A refrain that is often declaimed in the shop, ‘Oh why am I buying more books? I have so many on my ‘To Be Read’ Pile!’ (TBR). I often quip in return, ‘Well, it’s not like they go off!’ And it’s true - the books will sit and wait patiently for you to be in just the right mood to pick it up, dive in and be off on some sort of an adventure.
As many of the regular knows, my entire living room wall is my TBR pile. It’s constantly changing, as I read through some, start some and discard, start some and keep for when I’m more in the mood, and as always for book lovers, adding more titles to the shelves. Although there’s a high turn-over, there are some books that have been sitting there for more than two years. In fact, in the case of at least three titles - before I even took over Dog Eared Books!
I used to feel guilty about this. What’s wrong with me? Why I don’t pick up Frankenstein by Mary Shelley? I mean, I own a bookshop - shouldn’t I want to read the classics all the time? And the truth is, yes I want to read the classics, but not all the time. There have been some books that have sat in my TBR Pile for more than five years, but when I finally picked it up - it was perfect, I was ready for it. Emotionally prepared and ready to give it the brain space it deserved. So although I do have to be a little discerning sometimes, (otherwise it would get completely out of control), if I know that one day I really will read it. And if every time I walk past it, I smile in anticipation of that day - then it’s worth keeping.
Which brings me to the discussion of keeping books you know you’re never going to read again… but that’s for another day!