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Unread Books

btt buttonFollow-up to last week’s question:
Do you keep all your unread books together, like books in a waiting room? Or are they scattered throughout your shelves, mingling like party-goers waiting for the host to come along?

While my unread books do not reside on the bookshelves, they are usually grouped together, in stacks of 10, sitting on the floor in my bedroom in front of the bookcases. The impending pile, which you saw last week, sits on the night-stand. I flag some of the unread books by inserting a piece of paper with brief notes to remind me of why I have acquired them in the first place. The book could be a blogger’s recommendation or just an impulse buy. I do not prefer the unread books strewn all over the place because I would forget about them. Localizing them allows me to easily pick the next reads.


54 Responses

  1. I keep all my unread books into bookshelves but they’re filled to the brim. Now I’ve to put them on the floor. 😛

  2. I’d like to be more organised and that’s a really good idea to flag books with notes about why you bought them. I’m going to try that.

  3. My books tend to gain a mind of their own, and reside where they please 🙂

    Scatter Books

  4. Mine are separate too. I’d lose track otherwise. I like the idea of noting why yo bought a particular book too. I might try that, but it might also be a bit too orgaised or me.

  5. I like your idea of flagging books so you know why you bought them in the first place. I see you are currently reading Wilkie Collins- one of my favorite authors. Enjoy!

  6. I used to flag my unread books but stopped that. For no apparent reason!

    TBR: mixed reactions?

  7. I keep the next 5 or 6 books I plan to read grouped together. I keep them where I will be in visual and tactile contact with them. it is kind of like anticipating a fine meal, some times the wait makes the experience better.

  8. I like your idea of putting a note in books to remind you why you wanted to read it in the first place. I might have to “borrow” that idea. I forget all the time who recommended a book to me, or if I bought it for research for the classes I teach, or if I just liked the cover.

  9. My short-term TBR is in a pile on my bookshelves. My problem is that I often can’t remember why I was so compelled to read them, or who recommended them. Often I will impulsively order a book from the library after I’ve read a raving review, and by the time it arrives, I have no idea where I got the recommendation.

  10. I have different places for different kinds of unread books. Ones I’ve bought get double-stacked in my living room. Ones I’ve borrowed from the local college bookstore go on a shelf in my bedroom. Ones I’ve borrowed from the library go on a different part of the shelf in my bedroom and get read first, before they’re due. Anything on my nightstand gets carried around with me the next day until I finish it, except for poetry volumes, which stay on the nightstand for a few days. Because no matter how tired I am, there’s always time for at least a poem or two.

  11. All of my books (read and unread) are mixed together on my bookshelves. I used to organize them by what was read and what needed to be read, but now they are all alphabetical. Of course I buy so many books that I tend to just put them wherever I find space, so the alphabetical order is no longer in order. I like this mish mash way because when I peruse my bookshelves I can see what I have and what I want to read, instead of having a pile in front of me that hasn’t been read (whenever I do that I tend to not want to read those books).

  12. LOL – I have a whole room of unread books but do have pulls – BOM reads for bookclubs, buddy reads with my wonderful reading buddy, review books, etc

  13. My unread books are all on shelves but not organized in any sort of way. I like your system of adding notes to remind you why you wanted to read them or who the recommendation came from. If I do the same I think it will help me bring some order to the chaos and then maybe I can justify adding even more books to the pile?
    🙂 Kathleen

  14. My tbr pile comes more often from the library, although I have a fairly large to be RE-read list from my own shelves. I realize there are many old favorites which I haven’t visited in years and years, and be like new reads again 😉

  15. My unreads are mostly filed on the bookshelves with my others. I keep library books and the 2 or 3 I own that I want to read soon on my desk.

  16. All of my unreads are grouped together in shelves – yes shelves because I have too many 🙂

  17. All except about 10 of my 600 books are unread. I keep them in (4) bookcases.

    As soon as I read a book, I tend to give it away or donate it, as I am not the type who rereads a lot of books.

    I do keep my ARCs separate with round dot labels on the spine to denote when the book will be published. Those stay on a shelf where I will see them everyday.

  18. What a great idea to put a note in a newly acquired book to remind you why it was purchased! I’ll have to start doing that. I have a couple shelves in the bedroom for unread books, but have an ‘immediate tbr’ pile, too.

  19. My bookcases and books shelves are all full and so I’ve got unread books all over my flat, even though it’s a tiny shoebox. I’ve even had to store unread books in a couple of those large plastic storage boxes, just to keep them together and protected.

