I used to be more selective and discerning when adding books to my to-read list. Sometimes I was self-conscious about the fact that other people could see which books I was adding, or realized that I already had many, many books in the same vein on there, or just that there wasn't enough time left in my life to get through them all.
Then I thought, screw it. My tastes are wide-ranging, from the elevated and erudite to the tawdry and profane, and anyone who knows me already knows that. And if I leave one off, I inevitably end up spending long minutes searching frantically for it a few days later. I've started to think of it less as composing a prescriptive list than gathering butterflies in a net - "you get in, and you get in, ooh, you're pretty, squish over everyone, this one's going in too". I won't get to all of them, and if I did only a few would maintain their lustre after the first few pages, but every once in a while it's a pleasure to fan them all out and admire their jeweled wings.
So I have this: Adam Gopnik's Winter: Five Windows on the Season, which is "an intimate tour of the artists, poets, composers, writers, explorers, scientists, and thinkers, who helped shape a new and modern idea of winter". The words "existential", "meditation" and "homage" are at home here.
And then there's this: The Stars Never Rise (Unnamed Series #1) by Rachel Vincent. Soul-consuming demons, a girl with a dependent younger sister, and a hoodie-wearing fugitive with deep green eyes! Okay, yeah, it's blatantly whoring in on the whole trilogy thing and the series isn't even named yet, for crying out pete's sake, and it's most likely a Hunger Games rip-off, but WHAT IF IT'S NOT? Can we take the chance? I think we owe it to ourselves not to.
Oh, I just noticed I had Etta and Otto and Russell and James on there twice (gorgeous literary debut, plucky old woman, pilgrimage, Canada, talking coyote, 'nuff said). Whew. That means I'm down to one thousand and NINE.