Friday, July 17, 2009

TGIF: Appearances Aren't Everything, the TBR Room & Friday Fill-Ins

This week's Musings Monday question is about book covers:
We all know the old adage about not judging a book by it’s cover, but just how much sway does a book cover have when it comes to your choice of book – whether buying or borrowing? Are there any books you’ve bought based on the cover alone?
Doing a little digging in the depths of my blog, I found a Booking Through Thursday post from March of last year in which I briefly touched on this topic:
I may judge a book by its cover; it is a temporary impression that can easily be changed once I find out what is inside a book. What the author has to tell me is what really matters. The words written on the pages, the story told, the characters and setting that are brought to life . . . All of this is what matters most to me.
I often come across a book while browsing in a bookstore, the cover catching my eye. I pick up the book to take a closer look, peering at the back cover or inside flap to see what the book is about. I have never bought or borrowed a book solely based on the cover. Looks can be deceiving, after all. I base my decision to read a book on whether the subject matter appeals to me.

Do you keep all your unread books together, like books in a waiting room? Or are they scattered throughout your shelves, mingling like party-goers waiting for the host to come along?
I never meant for it to happen. To this day, I am not sure when it came into being. It just was. It got its start as a spare bedroom. A twin bed, a desk and a television set for any company that might come for a visit. There were books, of course. They lined the shelves of the desk. Eventually they lined the desk itself, triple stacked. And then the bookcases came. Books, lining the shelves, sometimes stacked ontop of those. I have always kept my TBR collection separate from the books we had already read. At first it was just a handy way to avoid losing track of what still needed to be read. Now that I keep a spreadsheet with all the titles of my unread books, that really isn't necessary. Still, they remain separate.

I jokingly began calling the spare bedroom my TBR room a few years ago. The books had taken over, and it seemed a fitting name. Years later, the name just rolls off the tongue without a second thought. Even my husband refers to it as such now and then (I am trying to reframe and think of it as my library instead, but it's not working very well).

Separate even from that are the books in my "immediate" TBR collection. They fill the once empty spaces on my computer desk in my home office: shelves, stacks, and a box of books. This consists mostly of my review books and a few others that I want to read sooner than later.

There are books I have not yet read mixed in with the "read" books on my husband's and my shelves. These are books my husband has read, books I hadn't realized I wanted to read until after they'd found their place on the bookshelves in the living room, our "read" library.

So I guess you could say my unread books have just about taken over the house. They're throwing their own part, host or no host.

Graphic courtesy of Tonya!
*Click on the image above graphic to get to the Friday Fill-In headquarters, hosted by Janet!*

1. Milk and frosted shredded wheat cereal make a quick and easy dinner. It's been ages since I've indulged in a meal like that!

2. The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies and The Red Tent by Anita Diamant are the books I'm reading right now.

3. July brings back memories of a wedding in the rose garden, Riley's first homecoming, and Anya's introduction to her new family.

4. The fact that Riley has a new friend who is sneaking in under the fence to play was obvious. He was sprinting around my backyard as Riley looked on in amusement yesterday evening. He was too quick for me to catch, unfortunately. I haven't a clue who this little dog belongs to. He wasn't wearing a collar. I'm sure he'll be back.

5. They say if you tell your dreams to the stars, they may very well come true. Just not always the way you expect them too.

6. Before ordering that messy chocolate sundae on the Roadhouse menu, it might be best to think it over.

7. And as for the weekend, today I'm looking forward to a "Pamper Me" Day; tomorrow my plans include visiting Mesopotamia, Canaan and perhaps venturing into Egypt; and Sunday, I want to continue on with yesterday's journey, maybe resting in the Welsh countryside somewhere along the way.

© 2009, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All rights reserved.
If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. I like the way you describe your TBR room, LOL! I wish I've a spare room for that, and though we've a study room, it's more like an activity room to us where we keep our computer, books and other misc. stuff.

    Oh, how nice that Riley has a new friend! I'm sure he'll be back for more fun soon! ;)

    Hope you've a great weekend, Wendy!

  2. I have to admit that I have always planned on using the spare bedroom as storage for books, but didn't think of a TBR room! I hope your guests don't mind being surrounded by books. I'd put some in there anyway in case said guests enjoyed reading, but I suspect yours are spoiled for choice. ;)

  3. That's what my TBR room is like! It just sort of *happened* - LOL

    Enjoy the weekend!

