Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tuesday Thingers on the Tower of TBR

Yes, my dear readers...and you are my dear readers...this week's always interesting question via Wendi's Book Corner...

This week, our question is inspired by all the group threads that are dedicated to finding the next great book to review.
In order review books on your blog - you've got to GET books!

Today's question: How do you get your books for reviewing? (Feel free to participate in the poll below, you can check more than one answer) Do you track them somehow (excel, database, etc), or just put them in a tbr (To Be Read for anyone that doesn't know) pile?

Well, there was once a time, in the not so distant past, when I was totally unaware of ARC's (advanced review copies), book about to be published in the near or not so near future that publishers GIVE to folks to read and review and get folks talking about and such. Yep, I was totally unaware. But then, I joined Library Thing and here is all this talk about their Early Reviewer program...and I join and check off a few books that look interesting...and I win one! Wow..I think i may have mentioned it here, but I was lucky enough to win a book there every month for like 9 months. Until I mentioned it. I have not won a book there since.

Happily, I found a few other sources. Shelf Awareness ads...a few self published (that is another topic..) from Bostick, some successful cold requests, several books won from contests on other blogs, a few offered to me from book publicists, a few requested from publicists after they are offered on Book Blogs...and I am sure a few other places I have forgotten for the moment.

How to I organize my TBR pile? Well, there are two. One, ARC's with a certain publication date. They are stacked, a literal pile, in order of that date, nearest..or most recent past, on top and working down. Little post-it notes with their dates.
Non ARCs, my personal TBR books...are in various places. Some doubled shelved, some in a precarious teetering tower, some on a narrow shelf at the top of the stairs that was not really meant for books, a couple of boxes in the extra bedroom, on the floor next to my recliner....you get the idea.

So see, here is the thing. Don't get me wrong, I love ARC's! I have gotten books that in all likelihood I would not have read otherwise. It got me out of reading my usual, safe little genre and I have read several books that I just loved and would likely never of heard of otherwise.

But I don't need ARCs to have books to review. The question says In order review books on your blog - you've got to GET books! No, not really. I have at least 100..maybe 200 unread books around here. So, let's say I could read and review 2 books a week or about 100 in a year (which I will not). That means I have at least a year, if not 2 years of books readily on hand. And then there is the rest of my current library. I have read them, but some as far back as high school and college, back in the foggy past when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Very long before blogland. Before the internet. Before cable TV!
So I could re-read and review them. According to Library Thing, I have 1115 books in my house, minus say 200 in the TBR pile...another 9 years right there. Then, there are all the books I have read and no longer have. I am not sure where they went. Given away, loaned out and not returned, but they are not here, which is bad because I miss them but good because other wise I might have to get bracing in the basement to support the weight.
Take Dean Koontz. I like his books (some are very good, some are good, a few are just weird) and I have read over the years, mostly likely every book he has written, which is about 100 books. I don't have most of them anymore, but I could find them somewhere..there is another year right there. Take Agatha Christie, most of which I read while I was in school. Another 80 there, another year.
And countless other authors, countless other books.

And let's not forget the library, that as we speak, is holding a book I requested and is, I understand, a place that gets new ones all the time. Yes, those are free to take home and read too! Imagine that...thousands and thousands of books, lovely, beautiful books, calling my name..."caite...caite...read me...me...."

So my point is, I love the books, but I don't need the books. Well, I NEED books. I just don't need any more. Not the two or three I requested on Shelf Awareness this week, not the three I order used online, not the ones in my cart on Amazon, not the ones I will buy with the Border's gift card I got for Christmas, not the ones I find at lighthouses or ferry terminals or everywhere I go...I think I have book magnetism or something! They are like little puppies that follow me home...cute little fuzzy puppies. Like Bandit! How can I say no?

P.S. I went to the library this morning to pick up the book I had on hold. But before I got inside, there was the ever present shelves of books for sale...hardcovers, just .25! Paperbacks a dime!
I only bought one...but then as I was checking out, I noticed the 'new books' shelves. I will just glance. Oh, look...I have been reading reviews of that one...or...and I saw an add for that one...oh, look, I have wanted to read that one.

I ran, screaming from the library...lol


  1. I know what you mean about needing books, but don't need anymore to review. I have a ton of my own books in my TBR, but once in awhile I'll see something that sounds good and request it to review. I'm hearing alot about Shelf Awareness this week and I've never heard of it before. I'm going to take a look at it.

  2. How can you say no? Simple, You can't. Books are as necessary as oxygen and H2O

  3. I also won books on LT 9 times in a row...and then nothing since. It's ok though. Like you said, I have enough books in my house to review one a day for many years to come.

  4. My personal collection is similarly huge. Even if the ARCs cut off right now, I could still keep on going for years. I have at least 2 years worth of unread books around. Can't say no to review copies though - or the library! Heh.

    I am a bit the opposite - I had the hardest time with ER in the beginning. I won very few books and I didn't like most of them. But now I've received a book every month since October. I'm not sure what changed!

  5. Dropping by with an off-topic comment. I read this article and though of you:
    Lost at Sea: Seven Beautiful Abandoned Lighthouses. I hope you enjoy it!

  6. Yes, I don't really need to get books to read or review - I've got hundreds stacked up everywhere in my apartment. I just need to make myself sit down and read them!

  7. It is good to know there are others with piles of books around. as I have written about before, I find my TBR pile comforting.

    Lorin, thanks for the link. I REALLY have to write up my latest lighthouse visit. BTW, an interesting little fight in the comments there about the bloggers use of photographs and copywrite.

  8. I've told my hubby not to touch my books, because I have them organized in a way that I understand. He asked me to explain my system to him and I can't because it doesn't make any sense. But, I know what every pile and shelf means.

  9. Well said! I have huge numbers of unread books but I still have to pick up more at the library and on my travels. How can I turn them down?!

  10. That library sale sounds way tempting!


  11. I'm glad I'm not the only one with a 100+ TBR pile. So very many books and I get to spend so very little time reading them. Great post!

  12. Oh the infamous library sale....I need to bring the pickup truck when my library has one of those. I'm pathetic!

  13. Oh the infamous library sale....I need to bring the pickup truck when my library has one of those. I'm pathetic!

  14. Pathetic...if you are pathetic then are you calling me pathetic too? Huh? ;-)
    Besides, a pickup is the wrong vehicle. What if it rains? For weather protection and way more room, rent a panel van!

  15. Caite - I love your humor. I'm also amazed at your book collection. Wow - just thinking of all those books makes my head spin - in a good way!

    Drat - our library used to have a wonderful sale every year, and for some reason, they said the storage for all the books was getting too expensive and ended the sale. :(

    Thanks for participating in Thingers last week! I've got the post up for this week - What's your favorite genre? ~ Wendi


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