chair. The reality is probably that my kids will be cursing me as they sort through my books and they have to find a way to get rid of them all when they send me to the retirement home!

  9. PatAAR says:

    Or here’s another idea: group the books by color, then decide what color the day is and read a book in that color group.

    Or maybe this: group the books by male-dominate cover, female-dominate cover, and other. On days/weeks that men are okay, you can read from the male-dominate pile. Men irk you this week? Read from the female-dominate pile. Mad at the world? Choose one from the other pile.

    Or this method: Randomly put the books in A, B, C, and D groups. Then start with an A book and see if it lives up to its potential. Yes? A keeper! No? PBSwap. Move to a B book. You know the drill.

    Or finally, you could use the reward method: You know this one. If you read X number of books, you’ll get Y. It might be important if you’re using books as rewards that you never let Y be a larger number than X.

    You know what’s funny about all this? The TBR pile is SO much easier to cart around in my Kindle that it no longer bothers me. In effect, I guess, that’s a solution too! LOL

    • AARJenna says:

      So many good ideas! I especially like the color idea and the cover idea.

      My Nook is both a help and a hindrance. I’m not adding to the physical glut in my house, but it’s so easy to “try a sample” of a book that looks appealing and then in one click add it to my virtual TBR pile. At least it’s easy to cart around so I can whittle away at those in little bits and pieces.

  10. wendy says:

    Great blog!

    I’ve had this same problem so many times over the years. When it gets completely out of hand I clean the TBR the way you’re supposed to clean your closet. If I’ve had it for years it probably won’t get read – so out it goes. That said, I’ve also employed the close your eyes and point method.

    • AARJenna says:

      You know, I’ve thought about doing this. The way a portion of my bookshelves are situated, they get a lot of sun from a nearby sliding glass door. I’ve noticed that most of the books in that section have spines that are all faded in color from the exposure. Now, if those books have been there THAT long that they’ve gotten sun-fade, clearly I haven’t touched them in years. And I should just put them in a box and donate them to charity since it looks like I may never get around to them. Indeed, a lot of my TRBs are “classics” in that they are romances that have appeared on some “best of” list or another such that I simply must read them someday. But it looks like that “someday” is becoming more elusive and I’d probably feel a weight lifted if I just purged.

  11. willaful says:

    Cute ideas, Pat! GIves direction while still allowing choice.

    What I find most helpful is to realize that if I pick up a book (for whatever arbitrary reason that I’ve chosen) and think “I don’t want to read this,” I should just get rid of it right then instead of putting it back. I often do a little checking beforehand of reviews to make sure I don’t accidentally toss a likely gem, but that rarely happens. The vast majority of books are average, obviously.

    In truth, the only real answer to the out of control TBR is to get rid of some books unread. Because there will always be more books, especially if you’re a reviewer. There will never be enough time to read them all, and pretending there will be just wastes your physical space and mental energy.

  12. Joane says:

    Lovely post! I have exactly the same problem. My TBR list is also very long (romance, literary fiction, non fiction…) and in three -at least- different languages. So I have two rules, perhaps they are useful to you:

    First, I don’t read a romance until I finish one from the other list.

    Second, don’t buy anything new until you have read a book of your TBR pile.

    Three: wait until the 1st of the following month to buy something new. Just write down the title and wait. Then, the 1st June I will chose what to buy.

    About the other rules given here…
    Series: If you read the first of a series and you liked it, it might be good to keep on reading the following one but if you don’t like it, it would be better to change to a different book or author.
    Same author: Reading the same author doesn’t look very entertaining.
    Order of publication: sounds good, it could add depth to your reading, a sense of evolution or something like that.

  13. Audrey says:

    I read by mood so when I was building up a bit of a TBR pile, I sorted them into piles like contemporary, light historical, etc. Then it didn’t seem too hard to just pick one if I had already determined what I was feeling like reading.

  14. HJ says:

    I just love the fact that you have so many options on how to tackle the TBR! I’m looking forward to hearing what works, because I have a similar problem.

    I have been able to stop adding to the TBR pile by having a (digital) list onto which I have put each of the books which I’ve wanted to buy after reading a good review etc. (like you I’ve always been afraid I’ll forget them and miss out, and this way I know that won’t happen). I suspect that, by the time I’ve read the TBR and allow myself to look at the list, it will be easier to prune the list than if I had bought them. Of course I have not been able to resist buying those long-awaited books from my absolute favourite authors but, as you say, they would never have made it onto the TBR anyway.

    I think I would combine 5 (allowing yourself to reject the book identified if you really didn’t feel like it, and making sure that if the book identified is part of a series you read the earliest book instead) and 4, on the basis that if you like it after 100 pages you keep on until you finish it (any other option would be madness!).

