Down the TBR Hole #2

Welcome folks to the second round of Down the TBR Hole. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, check out my first round post, or check out Lia at Lost in a Story who is the creator of this wonderful meme/project.

After a semi-successful first round of this project, I have decided to make this a regular feature of my blogging schedule (ha, ‘schedule’ is such a kind word to describe this mess). Plus, it’s good to regularly reevaluate if/why you want to read a book – that way you don’t come back to your TBR years later and have no clue why a title piqued your interest in the first place. I’ve decided to also add a summary of results bit at the bottom of each round so I can track how many books I’ve kept and ditched from my TBR shelf in each round and overall.

Just a reminder of how this 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?

Let’s get going on the 10 books… 

1. The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Why is it there? People (and by people I mean The Internet) keep telling me I’ll like this film so I feel downright duty bound to read the book too. Now, I don’t know which will happen first but it’s nice to have the option to pick up the book before the film. Mostly, I want to finally get some of the jokes and memes I’ve seen featuring this film/book (like this and this). And, hey, if I happen to like the book too, that’d be a nice bonus.
Do I own it? Y
Verdict? Keep

2. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

Why is it there? Because it’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. More? Oh, alright, well I feel ashamed at the sparsity of Spanish (specifically Latin American) literature that I’ve read. I mean, I studied Spanish for 8 years in school, and yet I could count the works I read in their entirety on one hand (and most of those were because of university) – that’s terrible, I should have done better than that. Starting with such a widely acclaimed book seems like the obvious thing to do.
Do I own it? Y
Verdict? Keep

3. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Why is it there? It’s there out of necessity to read more modern classics but, aside from that, I don’t actually find the plot or narrative structure of this book all that appealing. I’m pretty sure I won’t enjoy it from anything other than a ‘I can say I’ve read it’ stance which, I’m now realising, I’m not that fussed about.
Do I own it? N
Verdict? Ditch

4. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Why is it there? It’s an American classic (my knowledge of American as opposed to British classics is woefully limited) that I actually am interested in reading… vaguely. I don’t know that much about it but it is referenced heavily in the film Easy A which I bloody love so I think I owe it to myself to actually read The Scarlet Letter at some point.
Do I own it? Y
Verdict? Keep

5. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Why is it there? See above re: American literature. However, I’m just not that interested in this anymore. The time at which I was merrily adding things to my Goodreads TBR, I was acting as though I had all the time in the world to get through these lists of 100 best American novels etc. when, really, I have other priorities unfortunately. Whoops, sorry/not sorry.
Do I own it? N
Verdict? Ditch

6. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Why is it there? Lolita is a modern classic with a very controversial subject matter which I know will disturb me but I’m kind of okay with reading about that now in order to see how Nabokov deals with it. Plus this is meant to be written beautifully so I’m curious as to how I feel about that considering the distasteful subject matter.
Do I own it? N
Verdict? Keep

7. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Why is it there? Because of its place on those ‘100 best English language novels’ lists and that’s it really. I’ve since heard that the made-up slang language used makes this tricky to read at first and, to be perfectly blunt, I don’t really care for that right now. Maybe in a few years I’ll reevaluate but… for now… 
Do I own it? N
Verdict? Ditch

8. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

Why is it there? I read Da Vinci Code and didn’t hate it. In fact, I rather enjoyed it. I know this series doesn’t have the best literary value but it IS good fun. However, I’ve been meaning to read Angels and Demons for a good 10 years now and I haven’t so… I think this is the book that proves it might be time to just let go the notion that I need to read everything I own and instead only own books I can actually see myself reading. And if I change my mind, it’s not like this book is some obscure title that I won’t be able to find in any used book shop or library.
Do I own it? Y
Verdict? Ditch

9. Me And Mr Darcy by Alexandra Potter

Why is it there? I think an Internet friend I used to forum RP with knew I liked Jane Austen and recommended this light and fluffy read to me. Checking out the synopsis too it sounds a bit like the TV show Lost in Austen (which I bloody loved, it’s so ridiculous) but I’m not sure if I actually want to prioritise reading that kind of thing anymore. But hey, even though I’m getting rid of it from my TBR, its title is recorded her for posterity’s sake in case I am in the mood for it.
Do I own it? N
Verdict? Ditch

10. Beowulf 

Why is it there? I haven’t read enough (read: any) Old English texts and I find that a little bit personally shameful. At university, I was firmly stuck in my early modern English ways and never ventured further back than that which is a shame. I want to change that now, and I hear that Beowulf seems intimidating but it’s actually not too tricky once you get into it. Plus J.R.R. Tolkien was a key player in modern criticism of Beowulf so, obviously, I need to read it and see if/how it influenced his own writing.
Do I own it? N (If anyone knows a good academic edition to buy, please let me know!)
Verdict? Keep


This round:
Kept – 5
Ditched – 5

Kept – 13
Ditched – 7

Ok so that was the second round of my Down the TBR Hole efforts. Have I made a terrible mistake in ditching some of these titles? Or have I kept some that really aren’t worth my time? Let me know in the comments below!

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14 thoughts on “Down the TBR Hole #2

  1. Kate W 20/05/2017 / 14:30

    I haven’t done this with my Goodreads shelves but I do a similar thing on my Kindle – I get samples (resist the impulse to just buy the book) and roughly every week I read three samples and decide whether it’s ditch or keep (buy). The ratio is roughly 40/60 keep/ditch. And just to take it a step further, at the end of the year I look at all the books I’ve said ‘keep’ to and then I choose the ten I’ll buy. It’s rigorous but keeps me in check!


    • Emma 22/05/2017 / 12:46

      Getting Kindle samples and working from those to keep/ditch title is a really good way to stop impulse buying books – I might have to try that out, thanks for sharing! :)


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