I’m determined to cull my books. The problem is, many of the books I would likely cull are in boxes, stored away to make room for newer books on the shelves and in the, er, more accessible boxes. And the little piles here and there, of books for which I haven’t yet found spaces. (I almost typed “for whom.” Which tells you something about me and books.)
Notice I said nothing about not buying any more books, or refusing books that are given to me. That, I fear, is as far beyond me as flying among the stars on gossamer wings.
Shelves and accessible boxes are separate from my “to be read” pile, which actually consists of six boxes at the foot of my bed and does not include the entire box of short story collections over in the corner. The TBR includes a lot of brand new books as well as an enormous selection of older ones: a stash of category Regency romances by various authors, some contemporary category romances, several large fantasy novels I never got around to reading, books in favorite series I’ve been reading bit by bit, single books by favorite authors who haven’t put out another book so I’m saving the last one, etc.
If I know I’m not going to read a book for years–for instance, Octavia Butler’s Fledgling, because there will never be another book by her, and I want to save it for a special occasion–usually I put it on the shelf instead of in the TBR. Sometimes authors I love beyond reason end up on the shelves, too, unread and waiting for a special day: Sean Stewart’s Perfect Circle is on the shelf, as is Molly Gloss’ The Hearts of Horses, and the newest Karen Joy Fowler, Wit’s End. Some Henry James novels have been waiting their turn for nearly a decade. I don’t really count any of those as part of the TBR, but they’re on the shelf where I can admire them, and gloat that they are waiting to be read.
One of these days, I’m going to take a month’s vacation and spend most of it reading.
Related Post: Reading for the Writer.