Guest Blogger: Tez Miller

I’ve always posted reviews on my blog, but after 10 months of staying home with my son and having a lot of time on my hands (something I wasn’t used to), I felt the need to find something to occupy my mind with. Hence Literary Escapism started.

I’ve always written book reviews, but now LE gave me a whole new venue to post them in. When I first started doing a book review site, I never imagined how huge the book blogosphere was. Since the beginning of the year I’ve been really luck to meet a lot of dedicated readers and now it’s time to introduce you to a one of them.

Some of you may already know her, but let me introduce you to Tez Miller and lets get into her mind a little.  Tez is here to talk about the never ending TBR pile.

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I can totally understand how the League of Reluctant Adults got their name: growing up sucks. For me it means letting go…and shortening my ever-lengthening Reading Wishlist.

With limited funds and so many books published, it’s hard to decide what you’ll buy, and what to get from the library (if you can). Your average mass market paperback in the US costs about $5-$8. In Australia – where I live – they’re at least $14, but most likely $20. Trade paperbacks cost more, and I don’t want to think about hardcover prices (circa $40, I presume). These figures are in Australian dollars, and the other day I noticed that one Aussie dollar equaled about 69 US cents. And I’ve got enough non-book purchases to make in the next few months, so I’m staying away from bookstores…and my beloved eBay.

I’m a blogger-reviewer who’s lucky enough to be on the lists of a few great publishers in Oz. This means that I can get some review copies, which saves my funds. Not everything published in the US (where most of my list seems to be based) sells Australian rights or gets exported to Oz, though. There is a great publisher in the US who has taken mercy on me, but most American publishers can’t send review copies overseas.

And of course I enter contests to win books, if I can. Mind you, most contest rules state that entrants must be in the US, Canada or the UK, due to publication rights or lack of funds on the contest-host’s behalf. It’s completely understandable, though I have managed to make a few wins here and there. Every little bit counts.

So that’s the financial aspect of shortening my Wishlist. Then there’s the matter of time…I’m reading less than ever nowadays because of other things to do. All that obsessive list-updating, for example ;-). But really, of an afternoon when I’m on the couch hoping to progress through a book…I just get sleepy and need to nap. This has nothing to
do with the quality of the story, characters, writing or whatnot – it’s just me. Thus my best times for reading are in bed or in the bath. Sometimes I try to read with the TV on, with the sound high enough to keep me awake, but unfortunately I can’t concentrate on my books as much as I’d like to.

So how do you decide which books to cross off your list, unread? Some writers are on my list for sentimental reasons – because I’ve read their other books, or they’re new authors who could use some support. But at the end of the day, it’s all about what the book is about. You may have fabulous writing, but if your summary doesn’t interest me enough, then I’m a lot less likely to read your book.

I started off by doing an open-call on my blog for readers to tell me what not to read. I’ve taken their suggestions into account, and am now working on the lengthy task of checking every book’s summary online (if I can find it), and crossing the book off my Wishlist if it doesn’t interest me enough. I’m only up to the H authors so far, but I’ve already made a huge dent in my list. Not that you can tell, of course, but I can ;-)

Now, Literary Escapism readers, it’s your turn: what efforts have you made to shorten your wishlist? Do you find it easy or difficult to cross stuff off? How do you go about deciding which books you’ll purchase, and which ones you’ll get from the library?

Thanks to Jackie for hosting this guest-blog, and have a lovely day! :-)

Tez Miller

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Thanks Tez!

Contest time!  Since it’s Tez’s post, we’re going to give away a book that Tez is just absolutely loving at the moment.  That book is Mary E. Pearson’s The Adoration of Jenna Fox.  Now, I haven’t seen this book yet, but I’ve been seeing it all over the place and if you’re been following the Weekly Geeks Top 10 of 2008, this is going to be high on the list.  Everyone seems to love it.

So how to you enter…easy, just answer Tez’s question – what efforts have you made to shorten your wishlist? Do you find it easy or difficult to cross stuff off? How do you go about deciding which books you’ll purchase, and which ones you’ll get from the library?. In order to be entered, you have to answer the question.  So don’t be shy.

