So today, I want to introduce you to a fun activity to help you start to tackle the TBR pile if you ever, like me, stand in front of your bookshelves and find yourself in a state of guilt and near-panic! Do you find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer number of books sitting there, beautiful, enticing, intriguing, entertaining, worthy, informative – and you haven’t read them yet? Do you worry that you never will? Do you approach the shelves determined to pick one to read – and then, because there are so many, you can’t choose?! Argh!
I’ve been in that state of mind all my adult life, it sometimes feels! So, just after Christmas, I made a decision.
I am going to tackle the To Be Read pile, I said to myself.
A small voice deep in my brain, chortled at that. Not for the first time.
Ah! But I have a cunning plan, I replied.
Oh yeah? The small voice said.
This is what I’m doing – and I’m inviting you to join in, if you like. This is not an ambitious, discipline and demanding reading programme. Like diets, plans like this are all very well when you start, but real life and distractions pull you away from sticking to them.
So here it is, and it's really simple. I decided to read two books from my TBR pile, per month. Couldn’t be simpler. Not one book a day or week. Two per month. But they have to be from the TBR pile – not newly-bought ones. I am playing with the notion of making one fiction, one non-fiction, but that’s not a binding rule. The whole point about this is not to feel bound at all, not to be obligated, driven or burdened. I make my decisions each month as quickly and spontaneously as possible because if I look at the shelves for too long then all those lovely books will start nagging me – Pick me! Pick me!
I walk over, grab one, start. There we are.
So far it’s working – and the paradox is that I’m actually reading more than two because there’s a kind of playful liberation going on with this process.
Want to join me? I’m going to post which TBR books I’ve read each month here on Literascribe, and on my Facebook pages – both LornaFergussonAuthor and Fictionfire-Inspiration-for-Writers. I may say a few words about them, I may not. I am not going to write long reviews because then the playfulness will go out the window and I’ll feel like I’m tackling a task – guilt and pressure will sneak back in, before I know it.
If you’d like to join in – I’m calling it ‘I’ve Got It, So I’ll Read It!’ (IGISIRI for short) - add what you’ve been reading to my Facebook page discussion, or subscribe to Literascribe and add your comments. If you discover one of those books that has been lurking on your TBR pile is a total gem and you think everyone should read it – let us know! (Although, of course, that will mean you’re adding to our TBR piles …!)
To kick us off: my IGISIRI books this year so far are:
· Georgette Heyer’s Snowdrift – a Christmas gift from my sister, a collection of short stories which were a nostalgic pleasure
· Vanessa LaFaye’s Summertime – beautifully written, set in Florida after World War I and culminating in an edge-of –the-seat account of the worst hurricane ever to hit that region
· Catherine Ryan Howard’s Distress Signals – an enjoyable thriller set on a cruise ship, with really sparky dialogue
· Jane Alexander’s The Last Treasure Hunt – a darkly witty satire on our hunger for fame and how feeding the public’s hunger for inside stories can spiral out of control.