    And then when you finish it, think about 2 i.e. think about whether you want to read the next one in the series IF you already own it. But don’t feel compelled to do so, because you may OD.

    As to 7 part 2 – if you read 100 pages of a book and don’t want to finish it, check whether you own any others by that author. If you do, think about why you didn’t like the book: is it fundamental to the way the author writes, such that you can’t imagine liking anything else she wrote? If so, get rid of them all!

    Keep a note of your DNFs and why they were DNFs. I find myself attracted to the same authors over and over again (for the same reason I was originally – the tropes, the blurbs), and need to remember why they did not in fact work for me.

  15. Maria M. says:

    I would advise against the idea of finishing all the partially read books. They clearly were not gripping enough to finish the first time around, so that would be a diet of 50 not-great books in a row, enough to put you off reading for a good while. Also, the great thing about a huge TBR pile is the discovery of hidden treasures. A more or less random approach would be better for that.

    In my experience it is by no means necessary to finish 100 pp to know if a book is worth finishing. 50 should be quite enough (or even less, if the book is really poor.) That way you can quickly cull your collection to a more manageable size.

    Sometimes, though, a perfectly good book will just not be right for a certain day or mood. In that case you should quickly switch to something else.

    • AARJenna says:

      You’ve kind of touched on my dilemma. Like I said about those “partial” books, it’s not that they were bad. I mean, if I were stuck someplace for an entire day and had only one of those titles to read, I could be perfectly content to keep on reading. It’s just that they weren’t the kind of book that grabs you and makes you want to keep reading until you’ve finished. What probably happened is that I began reading it, set it down to do something important like feed my children, and then picked up something else and got distracted.

      So…in theory, if these books weren’t gripping enough to compel me to pick them back up, I could just call them “meh” reads and put them in the PBS box, right? These are the kind of books that before I started allowing myself to DNF a book without guilt, I would have felt I just had to finish. So I’m torn.

      And I agree, 100 pages can be way too much. I usually know within 50 or so pages if a book is a solid DNF for me. In fact, it’s the 100 pagers that make up my stack of Partial reads. I didn’t hate them enough in 50 pages to let them go, but I never made it much past the 100 pg. mark!

  16. Blackjack1 says:

    I have a pretty complicated system for my pleasure reading and mainly because I’m that way in all aspects of my life. I organize my reading by month and usually try to look 3 months ahead at all times.

    Each month I allow myself to read 1 or 2 new releases if there is one I want to read and I color code new releases as green books. Then I allow myself to read a contemporary book, those that I wanted to read but missed and that have been published within the last two years. I color code them orange. Then I choose 1 or 2 TBR books that are older than 2 years. They are color-coded purple. Finally, I have TBR books that are romance “classics” and they are color-coded royal blue or grey, depending on which year they were voted as “Top romance”. I realistically read 5 (maybe 6) books a month.

    All of this is by way of saying that I allow myself new reads and old reads and classic reads so that I keep up with everything as much as possible. I think I really just like lists! And I use a Word document to keep track of the three months out and I use GoodReads to organize my entire database and my soon-to-be-read books.

    • AARJenna says:

      I am utterly impressed by your organization! I feel like I should have a similar system because many – MANY – of my TBRs are actually very old releases that were recommended in some fashion and that I obtained with the intent that to be well-read, I should get around to reading them someday. But when I really examine my reading habits, I tend to stick with more current releases and never get around to those “classics”. Like Wendy said above, what I need to do is purge mercilessly – get rid of things I’ve owned for many years and haven’t touched. The likelihood that I will read those is very low. At the least, I should do as you do and make sure I’m constantly rotating in older books.

  17. Genevieve says:

    I create piles, mystery, fantasy and historical piles and I read either until the pile is gone, or until I need a break from the particular setting. Thankfully, I work in a job that give me plenty of time to read, so I can easily take two books along with me. Another thing that I do is I obsess over an author until the books are gone from my pile, or until i need a break from that author.
    Its not a perfect system but it works.

  18. Georgia Carter Mathers says:

    Nice post, Jenna. My TBR file is always growing, like yours. I don’t have a particular method, although I can identify with the 100 page method. Quite often, I will put a book down and never pick it up again.

    I also don’t buy books because I know I have those other ones sitting on my kindle or on my bookshelf. One of the things that does help me is my little notebook. It goes everywhere with me. When I have five minutes or so, I open it up and either start writing or reading.