As always, if you want more chances to win, you can post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer.

The contest will run until midnight on Oct. 28th.  I’ll determine the winner with help from the Research Randomizer.

About Jackie 3274 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.

15 Comments

  1. I wish I did have a way to shorten my TBR list!! LOL The more blogs I read – the more I increase it. I do like your idea of going back and reviewing the books you have listed and crossing off the ones that no longer interest you!!

    Due to the lack of funds – I am checking books out from the library more and more!! Then if I find a book that I absolutely love – I will put it on my wish list of books to buy.

  2. LOL! I DON’T shorten my wishlist. In fact, I find it close to impossible because for every book I read I probably add 5 more that I want to read to my list. Not such good odds, huh? As for what I pick out at the library it just depends on my mood. I’ll go through a paranormal kick and pick up like 8 new to me series (aack!) and then turn around and pick up books that relate to some challenge I’m doing. Since it is close to Halloween I was looking for books with a more gothic bent to them just to put me in the holiday mood. At least I know that I will always have books to read :)

  3. Now, Literary Escapism readers, it’s your turn: what efforts have you made to shorten your wishlist? Do you find it easy or difficult to cross stuff off? How do you go about deciding which books you’ll purchase, and which ones you’ll get from the library?

    Um…my husband would laugh at that question while saying I never shorten it, but increase it. He is wrong of course. I do try. Really! Don’t laugh! I’m serious. Sorta. :) I find it difficult to cross stuff off. Very difficult, but at least I do try. Sometimes when I am feeling guilty of my reading habit which admittedly is rare.

    Lately, I have noticed that I will shorten my wishlist by trying to decide which books will most likely pop up at the library. These are usually the stories I like to keep up with, but don’t find as keepers or worse, I might read for the “snark value”. I am also more likely to wait for authors who used to be all paperback who switched to hardcover from the library and mark them off my wishlist. I notice a tendency of not always being pleased with the books after the switch as the quality seems low. Kim Harrison was an exception as hers improved in my opinion. The others I just wait for the library first and if I like it, I buy it later. are being

    If it is a series and I just tried that author on one book, it is easier to make the decision to wait on getting the whole series at once or wait. Checking up on chapter excerpts online at an official website can be the way to see if I really want to try a new book (or want to try it now!!!) as I have a weakness for buying books that have pretty covers. Those cover artists are the bane of my existence sometimes because I will buy a book because the cover looks so interesting and promising on the story inside. I have been burned a few times doing that, but I just can’t resist so I now made a promise to myself to at least wait ONE day and check for an excerpt on the author’s site. It works better than one would think.

    I’ll usually borrow a book from the library first on hardcovers or trades due to the price. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your view), if I like the book, then I will HAVE to get my own copy as for some odd reason the library isn’t willing to part with it.

    Lately, I do contests or reviews to help shorten my wishlist. The husband doesn’t fuss as much then (except for me to turn off the light so he can sleep while I am reading). It helps quite a bit. Still end up buying the books for others as I believe in giving books for presents for birthdays and the like so I don’t know if that evens out or not. I am afraid to look and see. Luckily, most people in my extended family are more than willing to buy a book for me when present time comes or to trade off for help like babysitting or cleaning house ect. Yes, I will do the odd jobs to support my habit.

    Overall, I am more likely to consider buying a book if the cover looks awesome, the blurb looks VERY interesting and the price of the book. If it is an author that I adore, the above don’t matter and it will be on pre-order if I only know the title. Sad, isn’t it?

    If it is hardcover and VERY popular book, then most likely, I will wait till the library gets it. Case in point, I did that with Harry Potter, Eragon and Twilight because I KNEW they would have copies as it was in great demand. That way I am not committing money to books that I know for sure will be available for free. Might have a wait list for the most recent book, but usually I am the one requesting them at the library (like Paul of Dune) so I am usually the first one on the list. Then it is just a case of them prying it from dead, cold hands when I am done if I like it a lot. >:)

    I think for me it is as case by case situation as there is always exceptions to my supposed rules. That is why my husband despairs of me. So like I said at the beginning, I don’t know if I really shorten my wishlist. I try to keep it trim, but at the moment, it stands at over 257 and that is just till november. *sigh* This is what happens when you read almost all genres.

