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TBR challenge progress and 10 reasons I haven’t read ‘that’ book:

If you read this blog regularly you will know about my TBR challenge. (If you are a casual visitor: it's a challenge to reduce my out-of-control TBR Stack (it’s so big it deserves the capital letter) of books I own but haven’t read. I have now reached the updated 2011 goal of reducing it to 820 unread books, which is very good indeed, especially considering I started out with the goal of reducing it to 850 books. I am now going to raise the bar even further and set myself the goal to reduce the Stack by another 20 books so that by the end of the year I will “only” have 800 books in the TBR. As before, I plan to do this with a combination of culling and reading.

In order to make things go a little faster, I am going, whenever I buy books, to read at least one of them right away, followed by an older TBR book. This means that at least one new book from every batch bought never makes it into the Stack and every time I buy books the Stack gets reduced by one older book. I have tried it already and I think it’s going to work.

All this TBR blather has got me thinking about the reasons why people amass such collections of books they haven’t read, because it seems that most serious readers have at least some books they bought or acquired with good intentions but haven’t ever read. The reasons vary from reader to reader, but here are 10 of the most common reasons why I have so many books I haven’t read:

  1. I bought a stack of books on sale and this was one of them. It seemed sort of interesting at the time, but first I gotta read this. And this. And this....
  2. I felt I should read it because everyone seemed to be reading it and it got really good reviews and I bought it with good intentions, but now I’m having doubts.
  3. I won it in a competition without really wanting it.
  4. I read something by the author that I liked and glommed several of her/his books but lost interest or got bored with their formula before I could finish them all.
  5. I only discovered after I bought it that it is part of a series or -ology in which the story stretches over several books and I have never got round to getting the other book(s) in the series so I can actually read it/them. (I abhor such series and try not to read them unless I know all the books are published and readily available).
  6. I bought it for the cover alone and will never read it. I am interested in the artwork on old pulp novel and romance covers. Some of them belong to genres I am not really fond of, like crappy spy novels or rapey bodice rippers, but have artwork that I like. None of these books are on the actual TBR list (although they do appear on the list of all my books for insurance purposes), but they have a shelf to themselves and are on rotating display.
  7. It’s huge and intimidating. I am not always in the mood to read a book that it takes me a month to finish, on top of which reading big books is physically difficult for me as suffer from myalgia, but once I get that e-reader just watch me...
  8. I bought it on speculation because it was cheap and then forgot what I found interesting about it.
  9. I read a couple of books from the series, loved them and bought the rest, only to hit a really bad book. Now I am waiting for that horrible memory to fade from my mind so I can continue reading.
  10. I have so many books I don’t know where to begin. Help!

10 Reasons I have heard from others:
  1. I bought a “three for two” offer and couldn’t find a third book I really wanted, so I picked this up.
  2. I heard good things about the author but once I had acquired the book(s) I lost interest.
  3. I bought a box of books at auction and it was in there. I feel I should read it to get my money’s worth, but...
  4. It was recommended/given/lent to me by a good friend/lover/family member, but I am afraid I will not like it and then what will they think of me am when they ask and I tell them?
  5. It’s a school book. I only read the pertinent chapters, but I’m keeping it because it might come in useful some day as a reference book. (From a guy who has never used his degree and is working in an unrelated field).
  6. My ex left them and I haven’t got round to returning them to him. (This 2 years after said ex left AND the speaker had moved house once).
  7. I inherited it and it has emotional value but I’m not interested in reading it.
  8. Read them? Whatever for? I just got them because they look nice on the shelf. (She bought a collection of classics for the leather bindings alone).
  9. I’m saving them for when I retire.
  10. Read it? Are you crazy!? It’s collectible!! I must keep it in mint condition!!!

How about you, Dear Reader? What are your main reasons for not reading books you have acquired?


Professor Batty said…
Nobel Prize Winners on sale. How can I pass them up? But there there is always a good reason not to start them (excepting HKL, of course!)

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