Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Guilty Secrets

Bibliophiliac recently blogged about the ten books that have been on her shelves – unread – the longest. So, despite having nine book reviews to do, I decided upon this frivolous post instead as I look at the ten fiction that have been on my shelves the longest without being read. I shall try to justify (to myself at least) why they are still there.

Rummer Godden – The River. I think this has been neglected because it is in that category of books I ought to read rather than books I want to read.

Virginia Woolf – Orlando. I cannot excuse myself. I loved Virginia Woolf when I read her books in the 1960s/1970s and I cannot understand why I missed this one. This little Penguin has sat on my shelves for years.

Captain Marryat – The Children of the New Forest. I love the Stuart period and this romantic children's book should be ideal 'cosy read time' material and yet I've never opened it. I wonder why?

Thomas Hughes – Tom Brown's Schooldays. This sat on my shelves for so long I eventually gave it away – unread. Recently I put it on my Amazon wishlist and Helen and Ian bought it for me. This time I must read it!

Vladimir Nabokov – Lolita. Judging by Bibliophiliac this may be on everyone's unread shelf so I may not need to justify it...

Jane Stevenson – London Bridges. A fairly ordinary looking detective novel and yet it has just sat there while others – less worthy I am sure – have been read. Perhaps I am subconsciously saving it for a rainy day.

Allan Mallnson – The Sabre's Edge. It is 1824 and Captain Hervey is in India. When I read the previous one of the series I was quite enthusiastic about this young man's progress in the Dragoons but it has tailed off.

Bill Richardson – Bachelor Brothers' Bed and Breakfast. I actually started this and quite enjoyed the brief bit I read and yet it has never been picked up since.

Alexander McCall Smith – Love Over Scotland. I have fallen out with McCall Smith's style. Initially it seems wonderful but it palls after a while

George Du Maurier – Peter Ibbetson. This was one of Mum's books – first published in 1891 – and I've always meant to read it. One day – perhaps....

What are your guilty secrets?


  1. A very interesting post.

    Is this fiction only or do non-fiction books count too?

  2. This was my fiction only list, Helen. My non-fiction are rather more scattered so it would be a lot harder to do a ten oldest but there are certainly a lot of them...

  3. The book from your Mum may be a collector's item! Virginia Woolf's Orlando is definitely worth reading. There is an unread Rumer Godden on my bookshelf too. Maybe you should try the MountTBR challenge?

  4. My friend Sherin's longest remaining unread book is the "Pillars of Wisdom" by Lawrence. She read about 50 pages 35 years ago and says she's waiting until she breaks a leg or a foot and has nothing else to read before she finishes it. But I notice that she still hasn't thrown it away! LOL


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