Let’s Talk with James M Jackson

To Be Read Stacks
By James M Jackson

I confess to having multiple piles of to-be-read (TBR) books. It does not make sense to cart my physical TBR stacks back and forth between my two homes, so whichever place the book was acquired is where it resides.

In Michigan, I have developed two storage areas for TBR books: I keep TBR fiction in a drum side-table in our living room area. We maintain our Michigan nonfiction library on shelving my son and I built in the basement. Nonfiction TBR books are sorted in with books I have read based on topic.

In Georgia, I am not so organized. I can find recently acquired TBR fiction on two shelves in the credenza in my office. Most of the TBR nonfiction is in stacks on the bookcases in the office. The rest are stored in second-floor bookcases. But, it’s more complicated than that because Jan keeps her books upstairs, and many of those books I haven’t read—some are not my cuppa, but many of them I look forward to reading, and they are mixed in her alphabetical-by-author storage system.

Then there are the electronic books. After a few years of acquisitions, I realized I needed a system for those and developed folders: TBR-Jim-purchased, TBR-Jan-purchased, and TBR-free.

You might wonder how I decide which book to read next. I sometimes wonder the same thing. I’ll often read a fiction and nonfiction book at the same time. Rarely do I start a new novel until I have finished the one I am reading. I prefer reading physical books over electronic, so unless I can’t wait on something electronic or I’m traveling, I’ll go for physical.

I usually open the door to the stash and see what calls to me. Sometimes it just feels right to read an author whose work I know. Other times I’m up for exploration, and I admit to judging the book by its cover—the front cover; I ignore the other-author blurbs and the back-cover teaser. I don’t want any spoilers.

When I am choosing an electronic book, I always gravitate first to those we paid money for. If nothing strikes my fancy, I dip my toes into the “free” pile and hope to find a winner.

How about you? Where do you keep your TBR pile(s), and how do you choose what to read next?

And, while you’re visiting Booklover’s Bench, be sure to enter our monthly giveaway, going on Dec. 1-18. You could win a $25 gift card. Click for CONTEST PAGE.