Booking Through Thursday: The rest are still… unread

booking_through_thursIt’s been a while since I’ve jumped into Booking Through Thursday, but I’m playing along this week! Here’s the challenge:

“So here today I present to you an Unread Books Challenge. Give me the list or take a picture of all the books you have stacked on your bedside table, hidden under the bed or standing in your shelf — the books you have not read, but keep meaning to. The books that begin to weigh on your mind. The books that make you cover your ears in conversation and say, ‘No! Don’t give me another book to read! I can’t finish the ones I have!’ “



Still need to rearrange some, but much better

Um, I need to read these.

I feel moderately okay just posting almost all of my new bookcase because the vast majority of the books there are unread! When I was setting up my shelves two weeks ago, I placed pretty much everything I’d read on the very top shelf. A few of those mass market paperbacks haven’t been flipped through yet, but I have them organized — and know just which ones they are!

In the center, the only books I’ve read are four of the five Megan McCafferty books — the Jessica Darling series — seen in just about the very center of that shelf. What else do I have there? Well, just because I love lists and can’t stand to pass up the opportunity to make one, let’s take a walk through my bookcase . . .


Select Unread Books from Meg’s Bookcase

1. Robyn Sisman, Summer In The City
2. Jennifer Donnelly, A Northern Light
3. Liz Tuccillo, How To Be Single
4. Ann Brashares, 3 Willows: The Sisterhood Continues
5. Carrie Adams, The Stepmother
6. Anna Quindlen, Rise And Shine
7. Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
8. Andrea Levy, Small Island
9. Geraldine Brooks, People Of The Book
10. John Green, Paper Towns
11. Meg Cabot, Airhead
12. Meg Cabot, She Went All The Way
13. Lisa McMann, Wake
14. Jhumpa Lahiri, Unaccustomed Earth
15. Barbara Delinsky, For My Daughters
16. E. Lockhart, The Boyfriend List
17. Cecelia Ahern, If They Could See Me Now
18. Sydney Salter, My Big Nose And Other Natural Disasters
19. Laurie Halse Anderson, Wintergirls
20. Linda Gerber, Death By Bikini
21. Jane Porter, The Frog Prince
22. Meg Waite Clayton, The Wednesday Sisters
23. Jane Dawkins, Letters From Pemberley
24. Pamela Aiden, An Assembly Such As This: A Novel of Fitzwilliam Darcy
25. Adriana Trigiani, Very Valentine


I could continue on, but I’m starting to stress myself out! So many fantastic books I’ve been meaning to get to forever, but I never seem to have the time to grab them. I’m hoping to pick up my reading speed in the very near future . . . we’ll see. Until then, I’ll savor what I’ve got while it’s in my hot little hands!

I’m wrapping up The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer tonight — and my (rave) review should be posted tomorrow! Then it’s on to finish Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange and Meg Cabot’s Size 12 Is Not Fat. I actually have about 100 pages of each read . . . I’ve started this annoying habit of getting halfway through a book and then deciding to start another. I guess I should work on that, too!

New bookcase!

Before!

Before!

I can’t begin to say how ecstatic I am over my new bookcase — a piece of pure genius from none other than IKEA! With the help of my charming and insistent sister, I spent Saturday evening cleaning out my bedroom and getting rid of stuff I’ve probably had sitting on shelves for, oh, 15 years or so (I only wish that were an exaggeration).

The impetus for all of this? The fact that the stacks of books I’ve accumulated since the fall had really begun to take over the entire space. At one point I could contain them to sitting in front of another bookcase I had — that one already being full, of course — but the disease quickly spread . . . and my literature started to close in on me! Not to mention anyone lightly brushing against any of the books was likely to have them all fall on their foot in one big avalanche.

But now? The room is organized, Dad and I made a spur-of-the-moment trek up to College Park, Md. to get my giant Billy Bookcase and my library is tidy, neat and in order! I feel so excited just looking at everything in a row. I’ve never been entirely OCD, but I didn’t realize how bad the situation had become until it was being remedied. And now I can breathe easy, knowing that everything has a place! I can’t even remember the last time I felt so together. This is all very great news! I even have a small shelf completely dedicated to the books I’m due to review in the coming months.

A few shots of my new bookcase . . . isn’t Billy grand?

After!

After!

Still need to rearrange some, but much better

Still need to rearrange some, but much better

New review/borrowed book shelf

New review/borrowed book shelf

Musing Mondays: Oh, that TBR mess

musing_mondays Here’s this week’s question:

As a follow up to last week’s question, Joseph asked how you keep track of your TBR list. Do you have a paper list or on your computer? Do you take it with you when you go shopping? How do you decide what gets added to it?

My TBR stack, circa February '09. It's now... bigger.

My TBR stack, circa February '09. It's now... bigger.

