Personal, Reviews

Stacks of Shame

I am stealing this from Kate at booksaremyfavouriteandbest (it’s also possible that I can’t manage to get my stuff together enough to post a review). I’ve already shared my TBR stack of review copies. This is my stack of books I’ve purchased and not bothered to read – yet. There are more than are in this photo, but I did not want to go upstairs and get the rest. Though in all honesty I’m not sure that I’ll ever read The Bridges of Madison County, Possession, or Orlando.

You know that website Dog Shame? I’m thinking of starting one featuring readers standing next to their to-be-read stacks. While holding bookshop carrier bags. BECAUSE WE KEEP BUYING BOOKS EVEN THOUGH WE ALREADY HAVE TONNES TO READ. Well I do anyway…

I mentioned that I’m going to my city’s yearly used book sale, despite this downright shameful stack of books that are waiting to be read.

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Shameful, no? Made more so that I intend to go buy more this weekend…

I always feel that I know who I am as a reader, then I look at my books and realize I have no idea.

I claim to not be fond of poetry. Yet there is a book of poems (and I have a a few lines of poetry tattooed on myself).

I claim to be fond of horror, but I have not finished The Call of Cthulhu…What?

There is not one, but two unread King books in that pile.

I claim to like Gothic novels, but haven’t bothered to read Daphne DuMaurier.

Who am I?!?

And Kate was right, I do feel slightly better. You now know all of my embarrassing secrets – at least of the literary sort. Which books do you hoard, but never read?

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  • Lianne @

    Wow, those are some fantastic titles on you to-read pile! 🙂

    That’s interesting what you mentioned at the end about knowing yourself as a reader but having books on your pile not matching up up per se (for lack of a better word; it’s hot over here and I’m not making a whole lot of sense right now, sorry! =P). I think that’s happened to me at least once in the past, where books I normally don’t read/I wouldn’t ever read end up on my to-read pile for months at a time

    • Rory

      There are a few books on my pile that I can’t imagine why I haven’t read (DuMaurier, Lovecraft, Franklin, and King among them), but I just haven’t. And then I have books like The Bridges of Madison County and I cannot even imagine what I was thinking when I bought that one…

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  • Christine @ BookishlyB

    I really want to stack mine up too, but I’m too lazy. How sad is that?

    • booksaremyfavouriteandbest

      You gave me the idea Christine so get stacking! 😉

    • Rory

      I managed to stack half mine up, but after I took them off the shelf and put them on my fireplace…well they are still sitting there.

      Though I agree with Kate. Stack away. And photograph.

  • booksaremyfavouriteandbest

    Seeing your King reminded me that I also have a King in my TBR stack which in turn reminded me of a bunch of books that I forgot to include in my photo… Oh well, either way the stack is out of control.

    Will look forward to your thoughts on Heft – I loved it and in retrospect would have loved it more had I not read it after The Art of Fielding (a hard act to follow and both baseball stories).

    Will also be keen to hear your thoughts on Alias Grace. Read it years ago and I liked it but from memory, it was one that divided my book group.

    • Rory

      Read the King (is it On Writing?). Yeah, I refused to carry the books that are so nicely put away on my shelf upstairs when I already have so many downstairs. Purely lazy on my part, but I agree – either way it’s out of control. And tomorrow is bag day at the used book sale, which means I can bring a grocery bag and pack it as full as I want for only $5.

      • booksaremyfavouriteandbest

        Who can refuse a $5 bag of books?

        Yes, the King I have waiting is On Writing.

  • picturemereading

    I LOVE Sylvia Plath..the Bell Jar is one of my favorite books!

  • Heather


    I made a spreadsheet of all the books I own but haven’t read, and…well…*whispers* I have over 400 of them.

    No, that is not a typo. Library book sales are my weakness.

    • Rory

      You know, that actually make me feel better.

      And me too, used book sales get me every time. At the library where I work, I am in charge of processing and donations, which means I get to sort through the donated books before anyone else does. Frankly, it’s dangerous for me. I always find something worth buying before I put them out for the public.

    • booksaremyfavouriteandbest

      400… Oh my. *now I want a spreadsheet*

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  • priscilla

    I can help you. Forget The Bridges of Madison County. It reads like a screenplay, so just watch the movie. It follows the book to a T. And also…well, it’s really not that great. On the other hand, Brooklyn, The Bell Jar, The Patron Saint of Liars, and Bonfire of the Vanities–all good. I’m reading Heft now and so far, also good…

    • Rory

      Oh good, I was thinking about skipping Bridges. The story line just didn’t appeal, now if I ever feel the urge to know about it – I’ll watch the film.

      The Bell Jar I love, but I haven’t read all of her poetry yet. Brooklyn, The Patron Saint of Liars, and Bonfire of the Vanities are all high on my list – particularly the latter. I’m a bit intimidated by the length, but that’s no excuse…

      • priscilla

        Wolfe is easy to read, though, at least for me. He’s like King that way–once I get going, I’m invested and the length ceases to be a factor. I hope you like it!

        • Rory

          You’re the second person to highly recommend it so I have high hopes for it. Soon is my goal (whatever soon means…next month?).

  • Lori

    Totally agree with the advice on Bridges of Madison County. I wouldn’t bother with the movie either – bleh! I wanted to like Possession so much but was completely lost in that book. I LOVED the movie in spite of it starring Gwenyth Paltrow and disappointed I couldn’t get in to the book. I think you will enjoy The Historian. It was quite out of my usual picks but I really enjoyed it as well as Patron Saint of Liars. Anything with a Catholic backdrop I usually find interesting. Elegance of the Hedgehog and Alias Grace are in my TBR stack too 🙂

    • Rory

      Good to know, I’ll ease my own suffering and guilt and put it in the donate pile!

      I’ve been meaning to watch Possession, but GP sort of irks me (so do Tom Cruise and Mel Gibson). I’ve been looking forward to The Historian, I’m thinking Halloween. Hopefully. I have high hopes for Alias Grace!

      I can’t remember where I read this, but the other day I read ‘you have a very Catholic look in your eye’, ‘what do you mean?’, ‘you look guilty about something’. I laughed (I grew up very Catholic).

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