Books That Have Been Collecting Dust On My Shelves…An Embarrassing Top Ten Tuesday

I don’t know what my problem is. I buy books that I’m REALLY excited really, really excited about. I have visions of soaking in my bathtub and curling up with these books immediately…but then something happens. I put them on my shelf and then never read them again. It probably has a lot to do with my attention span in general…I’m always moving from one thing to another very quickly. Always a new thing to latch on to and be excited about. I can’t help it.

Here are 10 books I’ve had on my shelf the longest but haven’t yet read:

1. Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler — I was so stinking excited to buy this book when it first came out. Everything about it screamed, “READ ME NOW..I WILL MAKE YOU PEE YOUR PANTS.” But alas, I haven’t gotten to experience the funnies that I know are inside.

2. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski — I asked for this for Christmas after hearing people raving about it on Goodreads and how completely unique and creepy it was. Yep, Santa brought it but I haz not read it.

3. A Great and Terrible Beauty (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy) by Libba Bray — I am so beyond ashamed about this. I seriously bought this FOREVER ago so excited about it.

4. Life of Pi by Yann Martel — I scored this at a used book sale and was so excited because everyone was raving about it. It’s been years. For real. Lots of years.

5. A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly — This is one of the first books I really bought when I started getting into YA literature. I then got thrown a flurry of recommendations and this got thrown to the wayside.

6. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith — Seriously, how have I not read this book and I own it? I think I got this in college in 2005…which seems like forever ago…because it pretty much was. *ahhh quarterlife crisis*

7.Harry Potter by JK Rowling — I’ve confessed this numerous times. Did you like how I tried to hide it by putting it further down the list? La la la many of you are still going to be friends with me? I’ve been saying I’m going to read these since I started blogging in June of 2010…and before that…I told people I would be reading them since I joined Goodreads in 2008. I’m HOPELESS.

8. The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie — I read part of this in college for a lit class and went out and bought it the next day. Never read it. DAMN YOU COLLEGE. I hear he’s pretty much the cream of the crop when it comes to amazing young adult literature.

9. The Help by Kathryn Stockett— I bought this pretty much immediately when it came out. FAIL WHALE.

10. Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls) by Maggie Stiefvater — This is one of the first books I bought after I started blogging in June 2010. I hadn’t really read much YA prior..just here and there…so I was scouring blogs to see what the best of the best young adult books were..and this one kept coming up. I NEED TO RECTIFY THIS!

What about you? What books have you owned for the longest but never read? What about since you started blogging? I don’t know about you but when I first started blogging I bought tons and tons of books that were “must reads” according to the blogosphere and well…still they sit because I bought SO MANY OF THEM.

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she’s actually that old. When she’s not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.


  1. Hannah Lorraine says:

    You definitely need to get on this list! Haha. There are some great titles here – I think A Great and Terrible Beauty is one of my favorites ever. And I fell in love with A Tree Grows in Brooklyn when I was in high school – it was one of the first classics I ever read.

  2. Jamie, I loved Shiver! I'll be excited to read your review someday. πŸ™‚

  3. Ok, get on Harry Potter and A Great And Terrible Beauty ASAP! I mean drop everything you are doing now and read them!

    Are You There Vodka? It's Me Chelsea is seriously hilarious! It is laugh out loud funny and the only book out of the four she has that I would recommend to anyone!

  4. Passionate Bookworm says:

    Great and terrible Beauty was beautiful written and awesome. Harry Potter.. i won't even go there πŸ™‚ I also thought Shiver was pretty good.. but it's been too long to remember just How much I liked it. The rest.. I have been told are must reads… just haven't even gotten around to picking them up lol. Don't be too ashamed.. we all have a list !

  5. 1girl2manybooks says:

    Definitely read Shiver asap – it is SO pretty and the love story is adorable. The Help lives up to its hype too!

  6. alicethewriter says:

    I finally got around to Bitten by Kelley Armstrong. I bought it when it first came out. It was one of the first books I bought when I got my first apartment. When I think back, I realize that was NINE YEARS AGO WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME.

