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Comments for Weekly Geeks 2009-32: Why Haven't I Read This Yet?

WGWeekly Geeks 2009-32: Why Haven't I Read This Yet?: 08/22/09

I think just about every reader has a least one book that they've been meaning to read for awhile (months or even years) but, for one reason or another, they just haven't gotten around to it. Maybe it's a book a friend recommended last year, or a title you've flirted with in a bookstore on more than one occasion, or maybe it's a book that's sitting right there on your bookshelf, patiently waiting for you to pick it up -- but the thought is always there, in the back of your mind: Why haven't I read this yet?

This week, tell us about a book (or books) you have been meaning to read. What is it? How long have you wanted to read it? And, why haven't you read it yet?

Knowing What I Have:

Three years ago I started a database to track the books I own and those I've read and given away. I was so eager to jump into the project that I didn't stop to think of all the ways I would want to use the data once I had it.

One thing I've needed to know is how many books I have but won't be getting rid of: either because they belong to a family member or because I actually need the book. In the beginning all books on my shelves were lumped together. Today's question prompted me to finally go through my data and split the shelved books into those I plan to keep and those I just haven't read yet. The process took about five hours spread out across the morning and afternoon.

Books I Have to Read:

I have 1,284 books to read and own another 1,534 books. Most of those 1,534 belong to my husband and children. I had always estimated my to be read pile at 900 books so I'm surprised to see an extra three hundred or so. At my current rate of reading, if I were to not accept any more books for review, not go the library and not buy any new books, I would need three and a half years to read through my pile of books.

My Plan of Attack:

Of course it's not realistic to expect I'll go cold turkey on getting new books either through ARCs or through the library. That being said, it's more realistic to expect the back log to take about six to seven years.

This year I started focuses more on reading through my oldest books. I have some books on my shelves from when I was in jr. high school. I really got into collecting books in 1987 and my book buying went unchecked until I left for college. Being married to a bibliophile hasn't helped matters either.

Why So Long?

The books I've had since school have been sitting at the bottom of my to be read pile for a number of reasons. As a student I had to focus on assigned reading and I knew I'd be leaving for college so I felt the weird compulsion to read as many of the books from my local library as possible. During college I didn't have access to my collection because I didn't want to schlep it to and from school every year. Right after college I got married and it took a number of years to slowly bring the books from my old home to my new home. By the time I had them all we began a bunch of moves. My books stayed in boxes for a long time. Then came Bookcrossing and I got caught up in book rings, rays and relays. I've since given up on that aspect of BookCrossing and I'm settled in my current home. At long last I can focus on those old books. I have read a number of them and will be posting reviews of them in the next few weeks.

Comments (24)

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Comment #1: Saturday, August, 22, 2009 at 21:20:29

gautami tripathy

I have stopped buying books for sometime now. That is the only way to control my TBR pile! And ARC don't help!

Comment #2: Sunday, August 23, 2009 at 15:53:33


I have significantly curtailed my book buying but I haven't completely stopped. My biggest temptation right now for new sources of reading is the local library.

Comment #3: Saturday, August, 22, 2009 at 22:04:08


We are too similar. I have about the same amount of books and probably have pretty close to the same amount of books to read. It's daunting, isn't it? I love/hate the idea of figuring it out. I think I may have to add that to my to do list.

Comment #4: Sunday, August 23, 2009 at 15:57:31


I originally started the book data base as a way to learn mySQL. It ended up being a fascinating (and sometimes depressing!) tool for tracking my reading progress.

Comment #5: Sunday, August, 23, 2009 at 00:26:20


That's a very organised plan of attack. I'd hate to think how many books I have. Happy Weekly Geeks :)

Comment #6: Sunday, August 23, 2009 at 16:03:13


It's a plan of attack. Who knows if I will have more success with keeping with my plan than I have in the past.

Comment #7: Sunday, August, 23, 2009 at 07:59:17


One book I've been meaning to read for many years is The Great Gatsby. The main reason its' on my radar is because it's a classic that many read in high school. I feel like I should read it. I haven't gotten around to it, though, because, to be honest, it just never has seemed that interesting to me. I hope that when I do finally read it one day, I find I was wrong about it.

Comment #8: Sunday, August 23, 2009 at 16:07:22


The Great Gatsby is a well written book but it's not my favorite by F. Scott Fizgerald. I prefer The Beautiful and the Damned and Tender is the Night. Or you could try his short stories like "Benjamin Button."

Comment #9: Sunday, August, 23, 2009 at 08:19:14


That is an impressive amount of data! Six to seven years? That would take more self-discipline than I have in regards to book acquisition. Good luck and Happy Reading!

Comment #10: Sunday, August 23, 2009 at 16:21:52


A lack of money and a lack of space is a big motivating factor.

Comment #11: August, 23, 2009 at 10:38:09


Wow! That's some plan of attack you got there. Then again, over 1200 books to read is an awful lot so I guess a plan of attack is definitely needed :)

Comment #12: August 23, 2009 at 16:28:41

To paraphrase Captain Barbosa, it's merely guidelines.

Comment #13: Sunday, August, 23, 2009 at 12:16:19


Wow that is a heck of a lot of TBR books! I wonder how many I would have if I had not moved so many times and downsized in houses. I admire the fact that you have kept all your books. At one time in my life I owned a house with a library room. I had over 2,000 books then. Now I have around 500.

I too started a data base but have not kept it up. This winter I will catch it up and keep better track of what happens to all the books I buy and get rid of.

Happy reading my friend!

Comment #14: Sunday, August 23, 2009 at 16:37:42


I have moved six times since I got married. While we have culled our books of duplicates and ones we've read and don't want to re-read I havne't culled any that I haven't read.

Comment #15: Sunday, August, 23, 2009 at 18:30:47


Wow. So many books. Good luck on reading the older books. Little by little will be progress.

Comment #16: Sunday, August 23, 2009 at 16:44:25


That's what I'm trying to do. I'm slowly working through the books.

Comment #17: Monday, August, 24, 2009 at 06:56:19

Jackie (Farm Lane Books)

Good luck with your mission to read all those older books. I think my reading tastes have changed so much that I am unlikely to want to read any of the books I collected during my school years. I hope you manage to gain some pleasure from the books you have owned for so long.

Comment #18: Wednesday, August 24, 2009 at 09:48:42


I give myself a 50 page rule when I read. So far though I have enjoyed most of the books I collected all those years ago.

Comment #19: Monday, August, 24, 2009 at 07:17:03


900 books feels painful. The trouble is that while you read the back-log, a front-log will keep accumulating.

Comment #20: Monday, August 24, 2009 09:58:41


One of the ways I'm addressing that "front-log" is to read from both ends. I'm using The Random Number Generator to pick books at random. It's part of the Random challenge.

Comment #21: Tuesday, August, 25, 2009 at 11:13:12


That is so organised of you, I can't imagine being like that

Comment #22: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 at 10:02:32


Thanks. I did it more out of curiosity and a desire to learn a new skill than to be organized.

Comment #23: Thursday, August, 27, 2009 at 18:43:37


I keep lists as well. Makes life so much easier!

I have to say that I feel a little bit better about my 300 or so unread books now!

Comment #24: Thursday, August 27, 2009 at 21:47:24


I was surprised when I ran the numbers and realized I had so many. I really thought it was more like 600 or at worst 900. Yikes!

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