The “Already Been Read” Pile

Many authors and readers have commented about their “TBR” or to-be-read shelves/stacks/shopping bags. I have one of those. It’s in the vicinity of about 50 books, on the actual bookshelf itself. Then there are the books still in their sacks on the floor, the ones in the box from the mail-order folks (not Amazon), and the books on the big “keeper” bookshelf stacked in front of the actual keepers. Probably another 50 there. It’s that small because I read fast and can read several books in a day…if I don’t do much of anything else…and sometimes if I do.

However, I’m not sure many readers have an “ABR” stack.

About three or four years ago, I picked up a little blank booklet at our local library titled Personal Reading Log. Or something to that effect. It had one page for each book read with spaces for Date Read, Title, Author, Publisher & Date, Comments and Disposition. I filled up one book (which wound up needing a rubber band around it when the pages started falling out) and decided it actually might turn out to be a good way to keep track of what I’d read in hopes of helping me keep from buying the same books twice (hasn’t helped that much–just accidentally bought a second copy of Hawken’s Way by Brockmann–donating it to the library…) and a way of tracking what the various publishers were buying and publishing. So I started keeping the log on the computer.

Last fall, I was on deadline, trying to write–well, I had about 60 pages of partial for The Barbed Rose, but my editor wanted me to start the story on page 50. So I wound up writing 567 pages (or however many it turned out to be) in about 4 months. I still read, but I didn’t do much other computer work. So I just started stacking up the books under my worktable next to the computer desk. And they stacked. And stacked. And stacked. Because I didn’t stop reading.

Sometime in April of this year (the month after Compass Rose came out) I gave up trying to catch up with last year’s log and just started over. I decided I was going to post comments on every book I read and NOT let them stack up so bad–the books would sit on my desk till I got them listed. And every time I posted comments on a new read, I would pick up at least ONE book from the ABR pile and post it too.

Slowly, slowly, slowly the stack is being whittled down. Very slowly. Some of the books I read so long ago I basically have to re-read them to remember what they were about. And when I go on a reading binge–which I frequently do–they tend to stack up on the desk. (Or the end tables in the den or the kitchen counter…) (I have four stacked right now–no, five. (One is hidden under the photo paper box))

I have GOT to get these into the computer today, because this next week is going to involve a lot of travel (not that I can read in the car, I’m one of those who gets headaches (after a childhood spent getting carsick) if I try to do anything but stare out the window or sleep or talk…) and sitting around in hospital waiting rooms, which means lots and lots of books. Because, remember, I read fast. And it’s impossible to write in a waiting room, because there’s always another relative who wants to talk to you. Not that I mind. But I just know better than to attempt it. So…let’s see which books I want to take with me…

Remember the contest at my website. I’m going to put the spaghetti recipe in my newsletter, if you want to sign up. And if you want to see my short-and-sweet book comments (not long enough for reviews, really), let me know. Maybe I’ll post them here as well as to the Romance Readers Anonymous loop… I might get by here more than once a week…

16 Lighthouse Road by Debbie Macomber
211 Rosewood Lane by Macomber
One Way Out by Michele Albert
He Loves Lucy by Susan Donovan
To The Edge by Cindy Gerard
The Color of Death by Elizabeth Lowell
Regrets Only by Nancy Geary
Scandalous Passion by Emilie Rose

One Response to The “Already Been Read” Pile

  1. I have an ABR myself, except it’s not really a pile. It’s just on the shelves. :) And I’ve been keeping a list of books I’ve read for … wow. Seven years now. Wow. O.O


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