    There are a few I've been meaning to read since college, but that's been sitting on my shelf, silently mocking my reading commitment.

    I figured I owed it to myself to read it.

  7. Amie McCracken says:

    Oh my goodness. You need to read like all of those, like now.

  8. I forgive you for not having read Harry Potter yet, mostly because I'm SO JEALOUS! I'd love to be able to read them for the first time again (I'm on my 7th[?] readthrough of them right now). I also have never read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and frankly it almost makes me feel un-American, but I just can't seem to jump over whatever mental hurdle is blocking me from it.
    The Beauty of Eclecticism

  9. I just finished Tree in Brooklyn and man oh man was it ever good! I hope you get to it soon – I loved it πŸ™‚

  10. *gasp* You haven't read… I can't even say it… Harry! How could…!?! But! I agree with JNCL. I'm jealous that you haven't read it, because boy you are in for a treat! And at least you don't have to do the whole waiting business that everyone else had to endure, and you didn't have to queue for HOURS to get a copy. Have fun once you get to them!

  11. My fiance got House of Leaves for his Christmas and I swear, he's read about 50 pages of it. It's a massive book! I also have A Northern Light on my TBR, my flatmate and I wandered into a booksale at our local town hall and she raved about it so I decided to buy it…and now it's in the bottom of a box somewhere as I have no more bookcase space. I'm another person who is not really that fussed by Harry Potter, but I'm definitely not a fantasy fan at all. I read the first two books for school and that was it. I've also read Shiver, and it was a fun book but I've forgotten pretty much all of it. So no hating from over here! πŸ™‚

  12. Jessica Lawlor says:

    You need to get on the Harry Potter train now! Seriously. Love.

    And also Chelsea Handler. She cracks me up.

  13. readingfuelledbytea says:

    I propose a "dusting" challenge – you have to read these books NOW, before you read anything else.
    If you're only going to read one, read The Help. Then see the movie. Both are fantastic.

  14. Shiver I can't understand, but I can get past. HP????? NO WORDS!!!! JAMIEFACE! WHAT THE WHAT!?!?!?!

  15. diaryofadomesticgoddess says:

    Life of Pi is marvellous. I have Shiver on my wishlist. The Harry Potter books get better as they go on (althogh my favourite is Goblet of Fire!).

    Here’s my Top Ten Tuesday post. πŸ™‚

  16. Hmm, you haven't read Harry Potter- shakes head-you should it is like one of the best series I have ever read (and I've read it many times).

    A Great and Terrible Beauty is really good as well, HP should definitely be top of the reading priority list. =)

  17. Ginger @ GReads! says:

    I can understand the whole HP debacle. I just recently read the first book. I seriously think you should consider taking Shiver off the shelf though. I think you'd really love the writing. It's so beautiful!

  18. Asheley (@BookwormAsheley) says:

    You've got some great ones up there. But: I haven't finished the Harry Potter series either. AND it's been so long since I've read the ones I DID read, I'm just reading them along with my kiddos from the beginning. No SHAME, JAMIE. None.

    Also, I really want to read something by Jennifer Donnelly. I swear I do. But I always forget to. Which means I should really look at my intentions. But my intentions are good! They are. One day, I'll read something by her, because everyone who does seems to really love her.

  19. Melissa (Avid Reader) says:

    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is so wonderful and oh course, HP is amazing too.

  20. Don't feel too bad. I have lot's of books that I'm embarrassed to admit I haven't read too. Um, but HP? Seriously? πŸ˜‰ Get to it, girl!

  21. You should read A Northern Light! Jennifer Donnelly is easily one of my favorite writers, she gives words a lot of power.

    Also, I always feel really insulted when people diss on my Harry Potter. Seriously. *heaps as much shame as possible upon your head*

  22. Go read 'A Tree Grows in Brooklyn!' It's one of my favorites.

    A book that has been sitting in my stacks and stacks of TBRs is "White Teeth" by Zadie Smith. I bought it maybe a year after it was released. 2001. Maybe bought it in 2002. But that's 10 years. Seriously.

  23. readinginwinter says:

    I loved The Help and Life of Pi. I have the Libba Bray series on my wishlist, I'm hoping to get it soon!

