Thursday, January 29

inner bookworm: my to-be-read list

Once again, I've spotted a tag I couldn't resist on The Perpetual Page-Turner's blog.  This one is all about the TBR: to-be-read list.  

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

My TBR includes a hip-high pile of books in the corner of my room, a list in the front of my interactive notebook at school (where I model what I expect the kids' notebooks to look like - at the end of last semester, each student shared an excerpt from what he/she is currently reading and I think everyone's TBR list grew), as well as an Amazon wishlist and a growing list on Goodreads.  

Is your TBR mostly print or ebook?

Obviously the physical pile is print, and I usually pull up my Goodreads TBR list while browsing the shelves at the public library.  Usually I buy eBooks when I want to read a brand-new book, like Amy Poehler's memoir Yes Please, or when the library doesn't have the next book in a series (we're a rural small town, so the "NEW BOOKS" display at the library usually contains books that were published in 2010).

How do you determine what to read next?

I have a very loose system of alternating between MG/YA books, books written for adults, and nonfiction books about teaching.  I'm also something of a seasonal reader - I read Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane in October because I wanted something a little bit creepy for Halloween, I went through a major funny lady memoir phase earlier this year, and the end of summer and Christmas break are always YA sprees so I have lots of book recommendations for kiddos when the new semester starts.

A book that has been on your TBR the longest:

Looking at my Amazon wish list, I added The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan back in April 2012.  I just haven't been in a let's-read-about-food nonfiction mood, I guess, but I do still want to read it.

A book you recently added to your TBR pile:

I just added Girl at the End of the World by Elizabeth Esther to my Goodreads list.  It's about how she grew up in a fundamentalist Christian sect and found the courage to leave it as an adult.  I've always been a little bit fascinated by fundamentalists because when I was in elementary school my best friend's family joined a new church and promptly pulled their children out of public school, and because my own grandmother raised me with some beliefs that tended in that direction and scared me away from Christianity for a while.

I picked up Talking to Girls About Duran Duran by Rolling Stone music critic (and fellow Wahoo) Rob Sheffield at the local book sale - it's a coming-of-age memoir against the backdrop of 80's music, so I think I will love it.  I got bitten by the memoir bug last year and I don't see that changing in 2015!

A book on your TBR solely for its beautiful cover:

The Innocents by Francesca Segal - the only reason I clicked on it in Goodreads was because the cover reminded me of a BBC drama.  The description sounds interesting, but not something I'd ordinarily seek out to read!

A book on your TBR you never plan on reading:

I have a lot of classics on my list that I would like to read just to be able to share that cultural knowledge, but I'm not sure I ever really will - I mean, does anyone actually read Les Miserables or Anna Karenina?  I'm probably never going to read the Lord of the Rings books, either.  Take away my nerd card if you must.

An unpublished book on your TBR you’re most excited:

Maggie Stiefvater's next Raven Cycle book - she's been dropping hints on Tumblr as she writes and it is driving me crazy.

A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read but you:

Judging from the side-eye I got in several of my college classes, I went to the one high school in the world that doesn't assign A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you:

Wonder has been on my list for a while and has so much buzz, especially in the world of English teachers.  I'm just waiting for it to come out in paperback because my students are much more likely to borrow paperbacks than hardcovers - if I think there's a remote chance a book will end up in my classroom library I get the paperback.

How many books are on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

715. I used to use Amazon as my to-read tracker, so there are a lot of books on there that could probably be added to the Goodreads list.

How do you keep track of the books you want to read?


  1. I love that you are a seasonal reader! I am too. I love sitting by the fireplace with a Christmas book in December and then reading a book about summer vacation during (you guessed it) summer vacation.

    Also, for the record I'm a nutritionist by profession and I still have The Omnivore's Dilemma on my to-be-read list. At one point, I read the first 12 pages and then convinced myself that it was a better idea to read something fiction. ;)

    1. That does make me feel better! One of my coworkers is constantly recommending nonfiction books to me and I'm just like, "so I'm reading this book about time travel/wizards/cyborgs..."

  2. I have several piles of books next to my bed of books to read. Seriously, it's ridiculous! As for how I keep track of them, on goodreads the books I actually own but haven't read are on my to-read list. Then the books I want to read, but don't own, are on my wishlist list.

    And actually I did read Les Miserables in high school and really liked it! Although I've never read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn either.