We need to talk about: my TBR shelf

To be read shelf

A section of my to-be-read shelf.

I have a TBR shelf – I say shelf, it’s more the front half of my favourites shelf as I don’t have the room for a separate pile. There live all the books (physical copies) I have excitedly bought, but not yet read. They sit there mournfully, silently weeping as they whisper,  ‘read me, Alice’. I am clearly a neglectful book-parent, and should probably lay off the hallucinogens (but that’s a story for another time).

I mentioned before that my online book buying ban had forced me to finally focus on my TBR pile. An ever-growing series of books I was failing to get anywhere near interested in. Again, neglectful book-parent – oh the perils of losing interest after an impulse purchase.

So in the spirit of trying to take an interest in my children, and after reading Charlie’s posted recently on her own mission to tackle her TBR pile, I’ve decided to address my TBR problem.

This is it:

  • Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
  • The Son by Philipp Meyer
  • Flights of Love by Bernhard Schlink
  • The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
  • Summer Lies by Bernhard Schlink
  • Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
  • HHhH by Laurent Binet
  • The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan
  • Guilt About the Past by Bernhard Schlink
  • Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières
  • A Special Providence by Richard Yates
  • Children of Men by P. D. James
  • The Past is Myself by Christabel Bielenberg
  • The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family by  Mary S Lovell

And those are just my physical copies, there are tons more on my Kindle!

It’s getting to the point where I have waited so long to read some of them (sorry, P. D. James) that I don’t know whether it is better to give them away to a more loving home. Book-adoption, mayhaps? ….. Nah!

Where should I begin reading? (Although, considering my Mitford obsession I think we all know where I will probably start. That or Lean In.)


10 thoughts on “We need to talk about: my TBR shelf

  1. I have a few of the same books on my TBR pile. I have had Laurent Binet’s HHhH for ages and still haven’t got round to reading it and same goes for Kate Atkinson’s Behind the Scenes at the Museum!


    1. I’ve had HHhH for a while as well, it’s definitely something that looks rather intimidating to start and then will suddenly blow my mind. But, it’s getting past that difficult beginning that is stumping me.


  2. Oh Alice, I feel you! My “to read” pile is enormous. It hurts my heart looking at it. I went on a self-imposed book buying ban last year in an attempt to sort through mine, and actually, I’ve done pretty well. Baring a few books for my book club, and maybe 3 or 4 that were on RIDICULOUS discount, I stuck to my plan. But the “to read” pile never seems to get smaller. I think that’s just the way it’s going to be forever and ever and ever. Too many books, too little time. 🙂


  3. I have a shelf like this. They torment me when I add another book to my iPad to read, instead of them. I like to look at them, because I know they all have good stories to tell. They just have to be patient. xD


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