Friday, May 17, 2013

The Eternal TO READ Stack

I came across this photo today - taken in January 2009.  That's right, over 4 years ago.  The remarkable thing about this photo is not how huge that stack of books is, but rather the fact that I still haven't gotten around to six of those books.  SIX of them, after FOUR YEARS, even though they were on my Read Right Now pile.

Daniel Deronda? I know I started it.

Jubilee Trail? I don't even know when I bought this book.

A Little Princess?  Still haven't re-read it.

Man of the Family? Keep thinking I'll get around to it.

Ruth? Definitely started it...last year?

The Lost Continent? I've read other Bill Bryson books, does that count?

Looking at old stacks of books is always fun, but it can be a bit of a downer too.  Here I was feeling all proud of myself for getting some of those "eternal shelf" books read, and I find I have so much more to do.  Other than that, though, it is fun to look at those covers and remember what you thought about them.  From top to bottom, excluding [obviously] the ones I still haven't read: fabulous, fun, good, biased, okay, dumb, beautiful, very good, a bit boring, even boring-er, and very interesting.

I still want to read those 6 books.  If I didn't, it would definitely be time to let them go.  Too many good books to waste time on ones I'm not interested in.  But if I'm still interested, then they are more than welcome to a spot on my shelf, even if it is the eternal To Read shelf.  Maybe someday they'll make it off.


  1. Hah, nice find from four years ago :) I have been photographing my new book stacks since the beginning of blogging in the beginning of this year and I occasionally go through them to knock on my consciousness and see how many of those books I've actually managed to read :)

  2. But at least you've read the others - I think you've done marvelously well!

    Our TBR stacks are (metaphorically, at least) living, organic creatures - constantly changing, adding, deleting, adding more. I don't think it's fair to judge 'completeness' of a static point in time.

    Actually, I don't think it's ever fair to judge completeness in any connection to a TBR pile. :-)

  3. It happens the very same to me. I do remember when and why I bought every book but at the same time it seems the desire to read them vanishes as time goes by, right? I usually sit in front of a book and before I start it, I look at it and remember how much I wanted to read it when I first got it. And it works!

  4. I do the same thing with the books that end up on my nightstand. Some how I think they become as much decor as a game plan for reading.

  5. I'm relieved to hear there are others who continually put certain books off. I have "eternal" books on my shelf that I'm afraid will be there forever. I really do want to read them, it's just that I've put more interesting ones on the shelf since and I want to read them more than I do the older ones. I also find myself reading shorter books or at least quicker reads just so I'll have something to post on regularly. I've had an Einstein biography on my shelf for years now but it's big and will probably take a lot of reading time and I'm afraid that reading it will mean I won't have anything to post about for a couple of weeks. I feel rather driven to post as often as I possibly can, which leaves me not enjoying the actual reading process as much as I used to. I love blogging, but it does have its down side.

  6. I go through this pretty regularly when I look at my stacks, too. Arrrgh!


I'd love to hear what you have to say, leave a comment!