blo Teens Read and Write: Clear Out the Pack Rat Mentality - and the TBR

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Clear Out the Pack Rat Mentality - and the TBR

In honor of Kate @ The Neverending Bookshelf and her Clean Away the Clutter Read-a-Thon we're talking about keeping that ever growing TBR in check. It's not easy!

I wish my space for books looked like this. But it doesn't and I'm guessing yours doesn't either. But somehow what me head knows doesn't always make it to my heart. My belief that I have room for one - or twenty - more books to add to my TBR.

If you've ever watched those shows about de-cluttering - whether it's your closet or your house - one of the first things they tell you to do to determine if you should keep something, is ask yourself how long it's been since you've used it.

If you haven't worn that shirt in a year, probably not going to happen. Let it go. Another tidbit is, if you buy something new, get rid of something old.

You should take that same attitude to your TBR. I mean, come on people. If you have books there for several months and you haven't read them, it ain't gonna happen anytime soon - donate or give them away. And if you want to buy something new, read or get rid of an old one.

It's hard to give it up. It's like that shirt - "I
might wear it...someday." Yeah, you might read that book someday, but maybe not. Maybe your tastes change or maybe there is just too much good new stuff out there and you'll never get to it.

The good news about books is that (unlike that shirt) you can always get the
exact same one again. And for free from the library. Those older ones - that you were taking so long to get to - can be had without even having to go on a waiting list.

The library is a great tool for us pack rats. You can order any book you want, it's free, the time frame forces you to either read it or give it up, and you can go back again and again!

I get it. I'm a pack rat, that's why I'm writing this post. I think it's a girl thing. Jake and Gregory don't have that problem. They finish something before they go on to something else, with very few exceptions for their favorite authors. I have a tough time with that. Something new in my genre? Gotta have it! But I'm trying to get better. And so should you.

Now on the other hand, like in your wardrobe, you have to have the classics. Those favorites, or 'comfort books' that will always remain on your shelf.

For me I have Meg Cabot's Mediator series (have had them for years). More recently I'd add City of Bones (Cassandra Clare) and Hush Hush (Becca Fitzpatrick). Jake keeps Jim Butcher's Dresden Files on hand, and for Gregory it's anything by Cinda Williams Chima or the Skullduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy.

So here's what I want to know...

1.) Is there at least one book on your growing TBR that has been there forever and (if you were honest) you could give up without to much trauma?

2.) What is your latest "Gotta Have It" book? (that you can get once you've given up that one in question #1)

3.) What are your classics - you're 'comfort books' that you never want to give up?

4.) What are your best tips for keeping that TBR in check?

You have a chance to win a copy Haunted - one of my favorite in the Mediator series if you are a follower, comment and fill out THIS FORM. The contest is international and and will end when the Read-A-Thon does - 4/11.

I hope you can clean up some clutter this week and get in some great reading. Be sure to enter Kate's Clean Away the Clutter Read-A-Thon. As well as helping you with the clutter, she's got some fabulous prizes to give away!

If you'd like to answer the questions on a post, please link it below. Thanks for participating!


Blodeuedd said...

Oh no, not read in months books, nope can't give them away. Must of the books that I will read one day are books that I honestly aim to read. if I gave them away, well then one day I would have to buy them again since nothing can be found here :(

But hey with you on the clothes, I love giving away clothes. Less clutter makes me feel good, and yes some books go too. The read ones, that I wont read again

Tales of Whimsy said...

My greatest tip: Only keep the ones you love.

Cool post!

LOVE that image you chose!

Fantastic tips!

Misty said...

Ugh. Your questions made me face my problem. And it is a problem, I am a serious hoarder.
Anyway, I posted my answers...

Kathleen said...

I answered the questions here:

But it was pretty easy as I don't have towering TBR piles that I bought.

Angela @ Reading Angels said...

I'm sure this hits close to home for all of us :-) Here's my post.

Allison said...

1. Les Miserables, definitely.
2. Changeless by Gail Carriger
3. Anne of Green Gables and Tears of the Moon (which is by Nora Roberts)
4. Often if I come across a book I really want I go immediately to the library and check it out and read it that way so I don't end up buying it :)

Shy said...

This is indeed an interesting topic. I actually have a severe problem in separating myself from the books that I've bought... You see, every single books I have were nicely wrapped with plastic wrapper and I think I took care of them as if they are my children *lol* Sounds crazy, eh? But seriously, books are the only thing that I can buy without thinking much, so they are indeed my personal treasure. Believe that if you live in Malaysia and see the books prices here, you'll definitely hesitate to let any of them go too...

So, as to answer your question:
(1) Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks. The book is gigantic and I haven't yet dare touch it yet.

(2) Before I Fall... Gosh, I've been talking and talking and talking about this book non-stop of Twitter but yep, I cannot buy it until the PB version comes out. HB is *horribly* expensive!

(3) I'd say Harry Potter series. I re-read these every year!

(4) I usually alternate, meaning that if today I read a new book I bought, then tomorrow I must read the other book that I've bought weeks/months/years ago. It works thus far (Except for the Human Traces, of course)

p.s. Sorry for this very long comment. I tend to fail writing only one/two sentences in my comments, so bare with me!

