TBIF: Thank blog it’s Friday! This week in memes and books

Musing Monday, hosted at Just One More Page: “TBR Anxiety”

Musing Mondays (BIG) This week’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about your TBR pile…
How many books (roughly) are in your TBR pile? Is this in increasing number or does it stay stable? Do you ever experience TBR anxiety in the face of this pile? (question courtesy of Wendy)

My TBR “pile” occupies one bookcase which is double-stacked on three of the four shelves, two shelves in a cupboard in the upstairs hallway, about half-a-dozen books on the lower shelf of my nightstand, and a subset I have begun referring to as the “TBRR” (To Be Read and Reviewed) stack, which I just counted; as of this writing, it stands at a dozen. Since I add all of my books to my LibraryThing catalog and assign them the “to be read” tag within a couple of days of acquiring them, I can tell you exactly how many TBR books I have at any given time. As of this Monday, the count is 189. Depending on whether I’ve been a book-consuming binge recently or not, the number may approach 200 at times, but I don’t think it’s dropped below 150 in quite a while.

I do sometimes get a bit nervous over how many unread books I have waiting around – will there ever be enough time to get to them all, especially considering that I add to the pile faster than I subtract from it? The irony of this question is that this situation arises from another source of book-related anxiety – running out of things to read. I’m not sure I’ve really calmed that one yet, despite the current population report from TBR Purgatory.

Does your TBR pile make you anxious – or would having no TBR pile make you even more anxious?

I’m not officially doing “Mailbox Monday on Friday” this week, but since it is related to the TBR question, here are some new books that have turned up at my place since my last Mailbox update.

These truly did come to my mailbox (or the front door, via UPS and/or FedEx):
Crossed Wires, by Rosy Thornton (review copy, from the author)
Sarah’s Key, by Tatiana de Rosnay (review copy)
The Last Bridge, by Teri Coyne (review copy, via LibraryThing Early Reviewers)
The Unit, by Ninni Holmqvist (review copy, via LibraryThing Early Reviewers)
Foreign Tongue: A Novel of Life & Love in Paris, by Vanina Marsot (purchased online)
Caspian Rain, by Gina B. Nahai (purchased online)

The last two books I mentioned above came to my attention at the Festival of Books, but I wasn’t able to buy them there. I did get these, though:
In the Woods, by Tana French
The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery
The Story of a Marriage, by Andrew Sean Greer
The second and third books are by authors I heard speak at panels during the Festival.

Tuesday Thingers, hosted at Wendi’s Book Corner: “Clouds”

Did you know that clouds can provide you a visual way to see the tags and authors you have in your library, and the more you have of a certain author or tag, the bigger the name/word will be?

Where to look for your clouds: Go to your profile tab, then look down the items of your profile (on mine, Clouds is the 4th item down the page). You can select either the cloud for your tags, or your authors.

Be sure to check out the Tag Mirror (once you click on a cloud, it will be an option below the tabs across your screen), which shows you how other Library Thing users have tagged the books you have. I loved seeing this one!!

Questions: Have you looked at your LT Clouds? Were you surprised at any of the larger tags within the Tag Mirror? Any thoughts on the clouds in general?

My Answer: I really haven’t looked much at LT Clouds because they don’t mean a lot to me, to be honest; seeing my tags and authors in that format just doesn’t tell me all that much I don’t already know about my library.

I don’t use a wide variety of tags, so the Tag Cloud really doesn’t have a lot to work with:

The most common ones are pretty much the ones I expected, and pretty well represent the bulk of my LT collection.

The Tag Mirror for my books is too big to be captured in one screenshot (I used the Preview app on my MacBook to get these, by the way), but here’s a partial look at it:

It does give me some ideas for other tags I might think about using if I ever want to expand into more genre-specific and subject-oriented ones, though.

Here’s a partial screenshot of my Author Cloud. I wasn’t really surprised by this one either:

The starred authors are ones that I’ve identified as “favorites” in my LT profile.

Clouds are something I might play with once in awhile, but only if I happen to think about them.

Booking Through Thursday: “Graphic”
btt button
Suggested by Vega:
Last Saturday (May 2nd) was Free Comic Book Day! In celebration of comics and graphic novels, some suggestions:
– Do you read graphic novels/comics? Why do/don’t you enjoy them?
– How would you describe the difference between “graphic novel” and “comic”? Is there a difference at all?
– Say you have a friend who’s never encountered graphic novels. Recommend some titles you consider landmark/”canonical”.

I really have never gotten into graphic novels at all. I’m not sure why, but I think it may be a preference in long-form storytelling media – I like to take in stories in either a predominantly text format (traditional books) or predominantly visual (movies and TV), but for some reason I just don’t gravitate to the mixed format of a graphic novel. It’s been years since I even was all that interested in illustrations in books – once I outgrew kid-lit for my own reading, pictures just broke up the flow of the book for me. One reason that The Tenth Circle is not among my favorite Jodi Picoult novels is that the graphic-novel aspect of it was just wasted on me.

