Too many books, not enough room, not enough time …

I have too many books. Probably more than I could possibly hope to read before I die (yes, truly), and that’s without adding any more.  I’m a lot more selective about those books I keep once I’ve read them these days, and I always have a bag on the go for the charity shop, and a box for a yard sale.

One way I could make a) some room, and b) save a lot of reading time is to get rid of a pile of literary chunksters – those thick literary books that I’ve been dithering over for years. So I’m asking for your help…

In the poll below, do vote for the books you would NOT bother to read. So we’re voting to chuck out, not keep.  Also you’ll see a box at the bottom where you can add any other literary chunkster that you aren’t bothered about reading.

Have fun and THANK YOU!   Oh – and vote for as many as you want…


31 thoughts on “Too many books, not enough room, not enough time …

  1. I voted for “The Little Friend” because I found it a real let down after “The Secret History” -TLF just wasn’t worth the effort for me. What I *am* enjoying is The Pendragon Legend – I wasn’t intending to read it at the moment till I read your review and now I can’t put it down!!

  2. I voted for A.S. Byatt this time because it’s the only book on your list I have read, or rather tried to read. I didn’t get very far.

    But it’s my view that no one should read Tom Wolfe or Jonathan Franzen anymore. Why put yourself through that kind of pain when there are so many other, more agreeable and more interesting writers out there.

    I’m I know in my heart of hearts that the world will someday realize just how mediocre Donna Tartt really is. I may not live to see the day, but the day will come.

    • This is exactly why I voted for Franzen. As for Tartt, I liked The Secret History, probably because I was teaching at Bennington when I read it, but I don’t get why everyone raves about it.

    • I couldn’t disagree more about Wolfe. I haven’t read his most recent book but I really liked I Am Charlotte Simmons and found it a really quick read. It wasn’t without flaws, but I don’t think there is anything boring about his work. Recently I introduced two female British ex-pat friends to his work and they both ended up loving him and have now read most of his non-1960s stuff.

  3. Oh dear, we are too alike, Annabel! I couldn’t vote for anything because apart from the Tom Wolfe, which I read and very much enjoyed, the others I have half a mind to read too! I’ll be interested to see what your other commenters say. 🙂

  4. The Byatt book was beyond tedious and pretentious. Chuck it out. Ditto the Hensher which is grim gritty and depressing

  5. I didn’t vote but left a comment which seems to have vaporized. I have only read the Hensher and that is highly recommended. I loved it and it made my best of the year list. Hensher gets a lot of bad press IMO which isn’t deserved. He speaks his mind and has caustic opinions and there’s pay back against his work for that.

    • Thanks Guy – I’ll bear your comment in mind when I tally up the votes in a day or two.
      I must admit that having been a teenager in the 70s, and growing up with Thatcher, I am actually fascinated in general by books charting those times.

  6. I have liked some of Hensher’s work, but this one for me was tedious beyond words. I loved the Byatt, however and would definitely keep that. As for not being able to read everything you have on your shelves in this life time, my doctoral supervisor once told me that the day he came to terms with his own mortality was the day he accepted that he owned more books than he had time left to read, so you’re not alone.

    • It does prove that we’re all different as readers, doesn’t it – as the Byatt is the book I’m least tempted to keep from the whole lot – but if it gets just a few votes – it can stay a while. 😉

  7. I haven’t voted as I haven’t read any of these, although I have started The Children’s Book a couple of times. Each time other books shouted out to me more and I put it back on the shelf, but I would like to read sometime, so I wouldn’t vote for that one. I realised when I was diagnosed with cancer that there was the distinct possibility that I’d never get round to reading all my unread books, which initially filled me with horror, but then I realised it didn’t matter – I’ve enjoyed owning them even if I haven’t read them. (And so far I’m clear of the cancer!)

    But I do think it’s a good idea to weed out the ones you know you’ll never read – and wonder why you bought them in the first place.

    • That’s half the problem – I enjoy owning all my books so much. I like to look at them, and ‘play’ with them and I like knowing that they’re there.

      I hope you continue to get years and years of enjoyment from your books too Margaret.

  8. I voted for The Little Friend as I found it disappointing after enjoying The Secret History so much. I liked The Goldfinch but not as much as TSH but that’s more to do with my not being long out of uni when I read it. I loved The Corrections although it took a while to get through it. I also enjoyed The Passage, not as demanding a read as some of the others but a great story.

  9. I voted for The Little Friend because I was so disappointed with it after the wonderful Goldfinch, and for the Sebastian Faulks because I tried it and hated it. But I did enjoy The Children’s Book. I agree with Elaine that Byatt at her worst is indeed boring and pretentious, but there was much to love in this one, so I’d call it a keeper.

  10. I voted for the Franzen but that is only because I don’t like him as a person and descriptions of it make it seem like one of those “important” books that would annoy me. BUT I haven’t read it. Not good of me is it? I gave the Byatt about ten minutes of my time once and then gave it away.

  11. Oh my, I haven’t read any of them and I probably won’t. If it were on the list I’d vote for Tartt’s The Goldfinch–I made it to page 200 before slamming it shut forever.

  12. Oh boy, there are so many in that list that I have never even heard of! The only one I feel very strongly about is The Children’s Book by A.S.Byatt: please don’t throw it out before giving it a chance! I absolutely loved it!

  13. I voted for Jonathan Franzen because I found the book very average for all the hype and the investment required.

    I am glad to see A.S.Byatt at the bottom, because I really enjoyed The Children’s Book, if you love art and enjoy the V&A keep it! Also enjoyed Human Traces.

  14. This post made me laugh! I voted against The Little Friend — I’ve tried to read it at least three times, to no avail, and I eventually just gave up. I will just love Donna Tartt’s other books instead.

  15. I much preferred The Little Friend to the Secret History, and have tried but got nowhere with The Corrections. The Northern Clemency glowers at me but is thus far unread. I utterly loathed Human Traces which I thought was self-indulgent, pretentious twaddle. Haven’t tried The Children’s Book (though the cover is gorgeous), mainly because I had to endure the utterly infuriating The Virgin in the Garden for my book group. Like Human Traces it was the dreaded January selection…

Comments are closed.