list2I don’t have a TBR pile; I have a TBR list.  Part of the reason is monetary in nature – I simply don’t have the finances or inclination to buy books I’ve only heard are good (although I’d make exceptions for Sharon & Tom Curtis and Judy Cuevas).  But frankly, I have so much darn fun that I’d be lost without my list now.

My rules are very simple: If I hear good buzz about an author or a book, I’ll put them down under Investigative Properties.  (By the way, I started the list during a moment of supreme boredom, which is the only explanation I can give for creating such ridiculous subtitles.)  Anyway, if I read the book and hated it I strike the name.  If I disliked it but see potential, or know there are better books waiting in the wings, then the author goes under the heading Weeeellllllllll.  (I told you they were stupid.)  Unless I try book after book to no avail, the author could well languish there forever.

If I liked an author’s book but need further confirmation before they land on my auto-read list, then I put them under Confirmation Needed.  (Duh.)  If it’s all sweet as and I know the author is a solid read, then they get on my Known Substances lists (sounds illegal), which are divided into three tiers, Tier One being at the top.  And finally there are My Stars, the authors I can bank on.

I’ve also got the Yo-yos – authors whose work quality I find incredibly erratic – and the Lost Causes (no need to explain that one).  And I’ve also got lists for authors whom I like but no longer publish, and the books I want to acquire, and sundry other lists as well as notations and book titles.

It’s all quite unnecessarily complicated (do not even think the word anal), and it moves around a lot.  But that’s the whole point.  That’s the fun.  I need time to accumulate the buzz and make sure I actually want to read a book.  And besides, I like having a list I update and chuck into my bag on book-shopping expeditions.  Who remembers the title of the Regency written by Bobette Doe that was DIKed fifteen years ago?  Not me.  But with my list – which is entitled, of course, A Very Long Reading List – I have it all at my fingertips.

Do you keep a record, either of books to be read or books already read?  What does yours look like?

– Jean AAR

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