Paigeewa said...

This is really interesting and so true, I'm such a book pack rat!

1) I can't think of any off the top of my head that have been there forever. MY TBR pile is just from Christmas because school got in the way.
2) "Will Grayson, Will Grayson" is my YA Gotta Have It, and then I really need to get some Hemingway.
3) "Ella Enchanted" by Gail Carson Levine. I've read that book more times then I can count.
4) I usually don't buy books to add to my TBR pile. Instead, I keep a running list in a Word document of books I want to read and when I finish a current read, I'll turn to that list and pick one from there to buy or to get from the library. That way, I don't have books lying around!

Jan von Harz said...

Here is my post for Clean Away the Clutter Read-A-Thon

bookaholic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bookaholic said...

The questions are really interesting.I had to think hard but now I think I am ready with the answers.Here it goes...
1.The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho.I don't really know why I bought the book at the first place.
2.This one is the tough one because I think my 'Gotta Have It' book list is a long one but I will tell you the one that tops the list now.It is The Dark Divine by Bree Despain.
3.The Princess Diaries Series by Meg Cabot and the Harry Potter series.Love them!
4.Well I borrow books from the library quite frequently.So that is one way by which I ensure that not too many books are lying around.

Thank you so much for the questions.I had a lot of fun answering them.

Unknown said...

All right. My post is up (#5)
I like reading what people have to say.

cait045 said...

I have a big TBR list. I do have a few books I could clear out. Gamer Fantastic is one I could get rid of.

I love my books that are so worn because I have read them so often. Usually whenever I new one from the series is coming out. Cassie Palmer Series by Karen Chance is one of them.

Anonymous said...

Great questions - that really got me thinking about the books that I have.

Jamie said...

1.) I just posted all of my Buffy the Vampire Slayer books on paperback swap that I have had on my TBR shelf for!!

2.) Humm that is a hard one. I guess I will have to say Lover Mine by J.R. Ward that comes out at the end of the month.

3.) They are not really classics but the 2 series that I keep around are Black Dager Brotherhood by J.R Ward and Demonica by Larissa Ione. I don't really reread books but I keep these handy because they are two of my favorite series!!

4.) Humm I guess I don't really have one because mine TBR pile is continuously But I have been really good about posting a book on paperback swap when I get done reading it.

Jamie B

Unknown said...

ACK I am scared! LOL!

Bella@BeguileThySorrow said...

I've known for a while I have to clear a few books out but I mostly check out too many library books. I need to work on not getting too excited to see a new YA book and checking it out, lol

Mama Librarian said...

Whooo. I'm so guilty of this, in a big way. Here's my post:

Jennifer said...

Fantastic questions. I answered them the best I could.

brizmus said...

It was hard for me to read this post! Agh! I always eventually get to books, and I find that, at 27, I can say that my tastes have expanded, but I've never actually stopped liking a certain genre of book. And I know that, if I get a book from the library and like it, I probably won't be able to stop myself from buying it. And then coveting it.
I've recently decided, though, that if a book gets 3 stars or less, I won't keep it.
Now, though, I'm wanting to give all books at least 3 1/2 stars.
SO HARD to get out of that pack rat stage.
At least I don't have a problem with reading more than one book at a time.

Carol M said...

Tastes do change and I have donated books that I no longer want to read to our library's book sale. I've also given them books I've read and won't read again. That still leaves me with books that I've had a while but I know I will read someday mostly because they are part of a series I haven't started yet.

Anonymous said...

I didn't have read a long time ago! cause I dont have books and no time too xD! Bad luck!

i hope yo guys that are reading books... i mean good books.. Enjoy a lot!

Anonymous said...

jo! and thanks for the giveaway :D

Aik said...

1.) Is there at least one book on your growing TBR that has been there forever and (if you were honest) you could give up without too much trauma?

The Constellation of Sylvie by Roderick Townley

2.) What is your latest "Gotta Have It" book? (that you can get once you've given up that one in question #1)

Nefertiti by Michelle Moran

3.) What are your classics - you're 'comfort books' that you never want to give up?

Science fictions by H.G. Wells

4.) What are your best tips for keeping that TBR in check?

I exchange books with my friends when I'm done reading them.

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Giada M. said...

1.) Is there at least one book on your growing TBR that has been there forever and (if you were honest) you could give up without to much trauma?

Yes, there is and not only one unfortunately. I have to *clean* my TBR list.

2.) What is your latest "Gotta Have It" book? (that you can get once you've given up that one in question #1)

And Falling, Fly by Skyler White

3.) What are your classics - you're 'comfort books' that you never want to give up?

Agatha Christie's books and Jane Austen's books.

4.) What are your best tips for keeping that TBR in check?

I use Anobii. That is a great website to keep my TBR in check!

Thank you for this awesome giveaway!^O^

Giada M

fabgiada @

donnas said...

Great post. And this is a true problem. I really have a hard time parting with books. I know I need to work on it, but even just thinking about it almost hurts.

Unknown said...

1. Les Miserables, definitely.
2. Changeless by Gail Carriger
3. Anne of Green Gables and Tears of the Moon (which is by Nora Roberts)
4. Often if I come across a
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