How many unread books do you own?

I have about 150, not counting piles of unread comics. And a stack of magazines. I go into a bookstore and see a book that screams out, “I’m interesting! You will enjoy me!” Then I get home and feel a little overwhelmed with all the unread books that I already have. Not so overwhelmed that I’ll stop buying books, mind you. :wink:

Anyone else have this problem? (If you could call it that?)

Umm, no. We have a handful of things we’ve bought or been given and never read, but we tend to rip through new stuff as soon as it gets home.

Unread books? Whaaa?

I have three bookshelves of “essentials” — a few years ago I did a pickover and ditched the books that I was confident that I wouldn’t want to reread or refer to again.

Of these, three are unread, all of them hardcovers:

The Satanic Verses. by Salman Rushdie. Ex-girlfriend left it here. I started to read it early in 2000, but it failed to grab me. I expect that eventually I’ll pick it up again.

The Sigma Protocol, by Robert Ludlum. My aging mother gave it to me for Christmas a couple of years ago. I don’t ever expect to read it. Not my sort of thing.

The Divine Economy of Salvation, by Priscilla Uppal. I got about 50 pages into it before becoming distracted by something else, sometime last month. Thanks for reminding me!

Less than a dozen, out of the gazillion books currently littering my house.

Books are expensive, so I tend to read them even if I’m not really “into them,” just to see if they end up being worth the purchase price. A book has to REALLY SUCK for me to just abandon all pretense of slogging through it.

There are a few few books that I never get around to, either b/c they were gifts, or b/c they were on clearance. (I take risks with clearance books; they don’t always pay off.)

One of the most annoying pretenses people can have is the tendency to pick up classics, or books they think would look “cool,” and then prominently display them but never actually read them. (This is not directed at the OP; I’m just venting.) My dad is such a person; he has ayt least five 6’ bookshelves full of $30 hardcovers, covering just about every subject…and he’s probably only read a third of them. This is seriously goofy; why would anybody collect books and then not read them? To me this is just as bizarre as collecting hair products. Makes no sense.

Me, I don’t care what my bookshelf says about me; I buy cheap paperbacks, worn-out used books, classics, trashy novels, obscure non-fiction…there are books everywhere and most of them aren’t pretty to look at. I really don’t care. 99% of them are dog-eared and loved and then shared with people I think would like them.

hmmm out of about 300 lining my walls I’d say about 15 remain unread.

Mostly books I picked up and then grew bored with or distracted. A few I got a deal on buying 3 books in a series only to find the first book in the series was too stupid and didn’t bother reading the rest.

There’d be more but I did a weeding a little while ago and sold off some of the ones I KNEW I’d never read…I still had trouble letting go.

Lots and lots. I’ve been collecting local histories. Too many in recent years to read and post to messageboards, so the books stay in pristine condition. :slight_smile:

About 6,000.

Quite a few. Current count would be around…20 or 30 probably. I don’t shelve them in my collection (no idea how big that is–I stopped counting after 600 several years ago) until I’ve read them, so they just sit around in stacks until I get to them. Of course, separating my “haven’t read yet” stacks from my “no fricking shelf space” stacks is very difficult these days due to my current shortage of horizontal space to put books on. sigh

I probably have about 15 unread, including The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings books, some books in the Dune series, and a few other books that can’t be picked up and read easily like trashy romances (or medical thrillers, or lawyer books, or anything that may or may not end up on the top 10 rack at Barnes and Nobles). I can’t work up the energy it takes to concentrate on a book other than for school. When I’m reading something that is well written, I have to concentrate to read every word, rather than skimming. I’m a super-skimmer, if I get bored in a book, I’ll sometimes skim all the way to the next page, so it takes lots of concentration to actually read.

I have at least 50 unread books… Finally I decided to go on a book diet: before I buy any book, I make sure the local library doesn’t have a copy. It has done wonders for my bookshelves, plus if I only have the book for three weeks, I have more incentive to actually read it.

Very few. Because I’ve moved around a good deal, I tend to ditch those that I haven’t read.

The only ones that are in my apartment that I haven’t completely read are textbooks - but most of those have at least been partially read.

Wow, you folks impress me! I’ve got about 25 unread books just in this one room with me. And this isn’t the room with the most bookcases.

The unread ones are either reference books that I wouldn’t just sit down and read through (e.g., Traditional Bowyers Bible, 3 vols or Spring Gobbler Fever) or books that I’m Going To Read Some Day Real Soon Now, When I Have Enough Spare Brain Power To Handle Them (e.g., Complete Essays of Montaigne, edited by Donald Frame or The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind.)

I also have a pile of self-help books sitting beside the bed for those times I feel down and in need of help.

Hmm, on reflection, many of the unread books I have are unread because they’ll take some effort to get through, and it’s just easier to read something else. That doesn’t explain why I keep buying them though.

I do go through and cull books periodically though. Unfortunately, I buy new books to replace the culls.

I mainly use the library these days but I would say about 50-80. I go back to them every few weeks and look for something interesting for the train ride. It is amazing how many books I will read in one year as an everyday commuter.

Probably hundreds. See, I buy books because I want to read them. That doesn’t mean I want to read them now, but that I plan on reading them sometime in the future, even if that future is years off.

Hm. Didn’t occur to me to count unread reference books. If I include those, I’m probably up into the low one hundreds.

A couple of thousand, at least. Hubby went nuts at a closing library’s penny sale. Add those to his “war” collection and reference books for his Ph.D. And the 10 books I’m giving him for Christmas.

We like books.

At least thirty-seven bazillion and twelve. Plus about 417 books that I’ve partly read (includes collections of short stories, essays, and other anthology-type volumes like that). Bookstores, used book sales, sellers of clearance/remaindered books, online booksellers—they’re all just too tempting.

I echo Archergal and GMRyujin. I buy books because I want to read them, whether right away or eventually. If they’re cheap, I snap them up while they’re still available at that price. And the very act of acquiring new books is one of life’s great pleasures. And it’s a nice feeling to have a wide variety of tempting books sitting around, just waiting for me to read them. I keep books in the house like I keep food in the house: if I get hungry, I want easy access to what I’m hungry for.

Yes, I am a bookaholic. :frowning: I think it has a genetic component; you should see my parents’ house.

This is exactly how I feel.
I’ve been getting better, though. I can browse in bookstores without automatically buying something. It takes a lot of willpower, but I can do it. I’m also going to cut down on my weekly comics buying. Jeez, it feels like I’m committing a sin by saying all this.:slight_smile:
To the people who have many unread books, do you feel bad about it? Not guilty or anything. Just like, I don’t know how to describe it. I don’t feel like I’ve done anything wrong and I know I’m going to read them all eventually, but seeing books I got two years ago that haven’t even been opened…

Ahh vague dissatisfaction. You gotta love it. :rolleyes:

Nah, I feel like “Ooooh, books!” My Dragonriders of Pern books sat for 4 or 5 years before I got around to reading em. And then I had to buy all the new ones. I love having so many things to read on command. Like now. Since I started taking the train in, I have 2 or more hours a day to read, so I’m churning through all the stuff I’ve bought over the years.

But then, I view books as essential for the home. I don’t get people who don’t have bookshelves all over the place.

Only 2 right now. My older son picked them up for me just because he thought I’d like them. (God I love that kid!)

We rip through them pretty fast around here, too. I just went through our collection last weekend and gave away some, or I’d have more unread ones, the ones that seemed like a good read at the time, but no-one could really get interested in.