Chat Between Chapters: Do you own tons of books that you have never read?

October 12, 2014 Chat Between Chapters, Featured Posts 64


 Have you read all of the books you already own? You know, the ones you have filling your shelves, stacked on your nightstand, haphazardly piled high into a leaning tower of TBRs??? What about your e-reader? Is it crammed full of books you have downloaded, but never gotten around to reading?

Julie Review Avatar Julie:

OMG this question is evil Rose, you’re so evil! I have SO FREAKING MANY books I own and haven’t even cracked open, digitally or for realsies. Hi, I’m Julie, and I’m a book collector, not a reader. SERIOUSLY that’s how I feel sometimes. I one-click way too many damn books on Amazon, especially the freebies or the ones already on my TBR that are on sale for like a buck. A BUCK! Why not, right? Well, now they just sit there all sad on my kindle getting ignored. And as for my lovely amazing beautiful bookshelves in my library – they are full of more books that I *haven’t* read than those I have. If I stop buying books today, I already have more than enough books to read for many many years to come. I need an intervention. Or, to just say sorry books, it isn’t you, it is every other book that is shiny and new that gets my attention.

Rose review avatar Rose:

So I recently just bought 4 new bookshelves and am in the process of trying to organize my books according to ones that I have read and ones I have NOT read. So I bought this super small shelf in hopes of filling it with my “unread” books with the idea that I would not buy books unless I had room on this small shelf. But guess what? That shelf is full and I STILL have tons of books on my other shelves that I have not read. This  makes me sad. I want to be able to say, yes, I have read all these books whenever someone steps inside my personal home library. I am SOOOO excited we are doing a “Read the Books You Own” challenge for 2015! Stay tuned for details to come! I want to finally read the books that I one click or impulse buy at the library…I mean, I bought ’em! I should read ’em!


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64 Responses to “Chat Between Chapters: Do you own tons of books that you have never read?”

  1. Tina

    This is a really great post! I’m looking forward to your challenge! (: I’m going to try to participate since I have WAY more books than I need, and I know if I keep buying books, I’ll never read all the ones I’ve bought. I don’t have too many ebooks because I much prefer physical copies, but I want to get through those as well! I might start this challenge a little early…like now… but with Christmas coming..I can’t guarantee I won’t ask for more books (:

    Tina @ Pages of Comfort
    Tina recently posted…[Review] Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

  2. sofia

    I’ve been trying to read what I own but it’s been so hard. I still go to the library which I know I shouldn’t. I did make a shelf, well actually two shelves of unread books. So that’s a start.

  3. Adrienne

    Hello. I came across this blog because I was looking for a challenge to read the books I already own and not buy any new books. Happy to find that others like me exist. I have a HUGE weakness for books. It would be such an accomplishment and challenge to read the books that fill my shelves (and everywhere else) and not purchase new books. I would love to join your 2015 challenge.

    • Julie

      Good to hear that you’re interested in joining the challenge. The details should be posted probably around Dec 1st.

  4. Tina at Mommynificent

    I am very picky about what real books I keep so I can say that I have pretty much read all of the ones that we have with a few non-fiction exceptions. My Kindle library is another story entirely but that doesn’t bother me at all. Since we live in Southeast Asia and have moved all our stuff around too many times to count, what I care about is what I have to pack and how much it weighs! The Kindle library is free baggage! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on this week! I always enjoy your chats!
    Tina at Mommynificent recently posted…Booknificent Thursday Link Up Party #67

    • Julie

      You’re right that kindle books weigh nothing so it doesn’t seem so bad to have an abundance of unread books. Moving around with hundreds of actual books – wow that is not fun.

