Sunday, March 6, 2011

Photographic Evidence of the TBR

I love seeing the TBR shelves of other bloggers and so, even though I could tell you to look at my LibraryThing TBR list (which currently claims to contain 196 unread books), I decided to take some photos and share my shelves with you.

I keep the majority of my TBR books on a three-shelf bookcase by my bed, on (and in and under) my nightstand and in teetering stacks in that same area. There are a few others scattered around the house and a separate, more visible place for review copies and library books.

So, without further ado, here is most of my folly revealed --

top shelf, one side
I tend to use the top shelf for books that I plan on reading the soonest. I don't know why the middle stack ended up red and orange. I didn't plan it that way and just noticed when I was taking photos.

top shelf, other side
middle shelf, one side
The middle shelf is where I keep most of my Oxford and Penguin editions. As you can see, I have enough Dickens and Collins to keep me busy for years!

middle shelf, other side
bottom shelf, one side
The bottom shelf is pretty full and it shows how behind I am in the Captain Alatriste series (three books).

bottom shelf, other side
bottom of first stack
The books in this stack are ones that have been recently bumped from the shelves, ones that are in series that I have to read another book first and books that I have recently acquired. I could probably take that copy of Alice in Wonderland out since it's not really a TBR. I've decided to collect my favorite editions of that book. But, I haven't really looked at it yet so there it is. The Nick Hornby books below are ones that I am dying to read but, as I know they will inspire me to buy even more books, they are also the two that I can't open any time soon.

top of first stack
bottom of second stack
This final stack are ones that I will probably have to be in just the right mood for -- except the Fowler books which are just later ones in a series that I need to start. I'm finishing up a few other series first and then that one and the Laurie R. King Holmes books are next. I don't own all of either one of those so obviously it means more acquisitions at some point!

top of second stack
under the nightstand
These ones are hiding under the nightstand only because they are all of the same size and they fit. I want to pull out the Canongate Myths series sooner than later.

on the nightstand shelf
This is the home of some of the books I have owned the longest and have either not read or have partially read. Mason & Dixon was going along okay and I'm not sure why I stopped reading it. I also have a few Poirot books here but they are ones that I could still remember from the television episodes so I had to set them aside for a while.

on the top of the nightstand
I started the James book for last year's RIP Challenge but didn't finish it and started a re-read of A Tale of Two Cities for the Chance Challenge last year but didn't get through it either. Hopefully I will pick these ones back up soon so that they can move off of the TBR!

And that is it for this region of the house. My goal for the year is to read at least 50 books from my stacks and I've gotten through 7 so far which is almost on track. Unfortunately, I haven't stopped buying books. Two of these (a Heyer mystery and a Heyer romance) joined the shelves on Friday and I have two books (the next Thursday Next and the new Louis Bayard) on pre-order. Oh well!

Which titles do I own that you also want to read? Are any of these on your favorites list? Are any of them awful?

Still far short of being a hoarder (thankfully),


  1. OMG...It is a bit overwhelming when you see that photographed like that...LOL

    I have about 650 unread book so I am clearly not going to take pictures to add to my stress.

    I love that most of yours look brand new as many great titles.

  2. You are a brave soul to share the evidence . . . I have about as many on my TBR pile. I'm really really trying to resist buying more books -- my downfall is the library. I belong to several discussion groups and I volunteer twice a week. It's really hard to NOT check out books I want to read (and I ALWAYS read those first because they have due dates!).

    I have several of the same books on my to-read pile. On your TBR piles, I can recommend Three Junes, #1 Ladies Detective Agency (a fun fast read); Chocolate; Blind Assassin (my favorite Atwood); The Wizard of Oz; and What Jane Austen Ate & Dickens Knew -- that one you could dip in and out of at random.

    There were only a couple on your pile that I truly disliked -- I HATED Turn of the Screw but James is not my thing; also, my entire book club disliked The Yiddish Policeman's Union. I was so disappointed because I loved Kavalier & Clay! I was unimpressed by Tana French -- some great ideas but it just didn't pay out. And I'm terrified of James Joyce and Thomas Pynchon!

    Okay, off to my TBR shelf to get to work.

  3. Whoa, those are some pretty scary photos! Makes my TBR shelf seem quite small in comparison.

    I certainly recommend The Penelopiad and Weight in the Canongate Myths series. American Gods too, though it's pretty disturbing in places.

  4. Oh my gosh, look at all those amazing books to read! I recommend American Gods, obviously, and The Night Watch is also very wonderful. But of course the classics are always good times (apart from Dickens). :p

  5. Diane - I was shocked when it took 13 photos to capture everything! I totally understand not doing it with 650 books though. :) And most of mine are brand new or bought as used but that looked unread (and sadly probably were).

