The print TBR of doom

2 Apr

I have spoken here before of the TBR mountain range. Alas, I’m afraid some of you may doubt me–despite past photographic evidence.

After all, it can be argued that enough time has passed for me to have read a good chunk of those books.

And you would not be necessarily wrong, if only I could only stop visiting used book stores. Which is almost impossible.

Let’s just say, I’m friends with the staff at all the UBSs within 25 miles of my house.

(Don’t judge me, people; I was late a very late arrival to the digital book party!)

Anyway, so yeah, even reading four to five books a week…not so much with the ‘let’s shrink this sucker’ when it comes to print books.

And then, just a couple of weeks ago, the owner of the UBS closest to me called me to give me the sad news: after 27 years in the same spot, she closed the store.

(A minute of silence in honor of one of the most romance friendly places you would ever want to visit.)

She called me not just because we are friendly, but also because with the closing she was putting everything in the store on sale at truly ridiculous prices.

Like, fill up a plastic grocery bag with paperbacks, pay one dollar.

What’s a book-aholic to do, I ask you?

Behold the haul:

Guest room-bed and right

Before anyone has a stroke, most of the stuff on the bed was actually bought for my sister¹ (I’m visiting the family for a few days in May, and my luggage is going to be books, books, two pairs of jeans, books, two pairs of shoes, books, t-shirts, did I mention books?)

Part of the TBR, however, is all the stuff on the table, the pile on the chair and the pile on the beside table (kinda hidden in the corner, under the lampshade).

Wanna see the other wall?

Guest room-left

There is also some unread stuff on the lower two shelves of the right hand bookcase.²


And remember this bookcase?

A few weeks later, door closed

I am just a lil’ bit embarrassed to report that I have yet to read about two thirds of the books you see there.

*hanging my head in shame*


A final note: did you notice something that didn’t belong in the very first picture?


Look closer:

Look what I have

My friend gave it to me the last day I saw her at her bookstore–considering that I just indulged in a binge re-watch a couple of weeks ago, it was awesome timing, wouldn’t you say?


¹ I’ve spoken about this elsewhere–probably here. Like me, all my siblings are avid readers, but only my sister reads romance. I was reckless enough a few years ago to send her a few used books in English, as a way to help her improve her command of the language.

Little did I know I was unleashing a monster.

In the years since, I have hunted down, packed, and shipped to her at least three times the number of books you see on that bed. Every so often I’ll receive a very plaintive email with a list of books missing from a series, or a new author she would love to try, if I could just find this or that title of her.

Every time, I tell myself and her that this is, absolutely, the last time I engage in the madness. Each time I receive back an effusive thank you letter, money, and an updated list.

Family. Whatcha gonna do?

² Wanna know something really cool? These two bookcases are about a hundred years old. They belonged to the family of Álvaro Obregón, who was President of Mexico from 1920 to 1924. My maternal grandmother was acquainted with General Obregón’s sisters, and they left her the bookcases as a memento. My mother had them shipped along with a few other things when my grandmother died.

21 Responses to “The print TBR of doom”

  1. Erin Burns 02/04/2015 at 9:21 AM #

    That is just awesome, especially the part about sharing with your sister to read english. I used to share my romance novels with my husbands non english speaking co-workers. I created a few monsters there too.

    • azteclady 02/04/2015 at 12:12 PM #

      There are times–oh at least every other month–when I swear this will be the last shipment. It is a hassle, frankly, what with keeping track of what has been sent, read, liked, disliked, what have you.

      But it makes her so happy, and where she is, there’s no way to set her up with a kindle account to share digital books–damn geo restrictions anyway–so dead tree books it is.

  2. Lori 02/04/2015 at 11:51 AM #

    That hurts my eyes.

  3. willaful 02/04/2015 at 12:38 PM #

    OMG. I hardly ever read print anymore and I absolutely hate having too many books around, but I’m still sitting here absolutely green with envy.

    I was just planning to use some of my now free time to catch up on some of my print books, especially the trade paperbacks. Gotta check what the tbr challenge is for this month…

    • azteclady 02/04/2015 at 12:43 PM #

      I confess that I’m trying not to panic when I look at that room myself.

