The TBR Book Tag

This one’s Cleo’s fault – over at Cleopatra Loves Books, she had a go at the TBR Tag Thread, talking about her TBR pile, consisting of 173 books. And it got me thinking – as you may recall, I tend to get a bit fascinated with statistics.

STATISTICS FACT – My blog views so far this year have already equalled the views from last year already but with only 80% of the visitors. Well, I found it interesting.IMAG0642_BURST001

Anyway, one thing that I hadn’t worked out was the number of books in my TBR pile – my only answer was either “a lot” or “a [INSERT SWEARWORD OF YOUR CHOICE] lot”. Of course my wife’s answer is “too many”…

HOW DO YOU KEEP TRACK OF YOUR TBR PILE?

Simple answer – I don’t, really. I have a few bookcases upstairs where long-term unread books reside with a shelf downstairs for books that I might like to read sooner rather than later – the latest in a series, for example, or a book that I really ought to read. And on my kindle, there’s the equivalent – a “To Read” folder that is the first port of call. All of my review requests head straight there. After that, they are catalogued as “Cozy”, “Classic”, “Modern”, “Thriller”, “Historical”, “Translated” and “Bargains” – the last was for when I went through a phase of buying dirt cheap ebooks on the off-chance.IMAG0645

IS YOUR TBR MOSTLY PRINT OR E-BOOK?

Time for a count. OK, I’m going to ignore books that I’ve read that I plan to read again – even though they are To Be Read, it gets too complicated to count them. So, print books: 128 upstairs, 56 downstairs, making a total of 184 print books. As for the Kindle, 173 if you ignore the “Bargains” folder that I haven’t opened in over a year. If I do count it… 225. Which makes over 400 books to read… So ebook wins…

HOW DO YOU DETERMINE WHICH BOOK FROM YOUR TBR TO READ NEXT?

Books that have been sent for review or that I’ve requested from Netgalley take priority, although sometimes I’ll delay them until nearer the publication date. After that – it depends what mood I’m in. For example, I’ve some Golden Age books to review, a more modern one and after that – I honestly don’t know. Maybe the next Michael Jecks, maybe another Golden Ager… Basically, no idea. But I keep a lot of freedom by keeping my requested reviews/Netgalleys low and only doing one regular challenge – Past Offences Crimes Of The Century – it gives me a lot of flexibility to choose my own reads. And that, as I said, can mean anything – I have pretty varied tastes within the mystery genre.IMAG0646

A BOOK THAT’S BEEN ON YOUR TBR THE LONGEST?

Probably one of the classics that I’ve yet to get round to – The Devil In Velvet by John Dickson Carr. It’s one of his weird set-ups – a modern day man travels to the past after making a deal with the devil and winds up involved in solving a mystery. Definitely going to read it at some point…

A BOOK YOU RECENTLY ADDED TO YOUR TBR?

Not quite the most recent but the British Library sent me a copy of Christopher St John Spriggs’ Death Of An Airman which looks like a lot of fun.IMAG0647

A BOOK ON YOUR TBR STRICTLY BECAUSE OF ITS BEAUTIFUL COVER?

A silly question. Who buys a book JUST for its cover? Not me, that’s for sure.

A BOOK ON YOUR TBR THAT YOU NEVER PLAN ON READING?

Why would it be on a To Be Read pile if I wasn’t going to read it? Possibly some of the ebooks in the Bargain folder but I’m not going to sit on books that someone else might like to read. What I’m not so good at is passing books on that I’ve read. There are some books that I’m not going to read for a while – not going back to Ruth Rendell for a while, for example, but I will do eventually.IMAG0648

AN UNPUBLISHED BOOK ON YOUR TBR THAT YOU’RE EXCITED FOR?

Meditation on MurderPolly CarterOn my TBR… I think nothing that hasn’t been published yet. But if you mean To Be Reviewed, then I’ve been getting more and more excited about The Killing of Polly Carter by Robert Thorogood. The first Death In Paradise novel, A Meditation On Murder, was one of the closest things to Agatha Christie (with a whiff of John Dickson Carr) that I’ve ever read, so when I knew a second book was on the way, I’ve been keeping an eye out for it. And once I got a review copy, I couldn’t wait to read it. I can’t put the review up until nearer publication date (December 3rd) but I’ll tell you this – it’s even better than the first one.

A BOOK ON YOUR TBR THAT EVERYONE HAS READ BUT YOU?

