The curated reading list

Like most of the people I know who read a decent amount, I maintain an ever-growing list of books I want to read. For each book I buy from the list, I add a handful more to it and, being but a fickle jade, I go rogue as new titles catch my eye. So it came about that my TBR list was pushing 100 titles. I’d forgotten why I wanted to read some of those books in the first place, and they were becoming less like possible purchases and more like items destined to live forever in shadowy, wish list form.

Now, as regular readers may recall, I set up a fab deal with the wonderful Blackwell’s about 18 months ago, in which they agreed to send me one Patrick O’Brian book per month, and I agreed to pay for it. On or around the first of every month, a package has duly arrived from Blackwell’s, with a hand-written note from Becky, who sends my books out. In these days of e-everything, I love getting parcels in the post, and I now have a complete set of Aubrey/Maturins, all in matching covers, looking very handsome on a shelf. But, as the series was winding up, I was beginning to wonder what could replace it? I mean, obviously I couldn’t be expected to give up my monthly hit.

So, at Stories Aloud a couple of months ago, I asked E from Blackwell’s if they could consider taking my TBR list and sending me one book a month from it. He enthusiastically agreed and as E is keen to encourage the reading of more non-fiction (and I hardly ever read non-fiction), we added that he could chuck in something additional if he thought I really ought to read it. I duly tidied up my TBR list, whittled it down to about 80 titles and sent it off to Blackwells. The first book should arrive in April.

This makes me very happy. By my reckoning, I’ll be getting one book per month until approximately 2020. It will be a surprise, because I can’t remember most of what was on the list; there will be wild cards thrown in; and I am freed of the guilt of an untended TBR list to buy whatever takes my fancy and build up a new TBR list.

If I say so myself, it’s genius.

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2 thoughts on “The curated reading list

  1. Reno

    How exciting to receive a book a month in the mail – this definitely sounds like a great way to keep at the TBR list. When I visited Blackwell’s in the summer, my few hours of browsing added around 30 books to my TBR list! So many great titles (esp. non fiction) that aren’t so available here.

  2. musingsfromthesofa Post author

    Hi Reno – Blackwell’s have now started a gift book club, where you can set up to receive (or let someone else receive) a book a month. Persephone Books will also do that, although their P&P is really high. Just something to bear in mind if someone is stuck for a gift for you 😉

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