  5. Bea @Bea's Book Nook

    Oh my, the number of unread books I have is beyond embarrassing. My Kindle and my physical bookshelves are overflowing. I may have to participate n your challenge next year. Though, I do make a point of reading at least 1 book that I own every month. One month I only did books I’d won or been given; that made a dent. 🙂
    Bea @Bea’s Book Nook recently posted…Sunday Book Share #111

  6. Charlotte @ Books and Baby etc.

    I have a really bad habit of buying books for my Kindle and then just letting them sit there. I do it with physical books too but it’s not so much of a problem. I just get so excited when I see something new that I buy it and then just add it to the collection but I never get around to reading it before I spy something else exciting to get! It’s a never ending circle really.
    Charlotte @ Books and Baby etc. recently posted…BLOG TOUR // Dead Gorgeous // Elizabeth Flynn

    • Julie

      It is a never ending circle. And books on my kindle don’t seem to be as demanding of attention as the books on my shelves, so I’m with you and they get ignored more.

  7. Emz Chang

    I’m definitely more of a collector than a reader when it comes to my own books. It’s kind of interesting because I’m pretty sure it was the other way around before I got into blogging. Sure, I brought the occasional book at author events and signings, but generally speaking, I never brought books I haven’t read before. But then I started blogging… I guess I just ended up going to more author events and started winning books. And then I feel bad for having to be the one to wear them in. So basically, most of the books on my bookshelves are new and unread. Whoops.
    Emz Chang recently posted…Bookish Costumes – The Mortal Instruments

    • Julie

      I was a collector before I was a book blogger, but it certainly got a lot worse after heh. It is interesting because the amount of books I read per year since becoming a blogger increased, but so did my book acquisition.

  8. Bookworm Brandee

    *raises hand* I believe I did recently comment here that I’d be up for participating in a challenge where I read only books I already own. That, of course, might take me a few years. 😉 I have 3 ereaders. *hangs head* AND I have a library in my house and my shelves for read books are on one wall and my TBR shelves are on the opposite. Well, my tbr books outnumber my read books…I’m out of shelf space! Yes, a challenge is in order! 😉
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…**That’s What HE Said ~ #15**

    • Julie

      Yea, it would take me years and years to read my collection of unread books too hehe. Glad you’re gonna join the challenge.

    • Rose

      YAY! Stay tuned for more info later this year for the challenge!I need to separate my tbr from my reads books. Right now, mine are all mixed!

  9. Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

    This is a really interesting question Rose & Julie! Personally, I only buy books that I’ve already borrowed from the library and absolutely adored because then I won’t have to risk buying a book and not liking it. This being said, I would probably say I’ve read the majority of the books I own; but I’m probably a black sheep in terms of that response!

    Thanks for sharing! <3
    Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf recently posted…The Infinite Sea

    • Julie

      Ooh that’s awesome. That’s great that you purchase books you’ve already read and loved, that’s great for the authors. I used to do that if I’ve loved a book I borrowed but now I just have so many books that I’m trying not to collect as quickly lol

  10. Carmel @ Rabid Reads

    I think every book blogger falls victim to this. It comes with the territory! I’ve severely cut back on buying physical books because our house is small, and my shelf space is limited. My eReaders (yes, plural, LOL) are a different story though. #1 is looking forward to moving, so he can get a man cave, well he can only have one IF I can have more bookcases. Haha
    Carmel @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Review: Taken by the Others by Jess Haines

    • Julie

      I don’t think it is limited to book bloggers either. I was a hoarder.. er.. collector before I became a book blogger. It just got exponentially worse.

    • Rose

      My boyfriend and I have this issue. I have systematically taken over three of the four bedrooms we have in the house and the formal dining room, from which I sit and type this. But hey, he really has no room to complain. He bought this house, sight unseen because it had a three car garage and HUGE driveway. And would you believe it? MY CAR still sits outside. tsk tsk. He is a collector of cars. I am a collector of books. Our house is full, but it works for us.

