Home > books > tbr shelves!

tbr shelves!

chris wrote this funny post about his tbr shelves , lamenting about how many books he still has unread. i thought i’d also share mine.

this is my bookshelf in south africa. its not all unread, thankfully, the bottom shelf is mostly read and the ones containing terry pratchetts (third from the top) and containing plays (fourth from the bottom) are about half-read.

all in all there must be a good hundred unread there… and then i’ve got about 13 here in england.

what compounds my frustration is that i also read so slowly. i’ll read about 30 or so books a year, and if you take away the ones that are gifts and those that i bought that year, then thats very few of my unread books that gets read!

i really have to focus more on my tbr shelves – if for no other reason than not to lose touch with my original impulse to want to read the book in the first place. i sometimes find myself picking a book up off my shelf and i have no idea why on earth i ever even contemplated picking it up. i sometimes find i’d never even heard of the author! its like finding an absolute stranger in your bath – looking at you as if he knows you and using your favourite bath sponge!

Categories: books
  1. December 5, 2007 at 9:43 pm

    My God that’s alot of books 😉 Looks like those shelves are about to buckle! I love looking at pictures of full bookshelves like that! What is it that’s so great about looking at pictures of books…kinda weird.

  2. kirribilli
    December 5, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    I know this is going to sound harsh but you need to be a little bit more restrained buying books, don’t stop entirely but instead have a reward system and rules so that for each of the shelf-bound unread you read you can buy a new book but you on;y buy that new book if you read it immediately, that way you’re making progress and still have the thrill of buying and browsing bookshops!
    It’s a million to one chance but it might just work!

  3. December 5, 2007 at 11:04 pm

    Oh my, I’m drooling here! Just look at all those lovely books! And those awesome bookends! Ahhh…heavenly. And by the way, love that room, too…the bright colors, the wall full of books…how could one not be happy there?!!

    I’m such a slow reader, too. I get so envious of people who are able to read a couple books a week. But I just can’t seem to manage that kind of pace.

  4. December 6, 2007 at 6:31 am

    My first thought when I saw the picture was “Whoa, Nelly!, Look out below!” as from the angle I got a weird illusion effect that the books were going to slide off the shelf on top of me.

    Even with your disclaimers, JP, that is alot of TBR books!

    I absolutely am cracking up at your last line! Thankfully my books are at a number that I remember which were gifts, and who they were from, and why I picked up the others. As far as when I’ll get to reading them????

  5. December 6, 2007 at 8:07 am

    Oohh…nice….I love how the books are almost touching the ceiling.

    I sgree with Chris here — what’s it about looking at pictures of bookshelves and books?

  6. December 6, 2007 at 8:15 am

    “its like finding an absolute stranger in your bath – looking at you as if he knows you and using your favourite bath sponge!”

    lol 😀 I love the comparison. That has happened to me too. Not so much with books I buy, but very often with books I add to my wishlist. After a while I can’t even remember ever hearing about it, let alone why I want to read it.

    I have a shelf just for Terry Pratchett books too 😀

  7. jean pierre
    December 6, 2007 at 6:50 pm


    oh, i’m with you on that! i love love love bookshelves. i can never tire of them. and i’ll look at anyone’s bookshelf. i want to know what a priest has on them, a prisoner, a lawyer, an actor, a doctor, a postman, anyone!


    well, it just so happens that i do have a system in place – i just read so slowly that my progress isn’t particularly good. but at least my overall numbers are going down.

    before, what used to happen was that i’d buy books and get books as presents and, also i wouldn’t necessarily read what i bought in that year. as a result my books to be read would just pile up. each year the number of books unread was more!

    but over the last two years the number of books unread has gotten less, not by too many, but at least by some. so thats a small achievement. its just frustrating that its going so slow, and here i am being all disciplined.

  8. December 6, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    Christ? Did something miraculous happen to Chris?

  9. December 6, 2007 at 10:23 pm

    I let the library shelve my TBR books.

  10. December 6, 2007 at 10:41 pm


    a nice place to see other people’s home libraries

  11. jean pierre
    December 7, 2007 at 9:54 am

    sorry guys, was busy writing my replies last night and then dinner was ready and i never quite got back to rest of them! don’t think that i was prioritising christ and kirribilli. although, one could understand why i would prioritise christ…


    i’m glad you like it debi – i LOVE bookshelves and so am only to happy if someone enjoys seeing mine. and i’m glad you like the bookends. south africans have a great fondness for wild animals, lions, elephants, hippos, rhinos, bucks all of them. they permeate our lives. and one can find really nice animal bookends there. i have two stone elephant bookends here in england.

    the colours of the room are all down to my mom. she wanted to redecorate and make everything fresh.

    and i’m so glad i’m not the only slow reader… i don’t feel so alone now!


    yeah, sorry! i just noticed that shelf is teetering a bit. not the best of photographs!

    that line about the bath… i’m sure its a bastardisation (or a downright rip-off of either pratchett or gaiman – they have the same jokes)

    i’m glad you can remember all that about your books – it must be your scorpio memory! 😉

    as for christ… well, maybe theres something about chris that i know that you don’t…? 😉

    (but seriously, its a bit of a joke… whenever i used to type his name my finger just automatically keyed the “t” at the end and i always used to have to delete it. eventually i just got tired of deleting it and now just leave it in when it happens.


    i love the way they go all the way up!! 🙂

    and yeah, books are just lovely to look at! do you remember that time that nymeth shared her shelf with us, and carl, and you often show us piles of yours, and christ does too… what happy joys…


    is that a terry pratchett line? a gaiman one? it seems very pratchett or gaiman… you’re the one person who’d know, as you’re the only other blogger who reads both…

    i’m glad you can relate with regards to the strangers that occupy our bookshelves and wishlists… its so odd… i think i’m going to start putting notes in the comments section in the wishlist from now on. its just scary – it must mean i’m getting old…!

    ah, terry…! our terry…!


    now that is a very clever way of going about things! no pressure infinite choice (well, bigger than one’s bookshelf), no commitment.

    but then, i likes to owns them… yessss i dooo….!!!!!

    i clicked on the link! what a site! it was made just for me! thank you elizabeth 🙂

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: