I should start by saying that I don’t “do” TBR piles. In fact, when I first saw the term on Book Riot, I couldn’t figure out what it meant. I had to look it up. “Oh, a ‘to-be-read‘ pile!”
It’s true, I have over a hundred books on my Goodreads TBR shelf, which I thought was just totally out of control until I heard about people with, like, thousands of books there! Yikes.
I don’t even use it as a checklist or “what’s up next?” but a list of books I might want to read, like if I don’t already have something lined up or I’m in the mood for something different.
I go through and I purge books that no longer look interesting to me, since I add things willy-nilly as the mood strikes and I know I’m never going to get through all of that, not when there’s so much else out there!
But, either way, without further ado: Top Ten Books in My Winter TBR Pile.
I love Christmas stories. I think this grew out of the ritual of my mom reading me and my sister the same few Christmas books every year on Christmas Eve – The Littlest Angel (1), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2) and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (3). I love this so much that when I moved to to Japan, I asked for copies of my own. (For some reason, I don’t have Grinch, so I check it out from my library to take home over the holiday.)
So for me, winter is a time of rereading. I read those Christmas classics to myself on Christmas Eve, or to my friends, or my mom reads them to us over Skype. (I love technology.) But for me, it’s not just books; I have my own private rereads of my favorite holiday fanfiction. Building on my mom’s tradition, in high school, I started reading them to myself: the Good Omens fanfic, The Week That Wasn’t (4), and the Harry Potter fandom classic Shoebox Project (5), the chapter with the evil mistletoe.
Hey, we make our own traditions.
It’s not just Christmas books (and fic) that get reread at this time of year. A chilly winter day is the perfect time to crack open The Golden Compass (6) and follow Lyra into the frozen north. The Lord of the Rings movies were released in Decembers, so why not start The Fellowship of the Ring (7) again? ‘Tis the season and all that.
Then comes New Years, which usually means a reread of either Weetzie Bat, Witch Baby, or Baby Be-Bop (8). What better magical start to the New Year than a reminder to look for love in everything, and the feeling of accomplishment of having read a whole entire book in the first day or two of the new year? (I read v e r y s l o w l y, you understand.)
So what about reading something new? Well, I would love to get my hands on a copy of My True Love Gave to Me (9). Remember what I said about Christmas stories? I had to check Goodreads reviews, because I am so not interested in reading an entire short story set about straight couples, but I eventually found out that there is at least one girl/girl couple in the collection. So I would like to read that.
The other book on my Christmas wishlist is Sacred High City, Sacred Low City: A Tale of Religious Sites in Two Tokyo Neighborhoods (10). If I’m not reading books, I’m visting shrines, so why not read a book about shrines, right?