  11. Cait @ Notebook Sisters

    I haven’t been book blogging for too long, so I’m not huuuugely in deep with owning lots of books I haven’t read. I did count them, though, and it’s around 20. >_< I feel so guilty! A lot of the time I win them and I'm just not in the mood to read them, or ARCs need to come first, and they just get left interminably. My bad.
    Thanks for stopping by @ Notebook Sisters!
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…10 Places That Make Me Yell “Pack my bags, minion, I’m living in a book!”

    • Julie

      See it starts relatively innocently with a few shelves worth of books you intend to read soon, and then it grows like madness. Blame the ARCs lol

      • Rose

        hahahaha yes. It DOES begin innocently. and then POW! you are trying to find clear space just to sit you laptop. And you suddenly say, how did it get this way!NOOOOOO!!!!!!

  12. Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun

    I feel like y’all just came to my house and described me. LOL I have something like 250 books (ebook, audio, and print) that I own and haven’t read. And yet I still by books like crazy. I’ve been trying to force myself to focus on books I own and stop grabbing new ones but gah! They’re so addictive. I can already promise I’ll be joining your 2015 challenge, I need it, bad!
    Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun recently posted…The Next Breath | Book Review

  13. Diamond

    Oh my god yes! I have way way too many books that I’ve bought and never read. In fact, I have an entire booksejvlfes full of books bought but haven’t yet read. It is an lucre of a lot of guilt and consternation with me, when will I ever get to them? Why do I keep buying them? I really really wanna read them. I bought them after all. It takes a lot for me to buy a Bk rather than borrow it and I wanna read every single one. But, sometimes I get caught up with arcs and review books first bc I give those priority. I’m trying to do more of a 50/50 split though, or even more bc it’s just as important to read what I wanna read for fun not review. 🙂 great post ladies!

    • Rose

      Well said! I think it is SUPER important to read what you want as well as what you *have* to. I studied English Lit in college and NEVER read a single book I wanted to… and consequently ended up with a career in the medical field and not reading for 7 years.

  14. Leila @ LeilaReads

    Guilty! I have three bookshelves (2 IKEA Billy and 1 Old School real wood one of the same size), all full. I’ve probably read half. Maybe. Like Julie says, they’re so shiny and pretty! It’s especially bad when I go to an indie bookstore. I seriously can’t leave one without buying at least two books. But I don’t necessarily consider it a bad thing. I’m never going to finish my TBR list (ever) since it’s always growing, and I’ve just come to terms with it. I don’t actually buy a bunch of ebooks anymore, though. I pretty much just read eARCs on my Kindle.
    Leila @ LeilaReads recently posted…Beau, Lee, The Bomb, and Me by Mary McKinley

      • Rose

        My gosh! Isn’t that just the WORST thing about dying? I will never finish my TBR list! Perhaps there are books in the afterlife!

          • Rose

            If you get there and there is not library, you might want to ask yourself, “Where am i?”

  15. Lost in Literature 108

    I have unread books but I do try to chip away at reading them through the year. I have a small, three shelved bookshelf upstairs in my little reading area. The other night I counted 22 on that shelf alone that I have not read. That’s a high percentage for that small of a shelf. And my Kindle…I don’t even count that cause they are not visible and in my face.:) I do work on trying to read an old, unread book about once a month so things don’t get too out of control.:) Your 2015 challenge looks great. I’ve been doing the TBR Challenge with Roof Beam Reader and that has helped me a lot.

    • Julie

      Yea I’m with you on not counting Kindle books so much because they’re kind of out of sight out of mind.

  16. Braine Talk Supe

    Thank God for ereaders otherwise I don’t know WHERE I’m going to put all of my UNREAD books! Blogging sure turned my reading hobby into an obsession… oh well, just gotta roll with it.