    Karen - I thought maybe if I shared my stacks it would help me to get excited about reading from them! And I have the exact same library problem. I borrow and then read those instead because of the deadlines. I'm trying very hard to avoid the library but, of course, I have books out right now!
    I've read part of What Jane Austen Ate. I should get it out and see how much more I have to go! As for Joyce and Pynchon, I've read short novels by them but have trouble with the longer ones.

    Tracy - I used to have just that middle shelf of the nightstand filled with TBR books before I started blogging. Now it has gone completely out of control! And I'm glad to get your recommendation on Weight. I had only seen reviews of The Penelopiad.

    Jenny - I need to be bedridden for a month or two or something so that I can get through some of these! And I really need to pick up some classics soon. I know I want to read them but I just haven't been choosing them recently.

  6. There are too many books in your TBR that I want to read. Or that I have on my own TBR pile. Like the Bloomsbury books!! Do you ever feel like switching TBR piles? I do, sometimes, when looking at these pictures. Although I admit I'd be scared I'd miss my own books too much.

  7. You've got some lovely stacks! (HAHA. That sounds naughty doesn't it?) I have a think about arranging books by size. I remember once seeing a blogger who organized by color. Good luck in getting those stacks down! (That is an empty wish as I know it will never happen.)

  8. I saw you have Pinkerton's Sister on the pile. I remember being completely attracted by the description in the back cover and the cover itself but it ended up becoming one of my all-time disappointments. Looking forward to reading what you thought of it.

    I'm planning to read the History of the Siege of Lisbon with some other Portuguese friends this month :)

  9. I've been meaning to do this same thing, but I'm worried about how overwhelming it will be to do it as a whole post! I think we are in about the same boat with our stacks!!

    Just a couple of thoughts as I was viewing all the pics . . . LOVE the artwork for the Alice book in your stack! I've got that one too, but I think you already knew that! . . . . I see a lot of similar books as myself in your stacks, including 20th Century Ghosts, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Three Junes, A Lion Among Men, and The Crimson Petal and the White. I'm sure there is more though! . . . Gotta read The Devil in the White City!!! That is my personal favorite non-fiction book of all-time!!!

    I could probably say more, but I'm going to leave it at that!

  10. I love these kinds of posts too :) I see you have A.S. Byatt's latest in there - great book! Actually, I spotted A LOT of great books in your stacks!! Happy reading :)

  11. In the vein of living a fabulous life on a dime… New York’s answer to the recession…

    Now we can all continue to be inspired and read without dying of starvation too :)

  12. Iris - We need to encourage each other to read more from our own shelves, don't we? I think we all want to read the Bloomsbury books but then we set them aside and miss out.

    Jenners - Thanks for complimenting my stacks! And these books are far more organized than my regular ones for some reason. It makes me want to work on my other books but there are just so many!

    Alexandra - Pinkerton is one that I picked up from a clearance rack two or three years ago just based on the blurb. I wonder if I will be disappointed too. And I have started the History of the Siege twice and then set it back down. I need to really commit to it because I have a feeling I will eventually like it. Good luck with your read of it!

    Tif - There are A LOT of books here, aren't there? ;) I think writing this post has changed my mind a bit about acquiring new books though. I really want to at least read more than I buy. And any that we both have we should put in your book club!

    Wendy - That's one that in my list of must reads for this year. I hope I love it as much as many others have!

    NewYork - Oh, I don't even want to think about how much money I've put into these books that I haven't read. Quite a few are used and gifts so hopefully it's not too bad. But that's another reason to get my money's worth out of these ones first, before I go out and get more!

  13. What a great idea!!!! This is exactly why I'm trying not to buy or accumulate too many books this year. I have sooooo many to read on my own shelves!!

  14. Wow... You are brave. My TBR are such in a here and there of mountains, I just too afraid to take pics of it and show it up to everybody. Are we book hoards? lol

    Don't you love the way Oxford just line up in the same height? Yes I have that one hell of the bug in me trying to line up those books in all the different place just for them to "fit" and look neat" hehe

    anyhoo.. I'm curious.. what's the notebook for?

  15. Tif - I made the mistake of telling my husband how many unread books I have in the house. He actually gasped. ;) I did buy a book yesterday but it was one that I had already liked when I had it out from the library so it didn't go on the TBR!

    Lisa - Thanks for stopping by! I finally bought this bookshelf about six months ago. Before that, everything was much worse! And the notebook is something that I've started in the past few months too. It's for short stories. I found that I had trouble keeping the stories separate in my mind and remembering which ones I liked so I am now just writing brief thoughts on each story when I go through an anthology. That's why the notebook is near the book of ghost stories right now!

  16. LOL!!! I hear it all the time when my hubby opens up the closet! That's where I have most of mine "hidden"!! :)