Posted by: Mish | June 24, 2010

A Growing Pile and Library

Reviews by and conversations with fellow bibliophiles have introduced me to numerous books I wouldn’t have been aware of otherwise. Except for finding out an author is a bigot or another reason where I cannot abide by them, it’s rare that a review will change my mind about reading a book or not. I’m more likely to listen to those whose tastes I know well and who know mine. I may like it for reasons someone didn’t and vice versa. Bookworms inside and outside the blogosphere are a large part of the reason my Dread Pile o’Reads is over a hundred books and growing almost weekly. What can I say but they read some really good, fascinating books that pique my interest.

I love having and growing my personal library, but books are in double rows and I don’t have room for another bookshelf in my apartment. I may not be able to read as fast as the Dread Pile grows, but I have been reading the books in it that I already own or borrowed from friends.

Last year I banned myself from buying brand new books, except in the case of a few indy authors I want to support and read sooner than later. As some of you know, the problem is there’s a great used bookstore down my block and I was frequently bringing home books. Many of them were already in the Dread Pile, but a fair number weren’t. They have a good credit system so I’ve gotten better about getting rid of books I don’t need/want to keep to help with the spacial issue.

This year I’ve been truly intent on reading books from my shelves and succeeding. It’s been bloody difficult, especially when walking by my bookstore or other temptations. So far this year I haven’t bought any books…but I have been downloading older books for free. I never claimed to be infallible and loop holes come in handy. As my prize for not making purchases, a friend gave me a stack of books before moving last month. Haha. And for my birthday I’ll be treating myself to a few brand new books by my favourite indy authors.

I’d love to really grow my library here and now, but realize I don’t have the means or the space. Not to sound cliché, but good things come to those who wait. When I have both later down the road, I’ll have an awesome, kick-ass library.

This week’s questions from Booking Through Thursday and Weekly Geeks go hand in hand, at least in my case. If you read book reviews, do they change your mind about reading a particular book or not? What are your habits when it comes to adding books to your reading piles or libraries? How many books are in your TBR pile? How easily do you buy or get rid of books?

And because I felt a minute-long tremor, did anyone feel the earth quake yesterday?



  1. I’d love an answer to wanton book buying. I can’t stop. I get a dozen or so a year free for review, and well, the rest I buy. I did buy a book for my husband earlier in the week, so it was only fair I get one for myself right? Least that is what I keep telling myself.

  2. Heheh. I was commenting on your post while you were commenting on mine.

    It’s hard to cutback or stop an addiction. I know I’ve struggled. What about giving yourself a weekly or monthly allowance of how many books to buy? Or when you have a dozen in your hands buying only six instead? Or say you’ll get something the next time. Unless it’s a used store, there’s a 99.9% chance it will still be there. Maybe think about all the books at home you’ve been wanting to read but never seem to get to? Compromise. And like diets, it’s a good idea to break a rule once in awhile. Of course you deserved a book too! 🙂

  3. I by far find it easier to buy than get rid of a book. I am currently trying to come to reasonable solution for my overflowing bookshelves. I think I have decide to keep those books that I find are treasures (ones that I will re-read, or most definitely want my children to read). The rest I need to part with, but where and to whom is the question now. I am thinking of putting up a giveaway notice on my blog…still pondering that.

    Right now, I am doing pretty good with the books that I already have. I mean, on my summer reading list, I realized that I already own most of the books, which also means they are sitting on my shelf to be read which then means I am going to reduce my TBR pile. Yay. The cool thing, I did not plan my reading list around my already owned books…it just happened that way.

    My goal is to not purchase any more books this summer besides the books that are already on my list (which is just a few). Then, if the summer goes well, I do think I will need to adjust the goal to something a little less stringent, like read such and such number of already owned books before I can purchase one book…something like that. Shall see.
    The truth is…I love buying books. I would rather buy a book than jewelry…true deal.

    As far as reviews go…they do help to put a book on my radar. If I am already interested in a particular book and read a negative review, no…that review does not then deter me from reading said book.

  4. I gave a box of books to a friend’s son who doesn’t like to read. I was hoping he’d find something of interest. Negative. As far as I know he’s only read and liked Harry Potter and Wrinkle in Time.

    Nice your summer reading list happened that way. I planned mine according to which books I own, but there were plenty to choose from.

    I think loving to buy books comes with being a bookworm. Good luck with your goal.

  5. Reviews can and have certainly caused me to look twice at a book I might not otherwise have taken the time with, especially when I get to know a person and can get a feel on how their taste equates to mine, etc.

    I don’t have a true tbr pile, it is all theoretical. I have unread books all over my house and several more on Amazon wishlists or shopping lists saved so that I will remember them.

    Over the past year I’ve been trying to only buy books that I intend to read fairly immediately, with the exception being times when I get big discount coupons, then I usually buy something I know I want for my permanent collection, regardless of how soon I’ll read it.

    The library is used much more for whims. I may hear about a book online or somewhere else and add it to my library queue immediately. Sometimes I’ll actually read it when it comes in but often I don’t get to all my library books. Recently the library added a feature to their website where you can suspend holds…in effect it saves your hold so that you can activate it later. I intend to use it as a running tbr list in the future.

  6. I am on a ban too… I have gone 5 weeks and the only book I have acquired has been through book mooch and it’s a book I read as a teenager so I don’t think it counts…. right?

    I’m trying to get rid of books as I read them too – kinda makes buying them (new especially) kinda pointless but I think I am supporting the careers of various authors and publishers. This reminds me, I have to send Uncle Tom’s Cabin off to Germany tomorrow.

    Ah well – one day we will line our walls with books. That’s what I’d like – every wall just turned into a bookshelf. Good things come to those who wait, as you said!

  7. Carl: I used to keep an Amazon wishlist. Then I started this blog and now my more immediate reading list is here and I use Goodreads.

    Speaking of library books and equating tastes, have you begun Palimpsest?

    Fiona: Right. Congrats on five weeks. Providing support is a great way to look at it. What did you think of Uncle Tom’s Cabin? I’ve been wanting to read it.

  8. Even I want an awesome kick-ass library! I’ve had three book buying bans this year – first one lasted for two months, second one for a month and the third one is on-going at three months. It’s just that on the day of the self-imposed ban, I go ahead and buy about fifteen books – really doesn’t help the cause!!

    PS: I only get rid of books I really really really didn’t like. Even if I thought a book’s “okay,” I will not get rid of it. Issues, issues.

  9. Heheh, we’re our own worst enemies…not that that’s necessarily a bad thing.

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