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December 14th, 2008
The To-Read Pile

It’s no secret I love to read and that my love of reading directed me on the path to becoming a writer. If you’re a reader and you’re anything like me, you probably have a huge to-read pile sitting by your bed or lined up nicely in a bookcase somewhere in your house. I like ebooks as well and have a stack of unread ones waiting on my hard drive.

When I’m ready to read another book, I sometimes take the one on the top of the pile and sometimes that particular book doesn’t grab me, so I’ll shuffle the pile around until I find one that suits my mood. When it comes to ebooks, I’m more likely to choose according to length. I’m reading short ebooks at the moment because I’m time-poor but still want to feel as if I’m actually reading.

I’m constantly adding to my to-read pile, despite the fact that sometimes it looks like Mt. Cook. (NZ’s highest mountain) I can’t seem to stop myself. I tend to read the hot books first, although I’m saving one Lora Leigh book for after Christmas. At the moment I’m going through a contemporary phaze, and my pile is now sadly depleted in this respect. I’m going to have to either replace them or start on another genre any day now.

Okay, I’ve confessed. Now it’s your turn.

What does your reading pile look like? Is it tidy or messy? Do you know what’s in your pile or are you in danger of duplication? How do you choose which book to read next? What about your ebook stack?

Deliciously Decadent December Winners so far

Winner of Crimson Prey is Fedora.
Winner of Quintuplets is Cathy M.
Winner of Rain God is Lexee.


22 comments to “The To-Read Pile”

  1. Hi Shelly,
    Geeish, confession time. lol.. Well taking a glance of my TBR pile, I see eleven books.

    I pick which one’s according to mood. There are Harlequin Tenders, some historical, romantic suspense, and a few special editions, plus another assortment that I really have no clue who the author is. lol.

    I think that’s me, picking which one to read next according to my mood. I have just finished an erotic by TWTP, an e-book and found it extremely well done.

    The one on the top of the pile is a Harlequn sexy. So there you go… I’m gradually getting the pile down, but the problem is I keep adding to the pile and it is never going to be nil. lol…

  2. Well my stacks are all over the place Shelley. :???: I’ve even blogged about my constant battle with the TBR pile

    I have some waiting on shelves, some in boxes, some on my bookcase, some on virtual list. And yes I definitely have the danger of duplication – which is why I don’t buy until I KNOW if I have said book. As for ebook stack. It’s not as big as I can’t handle a computer screen for too long – but mine’s manageable so far. :wink:

    As for what to choose what to read – it very much is a mood thing, which is why lately I have a few on the go at once. Funnily enough it seems to help me read quicker. So ATM, I have a nonfiction, a historical romance, a paranormal romance, a contemporary with light paranormal elements, and science fiction romance! Oh and I’m looking at an art book too. :mrgreen:

  3. Well to be honest I read so fast that I have sloppy, messy, falling over piles of already read books. Often my to be read pile is only 1-2 books high if there’s any in there at all. WHich is sad because I’m off school for the next couple of weeks and I only have one short book and one medium book in my to be read pile. Sigh. Any suggestions?

  4. Messy pile:) Happy Holidays, Shel.

  5. It’s bad … BAD

  6. Oh, my! Some of your piles are very restrained. I have probably thirty or forty paperbacks of various genres – very restrained for me! – and about fifty ebooks. Some of the ebooks are free ones. I have yet to dig into the Samhain free Christmas reads.

    Here’s the link for the free reads.

  7. Amy W – as I mentioned, I’ve been going through a contemporary binge at the moment. I really enjoyed Erin McCarthy’s Flat-out Sexy and Robyn Carr’s Virgin River trilogy. Ms. Carr’s books aren’t erotic romance but they have the small town feel and community of Middlemarch. Or at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! She also has a Christmas story out in the same series, so there are four stories to read back-to-back if you think they look interesting with another trilogy coming out in Feb, Mar and Apr of next year. I’m waiting impatiently for those ones.

  8. My TBR pile is not too messy. I have scattered on my desk and some are in a box. I know what books I have, so I’m not in danger of duplication. I usually read the books in the order I got them, but sometimes I choose a book depending on what I’m in the mood for.

  9. Ah,… the TBR. Always a hot topic.
    I try to keep to some order, but it does depend on a few factors:
    The ‘where’ – if I’m looking for a relaxing bathtub read, I pick a paperback over ebook for obvious reasons. If I’m looking for something to read in my writing breaks – I go for ebook, cause hey, I’m already sitting in front of my computer.
    The ‘what’ – if my life is crazy-busy, I pick an easy-read like romance. But summer and in-between writing, I like literary. I’ve had Michael Ondaatje’s Divisadero staring at me since summer, but it must wait!!

  10. Umm, which pile are we talking about. LOL

    Some are messy, some are neat, there are stacks everywhere, but I’m pretty good at remembering, so there are very few duplicates.


  11. My TBR pile is sooooo bad that I put a small lamp on a pile of books I’d stacked by my bed! Stacks are everywhere. My keeper stacks are just as unorganized as my TBR stacks. I’m working my way down a pile of paranormals at the moment, then I’ll work on the historicals.

  12. I’ve got three TBR piles on my desk where I write (32 books as I count them right now). Upstairs I’ve got books in bookcases.

    Mood sometimes determines which book I start next. Just as often I’m on a roll where one book leads to another book, either because of author or type. This inevitably leads to me buying more books, as just happened when I finished a book that’s been sitting around for about five years. Now I HAVE to have the next ones in the series! At least those won’t linger on the pile.

    Good thing I’ve given up feeling guilty about the addiction.

  13. Jory – I no longer feel guilt either. Reading has become legitimate research. That’s what I tell hubby whenever his eyebrows go up on seeing my beside to-read pile.

    Jane – I have some quite old books in my pile. I’m going to have to dust them soon they’ve been in a stack for so long. :blush:

    Wylie – yes, time and life have a way of choosing which books I pick up to read as well. I’m winding down a little for the year and making great inroads on my reading pile.

    Deidre – It’s a wonder I can remember what’s in my pile sometimes. I’m more likely to remember authors than titles. The titles seem to fade really easily!

    Nancy – Enjoy your paranormal binge!

  14. OMG, your blog today is so right on the money. I have such a huge stack that I’ve taken to filing them on my bookshelves (in publishing company and alpha order). The danger is forgetting they are there, but it’s nice to know they’re waiting for me to discover them.

    Unlike some people who put a check mark to note that they’ve read the book, I remember the books I read, so my TBR is nestled amongst the read. In this way, I start to realize what authors I like or whose stories lines (or even publishing companies) I’m drawn to.

    Besides that, if I have a separate stack for TBR, my hubby would see that and not allow me to buy any more. So I have to hide them in this manner:-)

    As far as ebooks are concerned, that ‘stack’ is stacking up on my downloads file. It hurts my eyes to read them on my computer, so I need to get a sony reader or kindle SOON.



  15. LOL – ebooks are a good way to hide purchases from husbands. Hubby can’t see exactly how many I have when it comes to ebooks. :mrgreen:

  16. Exactly, Shelley!! And he wonders why I want an eReader. I tell him so that I can read in the living room and not disturb him with the computer light, which he can see from our bedroom. Hate to say it, but I’ve got to be conniving!! hehe

  17. Uh, I’m embarrassed to answer this. I have a really large TBR, where I think that it would likely take several years of reading at a fairly fast pace to get through (I likely have more than a thousand books), and yet I can’t stop acquiring more titles that appeal to me. I do occasionally duplicate, but am relatively good about keeping track. I keep thinking that I need to log everything more officially, but I don’t really have space to spread it all out yet and haven’t managed to bring myself to start with a system. As for e-books, I don’t have nearly as many, which is probably a good thing. I don’t have an e-reader, so the inconvenience of having to read them at the computer keeps me from getting a ton more at the moment…

  18. My TBR is doing pretty good. The “paper” version isn’t too big right now, although the “e” version is a lot bigger–metaphorically speaking, I guess. I’m hoping to have more time to get to it by the holidays and looking forward to a few books in particular.

  19. I stack and pull and have some scattered on the bed. What I read does depend on my mood or if I am reading a series what book I have finished so I cam go onto the next. I fequently have two or three books going at once and will put a book that does not capture my imagination back on the pile to read later. I keep adding to the pile because I follow so many authors. I usually do not duplicate except with series and sometimes rereleases with new covers.

  20. I have them neatly on my shelves. Fantasy and Historical Fiction mostly, some SciFi, few mysteries. I also read several books at the same time. I pick according to my mood: sometimes I want fluff, sometimes more intellectual work (like Scott Bakker).

    No ebooks, sorry. I spent enough time reading on screens, I don’t want that gleaming stuff another 2 hours.

  21. My pile of TBR is everywhere. Every room in the house is littered with books calling my name. I’ve got books from childhood waiting to be reread, murder mysteries from the present day, great works of fiction, you name it I’ll read it. I’m usually reading three books at once depending on where I am in the house.
    What is a day without books?

  22. Gabriele – your to-read pile sounds very organized!

    Mountain Woman – I totally agree. A day without books is colorless indeed. :grin: