Down the TBR Hole #1

I bring you a brand new feature on this blog today and that is Down the TBR Hole. I first saw this via Emma on Emma’s Library and this meme/project was originally created by Lia at Lost in a Story. My TBR has long since been getting out of hand so I think it’s about time I took a good hard look at myself my Goodreads shelf and actually figure out if I still want to read half of the things that I once put on there – this feature is perfect for helping (/forcing) me to do that. At the end of March, I did an impromptu cull to get it under 1000 (prompted by the TBR tag I was doing at the time) and I felt so much better once I did so, clearly, participating in this kind of project would be a really great idea for me. I also want to seriously look at my actual physical TBR and weed out the outliers I just will never read but, first things first, let’s fall Down the TBR Hole…

This is how it works:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Simple, right? (Question: anyone else have The Clash’s Should I Stay or Should I Go? in their heads now? Just me? Ok.) I thought it would also be interesting to note if I actually own these books or not, and whether that plays some part in how hesitant I am to ditch stuff off my TBR (I’m sure it will play a huge part in it!). Let’s just get going on the first 10 books…

1. The Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien

Why is it there? I went through a huge Lord of the Rings phase and was obsessed with the films (do you enjoy how I use the past tense as though that isn’t still true?) and then wanted to read ALL the Middle Earth Tolkien things. I bought it. And then I never got round to it. Story of my life.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep


2. Unfinished Tales of Numenor and Middle-Earth by J.R.R. Tolkien

Why is it there? I refer you to my previous answer regarding The Children of Hurin. It’s the exact same deal here. But I think I’ve actually at least opened this one and read a couple of bits here and there so that’s one up for this book over Hurin.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep


3. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Why is it there? Because I feel like I haven’t been forced to read enough literature that isn’t just English classics (well, let’s be real here, British classics) and Russian literature seems like the next logical step to try out. Plus this actually sounds really damn good.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep


4. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Why is it there? I have no idea. Like, literally, I have zero clue, I got nothing. Given that I added it in 2008, in the early days of my Goodreads account and before I had discovered the book community online, I can’t even blame this one on Booktube or anything.
Do I own it? Nope
Verdict? Ditch


5. The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

Why is it there? I suspect it’s because my mum owned this book and she doesn’t own many physical books so I was probably told it was really good and that I would like it and I then proceeded to do… absolutely nothing about it.
Do I own it? Nope
Verdict? Keep (it says for fans of Downton Abbey and Daphne du Maurier so I’m downright obliged to keep it)


6. Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Why is it there? I’m not sure. It’s horror so I’m confused as to how I would have even fleetingly come into contact with it to begin with. I suspect it’s because a film of this was made around the time that I added it to Goodreads? Who knows.
Do I own it? Nope
Verdict? Ditch


7. The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Why is it there? I read Twilight back before it was a ~thing~ in the UK (no, really, I’m not trying to be one of those people, it’s just a fact that I’m semi-responsible for spreading the book around my secondary school friends’ group and I regret everything about that now) so obviously when Stephenie Meyer released another book I bought it.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep (the film actually isn’t bad at all and I feel like this will be an easy read so what the hell, why not, how bad can it be?)


8. The House on Fortune Street by Margot Livesey

Why is it there? I have no idea how I came to know about this book. I wonder if Goodreads randomly recommended me it after I’d added a scant few books I’d read onto it. The book’s synopsis makes me think that I was recommended it via an algorithm: “Margot Livesey skillfully reveals how luck—good and bad—plays a vital role in our lives, and how the search for truth can prove a dangerous undertaking.”
Do I own it? Nope
Verdict? Keep, just (you’ve just about held on by the tips of your fingers, book)


9. Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Why is it there? I figured I should give Virginia Woolf a proper chance… and then university forced me to read Jacob’s Room and I realised one very important fact – I don’t get Virginia Woolf or modernism and I’m not a fan of stream of consciousness. I mean, sure, it’s fine to annotate and write an essay on for an exam but I would never choose to read it.
Do I own it? Nope
Verdict? Keep, just (I need to give Woolf another try, since so many people rave about her, but if I don’t get on with this one when I finally get to it then I’ll be just ditching all Woolf books from my TBR I think)


10. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Why is it there? People say this is a good book, and that it’s worth reading, so therefore I added it to my TBR and then did nothing to get around to reading it. As time has passed, I’ve seen negative reviews from book bloggers and Booktubers whose opinions I value, since they align pretty closely with my own taste, and that has made me hesitant to try this book out for myself.
Do I own it? Nope
Verdict? Keep (I really should just make my own mind up about this book)

Ok so that was the first round of my Down the TBR Hole efforts- I think this meme/project that Lia created is a wonderful idea, and though I only ditched two books from my TBR, hey, every little helps! I’m going to make a concerted effort to make this a weekly (?) thing so I can whittle down that TBR list to things I actually have at least some vague interest in reading. Honourable goal, right? Stay tuned to see how that one pans out!

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30 thoughts on “Down the TBR Hole #1

  1. MetalPhantasmReads 14/05/2017 / 20:36

    I liked “The Alchemist”; I read it in college and it has some great messages in there and an interesting story. I’m starting to want weed out my TBR as well. I have a post going up tomorrow about it.


    • Emma 15/05/2017 / 10:08

      I’ll make a note – I’m sure to get around to it some day, it’s just a case of when.

      It’s a strangely refreshing feeling when you’re able to weed out your TBR, it’s a bit like spring cleaning I suppose!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jillian 12/05/2017 / 21:54

    Love this idea!! Also, I have The House At Riverton on my list for the same reason…

    (I mean because it says Downton Abbey. But my shelves are also filled with random books I took from my mother’s shelf and then forgot existed.) :)


    • Emma 13/05/2017 / 14:45

      I must defer to Lia’s excellent project – I’m so glad she came up with it and shared it online because it’s something I’m sure to continue doing. :)

      I think The House at Riverton is still at my mum’s house which is dangerous because she reads books and then gives them away, she doesn’t really keep them, so it’s quite possible she’s already got rid of it since I didn’t take it and read it immediately! I definitely will try it though, because I’m pretty much sold on anything that mentions Downton Abbey and Daphne du Maurier. :P


  3. Emma's Library 12/05/2017 / 21:07

    The Host is actually a pretty decent book. I haven’t seen the film but I was glued to the book when I read it.

    All I can remember about The House of Riverton is that I liked it. It has been a while so I think I need to re-read it, along with any of Kate Morton’s other books.


    • Emma 13/05/2017 / 14:42

      I actually genuinely don’t mind the film at all, it’s not the BEST THING I’ve ever seen but it’s diverting enough for a couple of hours. Besides, I thought the concept was a pretty cool idea, so I’m sure when I read the book it’ll be a fun read. :)

      I saw an interview/promo-y type thing on Booktube with Kate Morton around the time that her most recent book (The Lake House) was released and it reminded me once again that I ought to give one of her books a try… but I then proceeded to do nothing with that thought! I really must try The House at Riverton soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Emma's Library 13/05/2017 / 14:53

        I’ve never seen the film and I don’t think I will tbh.
        I also picked up a copy of The Lake House a few months ago so I should probably get round to reading it.


        • Emma 13/05/2017 / 14:58

          My one problem with it was how oversaturated the colours were – I saw it in the cinema and I felt practically blinded when the characters stepped outside. :/

          Haha potentially? Hope you enjoy it when you get around to reading it! :)

          Liked by 1 person

          • Emma's Library 13/05/2017 / 15:03

            Haha! I’ll say I’ll read a lot of books soon but never do. I like all Kate Morton’s other books so I’ll probably like The Lake House too.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Lia 12/05/2017 / 20:51

    Thanks for joining! I hope it’ll help 😊


    • Emma 13/05/2017 / 14:38

      Thanks for creating this project and sharing it online – it’s such a great idea and I’m sure it will help! :)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lia 13/05/2017 / 17:39

        You’re welcome!


  5. Anzel van der Westhuizen 12/05/2017 / 20:16

    This is an excellent idea, especially because that Goodreads shelf can get very crowded and scarily intimidating. I’m also rather relieved to see I’m not the only reader hesitant to read The Alchemist! I’ve been wanting and not wanting to for years.


    • Emma 13/05/2017 / 14:39

      All credit to Lia for the amazing idea, haha. :) I am so quick to add things to my Goodreads shelf, which becomes a problem months/years later when I have no idea why I wanted to read a book! The Alchemist strikes me as one of those books that’s worth the read, even if you don’t end up loving it, because then you might see why some people love it. I’ll get to it… eventually.

      Liked by 1 person

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