Tonight I gathered up my unread books in a pile on my bed. It was smaller than I thought – 30 books. You see, despite my passion for reading, up until fairly recently I didn’t buy books very often. I pretty much only bought things I’d already read and adored, in case I wanted to re-read it. They were almost always used copies. I acquired all the rest of my reading material through the public library where I work. I was there almost every day, surrounded by almost any kind of book (in the system) that struck my fancy. So I told myself that buying books was unnecessary and frivolous. I know, it sounds a little weird to me as I type it. But I was okay with this system for a long time.
Sometime after the birth of my son, almost five years ago, I started buying books. I viewed it as a way to treat myself. I realized that in the grand scheme of things, buying books was a relatively cheap splurge. I also told myself that by buying books, I was supporting a vital industry that needed all the help it could get. As my son has grown, and become a reader himself, he and I regularly go to Barnes and Noble on weekend nights while my husband works (he’s a bar manager.) Unsurprisingly,we both almost always come away from B&N with books!
30 unread books in a book blogger’s house is definitely on the small side. Nevertheless, I am really excited to dive in as part of the TBR Triple Dog Dare Challenge hosted by James. I’m reading two of my 30 books right now (Housebound by Elizabeth Gentry and The Progress of Love by Alice Munro.) One thing that strikes me about my TBR pile is the overwhelming amount of fiction. Only two of the titles are nonfiction: Glory Days: Bruce Springsteen in the 1980s by Dave Marsh and My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead. I do tend to read about 65% fiction to 35% nonfiction, but apparently I still get my nonfiction from the library. I wonder if I’ll have to read one or two of my husband’s nonfiction titles during the Challenge just to keep from getting burned out on fiction. Is that allowed? (Note: I’m the boss. I’m allowing it.)
I have done some book purges over the years, and gotten rid of things that I decided I wouldn’t ever read. I am positive that if I didn’t work in a library, I would have many, many more unread books lying around. My virtual TBR (on Goodreads) is over 500 titles. Out of curiosity, how many unread books are sitting on your shelves?