  19. Cindy says:

    I also have an enormous TBR pile – maybe not quite the size of yours, but hundreds for sure.
    I’m in my 50′s now and I have recently begun to wonder if I can possibly finish them all BEFORE I DIE! What a horrible reminder of my own mortality. :) I keep buying (although I have cut down significantly) and I keep visiting the library.
    Can’t wait to see what you decide and how it works for you!

    • AARJenna says:

      That’s exactly what I keep thinking!! I’m not quite 50 yet – it’s within a stone’s throw – and I honestly do ask myself, can I read all of these before I die?! It sounds morbid, but it’s realistic. And I imagine my kids cursing at me in the grave while they are boxing up hundreds of books I never even read. :)

    • Audrey says:

      I thought it was only me! That is what’s helping me determine what a keeper is, and really helped during the Big Purge, was realizing that I couldn’t possibly read all these by the end of the average life span. I am not morbid, only practical. :)

  20. Eliza says:

    I too have an enormous amount of TBRs but I pretty much follow my mood or fancy as what to read next; it’s one of the things I love about having so many to choose from, like being in my own bookstore in a way.

    I did, however, not too long ago clear out three bookcases in my bedroom to hold only TBRs in double rows per shelf, randomly grouping them by my own particular taste in books. That was before I fell deeply in love with western romances recently which of course means that my previous organization was very short lived. Oh well, not to worry since I love “playing” with my books and book lists, and having more than I may ever be able to finish doesn’t bother me. Just like there can’t be too much love or maybe too much money, there just is no such thing as having too many books. In my book anyway! :D

  21. Victoria'S says:

    WOW! This is like a foreign language to me…TBR??? in the hundreds??. I maybe have 4 books TBR, and that’s only because I ordered ‘em at he same time on my Kindle. The only advice I’ve got has already been given…if you have started a book and were not thrilled by page 100, it’s probably not worth your time to go back. Why force yourself to read something when there are so many more waiting to be discovered?

    And may I add that part of the problem may be that you think you HAVE TO read a certain number of books…Why?!. They are your books, read ‘em, don’t read ‘em; dust ‘em, don’t dust ‘em; donate ‘em, keep ‘em. It’s summer, too hot to put added stress on yourself. Make yourself a tall glass of iced tea ( or your favorite adult beverage), put on some sunscreen and your really cool reading sunglasses, randomly pick out 2 or 3 , plunk yourself down on your favorite outdoor reading chair and enjoy. :-)

    • AARJenna says:

      I think I love you, VictoriaS! You’ve just relieved my guilt so much. Who says I have to finish them all? I can consider myself a collector – I do have a pretty great library.

    • willaful says:

      It’s reviewers disease, Victoria — we get really caught up in feeling like we need to read what other people are reading, and keep up with all our favorites, and anything new that sounds good and then there are all those classics… and we get to feel very *responsible* about it all. I’ve got a chronic case I’ve been fighting for years. :-)

  22. AAR Lynn says:

    I definitely have a huge TBR but I’ve gotten better about making myself do purges periodically. If I start reading something and I can tell that I just don’t want to read it, I let it go.

    I also enjoy doing to multi-site TBR Challenge that Wendy hosts. It’s fun to get to know other reviewers and it makes me go through at least 12 of my TBR books. Not huge, but it’s a good start. Maggie’s challenge over on the Potpourri board is another fun way to shop the TBR pile.

    • willaful says:

      The TBR challenge is a huge help to me. I have a personal rule that the book has to come from my print TBR, and I invariably give up on several (which go to the donate bag) before I settle on what to read. And the social aspect of seeing what other people chose, and having them come and make comments, makes it fun.

  23. Marianne McA says:

    I’d go with Wendy – give them all away.

    I can imagine that’d be hard, though. I don’t do TBRs, but my tried and tested method for everything else that exists (including in my case books that I have read and just might want to reread) – if you half want to keep it and half don’t, box it up. Anything you find you need through the next year you can rescue from the box. June 1st next year, anything still in the boxes goes.

    Broadly speaking, if you haven’t used it in a calendar year, it’s probably clutter.

    Or if you want a more violent solution – kill your computer somehow. Everytime I’m offline for a few days, I amaze myself by rediscovering immersive reading.

  24. Katie (kat) says:

    I’m in the same boat. I’m afraid I have a bigger tbr pile than you but I’m not going to count. :) I’ve worked at 3 bookstores and that is not the place to be employed if you are a book addict. LOL!

    I only get rid of books I hate and it would give me stress not to have books to read so I’m good. My advice is not to make your reading into a chore that has to be done and don’t feel like you have to finish a book that isn’t working for you. Enjoy your library! I know I do mine!

