Monday, November 07, 2016

The Dreaded TBRs


What book has been on your TBR pile the longest? For me it is DOWN AND O UT IN PARIS AND LONDON, which I have had since the 70s without reading. I remember a friend, now gone, telling me it was his favorite book so when I saw it at a used book sale I picked it up. I think since it had not spoken to me itself, I felt no read commitment. But why have I hung on to it so long when many other unread books have came and went. It's because every time I start to discard it I read how it mean something to someone. Just recently someone in BY THE BOOK said just that. Or I think  of the fellow who recommended it and feel I owe it to him to read it. Though I don't.

What has been on your TBR pile the longest? Do you expect to ever read it? Why have you held on to it this long?

16 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

I've a few that have languished for too long, Patti. For me, anyway, it's because they were sent to me (i.e. I didn't choose them), and aren't necessarily my thing. I wait for those books until I'm in a mood to get out of my comfort zone a bit.

Jerry House said...

One that sticks in my mind is J. Sheridan Le Fanu's UNCLE SILAS. I'm a big Le Fanu fan and I really enjoyed the story he expanded into the novel but every time I pick up the novel something happens to interrupt my reading. Once again, it has found its way near to the top of Mount TBR so we'll soon see if I actually get to finish it.

Charles Gramlich said...

There are a bunch of classics on my TBR list that have been there forever. I tend to get to one or two a year. I just did CAtch-22, which was like that, and I was dreading it.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Oh, God. Don't even ask. I have so many. Let me look at the shelves.

Anthony Trollope, CAN YOU FORGIVE HER? and the rest of that series (I definitely intend to read them someday)
Alan Furst, I've been piling up his WWII-era books, only read a couple
John O'Hara, FROM THE TERRACE (just too long!)
John Brunner, STAND ON ZANZIBAR
Hemingway, A FAREWELL TO ARMS (read most of the others, but not this one)
Frederick Exley, LAST NOTES FROM HOME (I loved A FAN'S NOTES)
Tana French, IN THE WOODS
Stephen Booth, BLACK DOG

pattinase (abbott) said...

Damn, I have some of those too. I got the Trollope on George's (and another friend's) recommendation but just can't get into it. IN THE WOODS is one of the few books I haven't read by French. I just gave it away. The Exley I was afraid it would ruin my feelings about the first book. Phil has read the Fursts.

Nancy Humphrys said...

I really want to study and understand the history of women in mystery. The beginnings are my bane. I'm just now finishing East Lynne, which I've treated as a serial, dipping in now and then. Makes me appreciate the writers of the 20th and 21st centuries all the more!

Nancy Humphrys said...

I really want to study and understand the history of women in mystery. The beginnings are my bane. I'm just now finishing East Lynne, which I've treated as a serial, dipping in now and then. Makes me appreciate the writers of the 20th and 21st centuries all the more!

Anonymous said...

One book that I have repeatedly started and never finished (and has been with me for well over 30 years) is Robert Graves's THE LONG WEEKEND, a history of England between the wars. Every time I pick it up, I see my last bookmark sticking up wherever I left it umpteen years before.

Deb

pattinase (abbott) said...

I remember F. Scott Fitzgerald recommending EAST LYNNE, Nancy.
I have read some Graves but not that one, Deb.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Deb, I tried that years ago (after I, CLAUDIUS with Derek Jacobi, so you can see how long it was!), being sure I would love it, but I couldn't get involved in it at all.

One more I've always been meaning to read: MIDDLEMARCH.

George said...

Proust's IN SEARCH OF LOST TIME. I've tried reading it three times. I get a few hundred pages into it and then I stall out. I've give it another shot when I'm retired.

Richard Robinson said...

MY ANTONIA is a book I read a long time ago, perhaps even in high school, and have thought I should have gotten more from it and so have a copy here, which has been sitting for years. TEN YEARS AFTER BAKER STREET by Cay Van Ash has been high, but shunted aside, on the TBR for more than a decade, perhaps closer to two decades. It's a story about both Holmes and Fu Manchu and I've started it a dozen times before something else - usually a library book or book review book - pulls me away. I've not gotten past 20 pages or so. But I really want to read it.

There are dozens more, possibly hundreds. Some are classics I think I "should read", some are things I intended to get to but keep forgetting about, some just never gain a high enough priority.

J F Norris said...

Can't really answer this question because I don't have a single TBR pile. I have multiple TBR piles in nearly every room in the house. The only rooms off limits for books - the kitchen and the bathroom.

The last "oldest pile" I tackled was a bag with books bought in 2010 (I tag everything with mini Post-its with the date and location I buy the book). In that bag were the two Richard Marsh books I finally read for Halloween. They kept getting moved from room to room until I finally said to myself, "Just read them!"

Gram said...

I have never been able to read the last book in the McGee series by John D. MacDonald or the last in the series by one other author whose name escapes me at the moment. I didn't want those series to end at the time, so the last books are still waiting.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I have done that several times too! Even with TV shows like Deadwood.

Todd Mason said...

I've certainly had THE SIMARILLION long enough, though THE IDIOT even longer. But I did read a boiled-down DON QUIJOTE and excerpts by the time I was 12yo, and have meant to do more ever since...