As you all know very well, my TBR pile’s huge. Okay, no, that’s an understatement. It’s 840 books ginormeous. Yeah, that’s right: eight hundred and forty freaking books of the about I-don’t-quite-know-whether-that’s-actually-correct 1,730 books I own are unread. That’s almost half of them.
Does it concern me? Not really. I don’t quite care about the numbers. I’m a collector, I collect books – that’s just what I do.
Do I plan on reading them? Why, yes, of course!
Will I ever get around reading them all? If I continue buying like this, probably not.
Am I sure that doesn’t concern me? Well, … sometimes it does, although not necessarily in the way you think it would. Each time I get home to my parents‘ house where 98% of my books currently reside (at the moment, I’m moving a couple of times a year and you really don’t want to pack up and carry around 1,730 books more than once in a very very long time), I’m in awe of how many books I own. It’s a little intimidating, really. Granted, about half of the books are thin horse novels, but that doesn’t mean the sheer amount isn’t striking. In comes what concerns me most: where the hell am I supposed to store the next batch of newbies? If you’d like to take a look at my shelves, here’s your chance. Please be aware that since then, I got about 140 physical books, which haven’t all found a place on my shelves yet.
As you also know, I love any sort of bookish statistics. Just a couple of days ago, I finally finished my wonderful excel spread sheet that tracks my TBR pile. The decisive factor in getting a good overview was the Anti-Age Your TBR Pile challenge hosted by Kermit @ Seitenteich in which I participate since August 1. Basically, you have to read books that’ve been on your TBR pile for ages. For more information, check out my challenge page. (I actually started pretty great, reading three books which I (mostly) disliked and can now get rid of without remorse – more space for new books! YAY!)
Until recently, I just kept track of the monthly increase (really, there’s no decrease in sight; I wonder why I still bother participating in Crini’s TBR Pile Reduction Extreme challenge) and the number of years the books I read over the course of this year had been on my TBR pile. This looks like this:
About half of the books I’ve read so far had been on my TBR pile for just under a year. That might not seem significant at first, but it truly is. Thing is, most of my TBR pile – maybe about 650 books – is considerably older than a year. To keep better track of my pile, I decided to split my TBR by years of purchase. Besides the rather large chunk of books (167) of unknown date of purchase, I now have lists for the years 2005-2014 of varying sizes. At the beginning of the year, I also had one for 2002 and 2004 but I managed to finish them off. If you’d like to check out my TBR pile, you can do so here (2014/08/31):
- 2005 (14)
- 2006 (6)
- 2007 (34)
- 2008 (21)
- 2009 (57)
- 2010 (35)
- 2011 (46)
- 2012 (161)
- 2013 (123)
- 2014 (175)
- Unknown (167)
So, it doesn’t really bother my having a ginormeous TBR pile, but it bothers me that some books have been on my TBR for almost or even more than 10 years. That’s what I really want to change. In comes my handy new spread sheet which tells me how much of my TBR pile I have already read. Currently, this looks like this (in German, we use points and commas the other way round) – please be aware that the number of pages is totally off since I still have to enter the page count in most case:
At the end of the year, I’d like to have read at least 10% of each year’s TBR. At the moment, that means I’ll have to read about 30 more books, but knowing that this years TBR will still increase, I really should get going. Well, then, happy reading, I guess…