  25. Eliza says:

    Victoria may feel like she’s speaking another language but I think I’m starting to feel like I’m from another dimension. Who exactly says how many TBRs are too many or too few? How long may TBRS be kept–or not? How fast should one read or how many books a year? Who gets to be the decider of when or where a book should be dropped in order to move on to one’s TBR pile? How is one person’s treasures distinguished from someone else’s clutter? YIPES! No, wait: DOUBLE YIPES! What am I missing here? I thought it was all about the experience, the being in the moment, in the story, in the author’s creation–for the sole pleasure of reading. Why are quantity and speed issues at all at all? For professionals, I get it although it’s still sad. For others? Ah, no.

    • willaful says:

      I think what you’re missing is the amount of stress having too many books creates. We all love books, obviously. But having more than we can reasonably store — whether in our homes, in our minds, or (usually) both — can be very stressful.

      Only the individual person can decide when a feast becomes a burden, but since many of us have been there, we’ve developed some tips for how to keep our selves sane. I can’t tell you how much happier I am since getting my print TBR into manageable condition. And I’ve found that I also need to keep my review books from piling up, for my peace of mind. That’s how reading stays fun for me instead of becoming a chore.

      • Eliza says:

        Sorry, but honestly, the stress of having too many books still just doesn’t compute for me. My mom’s recent multiple near death experiences keeps this right in focus for me: you only ever have the day you’re in right now. Yesterday’s gone; tomorrow’s not here yet. So why make something you love like books anything other than the gift they are and look at it all as abundance rather than a burden? Taxes, our Congress, the climate, war, etc., I understand, but one’s attitude to the wonder, blessing and privilege of reading should be kept the joy it is and not turned into an affliction or something else onerous. Just my take obviously since books do nothing but give and give to me, and have all my life. If I don’t get to read all my books before I pass, or am not here to mow the grass that WILL keep growing with or without me, life will go on.

  26. Georgia Carter Mathers says:

    I can certainly relate to stress about books piling up. But I also look at it this way. Books are a gift because they wait for you. When my DS is grown and DH is retired and playing on his short wave radio or something, I’ll pick that book up. After twenty years sitting on the shelf the words will be the same, but because I’ve not hurried through it and appreciated the book it will be that much better. If I die before I’ve finished my books, they’ll be given to someone else and give them pleasure. Books are always waiting to give.

    • willaful says:

      That a nice way to look at it, if you have the space. I have a small house *and* I know too many people who were wrecked from having to deal with their parents stuff after their deaths, so I’d rather pass those gifts on before I go. (Also before the books disintegrate!)

  27. Eliza says:

    My mother is 87 and I’d rather stick a sharp stick in my eye rather than make her give up a single book or any other thing she has that means something to her at this stage of her life. Besides, I’ve helped lots of people deal with books after family members’ passing, and generally books weren’t where most of the memories and the pain of loss came from.

    • willaful says:

      My goodness Eliza, I’m not sure how you went from “I don’t want my huge TBR to be a burden on my family” to “people should force their parents to give up their book collections.

      • Eliza says:

        And I guess I’m not sure how we went from the personal “stress” of one’s own TBR pile to “people who were wrecked from having to deal with their parents stuff after their deaths.” I think that’s a strained argument. “Dealing with stuff”is hard, yes, but dealing with a book collection is the not the core of that grief in my experience. Give the book collection to a charity and let the loved one’s books do some good and continue to be enjoyed. Or sell them as a lot to help pay expenses.

  28. pwnn says:

    OK, I just found a Robin Kaye book from a the series Boys Of Red Hook, Brooklyn.

    But the description has me scratching my head:

    >>Logan Blaise expected to be taking a quick break from his successful vineyard in Napa to visit his hometown of Brooklyn. …

    But as she notices his small-town roots and strong family ties, the Brooklyn bad boy and his restaurant start to feel exactly like where she really belongs….<<

    Hometown of Brooklyn? Small town roots? Really?

    Brooklyn is 1) part of NYC 2) has a population over over 2 1/2 million people – a little less than Chicago and about 3 times that of Boston. Yes Redhook only has about 8,000 people but its a neighborhood, not a town and it's less than a square mile. There is nothing small town about being from Brooklyn.

  29. Michele Weiler says:

    I have a huge tbr list myself! I actually got an app called Decisions. I typed in all of my books and labeled it “which book should I read next?” Then I just push the button and let technology decide for me! If its a “real” book I put an asterisk by the title so I’m not frantically looking through my kindle library. I did make a rule for myself though. If it comes up I either have to read it or delete it from my kindle. I go back through reviews and decide from there if it makes the cut.