      Because there are other rooms with bookshelves in them, you understand, and now that I live alone, I cannot pretend that at least some of the books in those bookshelves are not mine.

      (We won’t talk about the many, many books I am storing under the stairs for my eldest brother, because that one is just too painful to contemplate 😉 )

  4. Rowena 02/04/2015 at 3:44 PM #

    I’m with Willa. I don’t read print books anymore but that didn’t stop me from oohing and ahhing over all over your pretty books.

    I’m curious about what hurt Lori’s eyes too…hmm. But anyway, that’s really neat that you send your sister romances to help her with her English. Awesome! Don’t you just love creating monsters? I do that all the time…haha.

    • azteclady 02/04/2015 at 3:45 PM #

      (I think I would love it a bit more if it weren’t so complicated, and expensive, to get the books to her.)

  5. Miss Bates 02/04/2015 at 5:22 PM #

    I love your piles and piles of books: they make me happy!! I have tons of paper books and I do read them. I read digital too, have 3 e-readers. And I read romances in French translation because it amuses me!

    • azteclady 02/04/2015 at 10:15 PM #

      Once upon a time I was pretty fluent in French. What a difference twenty five years make, hm?

      • Miss Bates 02/04/2015 at 10:43 PM #

        I’m definitely not fluent, but I do love reading in French.

  6. SuperWendy 02/04/2015 at 8:15 PM #

    There is nothing sadder on this Earth then a great UBS closing – but oh, the sales! And letting you fill bags for, like, $1?!?!? I would have lost my mind. Literally lost my mind.

    I, technically, do still read print (I actually think I read faster in print) but I have this nasty habit of neglecting the print pile for the ooooh, *shiny* ARCs that are on my Kindle. Which is why I’m trying really hard to only read print for the TBR Challenge this year. You know, like 12 books a year is going to make a big difference, but a girl can dream /sarcasm

    • azteclady 02/04/2015 at 8:40 PM #

      The only reasons I didn’t go even crazier were a) my very own, still panic-inducing TBR, and b) the thought of getting all her books to my sister. So I clutched that list and tried my best to stick to it.

      (Hint: didn’t work too well, but at least *says she, virtuously* I tried.)

    • willaful 02/04/2015 at 10:13 PM #

      It really has made a significant difference for me. Of course, I tend to go through 3 or 4 books before I land on one I’ll read, and my rule for the TBR challenge is, if I start it and don’t want to go on, out it goes.

      • azteclady 02/04/2015 at 10:17 PM #

        I can’t do that–at least, not on the first try.

        I am such a mood reader, that unless something actively offends me, I know it’s very likely that a book I can’t get into today will engross me in three weeks.

  7. kristiej 03/04/2015 at 9:19 AM #

    That is one impressive (scary) TBR pile there. I have come to the sad yet true conclusion that I won’t live long enough to read all the books I have in print and now my ebook TBR’s are growing. I don’t know what I would do if a UBS was closing and selling them off a bag for $1, I seriously don’t! I don’t read print books anymore – but the what if such and such a book was there??? The sane part of me would say thank you, but no thank you. The book addict in me would break out in the sweats.
    And I love that you are such a supplier for your sister. Me and mine are all avid readers too though I’m the only one who reads romance. You are lucky to have a fellow romance addict in your immediate family. Mine tend to mock me.

    • azteclady 03/04/2015 at 9:20 AM #

      Well, see, we are the only two romance readers in the entire family–and there’s a lot of us–so yeah, gotta stick up for her.

      Breaking out in the sweats: that’s exactly what happened!

  8. pooks 27/05/2015 at 8:37 AM #

    Sorry I’m late but I had to say — I didn’t realize “azteclady” was literal. Awesome!

    Also, I’m in awe of your book shelves. Could you share a closeup sometime? I have always had a soft spot for Alvaro Obregón since I wrote my first published book and gave a character that surname because I saw it was the Spanish variation of O’Brien, which I thought very cool.

    • azteclady 27/05/2015 at 8:46 AM #

      Thank you!

      (I will take closer/better pictures of the bookcases as soon as I do a bit of cleaning up/reorganizing.)


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