I’ve decided to talk about something that most of book lovers have – the TBR pile. What is a TBR pile? TBR stands for to-be-read and it’s basically the pile of unread books that you have. Most book bloggers have mountains of TBR piles. I’ve heard of some who have as many as 3,000 books to as few as 20 books in their pile. I believe most of you are familiar with the saying, “So many books, so little time.” That describes the situation of book bloggers. US and veteran international book bloggers have bigger TBR piles because they get more review copies. I’ve only gotten two or three review copies ever since I started blogging but I don’t mind because I still have way too many books that I want to read. I keep my Goodreads shelf updated and right now, my number is at 179. Not that bad, right? I still want to whittle it down to a more decent number, somewhere below a hundred.
I don’t know why it’s so addicting to collect books. It’s not like I can read all of them at once. Before, I used to say that whenever I see a book that I want in a local bookstore, I feel compelled to get it because I’m afraid it won’t be available in the future. But now that the Book Depository and Better World Books deliver to the Philippines (with free shipping), that shouldn’t be a problem anymore. If a book isn’t locally available, I can always just order it online. However, there are times when a book blogger posts such a glowing review of a book that I can’t help but want to read it right away. Or at the very least, buy a copy. More so if a book creates a lot of buzz in the blogosphere and several of the book bloggers that I follow give it a positive review. Sigh, if only we had decent libraries here then there’s less compulsion for me to buy books.
I’m trying to be better about buying books though because I want to save money and books are my major expense. Whenever I’m tempted to buy a book now, I pause and ask myself if I’ll be able to read it right away because if not, then I can buy in later on. Also, there are books in my pile that have been there since 2007 and I still haven’t read them yet! There are some highly anticipated books that I need to buy the moment they become available because I’ll probably put down whatever book I’m reading to inhale these. I will also make an exception in buying used books because they’re cheaper than new ones. So far, I’ve only bought one book this year and I hope I can keep up with these stringent measures as opposed to my crazy book buying last year. In 2010, I bought around ten to fifteen books per month.
What about you, do you worry about your ever-increasing-TBR pile or you just go with the flow and try not to mind it too much? How many unread books do you have in your pile?