  4. I need a TBR room. I have shelves and piles all over the place. The first thing anyone comments on when coming to my apartment is all of the books.

  5. Oh Riley has a friend how sweet :) Not so sweet if he teaches Riley how to get out of the yard.

    While I dont base my decision on getting a book on covers I am a sucker for cover art. But I hate the Oz cover for The Summoning but the book rocked. I only get picky about covers if I actually purchase a book then it has to look nice :)

    A TBR room! I so want one of those. I guess I need to move into a bigger place and not a two bedder unit. I need to think of it as not just a place to store my books but all those book shelves will provide amusement for my kitties. Im just doing my kitties a service. Right?

    Have a great weekend. My FFI is here.

  6. Sounds like maybe Riley might get a brother! If you are anything like us, if a creature comes down our lane and is cute and cuddly, it has a home. We just picked up another cat recently...

    I love the idea of a TBR ROOM! Perhaps once the kids go to college!!!!

  7. I don't need another book case, I need a ROOM like you!!

    I'm reading The Red Tent right now too.

    Have a great weekend, Wendy!

  8. I'm totally jealous - I want a TBR room!

  9. I have way too many unread books, too... I have a library. Everyone calls it my 'book room' :)

  10. I too used to have a TBR room, but then I ran out of room. All of my books are now on bookshelves in the basement, and eventually we want to finish the basement. We about halfway through with it, and when it is finished I imagine a lovely, comfortable area where I can read and be surrounded by all of my books!

    Sounds like you have a fantastic weekend planned! Have fun!

  11. I'd like to confine all of my TBR books to a room of their own, but we don't have enough space to give them one. Aside from that, though, it sounds like our book arrangements are pretty similar. But at least we've reduced our chances of running out of things to read :-).

    Yes, we did answer almost the same thing for FFI #1 :-)! I've never been a shredded-wheat fan, though. Lately it's been Chex.

    I read The Red Tent years ago; I'll be looking forward to your thoughts on it.

    Enjoy your "pampering day" - we all need those sometimes!

  12. I'm thinking of a big bowl of Cheerios for dinner :)

  13. A TBR Room - That's wonderful :)

    And, there's nothing wrong with cereal for dinner. I enjoy a bowl of cheerios quite often!

    Enjoy your pamper day and have lots of fun with your reading.

  14. Oh my, a messy chocolate sundae sounds good right now! I'd probably better think on that one a bit though. It would seriously conflict with my current project of fitting back into my favorite Lucky Brand jeans.

  15. Love your blog:

  16. I tried to segregate them but they filed a lawsuit. ;) I keep my books more or less grouped together by subject so that when I'm in the mood, I have them all there at my fingertips (I seem to buy them and fall OUT of the mood until later on).

    July sounds like a busy and good month for you!

  17. Wendy....
    You have so much in this post, I'm going to comment separately.

    This just about had me peeing my pants.

    "I jokingly began calling the spare bedroom my TBR room a few years ago."
    I think if I had a husband, he would have divorced me by now. We have been divorced for about 7 years, and since that time my library has become my house. So I can totally understand the TBR room.
    I'm going to post about this tomorrow I think. I might as well just tell people I have no home, I live among books.LOL

  18. We all need a TBR room, love it! My books are all over my house! I also like the pampering day, always a good idea:) Have a great weekend!

  19. I hope you like The Red Tent. I liked it a lot, but am even more glad I didn't live back then;-)

  20. Well now I am regretting encouraging a Goodreads habit - I didn't know you had a TBR ROOM!

  21. Melody - Thank you, Melody. It really did happen quite by accident. We store other things in there as well, but the books have definitely taken over.

    Riley's friend did not come back today. I hope he's okay.

    I hope you have a great weekend too.

    Meghan - A spare bedroom does seem like a good place for books, doesn't it? We haven't gotten any complaints about all the books in there when company stays over. Of course, we don't often have company spending the night . . .

    Yvonne - Exactly! It wouldn't have turned out quite so well if I planned it. :-) I hope you have a good weekend too!

    Nicole - I definitely need more shelves. If we were staying in this house, I'd have my husband build shelves all along the top of the wall, like a border through every room. Okay so maybe that's not the best idea.

    We get a lot of comments on the books in our living room. Everyone goes straight for the bookshelves and linger there for awhile. :-)

    Caspette - I don't think Riley can fit under the fence like the little dog can, thank goodness. But, yeah, that would be bad if the little dog rekindled the escape artist skills in my dog.