I did read comic books as a kid and teenager, but my husband says that since most of them were Archie comics, they don’t really count. (He, of course, had quite a collection of Marvel and DC classics and theme comics, which he had the heartbreak of selling just a few years ago. And as a comics fan and an illustrator by training, I’m actually surprised he’s not more into graphic novels himself.) I’ve gotten my comics fix from the newspaper strips for at least the last twenty-five years, although I don’t read them in the newspaper anymore; I get them via e-mail from two online sources. Comic strips are a quick hit as opposed to an extended storytelling medium, and I guess I just prefer that sort of storytelling in very small bites.

My understanding of the difference between “comics” and “graphic novels” is that it’s analogous to the difference short stories and long-form fiction in text, and not necessarily related to the theme or content of the stories themselves, but someone who actually reads them could probably give a better answer.

I do seem to see a fair number of movies based on comics, though…

Are you a fan of graphic novels and/or comic books? What are your favorites?

Friday Fill-ins #123

1. Apples are to oranges as cinnamon is to parsley. (What?)

2. The trial is over, and that’s all I have to say about that. (It’s really not. I have a couple of posts in the works about it, coming up next week.)

3. I think I hear “taps” being played for the work week.

4. I’ve had it; I’m waving the white flag.

5. Do what you want to do, but just make sure no one gets hurt.

6. He ran down the street and behind him was a Radio Flyer wagon; in the wagon was a bucket filled with snakes. (Why did it have to be snakes?!)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to nothing in particular, really, tomorrow my plans include nothing that’s been firmed up yet and Sunday, I want to spend some time doing nothing of importance!

Yep, it looks like a non-eventful weekend around here, which is actually OK with me. What are your plans?

Speaking of weekend plans…I won’t be posting a Saturday Review link round-up tomorrow. Thanks to jury duty, Google Reader fell by the wayside a bit, but I hope to have plenty of linkage to share next week!

Working on your Mommy Mojo? Check out the review of Mojo Mom, and enter my giveaway to win a copy!

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  1. I’m having a little trouble getting my comments to stick, so sorry if this is a repeat 🙂

    My TBR pile makes me anxious, but I think I’d be more anxious without it!

    I’m interested to hear what you think of Crossed Wires–I enjoyed it 🙂

  2. My virtual TBR pile is ridiculous but the ones that I actually have on my shelf to read? Maybe 25 titles or so and half of them I am required to review. Not too bad, right?

    I am trying to make room for the books that I really, really want to read so I have been requesting fewer ARCs. I need to read two books this weekend and then I will be in good shape.

  3. Kathy (Bermudaonion) – I’m sure we will; since it’s an ARC, I’ll actually have to be pretty prompt in reading and reviewing it :-)!

    Jess – I may try one out sometime, but they just don’t call out to me at this point.

    Tracy (Gentle Reader) – “My TBR pile makes me anxious, but I think I’d be more anxious without it!” My thoughts exactly :-).

    I’ll have to look for your review of Crossed Wires. The author just looked me up and offered me that one, and I thought it sounded interesting, and possibly a little different.

    Janet – I know that a lot of book bloggers play along with the Friday Fill-ins, so I would think you’d have no trouble finding new books :-)!

    Auntie Q – Thanks, glad you liked them!

    Ti – I know that I used to be able to read at least one book in a weekend, but can’t really remember when that was. It was definitely before blogging, though :-).

    My actual and virtual TBR collections are the same; I don’t officially call a book “TBR” until I have it in hand (before that, it’s “on the wishlist” and doesn’t really count). The ARCs aren’t as much of a problem as my bookstore addiction :-).

    AvisannchildThe Unit sounds a bit like Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go to me, which piqued my interest. We’ll see if I like it better, though :-).

    Billy Rhythm – Actually, it looks like I do :-D!

  4. I never read comics as a kid either. I don’t know why, they would have been perfect for me!

    We have a busy Saturday, followed by a busy Sunday. I’ll be happy when Monday rolls around. 🙂

    Have a Happy Mother’s Day!

  5. Mike – I think I’m getting some “me time” for Mother’s Day. Paul is taking his kids to the movies, and my kid MIGHT remember to call or e-mail me :-). I just need to make sure I spend my time on my own doing something enjoyable instead of chores!

    I’m kind of surprised you didn’t read comics much either – of course, I assume you’re talking about “real” comics like my husband had and not Archie :-).

  6. Anna – Happy Mother’s Day to you too :-)!

    I hope they all turn out to be good books, at least :-D.

    Beth K – I used to think that “so many books, so little time” referred to the whole world of literature, but maybe it’s just my own house :-).

  7. Wendi – I don’t think I starred them; they’re the ones I’ve listed as “favorite authors” on my profile, and I guess that converts to a star for cloud purposes :-).