Friday, November 02, 2007

TBR or Not TBR?

My To Be Read pile is enormous. Ginormous. Ridiculously so. I can't roll my chair back too far for fear of crushing the books that line the wall behind my desk. Book are everywhere. Spilling out of the bookcase (which is packed to within an inch of its life), stacked on the floor in several spots, on my desk, on my's out of control.

I had a good hard think about it yesterday. Am I ever going to read all those books? No. So why do I keep them? There are many answer to that.

1. After a publisher has sent me an ARC to be reviewed on Romance Divas, they will usually send another copy of the book once it's been released. These extras fill my shelves. Some I give to friends, but any that seem like something I might be interested in, I hang on to.

2. Free books from conferences. I have scads of these. I defy you to attend a conference and not come home with a few free books. Unfortunately, many of these aren't something I'd actually read. They end up being giveaways for chapter raffle baskets and such.

3a. Books I spent money on and want to read. These days, that pile is smaller and smaller, because those are *surprise* the books I read. Then they get moved to a different bookshelf with all the other books I've read. Or given to a friend with the demand that they read the book too.

3b. Books I spent money on and don't want/intend/have time to read. These are usually books bought at a signing to support the author because they're a friend or sometimes, in the case of the RWA Literacy signing, they look so sad and alone that I feel compelled to buy their book and make them smile. Yes, I'm soft like that. Deal with it.

These books are hard to part with because 99.999% of them are personally inscribed to me. My name is on the title page. How do you get rid of a book autographed to you? I know it can be done, but it seems...wrong.


I have to weed through these books or I will be forced to move out of my office. I think it's time to get serious about what I want to read and what I don't want to read. How do you whittle your pile down? What do you do with the books you don't want? (I don't believe there's a used book store in our area.) Help! I need suggestions/advice/answers.


  1. Boy, I'm the wrong one to ask. I have piles and piles of books. I have the ARCs in date order and I try to get to them before they come out.

    Many, are like you say, free from conferences.

    But the ones signed to me are impossible to part with. It just seems too personal to give away.

    Here what I do.

    1) I keep a box filled in my car and whenever I run into a reader I encourage them to pick something out.

    2) I take them to my WW meetings and the ladies read them and write blurbs for my blog. This has caused other members to pick up the books with good reviews.

    3) I donate to my local library which is experiencing budget cuts and is thrilled to get new books.

    4) I donate to the local abused women shelter because if anyone needs a HEA, they do.

    5) I shut off the phone and computer and read as fast as I can. I don't want to miss a word.

    My take on it, for what it's worth.

  2. You old softy! (Remind me to go to the conferences you attend. I'm going to start working on my pathetic-kicked-puppy-dog look now)LOL!!

    Gee, I don't have an answer either, though. My TBR pile is getting rather large, too. Yesterday I shifted them around to different rooms in the house.

  3. I keep my TBR pile in the library (okay, it's just a spare room, but I can dream, can't I?). Unfortunately, the pile is getting huge and my bookshelves are getting full. Since I have an online used bookstore, I try to sell the ones I don't want, but sales have been slow this year. And I'm stuck in the same quandry with you. I buy new books written by people I like, and if I know someone, that kills their books for my store. What I do now is trade them to my CP, or give them away to friends who might enjoy them. Now everyone I know is having a book overflow problem. ;o)

  4. My husband and I have a discussion about this every once in a while. He can't understand how I can box up books and send them to the UBS or swap shop. He keeps every book he reads as evidenced by the boxes full of books that are in the storage room in the garage. I do keep autographed books, because I know (as an author) how it feels to find an autographed copy of your book for sale on eBay.

  5. I circulate unwanted books at work. I take them up in a big box and leave them in the locker room. They're usually gone in a day or less:)