The Sunday Salon: Should Reads, Have to Reads, Wanna Reads

The Sunday I'm having such a hard time with my TBR piles.

I have that Guilt Stack calling out to me, haunting me, the books I should read and review for Early Reviewer and publisher programs. My rebellious streak kicks in, even though I know at least one of them is a really good book. I've had a couple of false starts on one, but then something more interesting draws me away. I've stopped requesting Early Review books for now. I can't take the guilt.

And there are a few I have to read in the next month - for book group and for the author blog tour. Up for these are Three Cups of Tea and The 19th Wife. I'm looking forward to both of these, but am trying to time it so I'll allow plenty of time to read them and they'll be fresh in my sieve of a mind when the events come around. Scheduled reading is not my cup of tea.

And then there are those that just beg for my attention because they're really what I want to be reading - right now it's Rose Tremain's Music and Silence which, in spite of the noisy Guilt Stack, I will be hunkering down with today. Last week it was The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (wonderful Southern US lit that seemed like a cross between To Kill a Mockingbird and Grapes of Wrath) and a couple of weeks ago, Tipping the Velvet grabbed me and wouldn't let go (oooo la la!).

How do you decide what to read next? Are you driven by guilt or desire?

Enjoy your Sunday and the rest of your week. And don't think about the collapse of the global economy; read a good book.


Jill said...

Great post...with so much beckoning to read, it's definitely more of a process than one would think.

I go with my heart...if I force something otherwise, it doesn't make for a very good reading experience...!

Literary Feline said...

That last bit is good advice! And that's exactly what I plan to do today.

I understand about the guilt, Terri. :-) My TBR stacks are already toppling over. The what to read next question is one I am quite familiar with.

Lately it seems that my choice is based on a combination of both obligation and desire. All those books I'm obligated to read look so good! Since I tend to be a one book at a time sort of gal, my biggest problem is wanting to read all my books at once, which wouldn't get me very far.

Terri said...

Thanks for visiting!

Jill - I like your process - going with your heart. It does seem like more satisfying reading if I'm not feeling resentment about it!

Wendy - For awhile this last year I was reading 3 or 4 or more books at a time, but lately it's been one at a time. Not sure what shifted.

Andi said...

I actually choose books based on what helps me avoid the "real" crises in life - like the economy . . . so I appreciate your advice. Adn I too have stopped requesting review books . . . I feel so guilty when I choose to read something else.

Anonymous said...

I gave up completely on accepting books for review because I found myself not wanting to read them because I had to and then they got in the way of what I did want to read. Nice though it was to get free books though the post it wasn't worth the guilt. Books for reading groups are another matter though and it is a real balancing act to make sure that there is enough time to read them without forgetting the detail in the gap between finishing and discussing. I don't seem to have got this right yet, but I'm working on it.

Jill said...

I think I should make a personal goal in 2009 to sign up for less challenges and commitments so there's no guilt when I read a "just for me" book.

Until then, my goal is to create a pattern: read two challenge books and then an ARC. That should carry me nicely through until the end of the year.

=) Jill

Amy(The Sleepy Reader) said...

Boy, do I understand about the guilt stack. I have several ARCs to read but I really do want to read them all.

I try to alternate between ARCs and whatever catches my attention.

Anonymous said...

You list one of the reasons I don't read ARCs: the guilt, but also as Ann mentions, they get in the way of what I want to read.

How I choose a book: look at the pile on my bookshelf next to my desk here in my home office and choose whatever catches my eye. Of course, going to the library and working part-time at a bookstore hasn't helped me with that, though. I'm trying not to feel guilty about challenges, because will I be a worse person if I don't complete them? I don't think so. It's not like I'm being graded on my reading. It's for fun, or is supposed to be anyway. That said, I am feeling a bit guilty about The Sunday Salon, when I'm supposed to be reading and I'm spending a lot of time commenting here on posts. :)

Laura said...

Add me to the list of visitors who don't read ARCs much, because they "get in the way". I tried a couple thru LT and the ones I received didn't impress me much either.

That said, don't let the guilt stack rule your life! I posted today about having the "luxury" of reading whatever my mood inspires me to read, and I'm really looking forward to it!

Audrey said...

Terri, thanks for visiting! I've read a couple of Rose Tremain's earlier books and will now put this one my list.

jlshall said...

I’m having the same trouble with my TBR lists. The guilt is terrible, but I know I’ve got ARCs that I’ll probably never get to. The 19th Wife sounds good, though – I’m looking forward to reading that one, too, once I get all my “must reads” out of the way.

BooksPlease said...

I don't like the idea of having to read a book - it sets up barriers for me straight away. My Guilt Stack is quite small but it still makes me feel bad. I do have three books sent to me for review that I haven't read yet. I have looked at each of them, but always another book has seemed more appealing.

Like Table Talk I find fitting in book group books tricky as reading to a deadline is awkward.

Mostly I read whichever book takes my fancy.

Wendy said...

I am with you on this, Terri - I have a very large guilt stack right now! Luckily, most of them are books I really want to read :) But, I've decided to not sign up for many challenges in 2009...I like getting the ARCS and want to focus on some of my long term reading projects more (like the Orange Project, Pulitzer Project, Complete Booker and Reading the World). Those give me more freedom to pick and choose books I feel like reading at that time.