Monday, May 04, 2009

Musing Mondays-- Is Bigger Really Better?

How many books (roughly) are in your tbr pile? Is this an increasing number, or does it stay stable? Do you ever experience tbr anxiety in the face of this pile?

It's rather odd that the question this week is about our TBR piles. I almost feel as if someone is monitoring my movements. You see, Saturday I took everyone on a tour of my TBR shelves. (I've found piles to be very hazardous to toes, so all my books are on shelves.) I have roughly 27 feet of shelves devoted to my TBR books. If anyone wants to know how many books that is, they're welcome to scroll down to my post and count the books on the shelves in the photos!

My TBR books used to be an ever increasing number, but I've managed to stabilize the total a bit. By joining Paperback Swap, I'm sending books from my library on to new "foster homes", and as I finish reading books from my TBR shelves, I'll post them to my bookshelf for other PBS members to request. Hmmm...I think I got my maths and percentages a bit wrong.... Although the total number of books in my library is actually decreasing, the percentage of books that are "TBR" is actually increasing.

My TBR shelves do not cause me any sort of anxiety. The only time they would is if my TBR stash comprised less than a dozen books. I love having a wide variety of books on hand to read. I'm a mood reader, so I never know just what sort of book I'll be ready to sample.

Thanks to Rebecca of Just One More Page for hosting this meme. If you'd like to see others' answers to this week's question, click on the Musing Mondays graphic at the top of this post!


  1. I don't have a large TBR pile - or a very large one - depending on which way you look at it. When I buy a book I think I want to read, it goes on my shelves (unless I start reading it straight away). So, my shelves hold pretty much all my TBRs. Next to my bed are only 2-3. Any more and I get anxious. If I read the ones next to my bed, or I feel like starting something new, I cruise my shelves (2 large ones in the lounge room and four medium ones in the family room...)
    Library books live under the coffee table until I am ready to read them.
    BTW - I have absolutely no qualms about not finishing a book....
    Kate in Capalaba Queensland, Australia

  2. I love using feet as the unit of measurement rather than number of books. Somehow 27 feet of TBR books sounds so much less daunting than say, 250 books :)

    I am with you, though, I would be more concerned if I only had a few books left to read; I crave variety.

  3. Like you, I do not piles of books. They have to be on shelves. This might have something to do about order, not that I;m a very tidy person but the piles of books on the floor or on the tables somehow give me an impression of chaos (i'm weird like that). I do however experience anxiety sometimes because i ave soooooo many books on my TBR shelves and i worry that I won't be able to read them all sometimes.

  4. I have piles, I have shelves, I have doubled shelved books....and they all make me very happy, not anxious in the least.

  5. Since you're so organized, I figured you'd know exactly how many books are in your TBR pile at any given time.

  6. I'm with you; I only get anxious when my TBR pile gets too small! A lot of the books I'm waiting to read are double-stacked or lying sideways on top of other books on my shelves. Some aren't even in my house, but on lists for the library. One is on my calendar, because we have to get the new Percy Jackson book this Tuesday when it comes out!

  7. It is not until you begin to compare that you realize how small yours is, is it?

    A few months ago I didn´t know that real book lovers owned hundreds of books they hadn´t read yet. I am building up a TBR - but very slowly. Usually I buy 3-4 books per month and read twice as many so I am very dependent on the local library.

    But I have c 15 books waiting for me, and no time to read any of them in May so 1-2 feet...

  8. I love my large TBR shelves and boxes. Some days it is so fun to go through them and come up with little gems that I might have forgotten about. I keep them all on a spreadsheet - but looking at the covers - seeing what catches my eye - great way to spend a Sunday afternoon if I am not reading.

  9. Me too - the only time I would ever worried was if my TBR pile was small. Having a great big stash of books makes me feel very comfy and secure ... Mind you, I don't have nearly as many books in my pile as you do!!

  10. According to LibraryThing where I keep track with my "TBR" tag, I have 906 books currently on my TBR shelves. I figure at roughly 100 books a year, I've got nine years' of reading ahead of me. That doesn't make me nervous; it makes me happy.

    Of course, the number isn't static. More books come into the house every week.

  11. I feel compelled to come out on this one: I have TBR pile anxiety ( ugh, sounds vaguely like hemorrhoids.)
    Those books waiting for reviews squat on their designated shelf behind my desk, boring holes into my back and admonishing me for not reading them. It takes me ages to read and review each one, even though they are all children's books. And I feel guilty for making publishers and authors wait for my review!

    I am a hopeless case, and hopelessly out-classed in the face of all this commenting confidence.

  12. Kate--I have absolutely no qualms about not finishing a book myself. Life's too short. Thanks for stopping by!

    Molly--You're right! 27 ft. does sound much better than 250.

    Lilly--I've always found that, if your house is "picked up" when unexpected company drops in, they'll be much less likely to notice any latent dust. ;) Also--I'd much rather run out *before* my TBR stock does!

    Caite--Don't sweat the small stuff, eh? :)

    Kathy--See? I *can* be unpredictable!

    Jeanne--Another vote for "too small" anxiety. Thanks for stopping by!

    Dorte--I think I started something here: don't count individual books, count them by the foot! LOL

    Kara--I like looking through mine, too!

    Belle--That's just a drop in the bucket. You should see all the rest of my bookshelves!

    "Rose"--TBRs should never be a static number, should they? :)

    Susan--Looks as though you need to develop some selective hearing!


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