According to my catalogue on Librarything, I have over 1200 books in the TBR.   I wondered how many bookcases I need to shelve them.  So I cleared a wall and began to unpack all the boxes, empty the cupboards and underbed storage …. I lost courage a third of the way through …. I thought the floor might collapse! 

I have a theory about this collectophilia.  Either I am mad …. or subconciously stocking a bookshop of my own!   Though those options are not mutually exclusive.

There is, however,  method in these (not-quite-endless) stacks of seeming chaos.  Let me take you on the tour.

From the back: The two piles by the wall are a conglomerate of non-fiction, essays and a  smattering of poetry and graphic novels.  Moving forward, a pile of prize-winners followed by the tallest column, short-story collections.  Moving forward once more to foreign literary fiction (non-German), all things Germanic (non-fiction, German fiction, English fiction set in Germany) and then a stack of favourite authors.  The four stacks at the front consist of  mainly of fiction published during 2007-2010.  They are the blogging legacy (the result of the delusion that I read faster than I really do.) 

No further explanation needed of why 2011 is the Year of the TBR which I mean to survive enjoy through themed reading and with your help.  My first theme is 2010 Bloggers’ Choice.  If you’re in my google reader and have posted a top reads list, chances are I have a choice of yours in my TBR.  First pass through the photographed stacks this morning  and I found 18.  But which to read first?  You choose.  To make this a surprise for both you and me, I won’t reveal the titles.  Simply leave a comment choosing 3 numbers between 1 and 18.  The 3 most popular win and I’ll read the associated  books during January.  The “game” finishes midnight on Friday 7.1.2011 and I’ll reveal your choices next Sunday.  

None of the foregoing means that I’m shall stop purchasing  this year.  I am going to limit them, however.  One book for every 3 read.  Had I  done this last year, as intended,  I would have bought 29 books.   (It was in fact 3 times that.)  This year I mean it and the incentive is obvious.  The more I read, the more I’m allowed to indulge myself. Ah, happy 2011!