The pile

State of the To-Read Pile: 2016 edition

Well it’s that time of year again where I consider the state of the to-read pile, given that the stated aim of this blog is to try to conquer it.  The literal state of pile is that it’s mostly in boxes at the moment, because we were meant to be having a new fireplace installed in the sitting room, which has ended up being more complicated than we thought, so we now have a hole where the fireplace used to be and a Victorian fireplace in the cellar while we wait for some more work to be done. (And breathe)  But that’s not the point is it.  What you want to know is how many books are in the backlog at the moment.


So I have two big boxes of books full of waiting to be read and a third big box that’s about half full.  I had got it down somewhat with a session of 50-pages and out a few months back, but there’s been a spate of book sales at work, and the shelf of free books is a constant temptation as a means of acquiring new release hardbacks that I couldn’t justify buying.  I think I have got the pile so that it is slightly smaller than it was this time last year, but it’s not a massive difference.  And to make it worse, looking back at the state of the pile post I wrote when we had the windows done 18 months ago, I think it’s grown.  Which is less than ideal.  Looking at the pictures of the books I thought I was mostly to read first, all bar 4 have now been read, which is better than I feared it would be because of my terrible habit of jumping new acquisitions to the top of the pile and because the books I review for Novelicious come in hard copy and get priority as well.

So what am I going to do about it?  Well deny everything if Him Indoors sees this post for a start.  No, in all seriousness, I think it’s time for another session of 50 pages and out when I unpack the boxes and be ruthless about it, even if it affects my book totals for that week (and month) because the pile needs to shrink.  I’ve read slightly fewer books this year than I did last year, both in actual book count and page count and the world is not ending.  In fact part of the reason for the reduced page count is probably my pile weeding session back in the summer when I got a couple of dozen lingerers off the pile which don’t count in my total for the year (duh) or in my page count.

I’m also going to try really hard not to buy any books in January.  I’m not going to attempt a book-buying ban because I know I’ll fail because there is a new Eloisa James out on the 31st.  But I do already have advance copies of two of the other books that I might have been tempted to buy in January so I’ve got a fighting chance.  The other reason for me not to do a book-buying ban is because it invariably leads to me having a buying spree before the appointed date for the start of the moratorium which defeats the object entirely.

On top of that, I’ve already started requesting less books from NetGalley.  Although NetGalley’s books are e-proofs, I try and read them all before they come out – or at least in the month that they come out and that means I read more ebooks than actual books.  But with another year of Fahrenheit Press, there’s no danger of me running out of ebooks to read on the train. So on that basis, I’m trying to only request things that I really, really want to read, by authors that I like (that I’ll buy the paperback of when they come out) or books I’ve heard lots of buzz about that sound like my sort of thing.  This should mean that my at-home reading time can go towards the pile more as well as taking a paperback with me on the train when I have space in my bag.

Will 2017 finally be the year I get the to-read pile under control?  We can but hope.

PS I apologise for the lack of pictures in the posts at the moment – it’s a combination of being away from home, having a sitting room that’s a mass of boxes and dustsheets, and reading lots of e-books which means not a lot of photographic options.

The pile

The Pile: July 2015 update

So. It’s been 11 months since I did an update on the to-read pile. Which is shocking to be frank, because the whole point of this blog when I started was to try to get me to get a grip on the pile and bring it down.  While time has got away from me somewhat, I’ve also been a bit embarrassed that the pile hasn’t really shrunk.  There’s been turn over, don’t get me wrong, but it’s still huge.

The top layer of one of the boxes

But last week I had to pack it all away so that the men could come and replace our windows.  I took the opportunity to have a bit of a weed of the pile – getting rid of books that have been sitting on the pile for ages that I know deep down I won’t get around to and sending them on to the charity shop.  Despite this, the books that I’m waiting to read still took up the vast majority of two 65 litre crates.  Oops.

The book crates
Yes, that really is two 65 litre crates full of books waiting to be read….

Now the windows are done and the post-window cleaning is done (mostly) I’ve unpacked.  I’ve reprioritised the pile – the 40 books that I want to read next (or think I’m likely to read next) are now on the bookshelf next to me, along with the little stack of books I’ve borrowed from people – to remind me to read them.  Then next to the bookshelf is the pile of books that I’ve been sent to review for Novelicious and then next to that are the complicated series of piles that make up the rest of the to-read pile.

to-read bookshelf
The reassembled to-read bookshelf – whith the stuff I think I’ll read first.

I didn’t count how many there are waiting to be read, beyond what’s on the actual shelves, but I think as well as the shelves there’s probably another 50ish hidden out of sight of The Boy.  I’ve been better at not buying books recently – although I’m still on the Janet Evanovich jag and I’ve just discovered Ben Aaronovitch as well which I suspect may not help on the purchase restraint front.  Here’s hoping I can restrain myself a bit and get the pile down to manageable proportions soon!