Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Endless TBR Pile

I don't have many secrets. But there is one thing that I don't try to advertise. It fills me with shame. My To Be Read pile.

It's not like I've tried to put off reading these books. It's just that there's this terrible and beautiful thing in the book world: new books. So every time I say to myself, "That's it! Today, I'm going to read The Hobbit!" I end up going to the library and checking out the latest teen contemporaries.

Current TBR: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, 100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith, Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson, High Fidelity by Nick Hornby, Exile by Kevin Emerson, Blonde Ops by Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, Six Feet Over It by Jennifer Longo and Blind Spot for Boys by Justina Chen. See what I mean?
And then there's those books that I own, the ones I have read so many times I could recite in my sleep, the ones I could guess just by a description of the cover (Ceramic frog. The Boyfriend List, by E. Lockhart). I keep re-reading those. They're like comfort food. When I get home at the end of a day of tests and homework and dealing with school, I don't want to start a new book. I want to dive back into the world of Cath and Levi, where I know exactly what will happen.

All of this, and I still haven't read The Hobbit.

I went to a book sale yesterday, where all the books are ridiculously cheap. They have these every month, and every month I buy way more than I should. But this time, I took advantage of the combination of cheap books and a large TBR pile: I bought books I haven't read. Sure, I got a few that I previously read and loved (Forgotten! Amy and Roger's Epic Detour!), but the majority were new to me. 

My book haul from yesterday! The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris, Confessions of a Blabbermouth by Mike and Louise Carey, Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King, Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter, Forgotten by Cat Patrick, Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, and My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. All for $6.50!
Of course, none of them were on my TBR list from this summer. During the spring, I amassed a To-Read list of about one hundred books. I still have fifty yet to read (mostly because I read all the young adults before attempting to read the classics. Hey, it was summer).

So I was going to continue that list... until I discovered BookTube late in July. And... and they just kept mentioning so many new books, and I had to read them, and soon, my TBR was back up.

But here's the good thing about all this: I read some really, really good books this summer. I wasn't planning to read all of them, but there they were. And they were great. I also got really into graphic novels--how have I gotten this far in life without reading Scott Pilgrim??

So maybe TBR piles work for you, and maybe they don't. But I think that's what I love about books. They'll surprise you. You might think you'll like a book and find it really, really dull. Or you might put off reading something only to find a new favorite book. In the end, it doesn't matter, as long as you read what you enjoy.

That only leaves me with one problem. I enjoy a LOT of books. I'll get around to my TBR eventually.

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