Thursday, January 12, 2006

When TBR piles attack....

Everyone in writer/reader-blogland talks about their huge To Be Read piles, and as TBR piles go, mines not disgustingly humongous.

But I don't read any of the books in it. There are ranks of blemish-free, uncracked spines staring at me from their disordered ranks of romantic suspense, sweet romance, historical romance, thrillers, comedies... Periodically I go and look at them... then pick up a book I've read six times already.

I'm actually starting to be intimidated by a pile of books.


Is it because I bought a load of them and then felt guilty for not reading them? Is it because they represent a height of success I haven't yet achieved? Am I bored with romance? Am I scared of finding too many in the pile that disappoint me? Have they been recommended too many times, so that my stubborn circuits are cutting in?

I suspect I could answer a little, "yes" to all of those questions.

What, apart from lack of time, stops you reading a book?


At 9:47 pm, Blogger Biddy said...

Sometimes I don't want to be disappointed so I go to the tried and tested books. Books can sometimes be like fruit; shiny and perfect looking on the outside but once you bite into them, over-processed or forced to ripen before their time leaving them watery or wooly... generally not as tasty as I want.

At 10:18 pm, Anonymous Siobhan said...

I've been disappointed too often recently. Perhaps my palate is getting jaded as I've read so much

At 10:27 pm, Blogger Kate Allan said...

Try maybe reading a book in a genre you've never read before... or just something different. I'm into a serious history tome at the mo, so I'll be glad to pick up a romance as soon as it's over!

At 12:18 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I have taken to doing is picking out a few that catch my eye and putting them in a different place than my huge stack. I think I get overwhelmed by too many choices. With just four or five to pick from - I can do it!!

At 12:18 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh - and that last comment was from me.

Lori :)

At 2:59 pm, Blogger Emma Wayne Porter said...

I'm with Biddy on this one--there can be nothing worse than being really excited to read a book someone said was really good, get all excited, then think something's wrong with me if I don't like it. /sigh

Although I have to say, most of the time when I've really been stoked to read something, nine times out of ten I end up loving it.

Like Harry Potter (omg I wish she'd hurry up, fcs) and the DaVinci Code.

At 5:24 pm, Blogger Dee said...

For me it's a lack of life at the first page. A book can have a great blurb, a great excerpt and I'll put it down if the opening page doesn't grab me. Could be a great book, but it'll take me two years to read it because I don't have the time to dredge through books. My reading is limited, so a book really has to earn it. :)


At 6:35 pm, Anonymous Kate H said...

What stops me tackling my TBR pile is:
a) deadlines
b) buying books which push their way up the queue because they're ones I've been waiting for...

You could try closing your eyes and picking one at random?

At 9:39 pm, Blogger Julie said...

Reading romance feels like a busman's holiday at the moment. I can only read thrillers, or poetry, though I often get an urge to teach the poetry so I've put it away. Literary novels are out, too--too close to work. Nonfiction seems very appealing.

Meanwhile, I have tons of romances I know I'll enjoy if I can get myself to pick them up.

I think in times of stress it's more comforting to reread a book you know you love.

At 10:23 am, Anonymous Sadhbh said...

Hi Anna - nice topic
I have been known to leave a pile of books unread for a while - I think it's the equivalent of an alcoholic ignoring a bottle of whiskey - it's not that I'm not going to read them, I'm living with the beautiful anticipation. There's also the fact that I have times when I want to read suspense, times when I want to read romance, and times when the moment has changed for the something that tempted me on the bookshelf, so I have to wait for a similar moment to come around again.
So I don't really define books unread as a TBR pile, just as a rainy day pile. But those are never books I've bought or definitely chosen, just books from a bookswap that I haven't read before and that I take for the day when I'll run out of things to read. Examples of such books are the Left Behind books, Jeffery Deaver books before I'd read any of his, Dan Brown, Karin Slaughter. Books I wait impatiently for never make it to a TBR, they get read the minute they make it through the front door. Authors in that category would be Faye Kellerman, Mercedes Lackey, Anne McCaffrey, Dick Francis, Julie Cohen, Samantha Hunter, Catherine Mann, Jo Leigh, Barbara Delinsky, Charlotte Vale Allen, Jean M Auel, Robin Owens, Evelyn Vaughn and Erica Orloff.
This was more information than you wanted - sorry

At 11:51 am, Blogger Anna Lucia said...

Not at all too much information, Sadhbh. I've been really interested in everyone's responses. I think they've gone a long way to breaking my TBR block!


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