One Way to Read the TBR books

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One Way to Read the TBR books

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lokakuu 16, 2017, 8:45am

This is not my idea, it came from somewhere here. I know there is a whole group dedicated to reading themed titles.

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.

lokakuu 16, 2017, 8:54am

>1 MrsLee: Over in the Category Challenge we have a Random challenge. Each month a person posts a different random theme, and then you pick books off your TBR/wishlist to match. This month's theme was dark books, which could be a book with a dark word in the title. Next month, the theme is words related to traffic or mobility. I find it helpful when someone else picks the theme for me because they always pick something I might not have come up with myself.

Here's our wiki with this year's themes. Might give you some ideas!

lokakuu 16, 2017, 9:14am

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 16, 2017, 10:02am

My way around "shiny new" is to keep a simple text file list of unread books to remind me what titles I have left. Then I'm picking/rearranging from that instead of the books themselves, and it becomes content first, looks second. I guess I could remember pretty well what condition each of them are in, but I manage not to do that most of the time.

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.

lokakuu 16, 2017, 1:18pm

When I moved earlier this year I put one bookcase in the bedroom which contains nothing but TBR. When I unpacked books after the move, I shelved them by size, small to large and then large to small on a succeeding shelf, figuring I'd arrange the properly later. But I haven't. Now I'm working through the TBR by simply starting at one end of the top shelf and reading whatever comes next. Right now it's mass market paperback pulp fiction, but I'm almost to the trade paperbacks on that shelf.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 16, 2017, 3:56pm

I've tried this occasionally, and it works sometimes, but more often it leads to me acquiring books on a theme, rather than getting them read...

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...)

lokakuu 16, 2017, 4:11pm

>7 MarthaJeanne: I actually have green checkmarks next to all of them except the two out of my genres.

lokakuu 17, 2017, 12:15am

>6 macsbrains: I asked my husband. He said he has heard of Space Opera, but not Space Ballet.

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.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 17, 2017, 7:43am

>8 macsbrains:, Change "dancers" to "dancing" and you get a longer list; how about this one?

>9 MrsLee:, I suggest "Books that have Musketeers in the title"

lokakuu 17, 2017, 8:41am

>10 Cecrow: Perhaps too specific? lol

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.

lokakuu 17, 2017, 11:11am

For fiction, I switch back and forth between keeping my unread books shelved alphabetically by author along with the books I've already read, and putting them on separate shelves, usually arranged more or less by subject or genre. Right now read and unread are shelved together, with bright pink flags on the TBRs. Unread nonfiction is always shelved separately from read.

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.

lokakuu 17, 2017, 11:18am

Every so often, I just take my TBR Collection on LT, sort by date added so that the oldest are first, and read something from the first page (I have 20 books per page.) If I absolutely cannot find anything from those 20 books that I want to read, I need to put one in the giveaway pile instead, figuring if it's been that long and I have zero interest then I should admit I'm never going to read it.

lokakuu 17, 2017, 11:52am

I use Currently Reading to keep a balance between books I've bought new, second hand books, and library books. When I get through most of a set I set up a new group. Except when I cheat like yesterday.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 17, 2017, 12:05pm

>10 Cecrow: Alas, those are mostly children's books. I have the sff ones covered. I have these tags on my tagwatch on the LT homepage.

>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.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 17, 2017, 3:55pm

>15 macsbrains: Stylish hats! I like it! When I have time I'll see what I can come up with off my shelves for that theme. Hmmm, I wonder if any of my titles would fit? Meaning the titles themselves, not the stories. Rats. I have to go back to work now when all I want to do is look through my shelves for stylish hats. :)

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.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 17, 2017, 8:16pm

Read Musketeers!

Just dooo eeet.

Eeet is awesome!

So get the lead out.

That is all.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 18, 2017, 9:18am

>17 Bookmarque: Well, I have actually read it once, in an audio format, several years ago. I'm afraid I didn't love it, so I'm hoping the print version will sit better. Not sure I have the best translation though after the discussion about it in the Green Dragon Pub. Ah well. It is a lovely looking book. :)

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. :)

lokakuu 18, 2017, 9:18am

That sounds like a good plan. I really need to read some of mine, too, and so in honor of your Musketeers commitment, I'll add Chicot the Jester also by Dumas to my November book pile. Jesters have style, too, right?

lokakuu 18, 2017, 9:19am

>19 Bookmarque: So much style!

lokakuu 18, 2017, 12:54pm

>18 MrsLee: I am impressed by the variety of titles you found for the theme! They run the gamut of genres too. I ought to read my copy of The Three Musketeers as well, though, now that you mention it, I wonder about what kind of translation I have. I am usually very picky about that kind of thing, but this one came into my library through roundabout means. If the Green Dragon did a thread about it I'll have to dig it up.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 18, 2017, 1:07pm

Kind of a nonstarter theme for my pile. While it might crop up unbeknownst to me, the only titles I could reliably select would be Vanity Fair and The Ladies' Paradise.

lokakuu 18, 2017, 1:40pm

>21 macsbrains: I think the discussion was at the beginning of one of my reading threads there this year. Possibly the first one of the year? Or dare I say the last one of last year? Time flies when you have a lot of TBRs!

I'll try to remember to look for it and send you a link.

lokakuu 19, 2017, 9:53am

Ok, I must not have been in the right head space for Chicot the Jester, but now I dive back in where I left off, I love it. The drama! The crazy dialog! Swordfights. Assignations. A delirious dream. Or was it? Great stuff. Maybe it's that I just read a chapter out loud. Sometimes that wakes me to the language and how lovely it is and so different to how we write and speak now. I'm happy that I picked it up again. It's the second in a trilogy and so very, very Dumas.

lokakuu 24, 2017, 11:14am

OK, so I read it in October not November, but there is the third book in the trilogy, so I'm still hanging in solidarity, MrsL!

Review here -

It was awesome.

lokakuu 25, 2017, 9:29am

>25 Bookmarque: I never knew Dumas wrote so much! Glad I read your review, it has me all excited to read the Musketeer's story again, perhaps this time with a bit of knowledge of actual history bits.

lokakuu 25, 2017, 10:44am

When I read Musketeers, I kept a journal on my blog. If you want, you can check it out as you go and maybe it will be helpful or at least kind of amusing. It's only 4 posts. -

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!)

lokakuu 25, 2017, 11:00am

Oh and the actual history bits in Musketeers have to do with the death of Louie XIII and the regency of Louis the XIV. Cardinal Richelieu is a force and so is the Queen Mother. Then there is Milady de Winter a most wonderful villain. She is fictional, but other folks like the Duke of Buckingham aren't. It's great stuff and I liked the follow up, Twenty Year After even better. It spends less time introducing everyone and more time with the plot/action.

lokakuu 25, 2017, 2:58pm

>27 Bookmarque: & >28 Bookmarque: Very cool, thanks!