Hi, my name is Nate, and I have a problem. My TBR (to be read) pile is massive. Almost 400 books. This doesn’t include Laterpress content… I’ll worry about adding that to my poor, overworked “To Do” app once our bookshelf feature launches. My TBR pile is bigger than the total number of books I have marked “Read” on Goodreads.
How did I get here?
Most of the damage was done since the pandemic started. Before that, by TBR was about 80, which was still an entire small bookcase dedicated to stuff I hadn’t read yet. But it’s exploded in the last year.
Part of it is my instinct to hoard books like a dragon hoards gold. One a book comes into my possession, I rarely get rid of it. If someone offers me a book I think I’d like, I’m probably not saying no.
When my parents moved into a new house last year, my mom wanted to get rid of virtually all of her physical books. So I ended up taking 105 Star Trek novels off her (yes, I counted) for the fantastic price of FREE. Also included were a dozen or more Dragonlance novels my brother left behind when he moved to Spain.
At this point, I already have more books than I have shelf space, but wait, why not buy more books!
Ebay is dangerous LOL.
Cat Webling turned me onto the Xanth series. And I have a habit of binge-buying series. Whoops. There’s 17 more for the TBR pile.
Used X-Wing paperbacks for $4 each? Gimme.
I picked up 25 Star Trek TNG books for $30 (including shipping) – filling in gaps in my mom’s collection.
I ordered 53 Original Series Star Trek books for $53 (plus $13 shipping)
47 volumes of the Hardy Boys Casefiles series.
10 Nancy Drew & Hardy Boys Super Mysteries.
And as fast as you can blink, my TBR is almost 400 books, and I have boxes of books in 4 different places in my house LOL.
Living the shopper’s retroactive justification “but I got a good deal” right now. The global average was $2-3 a book, and for that, I have an entertainment stockpile that WILL last me years. Plus, if I can bear to part with them, once I’ve read everything, I can resell it on eBay if I want, to either drastically reduce that cost, or maybe even end up making a profit in the end.
All told, I spent around $300 on books during my eBay spree. Way cheaper than buying a Playstation 5.
In theory – if I can maintain some spending discipline, I have saved a lot of money on my entertainment budget – though I’ll still be buying Star Wars novels, anything with Timothy Zahn’s name on it, and supporting indies from time to time.
I even made myself loose a monthly plan of attack for how I’m going to read through everything. Every month, I’m going to attempt to complete:
2x Hardy Boys / Nancy Drew books (approx 2 years, 3 months to read all.)
2x Animorphs (also 2 years to get through them all – but buying the ebooks as I get to them.)
2x Star Trek (193 unread books / 2 per month = 96.5 months = approx 8 years. I’m good for a while)
1x Xanth series (16 months for what I have on-hand)
1x Wildcard. Anything goes!
Add into this, I’ll still be mixing in Laterpress content. Yes, I 100% read off the platform I work for (and publish on myself!) I have paid annual subscriptions to LP Styles, JR Froemling, Nia Quinn, Novae Caelum, and LPM Sinclair. I also own books from many of the other top finalists in our Genre Fiction contest that I want to read more of, or other work they’ve produced. Babylon Blues is over 200k words. I’ll be chipping away at that one for months, in all likelihood.
So yeah… I read A LOT. Oh, and I’m listening to the 6th book in the Expanse series. I’m on a convention panel about the series… so I’m on the clock to have read them all by mid-August. Mostly given up videogames considering I’m on a screen 8 hours a day for work… before I do any writing on my novels. Most of my Laterpress reading happens on the weekend when I’m logging less screen time.
It’s my goal to read 100 books this year. I’m already at 46. Though this is the first year I’m really keeping score, I think my previous best was 30 books in a year.
For May, I have completed both Hardy Boys, and both Star Treks already. I’m working on my second Animorphs, and my wild card was Rapunzel and Robin Hood by Jessica Erin. (Who is an exception to my “I don’t read books that are enrolled in KU” rule, but that’s a subject for a different blog post)
If I have time to spare after Animorphs #12 and Xanth #2, I might take on another wild card, or dig deeper into the Laterpress portion of my TBR rather than start June’s list early.