Down the TBR Hole #7

Welcome folks to the seventh round of Down the TBR Hole. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, check out my sixthmy fifthmy fourthmy thirdmy second or my first round post or check out Lia at Lost in a Story who is the creator of this wonderful meme/project.

I’m trying to make this a regular feature of my blogging schedule because it’s good to regularly reevaluate if/why you want to read a book – that way you don’t come back to your TBR years later and have no clue why a title piqued your interest in the first place. I’ve also added a summary of results bit at the bottom of each round so I can track how many books I’ve kept and ditched from my TBR shelf in each round and overall.

Just a reminder of how this works:

  • Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Outside of doing these posts semi-regularly I have also been culling my TBR list at random points when I’m bored – all of this is good in terms of getting my TBR to a reasonable amount of books but it also means that these posts are getting harder for me to do as I’m beginning to really agonise over whether to ditch or keep books on there. Not that any of this is a bad thing! Let’s get going on the 10 books under scrutiny today…

1. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Why is it there? I have no clue. I think at one point one of the Spanish exchange students we had in school found out I studied literature and asked if I’ve read Don Quixote because it was required reading at their high school and so I felt like a fraud because I hadn’t read it, and knew nothing about it. Skip to 5 years later and I still haven’t read it, nor do I know anything more about it. I think it might be time to let it go…
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

2. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Why is it there? As followers of this blog may know, I am still in the midst of a War and Peace readalong (I think everyone else is finished but I got derailed by a holiday and now I’m struggling), so obviously once that’s over I need another ridiculously long book to move onto – this seems to fit the bill. Because what do you do after you’ve read a bloody long Russian classic? Read a bloody long French classic, obv.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

3. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Why is it there? Back when I realised my view of literature was extremely Anglo-centric, I decided to actually add some French and Russian novels to my TBR list – this was one of the latter. I know precisely nothing about this story, and I haven’t read Dostoyevsky’s other famous novel Crime and Punishment, but I hope to sometime in the future.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Why is it there? I always hear people have such fond memories of this book, that they read it when they were a young girl and it was so lovely and heartwarming and it’s one of their favourites and I just… that’s not my experience, this book was never on my radar as a child or young adult, and I’ve not even seen the film of it that is allegedly SUPER FAMOUS. I probably added this to my TBR out of some sense of mild embarrassment but now I look back I don’t actually have that much interest in it beyond being able to say I’ve read it? I think i’ll probably find it too sweet and saccharine and twee tbh.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

5. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Why is it there? A few Christmases ago, my parents got me a complete set of Dickens novels. Since then I have read… maybe like one more than what I previously had? Because of school/university, I’ve read Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, , A Tale of Two Cities, and Great Expectations. I read Hard Times off my own back a few months ago because I wanted to read 4 classics this year and I picked the shortest of Dickens’ novels – needless to say I haven’t picked up David Copperfield as another classic because, um, it’s rather long.
Do I own it? Yes
Verdict? Keep

6. Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol

Why is it there? I don’t know. Probably because it was vaguely mentioned on Gilmore Girls and since Rory Gilmore has read it, I felt like I should want to read it too. Mind you, Rory has read A LOT of books and I’ll never finish her reading list so is there any point in even trying?
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

7. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

Why is it there? I hated Jacob’s Room with a passion – I don’t get it, I don’t like stream of consciousness, and I’m not sure I get modernism. It just doesn’t seem like ‘my thing’. Yet I’m still adamant that I should give Virginia Woolf another go because so many people (SO MANY) say she’s brilliant and I want to get it, I really do.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

8. Candide by Voltaire

Why is it there? I can’t remember when, or why, I initially added this to my TBR. I was all ready and willing to delete it from my TBR shelf for the purposes of this project and then I paused and read the synopsis and I am BACK ON BOARD. So apparently Candide is raised in the household of this powerful Baron and he loves the dude’s daughter, so obviously the Baron casts Candide out of his household and he has to make his own way in life. Him and some companions tour round Europe and Asia and all manner of shenanigans ensues… that sounds a pretty fun read, actually. You survive this round, Candide. 
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Keep

9. Le Morte d’Arthur by Thomas Malory

Why is it there? Did you ever go through a phase of reading Arthurian-inspired stuff when you were younger (cough watch Merlin cough) and then think, well hey, maybe I should read some of the important sources and inspirations for these tales? Then your interest in Arthurian stuff kind of dwindles and yet Malory’s rendition of it is still on your TBR, untouched, and you’d forgotten it was even on there? No, me neither…
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

10. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

Why is it there? Much like Le Morte d’Arthur, there was a time (when men were kind, when their voices were soft) when I decided I should probably read some Chaucer because it’s kind of embarrassing to call yourself an early modernist but not have read much of some texts that directly preceded it in Middle English. Will I eventually pick this up? Who knows – it may very well make its way back onto my TBR at some point in my adult life but, for now, I’m just not interested enough.
Do I own it? No
Verdict? Ditch

Results

This round:
Kept – 5
Ditched – 5

Overall:
Kept – 39
Ditched – 31

Aaand that was the seventh round of my Down the TBR Hole project – have I made a terrible mistake in ditching some of these titles? Or have I kept some that really aren’t worth my time? Let me know in the comments below!


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4 thoughts on “Down the TBR Hole #7

  1. Emma's Library 19/09/2017 / 14:54

    Wow, what a good classics edition, although the only one I’ve read is Little Women. I think I first read it when I was about 13/14 but I don’t think I would have picked it up had it not been for my mother and her recommending me easy-reading classics when I wanted something other than middle-grade books to read. I can understand why some people believe it to be too saccharine, but I really like it and it’s one of my favourite classics. There’s also a new tv adaptation planned for the book so I’m really intrigued to see what that is like, especially since it is being written by Heidi Thomas who writes BBC’s Call the Midwife and I love that show!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Emma 22/09/2017 / 10:51

      It was, wasn’t it? Total luck of the draw!

      I’ve never had Little Women recommended by a family member or anything, which is why I never picked it up when I was a teenager, I think. I’ve never seen an adaptation of it or anything so I really have nothing to base my hesitations on… so perhaps I’ve been a little too hasty and should give it a try!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Emma's Library 22/09/2017 / 14:24

        All you can do is look at a blurb or summary on Goodreads and decide if it is right for you or not. I’ll admit it has been ages since I last read it and even now when I want to pick up a classic, I tend to bypass it for something else.

        Liked by 1 person

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