The to-be-read pile: It’s something that every avid reader I know has. There are all sorts of landscapes to be found on the slopes of this mountain for avid readers. My own contains plenty of mystery, science fiction, horror and thrillers, but also contains books on sports, on music, on wine, on history…I don’t even know what’s in it anymore. Only the parts I can see, which are heavy on Deaver, Connelly, Child, King, Grafton and Evanovich. I don’t have a clue how many books are in the pile anymore. The only thing I know for sure is that it got a whole lot bigger when I got my Kindle Fire, and while I’m pretty sure most of the content is genre fiction, I haven’t a clue how many unread books there are on that device either.
Before I got married in ’98, I lived a bachelor’s life. I had a small house with three small bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen, and one bedroom was my “music studio” with my keyboards and guitars and an old Tascam Portastudio that recorded four tracks on a cassette. Another was my library and writing room, where my bookshelves contained my nicer hardcovers and double rows of paperback books. Then there was my bedroom. I wish I had a picture of the mess that it was. For a booklover, the mess was sort of beautiful. There were books everywhere. Stacks lined the far walls of the room to a height of about half the distance between the windows and the floor. At least three feet of books (the windows were small and set high), with the columns of the paperbacks lining the walls. I don’t know how many there were. I know that I never got to most of them, and I still have most of them, boxed, in my basement (though a few made the trip to the attic at my office).
Now my TBR stacks are confined to shelves in the basement, in my bedroom, and in our home office. I don’t know the count, but I’d guess thirty in the bedroom, thirty in the office, and another million or so in the basement. Oh, and then there are the ones next to my bed, in the drawers of my nightstand where they are out of sight if not out of mind. And three or four sitting on top of the nightstand, still IN sight, and still IN mind. Oh, and I forgot the stack that’s here at my dental office. Probably less than twenty here.
The Kindle has made it easy for me to pile books on Mount TBR, because the guilt about the sheer number of books is easier to deal with. Also the cost is significantly less. There are only a couple of authors I buy when they release a new book (King and Coben, though F. Paul Wilson’s Repairman Jack series was on that list until it was finished). The rest either get bought off the bargain bins, or when I have a coupon to supplement my 10% B&N discount. I still have quite the physical Mount TBR, but the virtual mountain is growing by leaps and bounds.