  4. as for some odd reason the library isn’t willing to part with it.

    I know, they’re so annoying that way :) I never shorten my wishlist either. After all, it’s my WISHlist. I may not get to indulge my wishes as much as I’d like, but I refuse to abandon them.

    Someday I’ll be rich and famous (okay, so today I’m going through the want ads because I’m losing my job, but this topic is about wishes, right?) and then I’ll go back and buy all the books I wanted. And then I’ll roll about in them and all will be right with the world :)

    Until then, I look at the pretty covers on my wishlist and dream.

  5. First, by the cover art. If it’s truly heinous then it’s ok. I can’t enjoy a good book in the cover makes me cringe every time I see it. Next I go by recommendations and reviews of the book. I try to be really strict of that since there’s always at least one person that hates the book. It’s usually really hard to cross stuff out. I’m so fickle! It’ so easy to persuade me that a certain book was great!

    I usually read a copy from a library first and then if it’s absolutely AMAZING and a MUST HAVE moment, I’ll go out and buy the book.

  6. I usually go by what people say. I search for some random bloggers and their opinion about it. I try to find both the positive and negative aspects of the book and then I’ll see if I’ll buy it =)

    It’s really half and half. I’m usually swayed easily but after reading a copy from friends or library and find out it’s not I hoped for, I just cross it out.

    I buy books if I started on collecting the series already. It’s so hard for me to stop half way. If I haven’t then library first then purchase, maybe.

  7. I usually go for what I’m most dying to get my hands on. Luckily my wishlist isn’t that long, so I don’t need to do much to shorten it. Usually I put fantasy as top priority.

  8. I shorten mine by reading them. Oh another way is to put the ones I have in storage. LOL

    Tez are you having any luck getting books from Bookmooch?

    Thanks for being here today. Great post!

  9. What a question :) It’s not easy…I am a proud bookworm and at times it’s really hard not to just go crazy and buy a whole bunch of books. I like to walk into book stores even if I don’t have the intention to buy a book, I just like to see what’s out there to add to my ever growing wish list. First there are 6 authors that have ongoing series that I read and collect that are a must. Then I take pictures of the books on my phone when I’m at the book store, of books that I want to read (it’s better to have a visual reminder). Now I currently have 10 books at home that I haven’t read yet & I make myself read them before I buy more (lol can you tell I’m a Virgo :)

    If it was up to me I would just keep buying books..now I know it would make sense to go to the library, however if I really love the book I’d rather add it to my growing collection. My list grows..but my main concern are books that pertain to any series I’m reading…the other’s I’m pretty patient about them ..

  10. Gosh, as I work at a public library, I get most of them from there anyway. As for the ones I purchase, word of mouth and pretty covers have a lot to do with it.

    Deidre

  11. I usually borrow from the library and then I ranked the books accordingly and purchased them when I have the money! This way, I get to read all the books and I know I will probably get them an infinite time later…

  12. I’m greedy and needy ~ my WISHLIST only grows ~ it never shortens. lol

    I don’t have access to a public library, so all of my books are purchased. I have told my children and family members NOT to give me gifts for my birthday, Christmas, etc. ~ just give me a bookstore gift certificate ~ I have TOO MANY things and I’d rather read.

  13. Shorten my wish list??? Not possible!

    I actually have *several* wish lists…

    One contains books I consider must buy/read. There I list whether it is yet in my library’s catalog, in which case I *try* to avoid buying the book…but in some cases I simply must buy the book. Unfortunately, my list of “must buy” authors is growing, and I have very little self-control there (or anywhere, really, thanks to my ADD). I’m trying to be more disciplined about waiting until the library gets the book in and generally place reserves as soon as a to-be-released book is added to their catalog.

    Another wishlist is of books at my library that I definitely want to read, or think I might like to read someday when my TBR shrinks (yah! right!), and also includes backlist books of authors I’ve enjoyed or others have recommended.

    The last wishlist is similar to the above, but that I haven’t found available at my library…I periodically check these, especially if they aren’t yet released or are recently published.

    Wants and wishes…I got ’em.

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