    And I refuse to acknowledge that I have a problem. I’m not an addict, like Julie said, I’m a collector, not a hoarder! Books are GOOD, they make you SMART (does smut count?), right so it’s NOT that bad!
    Braine Talk Supe recently posted…Steampunk Sundays: The Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato

    • Julie

      HAHA yea storing ebooks is so much easier than storing physical books. Nothing wrong with being a certified collector… lol 🙂

  17. Savvy

    Almost all the books I own I haven’t read. I get the majority of the books I read from the library. The books I own are usually given to me by people who think just because I like to read I will read anything. If I read a book I own and I like it I give it to my mother or sister and they never give it back.
    Savvy recently posted…Recovering From the Loss of a Friendship

    • Julie

      Ooh that’s interesting, so once read, you pass them on. I think it is great that you get most of your books from the library.

  18. Finley Jayne

    This is one area that I really stand apart from other book bloggers. Because I don’t actually own any books. Not one. (well, except for the Bible, but I don’t think that counts lol). I get all of the books I read from my amazing local library 😀 Love the simplicity of my system-I go to the library 1-3 times a week and chose a couple of books each time. I then put them in my library book basket, which is next to my desk. That’s it!
    Finley Jayne recently posted…{Halloween Special} Black Cat Cookies

    • Julie

      I am sooo amazed by you lady ma’am! *Bows down* I don’t know if I could not own books. I want to own ALL the books.

    • Julie

      Ooh that’s an interesting way of doing things – only keep the spectacular books and trade in the rest. But wow that does make the ratio of unread books seem daunting.

    • Julie

      Glad to know I’m not the only one that gets sucked into buying a book because of the pretty cover 🙂

    • Julie

      That is exactly the problem – new books = shiny attention grabbing, old books = sorry.

  19. Tina

    Yes! I have so many books that I haven’t read yet that stare at me every time I walk past my many, many bookshelves! I feel so guilty sometimes, but I. can’t. stop. buying. Ahhh every now and then I do pretty good and go a few weeks or maybe a month without buying anything, but then that changes pretty fast and I’ll buy 1 or 2 or 5… 🙂
    Tina recently posted…Home Libraries and Book Nooks

  20. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    *snickers* I have so many books that I haven’t read that it is BEYOND ridiculous. I have ENTIRE series of books that I have not started reading yet. I actually have (several) bookshelves reserved for books I haven’t read, but really want to, but if I don’t keep them in a designated space, I’ll forget about them, b/c too many unread books to keep track of them all.<—–true story 😉
    Jessica @ Rabid Reads recently posted…Review: The Fall by Bethany Griffin

    • Julie

      I alphabetized all my books by genre, but it makes a lot of sense to have an unread section instead. Whole series huh? I have some of those where I’ve read the first few in a series, collected the rest, and they just sit there. Sad for them.

  21. Kimber Leigh Wheaton

    Oh, boy! All I can say is that I’m glad my library became digital a couple years ago or I’d be buried under books! I receive tons of unsolicited requests for my two book blogs. I keep them all… just in case, because someone took the time to send it– I don’t really know. I have over two hundred unread books on my Kindle, including all of those amazing box sets that can be picked up for a buck. I’ll never run out of reading material.
    Kimber Leigh Wheaton recently posted…Blog Tour: Linked by Judy Serrano – Excerpt, Top Ten & Giveaway

    • Julie

      Wow, two book blogs, and you keep all the requests. I think it is pretty awkward when people not only send unsolicited requests, but include their book in that request. But good for you for keeping them, maybe someday you will end up reading them.

  22. Terri M.

    Oh, yes, I have tons of books that I own and have never read. I used to be a book collector, but when we moved to our condo back in 2003 I moved away from that. We just didn’t have the room and I donated a lot of books to the library.

    By problem stems from good deals at Half Price Books and Barnes & Noble. I’m not totally sold on reading books on my eReader so I don’t have a one-click addiction.
    Terri M. recently posted…Scenic Sundays #06: Food and Ben Okri

    • Julie

      Ouch, donating so many books sounds physically painful Terri! But glad you were able to do it. Cause when we moved this year, moving all my boxes of books was crazy town.

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