Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The New Zip Code

What is it about the romance genre that causes readers to totally lose their minds?

I am of course talking about monstrous TBR (to be read) piles. Or in my case - the TBR Mountain Range. I'm beginning to think you could see it from space.

I am a librarian, so it figures that I'm obsessed with the printed word. Hell, it's my bread and butter. But why do I keep spending money on books when I literally have others that have been waiting to be read for years. Yes, years.

I've been pondering this quite a bit lately and here are my conclusions:
  1. I discovered romance right after college. College graduate + first real job + disposable income + no more mindless homework + discovering used bookstores = spending spree!
  2. Print runs. Largely a mass market paperback genre, books go out of print quickly, so gosh I better buy it now or I won't be able to find it later!
  3. The blasted Internet! Why oh why did I join all those reader's lists? They keep recommending books and I keep buying.
  4. Reviewing. Never smart. I discovered authors. I glommed backlists. I have less time to read books in my TBR. Stupid Wendy - really stupid.
  5. New job within 2 miles of unorganized UBS. Unorganized = browsing = impulse buying. Stupid Wendy - really stupid.
To make myself feel a little better about my sickness, I've been trying to get better about reading books that have been sitting around for years. So when I'm in between batches of review books (like I am now), I rearrange the TBR and pull out several candidates. Hence, my current read - Badlands Law by Ruth Langan, a Harlequin Historical title that I've had since 2002.

I know - I'm not normal!

Also, I'm toying with the idea of recounting the TBR. I'm not sure I want to do this. Part of me finds the idea horrifying, the other part is morbidly curious. Right now I'm leaning towards just remaining ignorant.


Nicole said...

Oh, counting the tbr pile is horrifying. I used to be one of those people who'd only have on hand maybe a couple dozen, certainly not like the over 250 tbr in just romance!

And yes, reviewing makes it even worse.

shayera said...

i just hide parts of the pile under my bed. no see pile = no pile! simple as that. my pile was temporarily added to last weekend by the donation of some 9 ancient jayne castles by a patron. you know, the candlelight ecstacy ones. and after next weekend, i'll have a lovely great pile of advance reader copies to add to the pile.
i have to move.

Anonymous said...

I too have several large tbr piles and for some of the same reason as you. I am now trying to be more selective in what I buy. Too many books not enought time. Maybe when I retire, but by then my apartment will be overwhelmed with books. This weekend I am going to try to purge some of the books. I hope.

Lilith Saintcrow said...

well, I don't think a big TBR pile is a bad thing. Gives one something to live for, you see. And for me, the TBR is a kind of security blanket; I know I can reach over and fish out another book if I happen to be reading something that Doesn't Quite Move Me. So I think TBR piles approaching the hundreds are a good thing. It's when you have to tunnel through the TBRs to get to the kitchen that it's a bad thing...

Candy said...

Oh my God, Wendy. Your TBR pile grew for the exact same reasons as mine. Reasons number 1 and 3 really hit home.

If you count yours, I'll count mine....

Kristie said...

It's insanity isn't it? Total and complete insanity. But it sure is comforting to know we are not alone, that others suffer from this same thing.

sybil said...

This post is just one more reason why I like you wendy.

It is so nice to know I am not alone in my insanity.