1. How do you keep track of your TBR pile?
Physically, I have an entire bookshelf (see last picture here) with books owned but not yet read beside the bed. Its population fluctuates - we bought a companion bookshelf a couple of months ago, already more than half filled with Arthur C. Clarke Award submissions.
Electronically, I use LibraryThing, which tells me that I have roughly 462 books in the house which I have not read. Plus a few Clarke submissions which I track separately.
2. Is your TBR mostly print or ebook?
Print, for sure. If I buy an ebook I tend to read it immediately.
3. How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?
I have a complex system, which is not in any way obsessive-compulsive. I have a series of sub-lists from which I take the top book to form my immediate TBR list. The sub-lists are ranked by increasing order of page-length of the top book on 1 January. When I finish a book off any particular sub-list, the next-ranked book on that list goes to the bottom of the TBR list. Except that Doctor Who books count separately, and books that are not by white men are automatically promoted six places up the list. The sub-lists are:
a: non-fiction, in order of entry onto my LibraryThing catalogue.
b: non-fiction, in order of popularity on LibraryThing as a whole.
c: non-fiction, as owned by me before start of this year and ranked by livejournal users.
d: fiction other than sf, in order of entry onto my LibraryThing catalogue.
e: fiction other than sf, in order of popularity on LibraryThing as a whole.
f: fiction other than sf, as owned by me before start of this year and ranked by livejournal users.
g: sf in order of entry onto my LibraryThing catalogue.
h: sf, in order of popularity on LibraryThing as a whole.
i: sf, as owned by me before start of last year and ranked by livejournal users.
j: books left over from the previous year's ranking.
k: winners of the Tiptree, BSFA and Arthur C Clarke Awards which I haven't reviewed in the last ten years, in order of winning the award.
l: New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield.
m: Eighth Doctor Adventures.
n: New Who books.
o: unread Old Who books (other than New Adventures), in continuity order.
p: Books about J.R.R. Tolkien, roughly in order of acquisition
r: books about the Tudor period, especially Ireland, roughly in order of acquisition
s: unread books by writers of colour, roughly in order of acquisition.
u: books acquired since end 2005, otherwise not accounted for, in LT entry order.
v: books I have already read but haven't reviewed on-line, ranked by LT popularity.
w: books explicitly recommended by livejournal users by number of recommendations
y: very short books
z: Christmas presents
bxx: unread books bought in year 20xx, ranked by order of popularity on LibraryThing as a whole.
u♀: unread books by women, ranked by order of popularity on LibraryThing as a whole.
There, aren't you glad you know that?
4. A book that’s been on your TBR the longest
Not counting Doctor Who books, and books I am pretty sure I've lost, it's Transit of Earth, a collection of sf short stories which I bought at Boskone in 2009. I will start it tonight or tomorrow.
5. A book you recently added to your TBR:
I went to the local book fair yesterday and came away with:
11/22/63, by Stephen King
Who I Am: A Memoir, by Peter Townshend
and three Dutch-language comics (all translated from French):
Professor Bell v1: De Mexicaan met twee hoofden by Joann Sfar
Professor Bell v2: De poppen van Jeruzalem, by Joann Sfar
Golden Dawn: Het genootschap van Socrates, by Yves Leclercq and Stéphane Heurteau
6. A book that will soon be added to your TBR:
I expect I will buy the next Doctor Who books to come out as soon as they do.
7. Numbers of shelves used to house your TBR:
About 6, including one for Clarke submissions.
8. On a scale of 1 to 10, how painful is it for your to discard will-never-be-read TBR books?
It will never happen. Though I do occasionally lose them. I'll normally give them at least fifty pages before giving up.
9. A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read but you:
The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.
10. Name your sources of powers– where do you get your books from?
Bookshops when I am in an English-speaking city (and often when I'm not). Online on impulse.
11. A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read:
Kushiel's Justice, by Jacqueline Carey.
12. A book you’d recommend others add to their TBR shelves:
Impossible Stories, by Zoran Živković - I reviewed it for Strange Horizons in 2006.
13. Is your TBR a force for good in your life?
Yes. I enjoy working through the obsessive-compulsive structure I have created for myself, and it gives me a sense of achievement to see the list gradually decreasing - even if I then increase it again.