Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Sunday Salon - The Book Diet

Three books finished in the new year, and while it might not have been a lot for me in previous years, I'm feeling downright fine this time around. Roughly a book a week is pretty satisfying these days, and my string of winners has gotten me excited about my shelves (digital and physical) all over again.

Today, with what time I have after taking down our Christmas decorations--yes, we're late--I plan to finish up my re-read of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows or spend some time with Wilkie Collins. I started The Woman in White for RIP V in 2010, but I laid it aside when I went through my big slump starting in October.

As much as I love my e-books and as much as I'm lusting after a couple of my recent downloads, I'm not totally ignoring my printed book shelves. Above is a pic (click to make larger) of a portion of our main bookcase in the living room. These shelves are a mixed bag of favorites and TBR. The shelves pictured are a majority TBR, and glancing over them there are soooo many yummy books I hope I get around to this year.
  • The Red Queen by Margaret Drabble
  • The Electric Michelangelo by Sarah Hall
  • The Ten Year Nap by Meg Wolitzer
  • The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard Morais (library book)
  • The Awakening by Kate Chopin (sad I haven't read already)
Some days I'd like to pack up all the books that don't catch my eye immediately and put them in storage only to be left with a little stack of books I've hungered for forever but which get passed over for one reason or another time and again. This may be another draw of e-books: a smaller collection makes choosing far easier.

If you could put yourself on a book diet and make a small stack of TBR what would you keep out to read in 2011?


  1. The only book I'm absolutely one hundred percent resolving to read this year is Wuthering Heights. I am reading Wuthering Heights come hell or high water, and dammit, I'm going to like it this time.

  2. That is a tough question! I have so many books I want to read right now.

  3. If I keep on my current path, my TBR list on my nook will be just as bad as my TBR shelves. ;)

  4. I love the idea of a small stack of books but honestly don't think that I could do it. I just can't seem to stop requesting books from the library, adding books to my TBR list, etc. You'll have to let me know if you actually do that!

  5. I'm feeling the same way as you this year! I'm actually doing REALLY good this year! I've read 7 books already which is more than I could ever hope for, but a book a week would be damn fine. I don't care so much about numbers's all about the quality! Glad you're enjoying your reading, Andi :)

  6. A Book Diet -- great idea! My version of the diet is to limit (not ban, that would be impossible) my book purchases until I can whittle down what is already on my TBR shelves (yes plural)

  7. I've sort of already done that. I'm trying not to touch the books on my shelves but I've got my self-challenge shelf that I'm drawing from (1 down, 20 to go) and the rest of my reading is mostly ARCs, right now. If I feel like plucking something else off the shelves, I won't stop myself, but so far I've been pretty disciplined.

  8. Definitely Rebecca as I still haven't read it. House of Leaves and Reading Jackie, which are new on my shelves but I want to read them asap. Zombies Vs. Unicorns, Eating the Dinosaur, The Wild Things, Tears of Mermaids, Stitches, and Gone With the Wind. Basically one specific section of my bookshelves and the rest aren't interesting me much right now.

  9. I find myself downloading more and more to my Kindle as well as still adding books to my physical TBR shelves...Jane Eyre is my 1st pick as a MUST READ for this year.
    I also boxed up hopefully the last remnants of Christmas just today...we'll see...there's always something left over that I find on St. Patrick's Day ;)
    The Awakening is and will ever be one of my most inspiring reads...I think people either love or hate it...I can't wait to see what you think :)

  10. I have a digital TBR list of over 600 books. If I were on a book diet I would probably stick to that. I also have about 40 books that I either won or picked up from a library conference that I'd like to get through so I can donate or bring them in for trade. I don't tend to keep books around after I read them and I'd like the space back.

  11. Jenny, I failed miserably at reading Wuthering Heights the first three times. Four was a charm! I didn't love it, but I'm glad I read it.

    Kathy, it's tough isn't it?

    Trisha, I hear ya. I only have about five new books downloaded. The rest are classics I'll get around to "sometime."

    Samantha, I've slowed down a loooott because I just found myself too overwhelmed. My wishlist keeps growing but the physical stacks are holding.

    I hear ya, Chris. At some point I had to let go of the numbers game. I would still like to gorge myself on books, but I have to be happy with what's reasonable for my life right now.

    Suzanne, same here. I'm not adding as many titles these days, but I'm slowwww at knocking off my TBR.

    Good job, Nancy! I like the idea of a personal challenge. Maybe I'll craft something like that for myself.

    Ash, I looooved House of Leaves when I read it, but I'm curious how it would hold up years later. I haven't read Rebecca and it's a damn shame! I need to rectify that. Probably after I finish up The Woman in White.

    Peppermint PhD, Jane Eyre is high on my re-read list. I'm trying to do more re-reading during the year since there are so many faves I'd like to revisit. I will keep you posted on The Awakening! I'm excited to read it.

    Amy, those numbers would terrify me. I have probably 400 TBR books (not all on display in my house right now) and I already feel overwhelmed. :)

  12. I have really pared down my TBR pile until it's quite manageable. That's a good feeling for me~I don't like to see book lying around unread!

  13. I loved The Ten Year Nap, but I appear to be the only one who did, so I hope you like it:-)

    My focus this year is to continue reading the award lists announced this year (I loved doing it last year!) and focus on the Orange Prize winners. I'm also slowly working my way through the Orange Prize longlists from years past.

  14. There are so many I'd want to keep out, I wouldn't know where to begin. My next-read is pretty much always selected at random, just by staring at the shelves. Something that didn't jump out last week might be just the thing this week, so I like having them all out.

    Interesting question, though. I'm going to have to do some more musing on this...

  15. Becca, I don't like it either, and as the years roll by it seems more like pressure! :)

    Carrie, I love that you're reading award winners. I've thought of doing that but it's hard for me to pick an award. Booker would probably be my best bet. Orange would take second place.

    Kerry, when I start staring at the shelves they all scream like little children. Pick me! Pick me! :)

  16. Jane Eyre. This will be Jane's year.

    Other than that, I'd keep out all the really thick books. :-D

  17. That's a hard question but I'm hoping that my book diet this year will include a few more classics. I keep buying them and need to read them! haha...

  18. Ugh! Much as I've had the same thought, myself, many times (to pare down the shelves to the most-want-to-read only), just the thought of doing so makes me cringe! I can't hide my other books! I just can't!

    I think I may have to do my own TSS post on this next Sunday. Stay tuned! ;)


  19. Oh goodness, I don't do well on book diets. Come to think of it I don't do well on food diets either!

  20. I did actually pack up several BIG plastic storage boxes with unread books at Christmas time, just to get them out of the way for the holiday season. The bookshelves are full and I did not want everyone seeing the piles in front of the bookcases on the floor or the piles on the bad in the dining room or the piles net to my reading chair.
    But I know where they are, all safe and sound and waiting for me...someday.


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