Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A TBR quandary

Working on: Chapter Five of UAS
Listening to: Liona Boyd
Reading: 74 Seaside Avenue

I have a problem with my tbr.  The problem is I have all my books written down and as I read one I check it off and log it on eharlequin for their book challenge.  There are a lot of checkmarks but a lot of NOT checked titles.  This bothers me.

The linear part of me wants me to go back to the beginning of the list and read the missed titles in sequence so that I can work my way through and not have any gaps.

The achiever part of me wants to read whichever books are quickest, so that I can cross MORE titles off my list faster.

And the small, teensy part of me that just wants to get lost in a story that turns my crank says, "Oh hell, just pick what looks good at the moment."

The problem for my linear side is that several of the books on the first page that are unread are very large books.  We're talking The Writer's Journey by Vogler (I must be the only writer on the planet who hasn't read it yet), Wives and Daughters by Gaskell (I think it's over 1000 pages) and Suite Francaise.  Also in that company are about 4 more single title length books.  The 12 books left on that page could fill up most of my year, and that doesn't include the 6 books I have coming to judge for the RITAs or the lovely category romances that I could read in a fraction of the time.

The problem for the achiever is that while the number of books read will be greater if I tackle the category books first, I have still had some of those other titles on the list for a long time and that bugs me.

So which part of my brain do I listen to?

Snow has started here and I am not looking forward to having to go out this afternoon even briefly.  There's no weight in the back end of my truck, and I have concerns about getting up the hill.

Now back to chapter five.  I am averaging between 1800 and 2000 words a day which is dead on schedule, thank goodness. I  should hit the halfway mark by the end of this week.  :-)


  1. You read the Rita books first because you have to and then it is up to you. Intersperse.

    BUt you need to write! I want another chapter.

  2. I have to say I read The Writer's Journey and it did nothing for me. I say put it at the bottom of the pile. :-) Although I know I'm in the minority.
    Also lately if I have been procrastinating about a book for while I look in the library to see if there's an audiobook version and listen instead of read. I suppose that might be considered cheating ;-)but then I donate the book I've been procrastinating on to the library, so I feel everyone benefits.
    I also second Michelle's idea of interspersing.

  3. Not a fan of Vogler, Donna. Like Deb Hale's Lover's Journey much better.

    I don't do the eharlequin challenge or write reviews, or read books I "should." I only read books for pleasure. Sometimes they inspire me. Sometimes they educate me. But that's just a happy byproduct.

  4. Hey Anne!

    I don't always review, but I like talking about books so I suppose when I blog I do end up reviewing in a way.

    But I have to say I LOVE the challenge. Actually, just putting the word "Challenge" in it was enough for me and my competitive spirit. LOL. I love competing against myself - doing better than last year's numbers for instance.

    Whenever I pick up a book, the goal is always pleasure. It's just choosing which one off the pile that's difficult!

    BTW I too love Deb's form of the Lover's Journey. I have heard mixed reviews of the Vogler but those that love THJ love it a lot. Same thing with McKee's STORY.

  5. Suite Francaise is well worth reading, Donna. It was one I 'had' to read for my book club, but I enjoyed it.

    I use the 'intersperse' method, so I second Michelle's motion. Whiz through the short reads, which I do whenever I get an eHarl order in the mail, but always have a longer title waiting in the wings.

    Do you ever read more than one book at a time? That's another way to kill two birds with one stone. If I get too close to book club deadline, I have to put the book I'm reading aside, then resume after I've read the obligatory one. (Just finished Water for Elephants for book club tonight. Now I can get back to Possession by A.S. Byatt which the movie with Aaron Eckhart and Gwyneth Paltrow was based on.)

    I can't live without reading which I think is your affliction, too. It will work itself out because with this ailment you have to go with your gut!

  6. The Rita books just came. Now my choice is narrowed to six, but what a choice! They all look awesome.