I know, I know. Considering that the pile is so outlandishly large, the idea that it has rules seems ludicrous. But it does – although they are few and somewhat flexible.
The principle rule is No more than one book per author on the pile: I’ll admit this does get broken frequently (although I’m getting better at keeping to it) and for two main reasons – firstly when The Works have lots of books by the same author in one of their offers and secondly when an author writes more than one series – for example Charlaine Harris currently has three books on the pile – two Aurora Teagardens (from The Works) and one Harper Connelly (the last two Sookie Stackhouses are in the library book bag – different rules apply to library books).
The second is Don’t buy hardbacks. I’ll admit that this rule does mean I end up behind the curve on some authors. But its born from experience – I just don’t get around to reading hardbacks – they’re big, they’re heavy and they won’t fit in my handbag. They end up sitting on the shelf for months and months even when they’re something I’m really keen to read. I am sometimes given hardbacks, but I don’t usually put books that are only out in hardback on my gift lists. Most books come out in paperback in the end – and the few that don’t are usually books that I can
buy for borrow from my mum.
The third is Don’t buy series out of sequence. This is because they end up sitting on the pile for ages waiting for me to buy/borrow the books leading up to it because I hate reading series in the wrong order in case I spoil a major plot point (it’s happened before I don’t want it to happen again).
Most of the sins of my to-read pile can be put under one of those headings. As I’ve said before, I’m terrible for discovering a series and then reading it through from start to finish (as I’m doing at the moment with the Tales of the City series) but the rules mean I usually only buy one book in the series at a time – although there are exceptions – like when I’m trying to get over a free delivery threshold – or those Works multi-buys again.