  24. Jessica A. says:

    The Gemma Doyle trilogy is soo good. You should really give it a shot soon. Very worth the read.

  25. Jenni Elyse says:

    My book club is reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn this month. Unfortunately, I haven't had to the time to read it. So, it'll remain on my TBR list. I hope not for long because I've heard it's good. I guess we can both look forward to it together.

  26. Ooh, read Shiver! It's such a good book, and it's still my favorite out of the Wolves of Mercy Falls series.

  27. Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields says:

    Wait. What? You haven't read Harry Potter? Are you serious?! I'm in shock!

  28. Sara (of the Page Sage) says:

    The Help is a great book and HP is probably my favorite series ever. A Great and Terrible Beauty comes close, though!

  29. Peppermint Ph.D. says:

    I read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn a long time ago and it is one that I will someday re-read…such a wonderful coming of age story.

  30. Cialina at says:

    … Harry Potter???? Seriously? SMH, Jamie. SMH.

    I also loved the Gemma Doyle series but I can't get over how you still haven't read Harry Potter!

  31. says:

    I was just discussing Harry Potter today. I haven't read it yet either. I have tried a few times and just couldn't do it. I promised a fellow blogger that I would try again this winter. I also have not read The Help and had to pass on the movie until I do. Both were on my list of The Top Ten Books I Feel Like Everyone Has Read But Me for Top Ten Meme.

  32. Molli @ Once Upon a Prologue says:

    Jamie! Please read Gemma Doyle. It's really beautiful and brave.

    Wait, wait, Harry Potter? Oh no, we have to correct this. When I try to describe why I love Harry Potter, my head goes all blank because there just aren't words. Please consider reading it. πŸ™‚

  33. OMG! you better get on reading Harry Potter!

    I wanted to read that Chelsea Handler book too but its just sitting on my kindle doing nothing….ahh..but I did read "lies that Chelsea handler told me" and it is pretty funny.

    OMG, get on with reading the gemma doyle series! lol, I shouldn't even be saying that. I read them forever ago but I can barely remember. smh

    I have Shiver on my TBR list, I hear its soo good but i have not yet bought it.

  34. That's a great list you need to work on! Especially the Harry Potter thing! I have Shiver on my TBR list as well.

  35. I think you all have inflicted all sorts of guilt and pain on me…enough for me to start chipping away at this list!! Sometimes I need to be embarrassed to do things! πŸ˜›

  36. lisa [the nerd] says:

    bahaha Are You There Vodka is on my shelf too! i borrowed it from a coworker and i keep fearing she'll ask me about it. as soon as she does, then i'll HAVE to read it. until then, it's a guilty part of my life.

  37. If you haven't read the Harry Potter Books then I don't feel so bad being the only person in the world who has not read The Da Vinci Code.

  38. YOU STILL HAVEN'T READ HARRY POTTER?!?!?! Oh my goodness I feel like all of us bloggers need to do something about this. I don't know what but you MUST read that series! πŸ˜›

  39. I still need to read Life of Pi and The Help too! I hope you read Harry Potter soon, I love re-reading those books.

  40. Although I'm obsessed with Harry Potter, I first recommend Life of Pi. But read Harry Potter!!!

  41. You know, I had put off reading Harry Potter for YEARS. I thought it was just some silly children's book. Boy, was I judgemental back then, and boy, was I wrong. I seriously loved this book. Now I'm bitterly angry at my parents for not being wizards. Le sigh. READ IT.

  42. Cat the Librarian says:

    I was all rah rah rah to read The Help… Picked it up and was bored to tears within a chapter. The movie was better.

  43. I'm actually listening to A Great and Terrible Beauty on audio in the car and I have to say, I don't get what all the fuss is about yet.

  44. Oh my, if I made a list like this I'm sure it would be much longer than yours. Although, I have to admit that there are books on your list that I own and have yet to read .. The Help has been sitting on my bed side table since the summer and I still haven't read it.

    But I think that having lists like these is what keeps us reading. Knowing that no matter what, we always have good books waiting for us to pick them up and get lost in their pages!