The TBR Challenge

There is, in WordPress Land, a marvelous source of inspiration for writers, authors and poets. Her name is D. Wallace Peach. I offer this entry into her fantastically wonderful stories and to the opportunities she creates for the community of writers who connect with her through her blog called Myths of the Mirror.

To move us forward into the New Year she presents this challenge:

Write a story or poem about your TBR pile.

This is familiar territory for book lovers: TBR = “To Be Read”. The books that sit on your shelf waiting for you to get around to reading them. I have many such stacks and collections. So, even though I have never attempted a writing challenge, I felt compelled to jump in and add my voice. Thank you, Ms. Peach for providing the diving board!

A Reader’s Dilemma (with apologies to Dr. Seuss)

Books in baskets, Books on shelves, Books in stacks of tens and twelves

Books piled high in every room. Books that shimmer in the gloom

Enticing me with cover art just begging me to make a start

Books around me everywhere! Books are waiting here and there

Books of interest, Books of stories, Books of many categories

Offering a chance to learn. A chance, I fear, I’ll have to spurn

Books recalling ancient times. Books of prose and books of rhymes

Books I’ve owned for many years, highly touted by my peers

Alas, I cannot find the time to launch this effort’s mountainous climb

As I lay me down to sleep this couplet in my brain does creep:

Books behind me, Books ahead.  Books are calling To Be Read

Books are calling To Be Read

Books are calling To Be Read

Books are calling To Be Read…….

Books are calling To Be Read………….

47 thoughts on “The TBR Challenge

  1. Ha. That is such a delightful poem, Tara. Awesome job with the rhymes – very clever. And thanks for the kind intro. I’m glad you’re enjoying the site as well as the challenge. I can’t wait to share this. It will be a few days, but I’ll definitely get there! Thanks again and Happy Reading!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. D. Your words of encouragement are so very appreciated! Thanks for creating this opportunity for so many us. Now, I must go thank our mutual friend Sean Carlin for introducing me to your blog. Oh! and BTW, I am currently reading your book “The Ferryman and the Sea Witch”. I am enjoying the journey very much!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, this is the best comment ever! Lol. Sean is great at connecting people, isn’t he? He’s so thoughtful in that way. And I’m tickled that you’re reading the Ferryman. I hope it ticks off all the boxes. Thank you! Finally, thanks again for taking up the TBR challenge. It’ll be a delight to share your poem. Happy Reading!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Tara, nicely done! I love it! Really beautiful writing all the way around! So happy you are enjoying this so, and I appreciate your sharing of the helpfulness of D. Wallace Peach’s blog as a source of inspiration for writers. I look forward to d to checking that out as well. With much joy. And appreciation, Mal ✨🐬🌈🐬✨!
    Sent from my iPhone

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you so much, Malcolm. Your comment fills me with smiles! Thanks so much for stopping by. You are a man of many talents and we know each other from other circles. I am delighted to connect with you in the literary world as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Welcome back to the world of writing for sheer delight! (Yes, I remember the creative writing class we took in high school, in Poly’s first two-story building. It was the summer of “Our Town,” me stepping on glass at Fernangeles Park, and being rescued by bikers. Or maybe all those memories just sort of melded together.) I loved this poem and look forward to you sharing your gift in the future. I’ll always be your biggest fan. Much love!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you my dear, dear friend! And I have been a fan of yours since we were 14 years old! Your talents as author and playwrite have always been an inspiration to me. I remember so clearly sharing the stage with you in our high school production of “Our Town”. And so many other adventures from our school years.

      Thank you so much for stopping by. Your encouraging words are so very valuable to me!

      To anyone else reading these comments, check out Patrick’s blog, stories, plays, musicals, children’s books, and more at

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Ann. I appreciate your welcome into this unfamiliar universe. I had no doubt that you are one of us humans who decorate our landscape with gatherings of books in every corner. And, oh! I am so delighted my little poem made you chuckle!

      For those who may have missed it, a previous post on this blog amplifies Ann Vincent Vila’s own mastery of the craft of writing poetry in her book, “Grieving, Healing, Accepting; 25 Sympathy Poems of Loss” featured here in December of 2020.
      It is a work that continues to be relevant and demonstrates the power of poetry.

      Thanks so much for stopping by Ann!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. As with your song lyrics, you have a way of taking a Truth (capital “T”) and making it relatable or funny or emotional or just plain ol’ damn clever! Well done, Tara, well done! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Barbara, I am honored by your comment! You are a writer I have always looked up to and your words carry a lot of weight for me.
      Thanks so much for stopping by.

      For my other visitors, Barbara Caplan-Bennet’s book “Noseworthy” was featured in a previous blog post. Here is a bit of the review I wrote for her:

      “As a writer she has a natural gift for making her readers comfortable and the skill to tell her stories in her very authentic, likable, honest voice.
      To Order an Autographed Copy — Email
      Venmo, PayPal, credit cards Accepted
      Also available on Amazon —

      For More Information — Follow Noseworthy on
      Twitter: @noseworthy2020

      Check it out here:

      Liked by 1 person

  6. So clever! So fun!
    Why is your chance to learn one you’ll have to spurn? You won’t and don’t!
    Not apologies to Dr. Seuss…it’s a wink and a nod to Dr. Seuss!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nancy, You are right, of course. I do not ever turn my back on learning. It is just a matter of knowing that, as it stands, there is not enough time to get to every book I already own that I have not yet read. And that there will always be more books I must have that I will add to my collection increasing the piles and stacks that are already waiting for me.
      (sigh!) As Grandma Ida would have said, “Let that be the worst problem you have all month!”

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Yep — I can absolutely relate to this! As I was preparing for my move last year, Tara, I sorted through all my books, and, with regard to the ones that had been sitting untouched on a shelf for years, really asked myself if I was ever going to get around to reading them. If the answer was no, I acknowledged that I’d bought them with good intentions — that they were aspirational reads — and gave myself permission to let them go. (All of them were donated to the LAPL.) By paring down my TBR pile, now I’m actually reading through the books that made the cut; I’ve removed the pressure of reading all those extraneous titles, and have rediscovered my joy of reading in the process.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sean, that you were able to winnow through your TBR piles and actually let go of stacks of books is a remarkable achievement! Even the books I’ve owned for years but never opened seem like old friends to me. Hard to part with. But we know there is value in the act of decluttering your environment and I know the LA Public Library is grateful for your donation! Thanks for stopping by!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m a practicing minimalist, Tara, so I’m experienced in letting go of anything that doesn’t add value to my life. But it does take practice!

      And I’m delighted you and Diana have become blog-pals! She was an early supporter of my blog back when no one was reading it, and has continued to be a steadfast WordPress pal. She’s good people!


  9. And, BTW, thank you from the bottom of my bookish heart for introducing me to D. Wallce Peach and the literary world that revolves around her! Opening the door into this beautiful realm is a gift I will always cherish! Thank you, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Tara, thanks for sharing. It’s very true that we all leave ideas/books on our shelves to be “read” later.
    I don’t think of you as someone who leaves anything lying around for later. Always on top of things to get stuff done. But at the end of the day, we humans are all…..human😳. There’s always something somewhere.
    I’m curious about your books.
    When I read a play I’d love to do I turn it sideways and make a pile on my shelf.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey, Pete. Thanks so much for stopping by! The only reason anything is ever left on my table (or in shelves, baskets, closets and drawers) is that there is only so much I can fit into any 24-hour day. (I still haven’t figured out how to make the day longer, drat it all!…….) Are you curious about what type of books are waiting for me or how I choose which ones to read and which to set aside?
      It would be fun to see your list of plays you’d like to do!


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