The January topic for the Show Your Shelves Some Love challenge is "Show Us Your TBR Piles," so I'm sneaking my post in at the eleventh hour. I must admit, I don't just have a TBR pile or a TBR shelf -- it's more like TBR bookcases. I don't shelve my TBR books separately from ones I've already read, so I'm just going to share some photos of our home "library."
|The living room, a.k.a the library room|
|$5 yard sale find that fits mass-markets perfectly|
|My bookcase nightstand|
|My husband's bookcase nightstand|
I'm pretty diligent about updating GoodReads which tells me that of all the books I own, I have 545 books that are TBR (this doesn't count cookbooks or other reference-type books). I know there shouldn't be any shame associated with books or reading, but I can't help being a little embarrassed by that number. And while I've certainly read a lot more books in my lifetime so far, of all the ones in my house, only 159 are ones I've already read. (Yes, I walked around and tallied them up because, why not?) Given my tendency to purge the collection periodically, that number actually isn't as low as I thought it would be. But still, 159 read vs. 545 unread is not exactly the balance I'd like to see in my collection.
Now, I certainly did not buy all 545 of those unread books -- some were gifts, a handful are Kindle freebies, and lots were gotten on trade from used bookstores (I don't know about you, but a 25 cent handling charge doesn't really feel like a "purchase" to me). Not to mention the $1 or $2 library book sale books that just barely count as purchases, if you ask me. Now, how much I spent (or didn't spend) on a book doesn't make it any more or less "worthy" as a reading option, but I was curious to see how many books I read in 2014 that I actually bought. As it turns out, the answer is 15 -- out of a total of 100 books read. And you can be darn sure I purchased WAY more than 15 books last year. Granted, a lot of books read earlier in the year were review copies, so while I didn't buy them, they were physically present in my house and reading them reduced the number of unread books lying around. But given the amount of money I've spent on books, it's a bit ridiculous that only 15% of my reading for a whole year came from books I bought. My other big source of reading material is the library. Don't get me wrong, I love libraries -- they are such amazing resources that I am lucky to have access to, but I think I should probably try to ease up on the library books just a little this year if I want to have a bit more balance.
But regardless of my library borrows, as long as I cut way back on the number of new book purchases this year, I will be one happy camper. I won't feel so bad about my number of unread books or how many I pick up from the library if the number of new purchases doesn't continue to outpace the number of owned books I'm reading. So far, I've stuck to my budget/rules for the year and have only purchased one book for the month of January (OK, OK I also bought one ebook collection of short stories related to a series I'm catching up on, but I read digital so infrequently I'm not sure that even counts? OK, I know it counts, but at least it's not cluttering up my shelves!) And of all my books read so far in 2015, seven have been from my shelves plus three re-reads of books I own, but I listened to the audio from the library instead. I call that progress!
How are you doing on your 2015 challenges or goals so far?