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How to reduce a TBR pile

Posted on Oct 23, 2015 in TBR pile | 4 Comments

Now that I am not buying books, I’m taking a good look at the books I’ve got and deciding which ones I really do want to read and which ones I’m going to get rid of. There are two categories that deserve special scrutiny: books from goody bags at conferences and books from charity shops.

It does go against the grain to discard books from goody bags. New books! Free! But what’s the point in keeping them if you don’t want to read them? Last year at Crimefest I was ruthless. I’d come by train and wasn’t going to carry books home unless I really wanted them. But there have been other times when I have just slung in a bag of books in the boot of the car. And all the books from charity shops that I’ve bought thinking I’d sample a new author. . . . decision time!

I have been sitting down with a pile of books and reading the first few chapters to decide what should go and what should stay. These are some of the things that send a book to the discard pile:

  1. It’s badly written. Even best-sellers can be written in clunky prose studded with clichés.
  2. There’s someone being horribly tortured or mutilated.
  3. The police officer/medical examiner/lawyer behaves foolishly or unprofessionally from the off. I especially hate it when it’s a woman.

I won’t name names. Let’s just say that the local charity shop is doing well out of me and my shelves are looking neater.

4 Comments

  1. moira @ClothesInBooks
    October 25, 2015

    I think ‘even best-sellers’ could read ‘especially best-sellers’. I definitely agree with your rules – I too am trying to be more ruthless about getting rid of books and not reading every single thing that comes my way….

    Reply
    • Christine Poulson
      October 31, 2015

      Yes, especially best-sellers – but I thought it might sound like sore grapes if I said so!

      Reply
  2. Martin Edwards
    October 31, 2015

    Some excellent tips here! You are showing great discipline, but I hope you will get your hands on Silent Nights eventually!

    Reply
    • Christine Poulson
      November 1, 2015

      Thank you, Martin! Hoping to get it for Christmas – or birthday, which is luckily in December.

      Reply

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