Friday, June 17, 2011

Summer Reading Game Plan A.K.A. Taming My Out-of-Control TBR Pile

Okay, so here's the deal! (This is my Susanna's favorite phrase right now. Don't know where she got it, but for some reason she loves it, because she uses it in any negotiating she tries to do. "Here'th the deal, Mom. You make me a thandwit-th and I'll take it upstairth to wath a movie." "No, here's the deal, Toots, I'll make you a sandwich, and you get to eat it at the table." OR "Here'th the deal, Mom. You read me ten bookth tho I want to thtay in bed." I've got a con-artist in the making.)

Anyway, in looking over my bookshelves in the last few days, I realize I really, REALLY need to concentrate on reading from my own shelves instead of getting distracted by the amazing books y'all are bringing to my attention, thus forcing me to keep borrowing more and more books from the library while my own shelves weep in abandonment. I have a whole bunch of books that have been waiting patiently for me to get around to them. And I need to use the summer to start purging books that I really don't want to re-read. (For myself, I only keep books that I love to re-read.) I also need to go through the kids' shelves to get rid of books that aren't favorites, especially those that are available at the library as well.

So my summertime reading is going to consist of books off my own shelves with only a few library books sprinkled in here and there. And heaven knows my two older girls are set for reading for a while. I purchased the next three Ivy & Bean books for them, plus, they recently acquired a bunch of Boxcar Children books at a library book sale. And it won't hurt Susanna's to be limited to our own shelves.

*UPDATE: I am deeply embarrassed to admit that after counting the unread books in my shelves, I find there are 115 books THAT I OWN still waiting to be read. Appalling. And that doesn't include my Goodreads list or my own Excel spreadsheet that contains a combined 500-ish books I want to read...someday.

And since publishing this post, I discovered that the Book Blogger Hop this week is on this very subject. Head over to Crazy For Books to join the Hop and disclose your own/read others' dirty little secrets regarding their out-of-control TBR stacks.

Book Blogger Hop


  1. I do the same thing. I have a bazillion books I’ve bought, but then I check out a ton from the library. The library books have priority since they have a due date, so the books I own never get read.

    Truth is, sometimes I check so many books out from the library that I don’t get to all of them either. Then I renew them, and sometimes STILL don’t read them. I end up feeling guilty for book hoarding.

    What a relief to confess that to somebody.

  2. You're in company. You've described the problem perfectly; that's exactly what happens around here. I'm so glad I'm not the only one with book guilt.

  3. I have way too many books on my TBR list and TBR pile. All told that comes to about sixty books.

    Now here's the scary math: I read roughly one book per week - and sometimes two. But two to three books are being added to my TBR list every week.

    Stressful, right?


    Hop on over to my blog - and find out why.

    Howard Sherman

  4. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Howard. I like your reasoning. (I just visited your blog.)

  5. I am completely with you on this...same problem here. I could make the same confession as Bigfoot, as well.
    Honestly, though, is it really bad to love books so much? They make me feel rich, even though I am FAR from it :)

    New Follower
    I have a Never-ending list of TBR's :)

  7. Susan - Books are my security blanket. "Is it bad to love books so much?" My emotional response is "heck no" (only stronger!) But my pocketbook (and library card)say "Cough! Wheeze! Stop!"

    Seriously, I'm having a bit of a emotional dilemma about this issue, because while I could very blithly buy books before... well...anything, really, I'm wondering if there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, bookwise. And a library? Hello, crack! Like I said, my emotional response is "no", but my mind says "hmmmm...potential for overdose here".

  8. Paula, thanks for coming over and following. Ah, those delicious yet scary piles of books! Delicious to anticipate, scary (for me) that there are so many waiting.

  9. I really do hear you! I have been having the same thoughts/feelings lately myself. I cannot seem to pass by a good book, and lots of good books we already have get passed by in the interest of the newest one(s). I hate waste, and I don't like to feel like I'm being wasteful. I was just trying to see the positive :)

  10. Hi! I'm a new follower and i love the fact that you have an excel spreadsheet AND goodreads TBR list! :)

  11. Trish, thanks so much for stopping by, and for following! Yep, my spreadsheet is my sieve-for-a-brain's lifeline.