TBR pile grows like a creeper in the tropics

Mount TBR 2013

My To Be Read pile is enormous and grows like a creeper in a tropical forest. It has always been thus since a child – after all one didn’t wish to run out of suitable reading matter when the shops are closed (remember I come from the pre internet era).

 

The pile began to grow out of hand when I had a serious accident which left me in plaster for 8 months or so. I came home from hospital delighting in the thought of all that enforced leisure, all those hours to read in. However, it was the exact opposite. I lost my books.

For four years I found my mind would/could not read books, or even magazines /journals. It was devastating and no matter how many doctors said it was temporary, caused by shock, stress or whatever, I was lonely and bereft. I kept buying the books, in the hope of better times, the bookcases filled with these hopefuls.

 

Reading came back later- thank goodness. But I am still trying to catch up with those four years worth of buying because of course I never stopped the buying when I could read again.

 

Catching up is intrinsically easy. Buy no more books until TBR has gone.

 

Vanished.

 

Easy.

 

Not.

 

Many of you readers will probably know a little about the addiction to books which create towering piles of unread books. In the past I have found I couldn’t leave a book shop with purchasing at least one new book. Some days this would create a desperation of sorts as I searched for the elusive ‘must have fix’. I would read reviews avidly and earmark those which sounded interesting, I would ask friends for recommendations, I would follow my favourite authors. My interests were wide and varied and so non fiction piled almost as high as fiction.

 

So many books!

 

Too many books?

 

I think not.

 

When I was young the habit of buying was constrained by lack of funds, for waiting for birthdays and Christmas. Back then I worked as often as I could out of school to gain extra money to feed this growing habit of mine. The addiction was fed by joining 6 libraries and living in a house overflowing with books from all ages.

 

Then grown up employment arrived and I was working in central London where bookshops grow like mushrooms. Ah! what unmitigated bliss. I entered serious addiction land, from the one or two on the go at the same time of my extreme youth, I now had reads on the go to suit all occasions and they littered my life like rose petals. I even bought clothes to accommodate the habit. Bags had to be roomy enough for a paperback- even evening bags (who knows when one’s escort might turn out to be zilch and the evening would be better spent inside a book.  Jackets had to have pockets big enough to slip the latest volume. My car always had a book in case of traffic jams; my suitcases when travelling had a stock of them (pre e-book readers) as I wandered the globe. Without a book at hand I began withdrawal symptoms of the nervy, anxious kind. Being reduced to reading even scraps of paper rescued from the rubbish bin.

 

Now I am retired I find the pension is less flexible than a salary:( I do need to curb the book spending. I don’t visit book shops much any more but. . . but . . of course now the problem is compounded by the Internet and the incredible ease of ordering online, the bargains to be had and almost instant delivery, recommendations abound on every page it seems, I have an e-reader and enough computer skills to download: ( no chance – no chance at all of reducing the TBP.

 

Unless I stop buying books!

 

I can do this.

 

I will.

 

If – if everyone stops writing them!:)

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