Nailing the TBR Pile of Dreams by SJV
Writing this column on the morning commute, as I often do, with 37 novels I really REALLY want to read loaded on my kindle and a (OK, many more than just ‘a’) reading pile of over 100 books at home begging to be read and threatening to topple any minute, I’m struck by the Alanis Morissette nature of the situation.
Like 97%* (*not scientific fact) of the female population I work full time, spend 3 hours a day on the commute, do the lion share of household chores and am in charge of all the incidentals that make up a life – remembering birthdays, remembering to buy the cards and the gifts and make the Happy Birthday/Happy Anniversary/Happy Mother’s Day/Happy Easter/Happy fricking Christmas plans, holidays (researching, planning, booking, photographing), dinner parties, coffee dates, date night, ‘out’ plans, ‘out out’ plans, remembering to remember to call the window cleaner, the optician, the dentist, the evil hygienist, book the theatre tickets, the cinema tickets, the ‘what was that thing you wanted to see?’ tickets, book Ocado and remembering to not let the orchid die.
And because of all that, and fitting in the baths and the hair taming, and the ‘and’, and the other ‘ands’, and a million other smaller ‘ands’ that are too blah to bother listing, I’m mindful of the non-mindful nature of my life.
There are a handful of things that make up the list of my favourite things in the whole wide world I like to do more than the other million things that vie for my attention. And very near the top, if not at the absolute pinnacle, is READ. So why the sweet baby Jesus am I finding it near impossible to keep on top of the TBR Pile of Dreams at the moment?
I’ll tell you shall I?
There. I said it. If, like me, you’re a fan of commercial women’s fiction, there are many more great authors writing many many more great books aimed squarely at us, than there ever has been in the history of the genre. Just look at the shelves of your chosen book shop, look at the bestseller charts, the ebook promotions. Heaving with top draw, top quality novels just screaming BUY ME! So I do. Every last one of them.
Cause I love them. I can’t resist them. The sparkly ones. The intriguing ones. The paperback editions of the hardbacks I’ve already bought. The ones I’ve been lucky enough to be sent a proof of. The special edition print ones of the ebook editions I’d already bought. The failsafe authors I love, the debut authors I fancy trying, the so-much-hype-I-can’t-resist-getting-on-board ones…
So listen, next time someone berates you, judges you, bullies you or belittles you for not reading every single book on your shelf, do as I did recently. Laminate a little card that says ‘I can be clean and remember your birthday or I can have my TBR pile under control, but I can’t do both, sorry’