Tuesday, February 17, 2015 | By: HiDee

What's in Your TBR Pile?

Previously, I wrote about how Debbie Macomber’s book Thursdays at Eight resonated with me, but that other of her books remain in my to-be-read pile.  I started thinking about what my TBR pile is composed of, and why.

My original TBR pile began many years ago, when as a teenager I subscribed to the Harlequin Reader Service.  Four to six books arrived in my mailbox each month.  Sometimes I read them all before the next shipment arrived, and sometimes I didn’t.  I also subscribed to a hardcover book club and Writer’s Digest Book Club.  My home library grew.

During those teenage years, my focus was on love stories and their exotic locations.  I was fascinated with characters with knowledge well beyond my years.  I wanted to visit the settings in the books; even Montana and Virginia seemed exotic to me at that age!

Closely following love was sorrow.  All that teenaged angst was really depressing!  I started reading poetry, especially that of Rod McKuen.  Then I started writing poetry, sharing it with friends who shared it with other friends, which was all well and good until it landed in the hands of my crush.

When I was burned out on human love, I turned to animals.  My love affair with horses had begun years earlier, but the closest I could come to having a horse of my own was living vicariously through books. I devoured books by Marguerite Henry, Mary O’Hara, Walter Farley and Will James.  I learned about and fell in love with Seabiscuit long before Laura Hillenbrand told his story in 2001.  I branched out into stories about other animals as well.  All Things Bright and Beautiful and All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriott made me smile and want to make a difference in that area. For awhile I dreamed of becoming a vet, but my failure to grasp chemistry and a severe cat allergy put a stop to that.

My reading path took me through history and biographies, feeding my desire to learn what makes people the way they are. This, in turn, brought me back to historical romances, particularly western historicals.  I am in awe of historical writers, both for their knowledge and their ability to bring those worlds so vividly to life in the pages of their books.

Although I’ve always been drawn to romances, when we started our family, I found myself particularly drawn to romantic comedies. I guess I needed a fun escape from the stresses of parenthood.  Now that my children are grown, I increasingly find myself drawn to continuity series with family at the heart of the books.

Looking back over the years, my TBR pile has definitely reflected different periods of my life.  Some of those TBR books have moved to my keeper shelf.  I don’t often re-read a book, but I find comfort knowing those books are there.  They represent parts of me, showing how I have grown and changed, and they reflect who I have become.

What’s in your TBR pile?  Please share.


Lynn said...

I love the post, HiDee! It's funny, my TBR pile is full of books I look forward to reading.But just thinking about it makes me smile. A lot of books have moved from TBR status to my read pile. Right now, my pile includes several Dresdan Files, a book in the Greywalker series from Kat Richardson, and on a completely different note, The Life and Teachings f the Masters of the Far East.

Angela Adams said...

Loved this post! There's not enough room for me to list all the books in my TBR pile. For every book I read, I buy 5 more!

HiDee said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one with an overflowing TBR pile! Last week I bought 4 books, without admitting as much to my family who all think I don't need any more books. How wrong they are! I felt decadent! Thanks for stopping by and sharing.

Maris said...

HiDee, I read all of the horse books you mentioned. Through my teens and early 20s I bought and read every one of the Black Stallion (and Island Stallion) books I could find. Walter Farley captured my imagination and gave me hours of reading enjoyment. It seems almost like fate that the town where my husband and I now spend our winters is where Walter Farley lived and died. (His widow died just ayear or so ago.)

Thanks for sharing your past TBR books. It made me remember all the authors who shared my growing up years.