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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

The Great TBR Purge of 2014

The Great TBR Purge of 2014I think part of the reason I’ve been in such a reading slump is because my TBR pile is currently consisting of books that have been there for a long time that I haven’t wanted to read for years. And I’m sure they are wonderful books… but I’ve been looking at them for so long and just haven’t had any desire to get into them – or have tried getting into them, and haven’t gotten past the first or second chapter – that I just want rid of them.

So to remedy this, I decided that it was time for a TBR purge.

I went into this hoping to get rid of half of my TBR pile. I didn’t quite, but it was certainly close! I ended up going through each book I had, reading reviews of the book, reading the blurbs on the back, and flipping through the actual book itself… and I have to say that most of the books I have are ones that I’m quite excited to read. And surprisingly want to read all of them OMG RIGHT NOW.

What have I kept?

419 – Will Ferguson. Ferguson is a wonderful writer. I’ve only read one of his novels, but have read a number of his humour books, and always thoroughly enjoy his writing. So this had to be kept. On LibraryThing.

The Aviary – Kathleen O’Dell. This sounds utterly enchanting! On LibraryThing.

Clara Callan – Richard B Wright. I had a hard time deciding on this one. It’s CanLit, and we all know my responses to CanLit are not always the most positive. But it’s rural Ontario in the 1930’s. Canada during the Great Depression. And it’s supposed to be a great book… but it’s CanLit… On LibraryThing.

Code Name Verity – Elizabeth Wein. Rachel says I need to read this. That is all I need to know. On LibraryThing.

Doubleblind – Ann Aguirre. I read the first in this series and absolutely loooooved it; this book is the third. I need to find the second, but until that time, I won’t be getting rid of this. On LibraryThing.

The Golem and the Jinni – Helene Wecker. I feel torn about this one too. It’s supposed to be phenomenal. And it sounds amazing. But I’ve read the first three chapters and it hasn’t grabbed me yet. Putting it aside for a little bit. On LibraryThing.

The Glasswrights’ Journeyman – Mindy L Klasky. I’ve been meaning to read more non-urban-fantasy fantasy lately. I read the first two in this series, thoroughly enjoyed them, and want to read more. So I’m working on collecting all of the books in the series before restarting them (so I don’t have to wait years between the fourth and fifth books). On LibraryThing.

The Glasswrights’ Test – Mindy L Klasky. This is in the same series as the book above. On LibraryThing.

Howard’s End is on the Landing – Susan Hill. I’m actually in the middle of this one right now and am absolutely loving it. On LibraryThing.

If Hemingway Wrote Javascript – Angus Cross. Oh my goodness! How could I not keep this one?! This looks so seriously awesome! On LibraryThing.

In Spite of Myself – Christopher Plummer. The size of this daunts me… but I bought it (and got it autographed) when Plummer was doing Caesar and Cleopatra at The Stratford Festival. On LibraryThing.

Meggs’ History of Graphic Design Fifth Edition – Philip B. Meggs & Alston W. Purvis. Another utterly daunting book. I bought this when I was still planning on taking the RGD test… now I’m not sure if I will, but I feel like I could always use a refresher on Graphic Design history and theory. On LibraryThing.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs. I’ve heard good things about this one, and have been meaning to read it for years… On LibraryThing.

The Other Book – Philip Womack. I was actually about to put this in the “purge” pile but then reread the back… and the synopsis just made this sound way too good to part ways with. On LibraryThing.

The Pleasures of Men – Kate Williams. I am extremely intrigued by the fact that this got mixed reviews. Especially where people said that they couldn’t put it down but don’t know whether they actually liked it. On LibraryThing.

The Quiet Gentleman – Georgete Heyer. It’s Heyer. ‘Nuff said. On LibraryThing.

Reaper Man – Terry Pratchett. I’ve decided that the Death storyline will be the first one that I work through, so picked this up when I saw it at a used bookstore. Excited to read it – I think that will be soon. On LibraryThing.

Runaways: Parental Guidance – Brian Vaughan & Alphona. This is quite possibly my favourite comic book series. At least it is for the moment. Actually, why is this even on my TBR pile and why haven’t I read it yet? On LibraryThing.

Soul Music – Terry Pratchett. See above note about Pratchett. On LibraryThing.

Sprig Muslin – Georgette Heyer. See my previous comment about Heyer. On LibraryThing.

Stony River – Tricia Dower. I can never say no to a coming of age story, and for all intents and purposes, this one sounded absolutely wonderful. On LibraryThing.

Strange Legacy – Ann Barron. I have had a hard time finding anything out about this book… I picked it up from the apartment take a book leave a book bookcase thing, and it sounds hopefully deliciously gothic. Hopefully. On LibraryThing.

The Swallow: A Ghost Story – Charis Cotter. This is one of my recent acquisitions – from the LibraryThing Early Reviewer program. On LibraryThing.

Where I Belong – Alan Doyle. I am obsessed with Great Big Sea, and have been eying this since Random House first started tweeting about it. On LibraryThing.

What about the TBR List?

I removed between 40 and 50 books from my actual physical TBR List as well… It’s now JUST over 200, which is pretty darn exciting in itself.

Do you ever purge your TBR piles? How do you determine what you keep?

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 1:05 pm November 1, 2014.
Category: Bookish Talk

  • Bibliomama

    No, I never purge my TBR pile. I’m too afraid of getting rid of something amazing. And I think my reading slumps are more generated by picking up crap from the library and then feeling like I need to read it before getting into my TBR pile, so that’s what I need to address. From your Kept pile I have read and much enjoyed 419, Clara Callan, and Miss Peregrine’s.

  • Ashley

    I really enjoyed 419, though it’s much more serious than his others. I don’t tend to purge my TBR, though I may get rid of one or two every once and a while, but if I can’t get into it after a couple tries I’ll get rid of that book.

  • Kyla ” Mommy`s Weird

    I will never forget Stony River. It came to me when I was 21 and needed it. Very dear to my heart. Also stole 419 from my Father in law and plan to FINALLY read it this week. ps I lov Great Big Sea too!

  • Jenn vanOosten

    I only purge a book from the TBR list if I’ve actually started it and it’s been several months and I’m not making any headway. I haven’t read a single book on your updated TBR list – I’ve got some reading to do, apparently!!

  • Mona (Moxie-Dude)

    Awesome list! Also, good on you for purging! Why do we do that – keep things on our to-read, to-do, etc. list? It’s actually OKAY to let go of things. PS. I’m not as brave as I sound. Purging my to-read list is on my to-do list. Not sure if I’ll ever get around to either …