Nov 15 2010 11:36am

From Twitter: That Dreaded To Be Read pile!

Book scuplture Idiom by Matej KrenThe TBR pile. Books To Be Read. Shelves or stacks of books (or, now, entries on an eReader perhaps).

We asked the lovely people on Twitter about their #TBR piles and can now pop them into the following categories!


- 8 or so books @WordTipping

 - My #TBR pile is only (!) six books right now. Finally working through it @jaimecallahan



- Over 100 books. It gives me nightmares @tehawesomersace

 - My #TBR pile has shrunk to 70 books. It will grow with holiday gifts, and temptations while shopping @ms_marques



- I look around and realize it’s actually zero @jeffphotos

 - 0. I read much faster than I can find new books to read @phirate



- At present the #TBR pile is measured in feet, not volumes @drfidelius

 - What pile? I have a #TBR bookcase! @tonylinde

 - If you stack them up, one on the other, it’s over three stories tall. I’ve measured @temporus

 - My #TBR pile is taller than I am and probably weighs more too @u_Bik

Which category does your To Be Read pile fit into? Is there a particular book on there you’re just dying to get to?

1. kid_greg
I'm sure to die before I get to them all. My TBR grows almost daily, bi-weekly at the least, but it takes me about a week and a half to read a book.
Lannis .
2. Lannis
Moderate? Not quite modest, not quite huge? Just counted, and there's 37 books on the TBR shelf, though the TBR list has over 60 authors (some are entire series that have been recommended).

I try not to let the collection get too far ahead of my reading pace, but that's the lovely thing about books--there'll always be more! :)
Gary Schaper
3. Garyfury
It's not an insanely huge TBR pile, it's a hedge against any financial crisis that would leave me unable to buy books.
Melissa Shumake
4. cherie_2137
mine's not really a pile. i file everything into its proper place on the bookshelf until i get to read it... i'd say there are about 8-10 unread books on the shelf right now.
Daniel Goss
5. Beren
Being from a family of voracious readers, my TBR pile tends to not be very large due to the fact that someone else in the family is currently reading whatever would be in it. We each tend to 'check out' books from each others' libraries and take them home. Currently, I have two from my sister waiting (by a guy named Brent Weeks I think?) and I'm reading one from my brother (The Warded Man by Peter V Brett -- very good, BTW) and they have my copies of Warbreaker, The Way of Kings and half of my Dresden Files collection . . . it's nice, because this way none of us have to have massive piles of books sitting around unread -- they're on someone else's bookshelves.
6. birdbrainbb
Yeah, I've got, like, over 300 books on my TBR pile/death trap/monstrosity. And that is NOT EVEN COUNTING the ebooks (at least another 600?).

Gabriele Campbell
7. G-Campbell
My TBR piles could support the portico of a Roman villa. :) But I don't see a lot of unread books as bad but as something I can look forward to. It's not like they will run away or rot and turn mouldy - no, they will wait patiently until I'm in the mood to read some of them.

And walls lined with full bookshelves are a beautiful sight. Though I wish I had some space to put up a few of my photos as well. ;)
Corey McKinnon
8. CMcKinnon
Mine has been holding constant at around 5-6 books for the past few months. The problem (not really a problem :-)) is that I keep adding books to it, so it never really shrinks. I've been trying to slow down the buying lately, though, to try and catch up a bit.
Sim Tambem
9. Daedos
I use an equation:

(# of Books in existance) - (# of books I've read + Harlequin Romance Novels) = TBR list
10. dwndrgn
I dont' have a TBR pile, I read too fast for that. But, I have a TBR list which is over 260 titles long...
Rikka Cordin
11. Rikka


My list: it grows far more often than it diminshes. If I bought all of these I'd be crazy poor. I am already crazy poor, therefore everytime I visit a public library I bring up google docs and randomly select a few titles to check for in the catalogue. Titles that are white-ed out are ones I've read that are in a series.

It's going to be a long life.
Ashley McGee
12. AshleyMcGee
*Sigh* sadly my TBR pile that seems to only be growing, and I've even stopped buying books. I finally finished all of my Star Trek novels I bought in October (a labor of love). I have to finish that mistake of an Assassin's Creed novel I bought. Then after that we move onto the books I received as wedding gifts back in March when I was still immersed in Michael Moorcock's Elric: The Chronicles of the Last Emperor of Melnibone: Dan Simmon's Drood, also his Children of the Night. Then onto the books I bought/recieved in Brighton at the Horror Convention, along with the Lumleys I have yet to finish that I keep adding to. And, to keep myself from buying more books, I've added my husband's copies of the entire Hyperion series. Dan Simmons, you're most definately on my list! My future list includes The Sworn by Gail Z. Martin in February.
Steve Downey
13. sdowney
Jo's reviews of the Aubrey & Maturin series added 19 books to the already large stack. I think it's under 100 right now.
15. mirana
Currently, there are only 3 books. One borrowed novel, one artbook, and one graphic novel. There are a handful of novels that we were given at NYCC that I might read, but I don't count them since I didn't pick them and the beau reads too. After those, I've been tending to read books already in our library which my fiancee has bought, and only buying a new book every few months or so. I figure I've got plenty available to me already (and his TBR pile is probably around 30-40)! ;)
Angela Korra'ti
16. annathepiper
My TBR pile, as tracked by my To Read shelf on Goodreads, is at 711 books and counting!

