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Booking Through Thursday: What’s sitting on your shelf?

btt2.jpgOkay–here was an interesting article by Christopher Schoppa in the Washington Post.

Avid readers know all too well how easy it is to acquire books — it’s the letting go that’s the difficult part. … During the past 20 years, in which books have played a significant role in both my personal and professional lives, I’ve certainly had my fair share of them (and some might say several others’ shares) in my library. Many were read and saved for posterity, others eventually, but still reluctantly, sent back out into the world.

But there is also a category of titles that I’ve clung to for years, as they survived numerous purges, frequent library donations and countless changes of residence. I’ve yet to read them, but am absolutely certain I will. And should. When, I’m not sure, as I’m constantly distracted by the recent, just published and soon to be published works.

So, the question is his: “What tomes are waiting patiently on your shelves?

This is a hard question. I have 257 unread books. Actually, I have a few more than that, as there are some I didn’t have a chance to catalog before I left, but those were new, mostly bought for the purposes of my collection rather than for immediate reading. I never purge my unread books either. I probably should, but I intend to give them all a fair shot eventually, even if it takes me a few years. Some of the ones that have been sitting around:

  • Les Miserables, Victor Hugo
  • The Silmarillion, JRR Tolkien
  • Death of a Stranger, Anne Perry
  • The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis (I’ve read about half of these but have always meant to go back and read them all in an order)
  • The Shelters of Stone, Jean M. Auel
  • Marie Antoinette: The Journey, Antonia Fraser
  • The Skystone, Jack Whyte

Those are probably the oldest that I have.  The vast, vast majority of my unread books are from this year, so they haven’t been sitting around nearly as long.  Typically, I haven’t brought any of these books with me to England.  I do have some that I purchased in 2007 though, so I am getting to them slowly but surely.  Should I be reading any of these books soon (or over Christmas break)? 

 What about you?  Which books have been waiting patiently for you to read them?

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12 comments to Booking Through Thursday: What’s sitting on your shelf?

  • Most of my unread books are from this year, too. I’ve looked at a few of them and wondered what possessed me to buy them. Oh well.

  • My librarything library says I have 284 books tagged as TBR. But, I do know that I’ve gotten at least a third of those in the past year. I think Les Miserables might be one of my 284 – how sad is it that I don’t know for sure?

  • I’ve got a collection of The Chronicles of Narnia that I’m intending to read all the way through in order, aswell. I tend to only count these as one book (it makes me feel less guilty that way).

  • I LOVED Les Mis…he rambles on and on and on sometimes, but the writing is great. Chronicles of Narnia is also good, and pretty easy to read. The Silmarillion is not so good and definitely not easy to read. I enjoyed The Skystone, but it wasn’t great.

  • You beat me. I thought I had too many, but you topped my number.

  • I would really recommend you reading Les Miserables. Surely the reason you have it on your shelf is because plenty of people have already told you to “Read it! Read it! Read it!” but please do. It’s a tad lengthy, but it’s like a fine wine. Savor it slowly (*wink*).

    As for me, I plan to get a few bohemouths out of my TBR pile as well. East of Eden, Cold Mountain, Grapes of Wrath. Looks like a Steinbeck convention minus 1.

  • I’ve been working my way through Marie Antoinette for a while now- a chapter a night, when I feel like reading in bed. It’s taking a long time but it’s a wonderful book. I hope you get to it soon! :-)

  • I read the Marie Antoinette biography a while back, and liked it, for the most part. Fraser’s research is top-notch. But I think she’s a little biased towards her subject.

  • You should read all of The Chronicles of Narnia in order, such great stories, a must read!

  • The only ones I’ve read on your list are the Narnia books.

  • I have many hundreds waiting to be read, I buy waaayy too many books, mostly at library sales and thrift stores. And now, this year, I have tons of review copies coming in, which have to have priority. My poor TBR pile, it’s never going to get any smaller!

    I have read all of the Anne Perry books, they are excellent mysteries. And the Jean M. Auel books are really good, too. They are better in order, though, starting with Clan of the Cave Bear.

    Do you plan to hit the charity shops to find books? They are a good place for used books in the UK! (I know, I know, we don’t NEED any more!)

  • My TBR pile is getting very tall….no need to be specific….let’s just say it is very tall.