One Way to Read the TBR books
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Anyway, I find it somewhat successful for picking books to read off the shelves which I have an interest in reading, but they have sat there so long without making a sound, that I skip over them to the new, shiny, noisy and demanding books instead.
I pick a theme for a month, for instance, October's theme would be anything with "scary" words in it, or Halloween related, so for instance, Hallowe'en Party by Agatha Christie works, as does Witches of Lychford by Paul Cornell, but so does The Spirit of St. Louis by Charles A. Lindbergh. In other words, the book doesn't have to be scary, only the title has to relate to the theme in my head.
I can't do this every month, but a couple of months in the year have helped me read some of those languishing titles in the back rooms and bottom shelves.
Here's our wiki with this year's themes. Might give you some ideas!
One exception: my copy of The Group is literally falling apart - correction, already has - held bound together with an elastic. Not sure if I'm going to read that copy or not, it's more like a placeholder in my collection until I get a better one.
Another method is grouping unreads by theme, and cycling through those themes. I discovered I'd collected a lot of historical fiction taking place in India, so I arranged them chronologically and read one per year for several years to get through them. I've sometimes done the seasonal thing: A Christmas Carol in December, The Wars in November (in Canada that's when our Memorial Day lands), etc.
Last time it sort of worked the theme was "Dancers... in... SPAAAAAAACE!"
(ETA: if you know any titles that fit the theme I would be more than happy to acquire them...)
All I could come up with was square dancing. Because, you know, a square has space in it.
Last year when I tried this, I did it for a month or so, but then petered out. I don't like to force my reading anymore.
I have divided my TBR books into topic/genre groups. Sort of.
There are the mystery books, the stack of fantasy books of a paperback size and the mega-door-stop fantasy stack.
Then there is a whole bookcase in my livingroom of hardbacks, not really sorted, just not fantasy or murder. Another bookcase in my den of paperbacks, again, not sorted, just not murder or fantasy.
In the guest bedroom are the American western histories and novels, and in my bedroom another bookcase of random hardcover, mostly nonfiction, but not all.
I also have a shelf of classic Romantic literature, and some others which are a set (Percy, Byron, Shakespeare, and many others). Who knows if I will ever get to them, but I am dabbling in Shakespeare for the last three years and enjoying it very much. Of course when I read a play, I then have to watch two or three performances of said play if they can be found. This may take awhile.
Sometimes I go to one of those places and do a random count to pick a book to read. Random meaning where I start counting from, because the answer is always 42.
I really want to read The Three Musketeers before the end of this year, so I need to come up with a theme for November or December to include it. Numbers is a bit bland.
I'm thinking that since I celebrate Thanksgiving in November, my theme will be Holy. Three is the number of the Trinity, hence, Three Musketeers will fit. Last year I went with anything "food" but limited myself to no more than one cookbook and two food writer's. Last year I read Food of the Gods in November. :) I could reread it this year, with that title, but I won't. Once was enough.
Unlike >8 macsbrains:, my caveat is that the books must come off my TBR shelves, otherwise it's no fun. I also don't worry if I don't get through the stack of eight or nine books I choose, they just go back on the shelves for another round another year.
This year I'm including at least two books a month from my Kindle, because have you seen my stack of TBR books on my Kindle?! No, nobody else has, either. But they are there. Waiting. Over 600 of them.
I think it's about time to reorganize again and separate out the TBRs. Maybe I'll try something like >5 PhaedraB:, and sort by something arbitrary like size, colour, or title if I can't restrain my alphabetization urges, then just start reading at the first book. Then if I consistently find myself skipping a certain book, I'll know it's one that could probably be rehomed. Maybe I'll even mix the fiction and nonfiction books together.
>9 MrsLee: Last year when I tried this, I did it for a month or so, but then petered out. I don't like to force my reading anymore.
Same. That's another reason it doesn't usually work for me. I really have to be in a mood for a book or I will do everything except read it. The whole dancers in space thing happened because I had read a handful of books off my shelves that were fantasy with dancers, and then wanted a more science fictional take. I acquired several, read one or two and then I was in the mood for something else, but I know this is a theme I'll frequently revisit.
For Musketeers theme -- perhaps books where the characters have stylish hats? Or, I don't know if the book if it's swashbuckley, since I have not read it, but I just finished reading Sabatini's Captain Blood so swashbucklers came to mind.
>13 lorax: I have to start doing something like that. Anything to let the more interesting ones float to the top, rather than be at the bottom of the 5-stack deep pile taking up one whole side of the room.
ETA: This will definitely include one of my western history books. Cowboy hats are the epitome of stylish here, and the more worn, the more stylish.
Just dooo eeet.
Eeet is awesome!
So get the lead out.
That is all.
So, here's what I came up with last night after a quick tour of my shelves for my theme, "Stylish Clothing." Changed from hats due to the paucity of hat-like books or titles, and discovery of several other articles of clothing which intrigued.
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Duma - first read in November
Seven League Boots by Richard Halliburton
Lone Cowboy by Will James (cowboy hat)
The Apprentice by Jacques Pépin (on cover is a photo of author in his chef's hat)
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (witches are notorious for their hats, at least fictional ones)
Hand in Glove by Ngaio Marsh
Hood by Stephen R Lawhead - Kindle
I'm not including my audio reads in the themes, because for them I am going to the oldest books purchased which I've not read and reading forward.
Don't think I'll make it through that whole stack in one month, but no worries. The point is fun, not pressure. :)
I'll try to remember to look for it and send you a link.
Review here - http://www.librarything.com/work/211970/reviews/134083593
It was awesome.
And yeah, Dumas was a machine. How he wrote all that while having a family and many mistresses is incredible. (I guess one forces the other since he had to support them all!)