Let's Talk with Debra H. Goldstein

Let’s Talk with Debra H. Goldstein

June 13, 2019

My TBR Shelf is Growing and Growing
by Debra H. Goldstein


I love to read. For years, before I started writing, I divided my To-Be-Read books between the top of a short bookcase in my home office and the corner of my dresser. When the books reached the middle of my dresser and my husband made one comment too many, I bought another small bookcase, put it in my bedroom closet, and filled it with my TBR books.

That worked fine until I started writing and attending conferences six years ago. As I discovered new authors, I bought more books than I had time to read. Soon, not only was the bookcase full, the stacks back on my dresser, but I added an overflow box to a corner of my dining room.

Still, I believed I had a handle on my book obsession.

Now that I own an iPad and a Kindle paperwhite, I don’t even pretend to have the situation under control. Between impulse BookBub and other e-book purchases, continuing to buy print books, and reading books of friends to critique or blurb, I am beyond behind. I hope that some day I’ll catch up, but in the meantime, I’m not giving up. There’s always another book to add to the stack.

What about you? Do you have a book or another kind of obsession? If you’d like a chance to add an electronic or print version of One Taste Too Many, the first of the Sarah Blair mystery series, to your TBR shelf, leave a comment below. (one copy to be given away in the U.S.)

While you’re here, pop over to enter our Booklover’s Bench contest. It runs from June 1-18. We’re collecting entries for a book of your choice from one our Bench authors. Click here to enter!


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Posted in Let's Talk, with Debra H. Goldstein • Tags: , , , |  39 Comments


39 thoughts on “Let’s Talk with Debra H. Goldstein

  1. As it’s become easier and easier to buy and store books, I’ve found it’s also become a lot easier to give up on books that don’t pull me in. There’s always the next one to read.

  2. I’ve had to donate most of my dusty To Be Read pile since we’re moving into a small apartment. Even so, I have an entire three-shelf bookcase stuffed full and more than 300 ebooks on my Kindlewhite. Sigh. What a wonderful problem to have!

  3. I am still reading books from conferences years ago. Like you, I sometimes can’t resist the lure of BookBub to add more books for my kindle. We have books in every room.

  4. I’m passionate about books and reading, but after having moved twice in the last 20 years, much more realistic about what’s a “keeper” for me. Unless it’s a reference book, if I haven’t read it in a year, out it goes to the library book sale. I’ve also had to adopt the same rule for clothing (unless its special event wear which is infrequent): if I haven’t worn it in a year, out it goes to the Thrift Shop. Those are easy rules to institute as the space for books and clothes is limited. Other items, like seashells and arts and crafts, are still a bit out of control due to their smaller size and their ability to fit into nooks and crannies. I may also have a collection of yoga mats, but those are Necessary….

  5. My to-read pile is out of control. And yet, I can’t stop adding to it either. I need to find some kind of one-click support group!

  6. I don’t have nearly as much time as I’d like to whittle down my TBR pile, and I keep buying more books. At least now I limit myself to ebooks due to space constraints. I also find I can read for longer periods of time on my Kindle because it doesn’t strain my eyes the way print does these days. Fonts seem to be getting smaller and smaller to cut down on printing costs. I had to move from print to online for the newspapers I read because the print became so tiny!

  7. I’ve been hacking away at the bookcase ones (from conferences mostly). I bought a stationary bike and read while riding. Then pass on the read ones to my 89 year old aunt. She devours books.

    1. Sharing the books and passing them on really makes a difference. For years I held on to everything and did a lending library, but if we downsize again, I know my collection must be attacked. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. I have also given up thinking my TBR stack is out of control. Now it just is what it is. Not that many years ago a couple of bookcases were enough but now I have books and bookshelves everywhere and SO many on electronic media. But when I look to see what is unread that I don’t want to read anymore I come up with zero. So yes, I have room for another! 🙂

    1. You nailed it. There usually is not something I don’t want to read on the TBR stack. One way I’ve eased my would be stack is I only come home from conferences with books I want to read — and of course, everything I buy, I want to read.

  9. Debra, I can relate . . . So many books, so little time. It’s all I can do to keep up with my favorite authors and then I keep adding new authors to the list. My small bedroom is my library, with ceiling to floor shelves and overflow books everywhere! As Thomas Jefferson once said to John Adams, “I cannot live without books!”

  10. The TBR pile never ends. But as for collection, since I have my Etsy store I end up selling most of the stuff I buy. For me, my new thing is decks of cards — odd playing cards, Tarot cards, Lenormand cards. They are pretty small so you can stack a lot of them on a shelf or in cool boxes (oops, that something else I collect!).

  11. I usually have 3 to 6 books I am reading the same time. I love print books but also read on my two tables. My tbr pile is two much to count. I sometimes do not finish a book if I am just not in to it. I just move on to the next one.

  12. Periodically I try to purge books I’ve hung on to for years without reading, but that works for about half an hour, usually just before a library book sale begins. I sort my piles, read a few, then get draw into another stack on a different subject or genre. I’m learning to accept things as they are because I really do want to read them all. That’s the best I can do.

    1. I found I could purge a few books I brought back from conferences or that other family members bought and left lying around (like my husband – our tastes are very different)… but like you, most stay where they are so I can read them.

  13. My new obsession is Audible. I get through many more books, listening while I’m doing other (boring) things. And my bookshelves get a break. I will buy a book only if I really love it.

    1. I’m just beginning to get into audible, which is funny. For years, I listened to books in the car, but when I stopped driving long distances for work, that habit faded away. My only complaint then and now is that sometimes the voice doesn’t work for the book.

  14. My bedside table is full. So is my small bookshelf next to my dresser and the end table next to my place on the couch in the great room.I have been obsessed of late with biographies of our Founding Fathers and the Walter Isaacson biography of Leonardo Da Vinci, but because the news has been such a downer and these men, though successful, had ups and downs in their lives, I’ve switched. I am reading novels, some mysteries and one Pulitzer Prize winner, Gilead. My mood has lifted and I sleep much better at night.

    1. Linda, glad to hear from you. Glad you are sleeping better, too. I understand your obsession with some of those biographies. To think what they accomplished back then is amazing. I also understand your overflowing tables and bookshelves.

  15. I keep a TBR list on Goodreads — only of books I actually own in paper or on Kindle — and there are, um, 427 of them listed. I keep saying I should stop buying for a couple of years until I’m caught up, but then some new interest catches me.

  16. I just love cozies! My TBR list gets longer and longer, I’m not into reading e-books but gosh I love paperback books. I do periodically go through the paperbacks I hate to part with & will giveaway several, but ha! then, I’ll add to the keepers. It’s a vicious circle!

  17. Not having heard from Sheryl (she’ll still get a book if she replies, but her e-mail address keeps bouncing back), I turned on the random counter again and the winner is: Linda McCracken. Linda has been sent an email, bt if you read it here first, please send your mailing address to me at DHG@DebraHGoldstein.com Congrats! I look forward to giving something different away next month.

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