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How Long Have You Held Off On Reading A Book?

Lately, I've been catching up on my reading. More specifically, I've been reading high profile novels that I bought and meant to read years ago: Tom Rachman's The Imperfectionists, Gary Shteyngart's Super Sad True Love Story, and Jennifer Egan's A Visit From The Goon Squad, all from 2010. (They were all pretty good!) I also read Victor LaValle's The Devil In Silver, which I bought in paperback over a year ago (also surpassingly decent), and am currently weighing Toby Barlow's Babayaga (over a year old) and Tea Obrecht's The Tiger's Wife (nearly four).

A lot of this is because I just have too many unread books lying around. My last retail job was at a now-defunct bookstore chain with deep employee discounts, and I ended up buying way too many books — mostly novels, but some nonfiction and short story collections. For a bibliophile that's supposed to be heresy, but the long and short of it is that I have a ton of stuff that needs to be read, but will more than likely never get read, and is just taking up space and collecting dust in the meantime, and will probably end up being sold or donated to friends or charity. That said, there's still a lot of stuff I really want to get into that I thought I'd read as soon as I picked it up — Graham Joyce's Some Kind of Fairy Tale (R.I.P.), Wecker's Golem and the Jinni, Harrison's Empty Space, Marisha Pessl's Night Film — but it's just gone into the backlog pile. (The foundation of which appears to be Bolano's Savage Detectives and Pynchon's Against The Day, which have been there longer than I care to think.)


So what's the longest you waited to pick up a "must-read" book? And did you finish it, or did you end up getting rid of it?

EDIT: Fixed the grammatically weird title because it was perilously close to THERE ALL IS ACHING territory.

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