It’s weird. I go for months without writing about books at all, or doing any sort of tags or memes, and then I do a whole load of them in a short space of time. There are half a dozen things I considered blogging about today, but I didn’t like any of them enough (I actually wrote 800 words of a post before deleting it), and I don’t want to spam you with info about my poetry collection.
Although if you want to preorder it from Amazon, links are here. Just while we’re on the subject.
Engie @ Musings From Neville’s Navel tagged me in one of those Q&A-style posts about books on a TBR (to be read) pile, which I’m going to answer now. Although I’ve always thought “TBR” was a weird way of describing books like this. It implies a very passive approach to it — “at some point I want to have read this book, but I have no immediate intention of reading it”. I usually call it a “to-read” pile: books I’ve got plans to read.
But maybe my lack of a weird, passive TBR pile is the reason this tag was so difficult, because apparently I don’t have a normal bookworm’s attitude to books I haven’t yet read. You’ll see what I mean.
The To-Be-Read Tag
1. How do you keep track of your TBR pile?
Okay, first confession: I don’t have a TBR pile. The closest thing I have is that when I see a book I’ve been meaning to read on Goodreads, I’ll add it to my ‘to-read’ shelf, and I often add books to my wishlist on Amazon.
Then there’s the legit pile of books on my shelf that are from the library which I have to read and return before I go to uni or woe betide me, and mostly I keep track of those by looking guiltily at them whenever I glance in that direction, then failing to read them, or indeed anything else.
2. Is your TBR mostly print books or ebooks?
The literal pile is entirely print books, because LIBRARIES. I guess some of the ones on my Amazon wishlist may be ebooks, but if I’m going to pay money for a book, I’ll usually go for paperback since it feels more worthwhile. I use ebooks for things that are unavailable in other formats, e.g. out-of-print books, obscure mythology, indie-published books, that kind of thing.
3. How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?
There are a few questions I ask of myself. “How long have I had this from the library?” is a crucial one, as is, “When is this due back?” Then there’s the major deal-breaker: “How big a fine will I get if I don’t return this soon?”
It depends what I read last. If I just read non-fiction, I’ll go for fiction to give my brain a break, and vice versa. It also depends if it’s part of a series, as I’m often desperate to read the next book. Finally, if I’m feeling exhausted or struggling to read, I’ll go straight for the shortest book to try and trick my brain into feeling like I achieved something.
4. A book that’s been on your TBR the longest?
Well, I’m waiting to read Dreams of Gods and Monsters, which Charley was supposed to be getting me for my birthday. My birthday was in January, and I’m still waiting, but she assures me it’ll be with me soon. So that one is 100% not my fault.
I keep meaning to continue with The Time-Traveller’s Guide To Medieval England, by Ian Mortimer, but I’ve been procrastinating on that for over a year. Sigh.
5. A book you recently added to your TBR?
Everything I’m reading as prep for uni. I have two weeks to get through a handful of books on the Vikings and stuff.
6. A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover?
I’m safe from this curse, actually. While I’ll often pick books up at the library because the cover caught my eye, they won’t stay on my to-read for long. The books I’ve currently got out are mostly non-fiction, which tend to have less attractive covers.
I like this one, though:
It’s cute and much less threatening than some of the other books on the same subject, so I’ll probably read this one first. When books have a scary cover, I assume they’re going to be dense and frightening.
7. A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading?
If I wasn’t planning to read it, it wouldn’t be on my TBR pile. I honestly don’t understand this question. I guess most people take recommendations from others as rules rather than guidelines, but personally, if I don’t want to read something, I won’t say that I’m going to.
8. An unpublished book in your TBR that you’re excited for?
Obviously Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater. I’ve been waiting for this book since I finished The Dream Thieves, and I can’t wait for it to come out.
9. A book in your TBR that everyone recommends to you?
Well, Charley sent me a text when she got to the end of Dreams of Gods and Monsters to tell me it was amazing and she cried, which I thought was just adding insult to injury, but mostly the books on my TBR pile haven’t been particularly recommended to me. I should probably emphasise again that I don’t have a proper TBR pile. I just read things when I feel like it.
10. Number of books in your TBR?
Okay, seriously, I’ve already told you: I don’t have one! But, I have 38 books on my ‘to-read’ shelf on Goodreads, and four library books awaiting my immediate attention, and about seven or eight other non-fiction books I wanted to read before uni to try and get a decent grounding in the topic, so there you have it.
Engie, I’m sorry, I was probably the worst person to tag in this, due to my complete inability to be a typical bookworm. The fact is that I go to a library and pick things up there and then, and I rarely go looking for something in particular. Moreover, I’ve been barely reading anything recently, so adding more books to my ‘to-read’ pile would just depress me.
Now, if you were to ask me about the films and TV shows on my to-watch pile, that would be a completely different story…
I’m going to tag Charley @ The Leaning Tower Of Plot, because I haven’t tagged her in anything in a while, and then I’m going to make a start on those four books. No, really. I mean it this time. I’m gonna do this thing.