I have over a thousand books on my TBR. Granted, around 200 of those are yet to be published, and another 200 are marked “perhaps” (which essentially means I won’t be getting to them any time soon, if ever), but that still leaves 760 to read. I also have a shelf helpfully labelled as “need to read urgently”, though actually adding books to this shelf doesn’t make me read them any sooner (nor the “read next” shelf).
So I’m starting this kind of series to try help myself organise my TBR shelf (and my perhaps shelf too). I don’t quite know how it’s supposed to help, but I guess we’ll get to that in due time.
I thought about sorting my shelf by date added and going through it like that, but that’s actually how I usually go through it, and probably stops me from taking some off. So, instead, I’m going to sort by genre, firstly what’s on my perhaps shelf and secondly, my to read shelf.
Rating system: how motivated am I to read it (/5) x am I actually interested in the premise (/5). Ranges from 1-25. No, there is probably little logic to how I decide which to keep and which to ditch.
I don’t read a lot of adult contemporary. I don’t enjoy a lot of adult contemporary. Mostly because half of it is just navel-gazing bollocks, and honestly, I need a lot more action (and likeable characters) to keep me interested. But, for some reason or other, these are some books I have at one time thought about reading.
A History of Running Away by Paula McGrath
It’s a book focusing on three women, each in different eras or places. And the cover is gorgeous. But I’m feeling like there’s not much plot going to be happening here. Rating: 4. Verdict: remove.
Moth Smoke by Mohsin Hamid
I really liked the other book by Mohsin Hamid that I’ve read, and this one sounds fairly interesting (even though I don’t usually have all that much interest in reading about mid-life crises). Rating: 9. Verdict: keep.
The Saint of Incipient Insanities by Elif Shafak
I have to admit, I only really added this one to my TBR in the first place because there’s a bi character. But the only book I’ve read by Elif Shafak, I thought was okay, but not much more. However, I do a lot of things for LGBT characters so. Rating: 6. Verdict: keep.
On Black Sisters Street by Chika Unigwe
I’m trying to make an effort to read more diversely, particularly adult lit, so that’s one reason I marked this book to read. At first sight, it doesn’t sound like one I’d really like, but there does seem to be a mystery element to it. Rating: 9. Verdict: keep.
The Zoya Factor by Anuja Chauhan
Okay, so maybe I only marked this one to read because it contains cricket. And maybe it sounds a little bordering on the less-good side, but it also has a kind of hate to love romance and has been rated highly by my Goodreads friends (not that I trust half of them but that’s another matter). Rating: 12. Verdict: keep.
Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
At one point, I marked everything by Benjamin Alire Sáenz to read without really looking at the synopses. Of course, now I slightly regret that, but this one has a gay mc and it’s on Scribd so. Rating: 9. Verdict: keep.
The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon
Once again, I must fess up to adding a book just because there’s a bi mc. I’m easily satisfied, what can I say? Also, this one I do actually own. So maybe I’ll get round to it sometime in the next millenium. Rating: 12. Verdict: keep.
The Crash of Hennington by Patrick Ness
Patrick Ness is one of my favourite authors ever, and I’ve read pretty much everything by him bar his two earliest books, so the likelihood of me not reading this is astronomically small. And I do own it. Rating: 25. Verdict: keep.
Last Summer by Michael Thomas Ford
Charlotte, will you stop adding books to your to read list just because they’re gay? Well, no. I am legally obliged to, you see. I did actually enjoy the YA book I read by this author some time back, but if I think about it, this book doesn’t seem to have that much plot. It’s also been on my TBR for years and I haven’t felt one urge to get to it. Rating: 6. Verdict: it’s gotta go.
The Wandering Falcon by Jamil Ahmad
These sound short story-esque, so the likelihood of me actually reading them has suddenly skyrocketed (uni has absolutely shot my concentration span, I swear). Rating: 8. Verdict: keep.
What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell
Hey look! Another one I added just because it’s gay. Another one where I’m like, I really have just added this because it’s gay and not because it sounds like something I’d enjoy. Like really really, because I just read the blurb again and realised that there is nothing there makes me at all keen to read it. Rating: 1. Verdict: BYE!
A Perfectly Good Man by Patrick Gale
This one I added after I finished watching Man in an Orange Shirt, a BBC miniseries written by Patrick Gale. And also, my dad likes him as an author and me and my dad have fairly similar tastes when it comes to reading (and I did read and like a book of short stories he wrote). Rating: 9. Verdict: keep.
So, in the end, this probably did prove a semi-useful exercise (I removed three of the books I put in this post from my TBR). What about the rest? Have you read any of them? (Can you convince me to read or not read either way?)