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All About My TBR

A photograph of last year's TBR featuring 14 books

My TBR from last year. I’ve read eight of them.

As I mentioned on Alice’s post, this is a meme I can get behind. I don’t often do them but this one is right up my street. Here are my answers to questions about that fearful literary concept – the to be read pile.

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?
When I say to-be-read pile it depends on the context as to what I’m talking about. I have my all-in TBR which is every book I own that I’ve not read, then I have a basic middling pile which is a general idea of what I might like to read soon, and then there’s my immediate pile which I don’t often end up seeing the bottom of because I’ll make some progress before opting for a different to-be-read. My book database – physical books only – has a column I mark when I’ve read a book, otherwise I keep track in piles. I recently ran out of shelf space so I’ve made a couple of piles of my newest books: those I’ve read, those I haven’t read but don’t plan to read soon, those I want to read soon.

Is your TBR mostly print or e-book?
I tend to think in terms of print only because there are lots of free ebooks out there.

How do you determine which books from your TBR to read next?
A combination of which ones I want to read next and which ARCs I need to get to. If I haven’t specified a date for a review copy – if it’s unsolicited – they’ll often be lower priority.

A book that has been on my TBR the longest?
Immediate pile: The Girl On The Train, about 6 months. All-in: I honestly hate to think, probably about five years.

A book you recently added to your TBR?
Boy, Snow, Bird. It will be my next read after I finish the Young Writer Of The Year shortlist and it’s staying on top even if I suddenly lose all my reading time until after Christmas.

A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover?
None currently, but I had Amy Snow, since reviewed, on my pile for months because the cover echoed a dream I’d had.

A book on your TBR that you never plan on reading?
Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett. This is purely because it’s #40 and I’m on #7 and have been for the last two years I’ve had it. From what I’ve heard I need to give it a few more specific books if I’m to appreciate it.

An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?
That’s a whole other list I like to forget about…

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?
All of them, which was sort of planned. I figure if it’s full of recommendations I might actually get them read.

A book on your TBR that everyone has read but you?
Probably Cloud Atlas. It’s daunting!

A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read?
The Oyeyemi. I tend to be dying to read the newest additions to the pile, and that feeling lessens as more books are added. This book, however, is one I reckon will remain in my mind until I get to it – there are a few of those – and I have to be wary of that because it can be accompanied by high expectations.

How many books are on your TBR shelf?
3 on the will-definitely-get-to, want-to-read-around-Christmas, pile. 14 on the main pile.

I’m not going to tag anyone specifically; go ahead and copy the questions if you like the idea and let me know if you do so I can read your answers.

How many books are on your current TBR?


April Munday

December 9, 2015, 8:19 pm

You’re very fortunate if you’ve only got unread books going back a few years. I think I’ve got TBRs that are older than you are.

Since I’ve now run out of physical space for books, I have to start working my way through them. My New Year’s resolution will be not to read ebooks while I have physical books to be read, then taken to the charity shop, where they will be sold for a distressingly small amount. I did very badly on this score this year and cheated by using my library card.

Julie @ Reading Life

December 10, 2015, 2:23 am

Well, I copied the questions and had fun answering them. Thanks!

Tracy Terry

December 10, 2015, 1:51 pm

What a good idea to have several TBR piles graded in such a way. As it is I tend to simply add more recently acquired books to the top f the pile which of course means some keep getting pushed further and further down meaning they are less and less likely to get rid any time soon.

That said, as well as my main TBR pile I also have several smaller piles such as the one dedicated to books I’m planning to read for challenges, the one dedicated to books received for review from authors/publishers and then the one dedicated to books I’ve won – the more recently acquired of which do tend to be put on the bottom so that generally speaking I do get to review them in the order in which I received them.

Great meme, thank you.


December 10, 2015, 4:54 pm

I have about 30 physical books but over a 100 ebooks. I don’t tend to count the ebooks unless their galleys or classics though – as they don’t physically take up any space and as you said there are so many free ones.

Jenny @ Reading the End

December 11, 2015, 1:43 am

YAY for reading the Oyeyemi! I say that you will love it. it’s terrific. Except, I mean, the ending is pretty transphobic, but up until then it’s very good. Helen Oyeyemi’s such a gorgeous writer.


December 13, 2015, 9:35 pm

Oooo, I hope you read The Girl On The Train soon, it’s really easy to read and I’d like to know your opinion.

Cloud Atlas is hard to get into at first, and the middle section pushed me to my limits, but it’s worth all of that struggle for the glory of it.



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