I really liked it the last time I did one of these posts—I obviously have way too many books on my TBR list, and thinking it through this way is surprisingly helpful. These are a subset of the books I have on my physical TBR shelf, the one right inside my front door where I keep all the books I have out from various libraries. Usually I just go with my gut when picking the next one, but sometimes there are too many and they fill different reading roles for me, which makes it difficult to decide which should come first.
On the Map, for example, is what I think of as “fun nonfiction,” while In the Country We Love and Girl in a Band are both memoirs that, I’m assuming, will involve some emotional investment on my part. The Miniaturist is the kind of atmospheric historical fiction I’ve always loved, but haven’t read much in the past couple years as I’ve gotten so into reading authors of color. (In fact, I’ve been feeling the desire to start an audiobook on my commute—another thing I haven’t done for a while—so this is the one I’m choosing.) Kokoro and A Quiet Life are Japanese fiction by male authors who are really screwing up my numbers for trying to read mostly books by women—I’m just so into it, I can’t stop. (I already have Yukio Mishima, Yasunari Kawabata, and Ryu Murakami waiting to come next.) And The Natural Way of Things is one of those sudden discoveries I’d never even heard of until exactly twenty days ago, but what I read about it made me so anxious to read it that I felt it mentally shove to the front of the TBR queue, pushing aside books that have been there for much longer.
I finished my Wallace Shawn today, and I can tell that Rashomon is going to go quickly now that I’ve started it. So this is what I’m planning when that’s finished, with these graphic novels interspersed wherever I get the urge to pick them up:
My mom used to say that someone’s eyes were too big for their stomach, and I’ve been trying (and failing) to think of a similar expression that applies to books. Whatever that problem is called, I have it, and that’s why I’m rarely even thinking in concrete terms when I think of my TBR; I’m mostly picturing abstracts like that enormous number on Goodreads, the books throughout my house that I’ve purchased but never read, all the things I stop myself bringing home from the library because I do attempt to have at least some limits. If a book has made it to the actual physical TBR shelf in my living room, that’s my way of telling myself I am determined to get around to it sometime soon. And with posts like this, I think I might help myself make that concept a little less vague. So, finally, here’s a third phase, the next round of books that should move up when I’ve finished the one I’m in now: