BTT: Sitting on the Shelf

Okay–here was an interesting article by Christopher Schoppa in the Washington Post.

Avid readers know all too well how easy it is to acquire books — it’s the letting go that’s the difficult part. … During the past 20 years, in which books have played a significant role in both my personal and professional lives, I’ve certainly had my fair share of them (and some might say several others’ shares) in my library. Many were read and saved for posterity, others eventually, but still reluctantly, sent back out into the world.

But there is also a category of titles that I’ve clung to for years, as they survived numerous purges, frequent library donations and countless changes of residence. I’ve yet to read them, but am absolutely certain I will. And should. When, I’m not sure, as I’m constantly distracted by the recent, just published and soon to be published works.

So, the question is his: “What tomes are waiting patiently on your shelves?

To attempt to answer this question, the first thing I did was go to my LibraryThing catalog and scroll through everything tagged TBR.  Here are some books I recognized have been on my shelf unread for quite some time:

  • S.: A Novel of the Balkans by Slavenka Drakulic – I bought this book when I was wait-listed for a class on Europe after WWII in college.  I never got into the class, but I kept all of the books, as they looked interesting.  I think this is the only one (other than the textbook) that I haven’t read yet.  It is about war and rape, and I’ve never managed to put myself in the right mood to read it.
  • Wilson’s Ghost: Reducing the Risk of Conflict, Killing, and Catastrophe in the 21st Century by Robert McNamara – I got this off of a bookstore bargain table at some point during college and have yet to touch it.
  • Ballad of the Whiskey Robber: A True Story of Bank Heists, Ice Hockey, Transylvanian Pelt Smuggling, Moonlighting Detectives, and Broken Hearts by Julian Rubinstein – Like Wilson’s Ghost, this was on a bargain table.  Probably the 3 for the price of 2 table at Borders.  Also acquired in college.
  • The Good Citizen: A History of American Civic Life by Michael Schudson – I’m pretty sure that my mom gave this to me in high school.  Haven’t cracked it yet.

I probably have more, but they aren’t on my shelves.  They are on the shelves in my old bedroom in my parent’s house.  I never had room for them in college, and there was a limit to how many books I could fit around my other stuff in my car to get from California to Chicago.  Every so often when I visit I take another suitcase full home, but usually I brought so many books WITH me to read that my luggage was already at the limit.

Maybe I can smuggle some back with me at Christmas.

What books have been in YOUR TBR pile forever?

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