Should I read these books?
June 9, 2014 | 12:25 pm
By Joanna Cabot
As part of my spend-less-money year, I have been trying to go through my backlog of unread books and prune a little more vigorously. I want to be able to buy new books guilt-free—when I want to read them. And that means I have to have time to read them by not having 500 unread buys sitting in my library, taunting me. So I have been clearing out the Kindle freebies, considering carefully which free classics I truly will read, deleting off the library wishlist and archiving some past buys I know I’ll never get to (the defunct Fictionwise was very bad for me in this regard, and I succumbed to many a bandwagon because I could get it for free with points!)
I am down to a manageable backlog, for the most part. I transferred anything which looked interesting to my Kindle and wound up with about 50 books on there. So, what’s left languishing in my Calibre library? Series books! If I count each series as one thing, my backlog is smaller than I thought it was. So, what to do with them—read, or archive? Here is what I have left. Any opinions?
1) The Discworld series. I had a text file of unknown provenance with ‘Mort’ by Terry Pratchett, which I read long ago on my first Palm device. I re-bought this from Kobo back in the day and enjoyed it a lot. Then I got the first one from the library and couldn’t get through it. I have a handful of other ones I got with a coupon code from Fictionwise ages ago, but I have been scared to go near them. I think I was turned off by my failure with the first book, and I worried that the footnotes would be a nightmare on e-form. But the Kindle handles footnotes so well! So should I give this series another try?
2) Agatha Christie books. This was another Fictionwise coupon code binge. I’ve read one or two and liked them—the Miss Marple ones—but some of the Poirot books seem a little plodding. Is Dame Christie worth another look?
3) Diane Duane’s Wizard series. I bought these all, DRM-free, off the author’s website during a coupon code sale and just never got to them. They seem like they might be my type of thing, but then I heard she released updated versions and I think I was a little disappointed I hadn’t waited for those. I keep looking at these and thinking I should read them, but I haven’t yet.
4) Patricia Ryan’s historical mysteries. I picked these up during my Year of Reading Smashwords Books, and have since spoken with Ms. Ryan—and interviewed her for Teleread several times—since. She is a lovely person, and an under-hyped activist for authors trying to reclaim their backlist books. But…well, I am not sure this is really my genre, and the fact that she’s a lovely person doesn’t really make them my genre. So I remain on the fence with these.
5) Complete Works collections. I really do plan to read the Dickens and Baum books, but am I really going to get to Trollope, Virginia Woolf, Mark Twain, Thomas Hardy, Wilkie Collins and other bought-for-a-song Delphi Classics collections? Complicating matters is their giant file sizes. If I want to convert my all-epub set of these for reading on the Kindle, I will have to split them first, so I am tempted to just pitch the whole set and download individual titles off Project Gutenberg or Mobile Read as I want them.
These five categories represent the bulk of my unread backlog. Are they worth another look?