Open post: to read or not to read

This is an open post. Comments welcome and encouraged. (Not that they aren’t normally, but this time I’m actually asking for opinions.)

My to-be-read pile, generally referred to as Mt. TBR, is occasionally overwhelming. (Ignore the colors; the only one that means anything of interest is yellow, which is what I’m currently reading.) One of my 101 things in 1001 days is to get Mt. TBR under 50 books, even just temporarily. I’m over 150 days in and have not been able to reduce the size of the pile, despite having read over 30 books in that time.

So I’m thinking it might be time for a cull. The following are books I’m thinking of chucking unread. (And by “chucking” I mean wild releasing.) If anyone has any thoughts on any of these, please let me know. I’m willing to keep anything on the list if someone says it’s a good read. But for now, here are my maybes:

  • The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul by Douglas Adams – As much as I love Adams, Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency left me wanting.
  • Push Comes to Shove by Wesley Brown – I was lured in by the promise of a free book from Concord Free Press but the subject matter doesn’t sound like my cup of tea.
  • Virtual Light by William Gibson – Neuromancer was okay but hard to follow, so I’m not sure it’s worth it for me to read any more Gibson. (I also have Pattern Recognition on Mt. TBR, but a friend told me it was really good.)
  • James Herriot’s vet tales quadrilogy – I like Herriot just fine, but I have a feeling a bunch of touching stories about injured/sick animals might make me cry more than is strictly healthy.
  • Taliesin by Stephen R. Lawhead – As much as I like Arthurian legend, I’m not sure I really need to read another one unless it’s totally awesome.
  • The Monk by Matthew Lewis – A friend “lent” this to me years ago. I assume he never wanted it back since he’s since moved to Florida. It looks…dense. Is it good?
  • Rabbit, Run by John Updike – As far as I can tell, this is about basketball and a selfish man. Nothing in the Amazon reviews convinced me it was really worth reading.

So what do you think? Any of these something I should not pass up? Any that you’d like me to send to you if I do decide not to read it? (That holds for any of them except the Adams one, because that one belongs to my husband.)

And if you want to add books to Mt. TBR, well, I suppose that’s okay too. I’m always up for a good recommendation.

  1. I read The Long, Dark Teatime of the Soul a number of years ago. I enjoyed it, but remember essentially nothing about it.

    The Herriot quadrilogy is awesome, and I was recently contemplating rereading them (I assume you mean All Creatures Great and Small and the rest). He’s really quite funny. There are lots of stories about his misadventures courting his wife, the antics of the bon vivant Tristan, interactions with taciturn farmers, a crazy rich woman who invites him to her lap dog’s birthday party, etc. They’re not all “touching”.

    I know naught about the rest of the books!

    • I appreciate the feedback. You’re right, it is the “All Creatures…” quartet. I’m only worried because when I read James Herriot’s Cat Stories I was totally sobbing and the stories weren’t even sad. But for now I’ll keep them on the shelf.

      Did you also read Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, or just its sequel?

      • I’m pretty sure I have not read the first book, and I’m sure the second one came from a used bookstore some time. It is possible, actually, that the reason I don’t remember anything about it is that I never did get around to reading it. I opened it to a few random pages and didn’t recognize anything…..

  2. Douglas Adams is one of my favourite writers of all time but even I wouldn’t bother with The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul – it’s not close to his best work

    Rabbit, Run was, IMHO, pretty ordinary (but full disclosure time I don’t really like anything John Updike ever wrote)

    Can’t help you with the rest. Good luck, I think I shall try this idea myself as I want to cull my TBR pile too. Thanks for the idea.

    • Thanks for the feedback. I’m thinking I might chuck Rabbit, Run. I’ve never read any Updike but I’ve never heard anything overwhelmingly positive about his books. Teatime will stay on the shelf because it belongs to my husband, but I may remove it from my TBR list. We’ll see.

  3. By the way, what do the colored highlights in your TBR spreadsheet indicate?

    • *sigh* Promise not to laugh at me? (Actually, go ahead – I totally deserve to be laughed at.)

      Yellow: what I’m currently reading
      Purply-blue: short audiobook
      Greeny-blue: short regular book

      Yes, I specifically marked off the short books so I can increase the number of books I read at a faster rate. The blues will probably disappear at some point when I decide it’s too silly to keep track of. Sometimes I get bored and start playing with my TBR spreadsheet. You don’t even want to know the extra columns I’ve added and deleted over the months.

      • I’m totally bad about that kind of thing. I can very easily obsess over data organization. And what if you want something light? It makes it easy to find! :-)

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