Oh my! I’d love to say there’s an absolute method to my TBR madness, but that may not be true. I mean, I do have some steps in place . . . like, say, reading a ton of blogs, looking for books that appeal to me and then adding them to my BookMooch wishlist. This usually works pretty well! It’s in a list format, which I love, and it’s easy for me to see if something I want will become available that way. BookMooch just tells me.

But many newer books are hard to get your hands on, so I typically put those on a separate list in BookMooch — my “saved for later.” I scout around LibraryThing, too, and check out what might appeal to me based on the recommendations of other users. That’s really how I find my books! I just listen for and read recommendations online, and talk books faithfully with friends and coworkers.

When I go shopping for books in the ol’ brick-and-mortar stores, I usually do take a little snippet of paper with some of those TBR titles on it — though I’m more likely to just go in looking for one book, take a coupon and be on my way! I’m known to grab books on a whim, though, based on cover art and/or the synopsis. I’m pretty bad about that, actually. Before I buy a book, I really try to do some research on it . . . checking it out on blogs, reading reviews on LibraryThing or Amazon. But every now and then, a book just speaks to me from one of the little themed tables at Borders! And I’ve found some great literature that way. Probably things I would have never chosen had I really thoroughly “researched” them, but books I love all the same!

And as you can see above, once something is officially added to my TBR stack — when the book is in my hot little hands — it just goes in the stack. There’s no rhyme or reason to the stack . . . I have too little room to actually organize it. At one point, I was trying to put quality paperbacks on the left and mass markets on the right, but that soon became too much to keep up with. Now, I just throw the next batch on top and pray it doesn’t topple over!

Bookshelf update

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My bookshelf is more organized than it has been in forever! Mostly because I have this on the floor nearby:

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But it feels good to have it mostly separated out. The above shot is part of my “to be read” stack, while the bookshelf contains only my beloved, finished novels. I’m in the middle of Elizabeth Berg’s Joy School now . . . I’ll hopefully have that finished tonight with a review to come later in the weekend. We’ll see how ugly the weather is, and whether or not it all keeps me house-bound!

This is getting ridiculous

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To be read

And this is only part of it.

I reiterate to scold myself publicly — I joined BookMooch to clear off my shelves and make room in my room. And now look at the mess I’ve made . . .

Is it bad that looking at that massive stack actually gives me a little anxiety? Like I’m never going to catch up on all of the delicious books that are out there, just waiting for me to stumble across them?

Musing Mondays: Planning ahead

musing_mondays A chilly Monday here in Maryland! Here’s this week’s question:

How long do you wait after finishing a book before you pick/start another one? How many books do you have planned ahead or do you pick up random books from your tbr pile (if you have one)? Do you review right away or keep reading and come back to it later?

I’m pretty obsessive-compulsive about this — I always have another book lined up to be read. Typically I set down the book I’ve most recently finished and immediately pick up the next one, usually a novel I’ve set aside for the express purpose of reading it as soon as I’m finished with my current book! My TBR stack is pretty massive, and I typically “categorize” them according to my moods. If I’ve read a pretty heavy book, I’ll usually head to the stack to look for something a little more fun and light. I usually plan ahead for the next three books or so, and then leave the rest up to fate!

When reviewing, I typically blog and update my info on LibraryThing the day after finishing a book. It’s something I love to do, so I don’t put it off! By that point I will have almost always started the next novel, but the continuity of it all is partially what makes it so fun!

Too many long-lusted-after novels

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A fraction of my “to be read” stack, which is slowly — or very quickly — becoming out of control. I thought that after I joined Book Mooch and started to clear out some of my older books to make room for new ones, I’d actually be coming out ahead. More space, less clutter, and the hope of new books eventually meandering into my room to be enjoyed — someday?

Well, it didn’t quite happen that way. I went a little crazy. Got a little cocky. As I was sending out more and more books to Moochers all over the country and earning more and more points to get new books in return, I started . . . ordering more books. Book after book after book. As I added titles to my wishlist and watched it grow, as soon as a long-lusted-after novel became available I snatched it up like a wanderer coming across a cool drink of water in the Sahara. I couldn’t get enough.

And now I’m right back where I started — with a million books to read and a million more on their way into my house and office. Of course, I sort of love that, too . . . but the pressure is on to keep reading. I don’t know if anyone else ever gets that nagging feeling at the base of their skull that they’re just not reading fast enough . . . that there are way too many books sitting there, waiting to be discovered and discussed and digested, and far too little time to actually get through them all. There is a certain amount of stress associated with my TBR stack getting way too extensive. And I’m starting to feel like I’ve overextended myself a bit!

Though too many books is way better than the alternative.

I’m in the middle of Sandra Kring’s Thank You For All Things and know I should be much farther along than I am . . . I just need to buckle down.

Or simply succumb to the chaos!

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Pained photo by Rick the Sportswriter 🙂