Slow progress

A kind of holy grail moment: secondhand bookshop interior in Brecon, Powys

Remember Mount TBR? I’d aimed to read twenty-four of my tsundoku titles — books that I’d bought or otherwise acquired before 2017, not including library books and rereads — to achieve a notional Mont Blanc target.

By the end of June I’d managed twelve — just at my halfway point, so theoretically by September’s end I should have achieved another six to reach eighteen books. So how have I done?

It’s been a pretty miserable effort, I’m afraid. I’ve managed just three books.

Nicholas Tucker: Darkness Visible. Inside the World of Philip Pullman
Ursula K Le Guin: The Word for World is Forest
Nick Yapp: How to Bluff your way in Teaching

Not impressive at all. My excuse? I’ve been seduced by a number of shiny newish books, novels published or re-issued recently, as well as the odd library copy. Those neglected titles — including review copies — have been shamefully overlooked in favour of new kids on the block. Oops. That’s left me three months, at the rate of three a month, to reach my target.

Better get my crampons back on if I’m going to make that peak.


And you? Are you managing to reduce that pile?

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8 thoughts on “Slow progress

  1. We are all magpies, pouncing on any shiny new book, increasing the height of Mt. TBR. I occasionally wish for a publishing moratorium, so that I have a chance to catch up a bit. But then I come to my senses and realize that would be a dreadful occurrence. So I grit my teeth and double up on my reading.

    1. I sometimes wonder what the world would be like if the only difficulties we all faced would be which book to read next. Europhobe Brits used to have a running joke about EU ‘butter mountains’ (and a gibe about Euro proposal for straight bananas) but we don’t hear much about those now; still, I know acquaintances and some relatives must silently shake their heads in wonder at my book mountain which resolutely stays at the same altitude.

      A publishing moratorium? Yes, Lizzie, a dreadful idea, especially coming from a published author!

    1. I am, Lory, I am, as you clearly are! At least with shiny new books (which I’m actually reading) there’ll be fewer potential ramparts in next year’s mountain. At least, that’s how I’m justifying it in my own mind!

      Incidentally, I finished Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant while on holiday in the South of France — I was even more intrigued after you’d included it in your Witch Week choices so it was packed along with some Scott Fitzgerald and a book of Malaysian tales to keep me amused poolside, so thanks for that. Review before the end of the month, hopefully.

  2. I am salivating over those piles of books in that bookshop… what bliss. As for Mount TBR, its height grows and I have given up ever scaling that peak. Just accepting this and moving on has done wonders for my peace of mind.

    1. Yes, don’t they just draw you in, Kim! I’m slightly wary of secondhand bookshops where you have to weave your precarious way through tottering piles of books (some of which can’t have seen the light of day for eons) but at least here you can peruse a tome you’ve extracted from the base of a column without it causing a voluminous landslide!

      Anyway, I always feel virtuous if I come away with just one book from such a place, even if feeling slightly cheated if exiting empty-handed. That’s a burden us bibliomanes have to bear . . .

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