  20. I pretty much keep all of my books together and use a different shelf for my library books.

  21. I like your note idea. If I remember, I add a note in my spreadsheet as to where the book came and who recommended it, but I so often forget. I’m trying to be better about that.

  22. Scattered. And sometimes given away when I finally realize I am never gonna read a particular one. 😦

  23. I like the note idea. Although, I have this problem with books. Once I acquire them, I tend to not want to read them. Weird, I know. I think it’s becasue I know it’s there anytime I want it.

  24. I’m not totally consistent. But in general I keep them in groups, scattered among my other books. Usually the unread ones are in piles, while I keep all my other treasures on a shelf or in a bookcase. The ones I have lined up to read soon are in piles in the vicinity of my upstairs reading chair.

  25. I agree- keeping them all in one place makes them easier to deal with!

  26. My current method actually (amazingly) works. I acquire new books. Depending on their content and on my level of interest in reading the book within the next few weeks, I put it on a shelf above my bed. Otherwise they go to the general bookshelves. Then as I work my way through the shelf, I bring the previously pushed aside books to the shelf or purchase new books, thus insuring that I constantly have a small buffer zone of books I’d like to read nearby. But these books must always be perfectly organized…

  27. generally my unread books are in one of two bookshelves in the living room…my read books are in the bedroom bookcases…though there are some books that I’ve tried to read and failed to get into…those are usually given away to the library or on the blog

  28. Melody:
    Mine are on the floor because I don’t even have enough room for the ones I have read! 🙂

  29. BooksPlease:
    Flagging helps me to remember what intrigues me at the beginning. Sometimes I totally forget. *ugh*

  30. anthonynorth:
    Very poetically put. 🙂

  31. Jo:
    Yes, I like to group all the unread books together so I can find them, even if they are not alphabetically ordered.

  32. Shari:
    I’m digging more Collins. Love his works.

  33. gautami tripathy:
    Flagging makes it easier for me to remember and keep track of what I have bought. Have you bought a book without knowing you have already owned a copy?

  34. Mel:
    You and i are very much alike. I group my upcoming reads on the nightstand.

  35. Jenny:
    I started to flag because I’ve got so many recommendation from bloggers and I can forget all about them.

  36. Sandy:
    Flagging would help you remember why you were compelled to read a book. But don’t you like a surprise sometimes?

  37. Jeanne:
    I like your geographical system of sorting and shelving unread books. I always keep a few handy on the night-stand within easy reach. 🙂

  38. Nadia:
    I separate them because sometimes I’m in a hurry and I need to grab a book that I know I haven’t read. 🙂

  39. Beverly:
    I think it’s great to categorize unread books. I have a separate pile for vacation. 🙂

  40. Kathleen:
    I think while categorization is a good idea, as long as the unread books are separated, I’ll be able to find my next read easily. 🙂

  41. Becca:
    Yay! I separates re-reads as well! 🙂

  42. SuziQoregon:
    After I missed a library deadline so badly, I separated all library books, usually close to the door of the house! 🙂

  43. iliana:
    I’m not surprised because you have always been so organized with everything! 🙂

  44. diane:
    I should be giving away more books as well but I tend to hold on to them. I do have a re-read section that comprises about 50 of my favorites. 🙂

  45. JoAnn:
    I’ve had an immediate pile (on night-stand), a vacation pile (which I won’t look at until the day before), and the random unread pile. 🙂

  46. cheeky angel:
    I totally hear you on storage boxes in the limited living quarters in Hong Kong. My friend who lives in mid-levels also stores some of his books in large garment boxes. It’s Hong Kong! Every inch of space is money!

  47. Staci:
    I’ve separated my unread books and pile them on the floor. My bookcases are overflowing! 🙂

  48. Literary Feline:
    The flagging notes make it so much easier for me to remember and choose books. 🙂

  49. rhodoraonline:
    I think scattered/cluttered books also render that bookish atmosphere in home, as long as they are not messy.

  50. jennygirl,:
    I usually don’t crack open a newly acquired book. I set them aside and let them wait for their time. 🙂

  51. Greg S:
    The ones I have lined up for reading are on my nightstand. A few of them will make into my bag that I carry with me.

  52. Marie:
    Keeping them all together also serves as a warning sign that I should practice a bit self control in buying more! 🙂

  53. Biblibio:
    You’re like stocking inventory at a bookstore. So organized! 🙂

  54. sagustocox:
    I also need to pull out books to donate and/or to give away.

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