Thursday 29 May 2014

Thursday Thoughts (3) - TBR Piles


Welcome to my new Weekly post - Thursday Thoughts.

This is going to be a weekly discussion post that I hope will get all my blog readers commenting and giving their opinion. I will pick a topic and write how my thoughts and feelings about it and then hopefully all you lovely readers will leave a comment below with your own opinions.

The only rule I have is that everyone is respectful of each other's opinions, there is no real right or wrong here, this is a chance to experience a topic from someone else's perspective. Please listen to each other and be nice.

If you wish to take a more active part in this discussion and make your own blog post about the topic, I will create a Linky list below that you can link your post to. If more and more people take part - the bigger and better it will become.

Some discussions will be light and silly, others will be more serious but they will all be about books and book related things.

So come on everyone, pull up a chair and lets hear your voice.

This weeks topic is:

TBR piles - how long is too long to wait to read a book?

I have a massive TBR  pile, there is absolutely no denying that. I have a page with my TBR list on, and that I will admit isn't up to date, add about another 25-30 books and you may be getting close. And it's not that I don't read, sure I have slowed down a bit over the past few months which hasn't helped, but I still read one or two books a week at worst. It's just that for every 1 book I finish - I find another 3 I want to read.
As you may know by now, I work in a library. If you came into the library you could take 10 books out for 3 weeks at a time and renew them up to 10 times, so you can basically take these books home for 30 weeks. As a staff member I am allowed 20 books at a time, this is fab, but it is like letting a kid loose in a candy store, it means I see lots of books I want and can have without worrying. My average number of books out is about 15. We have the same renew limit - 10 times, but as we tell our borrowers, as long as no one else wants the book you can return it after your 10 renewals and then just take it out again - bingo, another 30 weeks possible. Now I try not to keep a book too long, I don't think it's fair on other people - the book should have a chance to be taken by someone else. But last month I was shocked to realise that I had kept a book out for 2 years! 2 whole years!!! I got so used to just renewing and then re-validating that I didn't really realise how long it had been. I felt terrible, this book will have 1 as it's issue figure and no one else has had a chance to read it. 
I confessed to my supervisor and she said 'well if you haven't read it by now you probably never will - just return it' and that made me think - would I ever read it? why hadn't I picked it up in those 2 years? I knew I had it but something 'better' or at least 'different' would always take my attention. Would I ever bother reading it?
I decided that yes - I had kept it so long, it deserved to be read. It meant re-reading book 1 first but that didn't take me long. Turns out I didn't particularly like it, but I was glad to say I had read it. 
But then that also made me think about all the books I had bought/won/been sent by publishers etc that I hadn't read. I've got books on my shelf that I bought cheap from a discount store years ago that I still haven't read. They sit on my TBR pile but I always seem to glaze over them, and it made me wonder - should there be a cut-off point. Should I get rid of these neglected books and make space for the hundreds of other books I still have? Or is it OK to have them sitting there - waiting for their turn. 
I do want to read them, I wouldn't have bought them otherwise or put them on my shelves/pile in the first place. But they are obviously not grabbing my attention, making me desperate to read them. For example the Skulduggery Pleasant books - as soon as one of those comes out I drop everything and read it straight away, because I know it will be awesome. But I guess I don't know about these other books - some of them are ones that I was really excited about and bought around their release date, but for one reason or another I put them aside and never went back.
With hundreds of books being released every month there is always more and more that I want to read, so older ones get pushed even further back. I promise I will read them one day - but will I?

So come on people tell me, is there a limit, should I clear my shelves and give these books a chance with someone else - someone who will open their pages and enjoy their stories, or should I keep them, in the hopes that one day I will pull them down and dive inside. 

Is there a time limit on keeping a book? Do you have a similar problem?

Do you believe the "If you haven't read it by now - you're not likely to" or do you follow the "one day I will read them all"

Discuss. :)

Got your own post? Link it here: 


Next Weeks topic will be 'Libraries - Why they still matter'


Candace said...

Well I understand this one FAR too well! I use to visit the library a lot but since I started blogging I rarely go. I just already have too many books. When I do go it's mostly to stare at the books and get my 'fix' without going to a bookstore and spending money. I do check books out but quite often I return them unread. I really need to stop buying any books at all but when I have the others in the series I feel I have to get the rest. But my piles of books around the house are just out of control. If I worked at the library I'm sure I'd have the same issue as you too, just renewing them a lot. We can't keep them out that long but it's easy enough to return and then check them out again. We can renew but I think we can only do it twice and only then if there isn't anyone else requesting it.
I have a lot of books I've bought over the years. Ones I thought I HAD to read and they just sit there, like you said. There's always new books coming out I HAVE to read and the older ones never get read. I have an entire bookcase of books from when Borders went out of business and I haven't read any of them.
This month I've done good and I've gotten through my June releases and I have only a few review books for July so I'm hoping that I can dedicate some time to reading the other books I have and not have to stress about reading review books. We'll see how it goes...

Unknown said...

Well, I have a giant TBR pile as well and I have decided all things in moderation might be my solution.
I usually order books once a month. Those are my physical books and I have now limited my purchases to what can only be read in a month.

I also try to win books and why I do that is beyond me. I think I want to read them and often I do, But I definitely can not keep up.

And to my dismay, I have a kindle and lots of my books TBR are on the kindle....almost three hundred that I thought I wanted to read, but haven't....someday, in a perfect world.

If I don't quit buying, and I don't keep reading publisher releases, well, I never will catch up. Fortunately, I only have about 20 physical books TBR and I own them.

The thing about a huge TBR pile is that as we age, we change and what might have sounded great at one time, looses luster as we grow and move forward. So they may never appeal to us again. And then what?

For me, I am going to embrace moderation, No more freebies, publisher offered only if I plan to read it in a month, Buying only the books by authors I must have and trying to read 8-10 books per month.

This was a great topic to address! Thanks for letting me spout off!

barmybex said...

Thanks to both of you for your input. Love to know I'm not the only one that struggles.
I think you summed it up perfectly Beth with "as we age, we change and what might have sounded great at one time, looses luster as we grow and move forward. So they may never appeal to us again. And then what?"

But you never know until you try and I still can't just get rid of those books. Especially not if I actually own it.

Love hearing your thoughts :)