Down the TBR Hole #19

Welcome folks to the nineteenth round of Down the TBR Hole! As I mentioned in my last round of DtTH (nope, that acronym isn’t particularly attractive, is it?), this little project has been a great way of weening down my TBR over the past year so I’ve decided to keep it up and make it a semi-regular feature in order to spring clean my TBR aka be realistic about what books I aspire to read and what books I actually will read.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, check out the previous posts via the tag or check out Lia at Lost in a Story who is the creator of this wonderful meme/project.

I’m trying to make this a regular feature of my blogging schedule because 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 also added 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?

Outside of doing these posts semi-regularly I have also been culling my TBR list at random points when I’m bored – all of this is good in terms of getting my TBR to a reasonable amount of books but it also means that these posts are getting harder for me to do as I’m beginning to really agonise over whether to ditch or keep books on there. Not that any of this is a bad thing! Let’s get going on the 10 books under scrutiny today…

1. Invisible: The Dangerous Allure of the Unseen by Philip Ball

Why is it there? There are sprinklings of random non-fiction books on my TBR, largely because I occasionally watch Booktubers (such as Charlotte of Chareads) who mostly read non-fiction and this title is definitely an example of that. I’m still intrigued by the premise but I so rarely pick up non-fiction that is there really any point in keeping this book listed on my TBR when I’m trying to be realistic about what books I’m likely to actually read?
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

2. Lexicon by Max Barry

Why is it there? This was a cover buy – I saw it on Booktube and decided I really needed to own a book with such a stunning cover. Since then, I have done precisely zero in terms of actually picking it up to read it. I went to the trouble of buying the hardback edition used though because that cover was so much prettier than the paperback options available, so I can’t really just ditch this book without feeling guilty about all the effort Past Emma went to in order to acquire it.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

3. Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Why is it there? This book definitely did the rounds a few years ago and I’ve still not got to it. I have bought it though, so that’s undoubtedly the first step. As I understand it this book is twisty and turny and told through different documents (newspaper, Internet pages etc.) as well as your typical narrative you’d expect in a book. All of this means that it seems like something you really need to read in one go, or at least you need to devote all of your reading time to it (forgoing the temptations to read other books simultaneously), in order to get the full effect. One day I will be in the mood to do that (hopefully).
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

4. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Why is it there? After loving Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl I promptly bought her other books in various forms, including this book which I bought on Kindle and in paperback for some unknown reason – probably the main reason being that the cover illustration and colour scheme is cute? (Yes, I’m that easily led.) Although I have read a couple of other Rowell books (Landline and Carry On) I never did manage (yet) to get to this one – I’ve heard mixed reviews, people seem to either really love it or really have a problem with it, so I’ve been hesitant to pick this up for that reason. It needs to happen though… maybe this summer?
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

5. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Why is it there? As with the book above, I added this to my TBR when I was on a Rainbow Rowell kick. Interestingly, though, I didn’t buy it on Kindle or a physical copy, possibly because I suspected the plot might not be for me? Well, Past Emma may just be right because, after hearing reviews about this, I’m not sure how comfortable I am with the idea of a guy’s job being to monitor the company’s emails (it’s company policy) and, after reading communication between two friends in the company, he falls in love with one of the girls. That’s just a bit… wrong?? I don’t know, maybe I’ve misunderstood the setup entirely, but it kind of grosses me out to the point that I’m not sure I want to read a book based on that.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

6. The Last Man by Mary Shelley

Why is it there? As I understand it, this is a post-apocalyptic novel published in 1826 about the last man surviving after a plague, with a lot of its characters being semi-biographical portraits of the likes of Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron. I likely added this to my TBR whilst I was taking a Romanticism course but nowadays? I’m not as hugely interested in it as I probably should be, especially considering how much I enjoyed Frankenstein. So, for now, this one can go but I may very well reconsider it if I re-read Frankenstein in years to come and find myself wanting to read all the Mary Shelley things.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

7. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

Why is it there? In the last DtTH round I mentioned that I wasn’t sure about how I’d like Ernest Hemingway. I’m still not sure. Since Jillian suggested I read the short story ‘The Snows of Kilimanjaro’ and see how I like it so I did read it… and I didn’t get it. If that, and A Farewell to Arms, are considered Hemingway’s masterpieces then I’m afraid we probably aren’t going to get along. Personally, I’m just not a stream of consciousness fan and I like my prose a little more flowery unfortunately.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Ditch

8. Shakespeare: The World as a Stage by Bill Bryson

Why is it there? I own about three or four Bill Bryson books and I’m yet to properly pick up a single one of them. Because of this, I don’t know how readable or annoying I’m going to find his writing style, and a lot of the struggle or pleasure to be had from non-fiction comes from the writing style it’s written in. Then again, it’s about Shakespeare, so I’ll probably like it, when I finally get around to it.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

9. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

Why is it there? Because I only own the ebook of this, it doesn’t cost me any precious space on my bookshelves to keep it and, since I have several other of Sanderson’s books in the same format, it would be a shame to delete it from my Kindle. This book is HUGE though so I’m sure it’ll take me many months/years to work up the courage (read: motivation) to tackle this beast of a book.
Do I own it? Yes (Kindle)
Verdict? Keep

10. Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened by Allie Brosh

Why is it there? It’s hard to exist on the Internet without seeing Allie Brosh’s distinctive illustration style and, like everyone else, when I discovered she’d created a book I wanted to buy it. But that was back in 2013 and it is some years on and I’d completely forgot this even existed so I think that says everything about how much I really want to read it…
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch


This round:
Kept – 5
Ditched – 5

Overall:
Kept – 100
Ditched – 90

That’s all folks for the nineteenth round of my Down the TBR Hole project. I’m struggling more and more nowadays to ditch books but I think I’ve been relatively cut-throat today. Let us hope this continues! My TBR currently stands at 638 books which is still ridiculously large but not too bad considering how many books were on there before I started this project. Overall, I’m happy with how it looks!

But 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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