    I hadn't really thought of it when responding the book cover question, but I admit to spending more sometimes for a more attractive cover when given a choice.

    Yes! Bookshelves make wonderful places for kitties to play. Mine love to climb up on mine and settle in at the window, sometimes even sitting on the books themselves.

    I hope you have a great weekend too, Mandy!

    Sandy - My husband and I were even talking possible names for the little guy. He didn't come back today. I hope he's okay.

    Oh, definitely! Converting a grown child's bedroom to a TBR room is a wonderful idea. :-)

    Lisa - Haha! I try not to use the bed in the TBR room as a bookshelf, but it's happened when I'm sorting or have yet to file books away on the shelves of the designated crates.

    I hope you have a great weekend too, Lisa. I look forward to reading your thoughts about The Red Tent.

    Kathy - Haha! Maybe you can convert the dining room into one or something like that. :-) You can still eat in there, you may just have to move around a few books.

    Kelly - We could open our own little library!

    Kristie - When you put it that way, I wish I had a basement. That would be perfect! I bet it will look wonderful when you are finished. I hope you have a wonderful weekend too.

  22. Florinda - Not having enough space certainly is an obstacle not easily overcome. A tent in the backyard probably wouldn't do.

    Every time I walk down the cereal aisle of the grocery store, I'm amazed at the variety--and strange types of cereals that are for sale. I really like Chex too.

    I'm hoping I'll like The Red Tent. I've really dragged my feet about reading it.

    I enjoyed my pamper me day, thanks!

    Stacy - Oo! That sounds good too. Although, I've never really liked Cheerios with milk. I love them dry though.

    Iliana - If it was just me, I imagine I would eat cereal for breakfast now and then. My husband just isn't in to it.

    Thanks! I hope you have a good weekend too.

    Terri - That messy chocolate sundae sounded good to me too, but I was good and skipped it. :-)

    Emerald Fire - Thank you so much!

    Carrie (Patience) - Haha! I can believe it!

    I'm the same way. Once they get home, I'm not feeling quite ready for them and so they get set aside until a later date.

    July's been busy, definitely. And mostly good. :-)

    Wisteria - I have to admit, sometimes I'm surprised my husband lets me get away with what he does in regards to my book collection, but then, he has his own collections and I'm sure he's glad I don't say anything about those. :-)

    Julie - Yes, I agree. We all should have a TBR room. :-) I hope you have a great weekend too!

    Kristy - I am glad to hear you liked The Red Tent. I hope I do too. And I agree. I wouldn't want to live back then either!

    Molly (& Andy) - Haha! It's bound to happen eventually anyway. I appreciate you taking the time to e-mail me. :-)

  23. lol, I can so see myself having a tbr room one day too :P

    I'm planing to read The Red Tent soon too. I look forward to your thoughts!

  24. Nymeth - It'll sneak up on you when you are least expecting it. :-)

  25. I read the Red Tent years ago and LOVED it :)

    I finished City of Masks and it got an A - the review is up now :)

  26. Pretty soon your house is going to be called the TBR house!! LOL!!! Hope you're able to catch the little dog, who knows maybe if no one claims him he'll have a new home?

    Enjoy your weekend!!!

  27. Sally - I've heard wonderful things about The Red Tent and am glad to hear you liked it so much. :-)

    I'll be over to check out your review of City of Masks. I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

    Staci - LOL I can see that happening too. :-) My husband is very understanding and tolerant now, but I'm sure that would be testing even his limits.

    I haven't seen our little friend yet this weekend, but I'm keeping my eye out for him.

  28. I had to laugh at your unread books taking over your house. In our new apartment there is a room just off the living room that we're using as a study/computer/book room, and I've laid claim to the one windowless wall. There's something so comforting about a wall full of books, isn't there? :P

  29. You have a room for your TBRs! That's very cool.

    I have more than 600 TBRs plotting to take over the house and the number is ever increasing. I'm scared. I'm overwhelmed. I'll stop buying, but can I?...

    My colleagues are considering to put me into rehab or something like that.

    My husband just rolls his eyes. Hmm...

  30. Nat - Oh, yes! Whenever I see a blank wall, I always think of how perfect it would be lined with bookshelves. :-)

    Alice - LOL If it makes you feel any better, I have many more TBR books crowding my house than you do. :-) I keep thinking of having to move them when we sell our house to the city . . .


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