I even did the math not long ago and figured out that I outweigh my TBR pile, but only by 20 pounds or so. ;) I believe this puts me into category 'Indescribable', or perhaps 'Crazytalk'.

(Site moderator: my previous attempt to comment on this thread got yoinked into the spam filter! Please delete that comment, and apologies for the inconvenience!)
17. HélèneB
My TBR piles are not quite portico size but ... very near.
# 7 I agree it is nothing to cry over but, for some book, I wonder if I don't miss the right time to read them. I feel some books can offer more when read at the "good" period of one's life.
18. kid_greg
Sadly,many posts make a good point; current financial status has also put me in a spot where my TBR list gets longer while actually being able to move books from the TBR list to the "read" or "reading" list is not as easy as it was a year or so ago. :(
Christine Evelyn Squires
19. ces
My TBR pile of books-I've-never-read is down to 2. I read fast, and I read every word, I don't use speed-reading techniques. Why is it so low? Because the books I have in my ordered-but-waiting-to-be-published orders at Amazon (and they're all real books, not e-books!) haven't been published yet. And then there's the to-be-read-once-the-author-writes-them list, which is larger.

About 2/3 of the books I read, I enjoy but know I won't re-read them. These books I donate to a local charity. I encourage all of you to do the same. Ask yourself, "Will I really reread this book again?" If the answer is no, please donate it to a local charity so others can read it.
William Uniac
20. Billiac
My TBR shelves at home are currently holding 25-30 books. Unfortunately some of those are parts of unfinished series and will not move to the read shelves until after the final book in each has been published.

Which makes me think I should hit up a bookstore or three soon...
S Cooper
21. SPC
I have a TBR list on Amazon that's probably about 100 items, plus a half a dozen books in my bedroom, about ten on my Nook, and an unknown number of books that got stuffed into boxes when we had a baby and all the books at toddler height had to be put away. I'm looking forward to rediscovering my stash once my children are old enough for me to put books back on shelves. And then there are the books that my husband brought to the marriage and expects me to read but I'm not really interested in.
22. OtterB
I don't have a TBR pile; I have a TBR archipelago. There are outcroppings all over the house. In part it's a buffering problem. I try to buy books by favorite authors when they come out to support the author, but sometimes I'm not in the mood for that type of book or they back up waiting for me to get to them.

It's really annoying to know that I bought a particular book but be unable to find it when I want to read it.
Brent Longstaff
23. Brentus
My TBR pile consists of many sample chapters sitting unread on my Kindle. Also, I have about fifteen audiobooks in itunes I haven't read yet. My physical TBR pile is small since I only buy physical books to get them signed. I do have a few signed books I have not read.

I've put my TBR pile on hiatus while I get rid of my currently-reading pile of a dozen books.
24. Erin W.
My to-read list at is currently at 291. I got my pile of library books at home down to about 30 that I'd actually like to read.
25. PhoenixFalls
I'm with cherie 2137@4. I file the books away as soon as I get them. This lets me pretend that I'm not a crazy book hoarder.

Of course, I have to buy bookcases every three months or so. . . but all the books are on a shelf in alphabetical order, sorted by genre, so I just have a good-sized library, not a psychological disorder. :)

I believe the number of books on my "TBR" shelf on Shelfari is in the multiple-hundreds category however, and that's only the fiction. . .
Steve Burnett
26. steveburnett
202: 86 nonfiction, 116 fiction. That's the count of the to-read books physically present in my office. (The Amazon wish list is only a little larger.)
Lianne Burwell
27. LKBurwell
Let's see, two full bookcases, plus a few boxes... My unread pile probably tops 1000 books. If I stopped buying books today (but there are so many good ones coming!), it would take me years to get through the pile. Of course, I've been building the pile, bit by bit, for a couple of decades. Too many interesting books, not enough time to read them all... Maybe when I retire.
28. NerdyGirl
My physical to-be-read pile is around 50 books.

My to-be-read list on GoodReads is currently at 548 titles. That's actually a very lowball estimate, because I usually only include the first book of a series or one book by an author I've never read before.

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