Most of my fellow bloggers seem to have read Roseanna, the first Martin Beck novel, by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö. Tried it a couple of times but never been in the right mood for the overwhelming grimness. One day…

IMAG0644A BOOK ON YOUR TBR THAT EVERYONE RECOMMENDS TO YOU?

See the previous answer

Chapel Of BonesA BOOK ON YOUR TBR THAT YOU’RE DYING TO READ?

The next in Michael Jecks’ Templar series, The Chapel Of Bones, once I clear up a few promised reviews.

HOW MANY BOOKS ARE IN YOUR GOODREADS TBR SHELF?

My what? Don’t use it.

So, over 400 books to go – that’ll take me to my 1000th review nicely. As if I’m not going to buy any more books in the meantime…

So, I’m supposed to tag someone to have a go at this – anyone want to take a stab at this?

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34 comments

  1. I’ve been very impressed with the amount of TBR books people have said they had in these TBR posts, though I think 400+ is the record so far. Part of me does feel a bit daft only having 19 books in my TBR pile and is probably the reason why I haven’t done this post.

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    • Having wrangled with a TBR that was well over 200 books this time last year and now under 50 for the first time probably since I went to uni, I’m getting increasingly excited with each book that reduces it yet further. Sure, part of me wants to buy more books – that’s been a problem for years now – but at the same time I want to see how small I can make that pile before I run out of options…

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      • Once last year I got down to 0 books – it was awful! My hand kept trying to move to my to read pile to only realise it wasn’t there. Thankfully it was my birthday a week later so my stock pile went back up again. Usually my book pile oscillates between 7 and 20.

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      • I do need to get it under control, but this is the result of years of collating. If I’m absolutely honest, some of these books are probably never going to be read – it’s just nice to keep my options open.

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      • About 6 years ago I finally moved all my stuff out of my folks’ house and in doing so got rid of around 600 books – it was rather traumatic at the time, but it helped to have a clear out then as I was probably never going to read about 15% of them. Now I just move house every three years as a way of controlling my TBR pile, which actually works quite well…

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  2. The Devil in Velvet is one of the few JDC books I really disliked. If you have to leave any of his books in the TBR pile indefinitely, that’s one I would recommend.

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  3. I won’t admit to any number of books on my TBR shelves because it’s too many to count. There’s something about the hunt, and I’m always on the prowl for more. I read far too slowly to keep up with what I buy. I enjoyed the peek at your shelves. Like you, I’m pretty much all over the place in the mystery genre. But it’s the only fiction I will read and I love the variety. To have it all at my fingertips is a wonderful satisfied feeling! 🙂

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  4. I have not counted all of my unread books (which are mostly mysteries), but my count so far is around 450 and I have at least double that. It is a sad state of affairs, since I don’t stop buying books.

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  5. I have a quite a large TBR pile, but by no means as large as yours. Then again, it depends which shelf I’m looking at. 😛

    I was slightly surprised to see some of CJ Sansom’s novels on your shelves – I once wondered whether or not you have read any of his works, given your interest in the historical mystery genre. But the dearth of references to Sansom, bar one, made me think that you might have tried one of his works, and found it too mediocre to warrant further comment.

    I’m surprised to see that ‘The Beast Must Die’ remains unread, given your preference for Nicholas Blake?

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    • I’m saving the Blake – I do try not to leap to the “best” of a writer. And I do intend to read those Sansom books – I enjoyed the first one pre-blog – but the page count keeps making me delay it. Anyway, it’s the Tudors – yawn.

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  6. I used to have a TBR pile of about 20 but buying a Kindle put that number way, way up. Currently I have 689 books on my Kindle although admittedly I have read some of them… on the other hand many are ‘Complete works of…’ editions so I guess it evens out in the end. I will get around to them all…
    I have to disagree a tiny bit re the point about not buying a book just for its cover. I am a huge Agatha Christie fan and have paperbacks of all her crime/mystery novels. They are rather battered through constant re-reading but I would never part with them. However, when a friend found a box of old Christie paperbacks in their garage I couldn’t resist having a look. Neither could I resist buying some of them from him, simply because they had the most gloriously un-PC covers (and the original titles). They’re not in great condition and therefore not collectables; but I love them anyway.
    Have just discovered your blog, and am loving it.

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    • Ah, good point about the covers. I never buy a book I haven’t read for the cover but for Dame Agatha, I will deliberately fill in gaps with nice old Fontana editions rather than new ones if possible.

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      • Oh yes, those wonderful illustrations by Tom Adams. My favourite is the one for Hallowe’en Party – and the book’s not bad either, suitably atmospheric, if a little rambling.

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