For those of you who knew me as a blogger in the first half of 2011, you’ll probably remember a major shift that I made a few months into the year. I went from reading and reviewing 15+ books per month to around five or fewer monthly. I’ve talked about this before, how I began reading exponentially more books when I began book-blogging, and how my TBR pile (both physical and virtual) grew so out of control that I felt like I was drowning. Turns out that my breaking point was around over 400 books on the TBR, and in late 2010, I developed a method of culling books quickly from the list with a five-page trial read. In 2011, I only read from what remained of my TBR, forcing myself to read those books even when I didn’t feel like them, until I was down to about ten books left on my shelves. It was April or May, I can’t remember exactly, and I had no desire to read those particular remaining books right then. Though I knew I’d want to read them one day, I donated them to Half Price Books, and zeroed out my virtual and physical TBRs.
I’ve never gone back to large TBR piles. I almost never buy books unless I’ve read them before or they come from an author I love in a series I’m already into. I have a separate “to investigate” list on Goodreads awaiting cull-trials, and whenever that list gets to over 20 books or so, I gather them all up and speed-trial my way through them. For reasons I can’t explain, it bothers me to have more than about 10-20 books on the to-investigate list, and more than a dozen or so on the actual TBR (future releases not included). The other thing that bothers me is when books stay on the list for longer than a few months (again, future releases excluded). There’s a lot of self-control involved in deliberately NOT reading/culling/investigating books that have ended up on the virtual TBR. And right now, there are THREE books that have been on that list for almost a year now:
- Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places – Colin Dickey
- The Poison Squad – Deborah Blum
- City of Ghosts – Victoria Schwab
Notice the theme? These are books that I discovered at the end of last year’s RIP Reading Challenge, too late to read them before the event ended. They are perfect for RIP reading, and I’ve wanted to save them for this year’s event.
But OH MAN can I just say how hard it’s been seeing these three books at the top of my to-investigate list for almost a year??? THIS ISN’T ME ANYMORE! I DON’T KEEP BOOKS ON THE LIST SO LONG ANYMORE! I have to deliberately turn my face away…
Okay, I know, I’m being silly, but seriously it’s been one of those willpower things for me and I can’t tell you how excited I am that in just over a week, it’ll be RIP time again! I’ve put all three of these books on hold from the library already, and they’ll probably be the first books I try out for RIP…and probably cull, because honestly I’m not even sure they’re books I want to read, they’re just possible reads…and yes I know it’s completely ridiculous to be this excited about getting books that I might not even read because at least then they’ll be off the list they’ve been stuck on for almost a year…
is that a reading challenge for Halloween time? jw
For autumn generally, loosely spooky-themed and such.