Firstly, excuse the lack of a ‘Happy New Year’ greeting. It’s just been announced that the UK is back in total lockdown again, so 2021 isn’t off to a very happy start. Don’t get me wrong, keeping key workers like the heroes in the NHS, and our most vulnerable members of society, safe is absolutely the right thing to do. But so is eating lettuce, but that doesn’t make it fun.
Still, let’s focus on the good stuff. I got books for Christmas! Lovely, lovely books. And my birthday is just around the corner, so I expect there are more to come. (I know there’s at least one, as I asked my wife to get me it – you’ll find out what it is soon enough).
I’ve decided to prioritise the new books I got for Christmas, even though there is plenty on my TBR pile that has been there for months or even years. But I think that it’s actually the most recent additions to our TBR piles that cause us the most anguish. I know that’s true for me.
You come to terms with a book never getting read after it’s been sitting there for several years, in the same way you begrudging accept, after refreshing ten different websites 50 times per day on Boxing Day that the Xbox Series X really isn’t in stock, and it ain’t going to be any time soon.
Whereas the milestones of indifference are easier to track with a new book. My thoughts will inevitably run something like this:
‘You got it two weeks ago and you still haven’t read it…’
‘Christmas was a month ago and you’ve yet to pick up one of those books you got…’
‘Are there any Celebrations left in the tin..?’
The fact that they are presents makes it worse, too. Feeling guilty about not reading a book you bought for yourself is bad enough. When someone else got it for you even more so. They bought you a lovely collection of embossed tree slivers and you’ve slapped them in the face with it.
So I feel that the best way to stay on top of my to be read pile and give myself the best chance of at least shrinking it by a little bit this year is to start with the books I got for Christmas, which are:
- Time Lord Fairy Tales, Justin Richards (writer), David Wardle (illustrator)
- You Look Like a Thing and I Love You, Janelle Shane
- Rivers of London, Ben Aaronovitch
- Star Wars Myths and Fairy Tales, George Mann
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman
That’s my current reading sorted, and in the order as above. Although, with my birthday coming up, and therefore the potential for even more new books, that could change.
I’ll let you know how I get on.
Did you get any good books for Christmas? Let me know your favourites in the comments section.
Come talk books and stuff with me on Twitter: @RewanTremethick