Wednesday, July 19, 2017

What Book Has Been in on Your TBR the longest and why haven't you either read it or ditched it?

Well, of course, there is more than one. And generally, they are books that came highly recommended or I wouldn't still have them, books I at least gave a start to, but then put aside. Books I know I should read but never seem to. And usually they are books known for a high violence quotient that I am sort of scared of.
Like THE KILLER INSIDE ME by Jim Thompson or SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER by David Goodis.

What about you?

16 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

OOoh, Interesting question! I have several candidates, and I don't ditch them, because I keep hoping - futilely, I suppose - that I will read them if they stay there.

S. D. Parker said...

Good question. I guess for me, the lower a book gets on my radar, after while, it just falls off and I basically forget it until/if something triggers the memory. If no trigger, then I let it go. There always seem to be newer books that stay on my radar and I get to those.

Jerry House said...

One book that comes instantly to mind is J. Sheridan le Fanu's UNCLE SILAS, a classic gothic mystery first published in 1864. I like Le Fanu and have read all his shorter works, including the story which he expanded to UNCLE SILAS. For some reason, the gods have decreed that I will never read the book. I've started it at least five times over the years but something always came up to make me abandon it after a few chapters. Maybe this year...

TracyK said...

That is an interesting question. The one book that I am aware of having for many years is Sleepyhead by Mark Billingham. I suppose I hold on to it because I keep hearing that the book is good, the series is good, the author writes well. But it is about a serial killer, the subject is not pleasant, and I haven't even tried to start it after all these years.

That book cannot be the oldest on my TBR pile, because it was published in 2001, and I definitely have unread books on the TBR pile that have been there 20 years, but none occur to me now.

Gerard Saylor said...

Tough call.

I've kept back from reading some Bill Crider and Anthony Neil Smith novels but that's because I'm stockpiling them for later because I know I will enjoy them. Same for Charlie Stella novels.

I cannot think of what else I have sitting at home.

George said...

Proust's IN SEARCH FOR LOST TIME. I've had those books on my shelves since the 1960s. I've tried reading it twice but never made it through SWAN'S WAY?

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Good question! There are many of course. These are just ones on my shelf.

Alan Moorehead, THE BLUE NILE ( I meant to get and read THE WHITE NILE first...)
John Brunner, STAND ON ZANZIBAR
Hemingway, A FAREWELL TO ARMS
John O'Hara, FROM THE TERRACE (the length!)
Trollope, CAN YOU FORGIVE HER? (and the rest of the Parliamentary/Palliser series)

And the ones I don't currently own include the Proust and MIDDLEMARCH.

Charles Gramlich said...

Impossible to say. I've got a lot of books that have been on my intended to read pile for decades. Maybe War and peace

Rick Robinson said...

Possibly Brian Aldis' HELLICONIA SUMMER. As far as mysteries are concerned, I have AN UNSUITABLE JOB FOR A WOMAN by P.D. James that I keep meaning to read, but there always seems to be something newer that catches my eye.

pattinase (abbott) said...

That is sort of the thing, Rick. Something new comes along. I am very promiscuous. I by books and forsake them for library books. Almost always. If I had any gumption I would hide my library card and read what's in the house. Because believe me, I have enough for the time left to me.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Patti, to make it worse, my library has been buying a lot of ebooks, and if you look on line at off hours and see an ebook edition is available for immediate downloading...there's no hope I will pass it by.

Oh, we're talking mysteries sitting on the shelf that just haven't grabbed me enough to read them? In some cases (many cases), I've tried the first chapter but wasn't impressed, or just wasn't in the mood for "that kind" of book, or some other reason.

Stephen Booth, BLACK DOG
Tana French, IN THE WOODS
Zoe Sharp, HARD KNOCKS

pattinase (abbott) said...

Book I have tried to read the most times: MAGIC MOUNTAIN by Thomas Mann and MIDDLEMARCH. Although I like Tana French, I could not read the first one.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Yes, I've always thought I should read the Mann - probably over 40 years now - but never could.

Barry Ergang said...

I sold my house in 2013 and moved into an apartment. Because of space constraints, I wound up donating more than a dozen cartons of books to the local library. Among those were some I'd had since college--I graduated in 1968--including Joyce's Ulysses, Finnegans Wake, and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. I never really tried to get into the first two, but I did read the first three of four chapters of Portrait. I started the fourth, read several pages, and decided I didn't care, dropped it, and went on to something else.

I'm presently reading (9 chapters in as of this post) many years' ago, strongly-recommended-to-me, and well-regarded first entry into a mystery series: Margaret Maron's Bootlegger's Daughter. Although it has many a virtue as to story and style, it's not without its foibles, not the least of which are a multitude of characters not likely relevant to the plot--it could really stand a "Cast of Characters" list of the kind you find in old Pocket Books editions--I find myself getting progressively impatient with the story's movement. If it doesn't pick up after another chapter or two, it'll be relegated to the Disposal pile.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I liked the BOOTLEGGER'S DAUGHTER when I read it but I couldn't tell you a thing about it now. Quite a long time ago.

Elgin Bleecker said...

Painful question. The books I have not gotten to are either boxed up or buried behind other books on the shelves. They are mostly ancient classics. I can’t get rid of them. That would be quitting. As for the two you mentioned, Thompson and Goodis are among my favorites. And for those who commented above, do not delay reading WAR AND PEACE, it really is great. (And here’s a tip, try the Maude translation).