So here's a little story.
You might have seen my recent review of The White Princess by Philippa Gregory? I purchased that book around about three years ago now, but for one reason of the other hadn't gotten around to reading it until last week. Admittedly, I was prompted to read it on hearing that the TV adaptation of The White Princess would be hitting screens very soon. Anyway, on finishing the book, which I enjoyed very much, I decided to continue with the series. Goodreads told me that The Constant Princess was the next book up, so I made a mental note to pick up a copy sometime soon. Later, it occurred to me that the cover of The Constant Princess looked familiar and after a a little rummage through my very stacked shelves, I discovered that I was actually in possession of a copy of the book.
It's true. I have so many books that I totally forgot that I, in actual fact, already own a copy of this book.
I'm telling you all this, because on finding my long-forgotten copy of The Constant Princess (I figure I've had it for around about a decade!) I decided to have a look through my shelves and dust off the other books that I bought years ago, but somehow never got around to reading. It soon occurred to me that I have stacks of unread books. Just some of these books are pictured above. I have lots more. Stacks and stacks of books that once upon a time I considered must-reads and yet, to this day, I have never read any of them.
Why do I do this? And how do I stop?
Here's a quick run through of the books pictured above, why I wanted to read them, how long I've had them, and also why I've never gotten around to reading them. I figure if I talk about it for long enough, I might actually shame myself into reading all the books I've left gathering dust on my shelves.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: OK, so first up, Code Name Verity. This is actually a review book that I never got around to reading (tut tut!) In my defence, I rarely request or accept physical review copies, so chances are this was sent to me unsolicited. Still. It totally sounds like something I'd like if I ever got around to reading it. I've had this one since its release in 2012, and I also have a copy of the second book in this series, Rose Under Fire, which I obviously also haven't read. The reason: when it comes to historical fiction, I am very much a mood reader. It's not really an excuse, but it's probably why I set this one aside and then never got around to picking it up again.
The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly: This was Erin Kelly's debut novel and I was so super excited to read it that I rushed out and bought a copy way back in 2009. I'm really not sure why I never got around to reading this one. Did I have something else going on at the time? I'd hazard a guess that I was deep in a Gossip Girl binge-watch, but I really don't know. What I do know is that I probably won't ever read this book. I have a confession to make: I always read the book before checking out the movie or TV adaptation, but in the instance of The Poison Tree, I broke my own rule by watching the TV adaptation a few years back. Since it's a psychological thriller and I already know all the twists, I fear I've kinda ruined for myself what would probably have been an enjoyable reading experience. Boo.
The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory: I reckon I've had this for around a decade, maybe a bit less. I probably bought it after reading The Other Boleyn Girl and then, like so many books before and after it, it just fell by the wayside. Thankfully, The White Princess has re-invigorated my interest in all things Tudor, so I plan on getting to this one soon. Yay!
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver: When I first started blogging (way back in 2010!) Before I Fall was the book everyone was talking about. I didn't read it, though. I still haven't. I can't actually remember how I came to be in possession of this. I either won it in a giveaway or a kind blogger friend sent it to me (I'm thinking Tammy or Simay but I am really not sure. My bad). Anyway, I started reading this last year, and my bookmark tells me that I got as far as page 135, before giving up. Hmm. I seem to remember that I wasn't really feeling the book, but at the same time, I went though a major reading slump last year, so maybe I'll get back to it at some point.
The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons: This book has been on my shelf for the longest time; so long that I can't even remember how long I've had it. I really, really, really want to read this, but my copy has the tiniest text. It's so small I'd need a magnifying glass to read it! Seriously. I don't know why the book was printed this way. I'm planning on picking up the e-book of this at some point. Not only does the book have teeny tiny text, it also weighs a ton.
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood: I think I picked this one up at a second-hand store. Either that or Bookmooch. Remember Bookmooch? Is it still around? Anyway, I've heard all good things about this book and it won The Booker Prize, so I should really read it sometime soon. Looking through it now though, I see that this book also has really small text, though not as tiny as ridiculously small text in The Bronze Horseman.
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick: I actually have two copies of this book. The copy pictured is one I ordered on import from the US when the book first released over there in 2012. You'd think I'd have read it after going to such trouble, not to mention expense. Then I have an ARC from when the book released in the UK last year. I also have a copy of What I Thought Was True by the same author. Haven't read that either. I need to add these books to my Summer reading list. I've heard amazing things!
The Distant Hours by Kate Morton: I know exactly when I bought this book. I bought it on the week of its release back in 2010. For a few years running I used to joke with my blogger friend Vicki that any day now we'd get around to reading this 670 page book. I'm not sure if Vicki ever got around to reading it, but I know I didn't. I also have a copy of Morton's The Forgotten Garden that's been gathering dust on my shelves for even longer than this one. Ooops. I remember liking Morton's The House at Riverton, so maybe I should actually read this. Any day now, I swear.
There you go. Just some of the books that have been left to gather dust on my shelves. Do you have any books that you rushed out to buy but then just didn't get around to reading for whatever reason? Tell me: why do we do this?
Tell me about the books that have been gathering dust on your shelf for the longest time.
Which of my 'left on the shelf' books do you recommend I read first? Let me know in comments!