Project: Mount To-Be-Read


I have a problem. It’s a problem that I share with a lot of you I’m sure.

I buy books. More specifically I buy books before I have finished the ones that I have, often my purchasing fervour will outstrip my reading speed by many many books.
I could blame my tendency to wander into charity shops to liberate any fantasy books that I spy and take my fancy. I could blame the rise of the eBook industry making impulse buying and freebies more prevalent and easier to get hold off on a whim.

But let’s be honest; it’s because I love books.

In an effort to save some money, and save my groaning bookshelves from any more weight, I will be reading those books which are already in my ‘library’ before I am allowed to buy any more. Because I’m not crazy and wouldn’t like to make a promise I know I wouldn’t keep I will be allowed to buy books before I finish all of Mount To-Be-Read but always new books can only be purchased if the ratio of books read to books bought is at least 2:1.

As I begin the treacherous climb to the top of ‘Mount To-Be-Read’ I must take stock of just how long this journey might be.

I have made an approximate count of the eBooks (just over 60) that are sitting in my electronic library waiting to be read and also created my very own mountain as I had a bit of fun and piled up all the books from my shelves that are waiting to be read.

Click to see a larger version
Click to see a larger version

So it turns out I’ve got quite a few books on my shelves I’ve not read… and that doesn’t include non-fiction books, or the books I’ve got stashed at work (which is quite a few as I work in publishing). I tried to put all of the fantasy ones on there as a lot of the ones at work are classics like Greek and Roman texts, a few sagas and Samual Pepys diary.

I have also decided to ignore (for the purposes of this expedition) the myriad titles that make up my combined Goodreads ‘to read’ list and the books I’ve noted to be read on my /r/Fantasy Bingo Spreadsheet if they haven’t already been purchased. Otherwise that would be roughly another 75 and 50 books respectively to throw onto the mountain.

Adding the piles of eBooks (about 60), physical books (about 70), and audiobooks (a mere 6) together that gives me a grand approximate total of 136 books to read before I have climbed the summit of Mount To-Be-Read. With probably another 30 or so at work (but let’s brush those under the carpet for now).

Now I’ve seen just how high the dizzying heights of this mountain stretch, let’s go over the plan one more time.

In an effort to stop impulse buying and drowning under a sea of new books I am no longer allowed to buy books until I have read some of my previous purchases, at least two read books for every new purchase.

And of course an extra rule for this which I try to apply to most of my reading: I don’t have to finish a book. If I don’t like the book then there’s no reason to continue reading, there’s too many good books out there to spend trudging through books you don’t like!

So that’s it! I’ll be posting updates on how I’m doing and whether or not I’m being successful!


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