I don’t have much of a “To Be Read” pile of comic books. Each week I buy form six to ten comic books, put them in the magazine holder next to my easy chair, and read them over the course of the week.

I actually read my comics twice before I file them away. I started doing that a lot of years ago. I used to read a comic and then file it away quickly but I felt I wasn’t getting a lot of enjoyment out of them. Sometimes a comic would only be hanging around for a day before being filed away to not be looked at again for a long time.

I thought back to my childhood when my comics would hang around with me and I’d read them over and over and that lead me to the decision not to file them away so quickly. Now I read them twice. Sometimes that takes only a week and sometimes two.

The second reading of a comic is always different from the first. That’s another reason I like reading them twice. The first reading is usually all about answering the question, “What’s going to happen?” but in the second reading I catch things that I missed. I’m not paying as much attention to the plot, because I know what’s going to happen, so the other elements can be seen more clearly.

One thing I’ve also noticed when reading things a second time is that the literary tool of foreshadowing is really only foreshadowing on the second read. You can’t tell “Hints of things to come” from any other element until you know what eventually happened. That’s not the most important observation the world but it’s something I’ve noticed lately.

I do have a “To Read” pile of collected editions and such. It can get pretty big on me. I have three magazine holders on the floor next to my chair that holds those books. I usually put new books in them that I’ve bought plus stuff I pull off my shelf to read again. Sometimes it gets too filled up with new stuff so I move some of those books to a “New Stuff” section of my shelf. I’ll move the books back when I plan to read them.

Right now in that section are:

Three Rocks: The Story of Ernie Bushmiller the Man Who Created Nancy by Bill Griffith. This one has been in that section for about two months. I really should start reading it.

Sin City Volume One by Frank Miller. I didn’t even know that this was still in there. I reread it a few weeks ago and then kept it out to talk about on my Friday night YouTube show. It can go away now.

Warlock 5 by Den Beauvais and Gordon Derry. I bought this back in the beginning of November (it’s January 14th as I write this) in a fit of nostalgia. It’s a collection of a black and white series from the 1980s. I always meant to check it out back then but never did. I read a good review of it and immediately ordered it. It’s good stuff and it took me back but I haven’t finished it. I should read some more of it.

Stream of Consciousness: The Ink Art of Boris Pelcer. Nothing to read in this one as it’s a small book of art but I want to look at it again before I shelve it.

According to Jack Kirby by Michael Hill. This one is text and not comics but it’s about the history of comics. It uses interviews and evidence to put across Jack Kirby’s POV on the creation of the Marvel Comics Universe. I’ve read about two thirds of it but still have to finish it.

Palookaville 24 by Seth. I read this one a while ago. I’ve been keeping it around just because I don’t want to shelve it just yet. I think I’ll look through it again.

The Jam: Urban Adventure – Beginnings and Super Cool Color Injected Turbo Adventures From Hell Volume Two by Bernie Mireault. I got both of these for Christmas and they’ve been in one of the magazine holders ever since. The Jam is on of my favorite comics from the 1980s. “Beginnings” is a collection of stuff I already have but haven’t read in years and the color book is new. Two more I have to get on top of!

Grendel: Devil By The Deed Master’s Edition by Matt Wagner. This is another favorite from the 1980s except Wagner has expanded the story. It’s gone from around 50 pages to around 100 pages. I’m interested to see what he does with it.

Brindavoine by Jacques Tardi. I got it in my head that I needed to read some more Tardi so I went to eBay to look for some books and found this one. It’s translated from Tardi’s native French and was a used library edition for only $10 shipping included. I have no idea what it is about.

New York Mon Amour by Jacques Tardi, Benjamin LeGrand, and Dominique Grange. Same price and eBay story as above except it turns out that I have most of this one. It’s a collection of trade’s NYC stories with the longest being “Cockroach Killer.” I already have a printing of that story from the early 1990s. I don’t have the shorter stories.

One Eight Hundred Ghosts by G. Davis Cathcart. I met Davis a little while ago and so wanted to check out his comic. It was originally a mini-comic but then Fantagraphics picked it up to publish. I just read it and it’s a cool story of a time traveling heist of intellectual property (a song). Good stuff.

I also have digital stuff to be read but I barely pay attention to that. I read all my novels and non fiction digitally but only some comic books. I usually read novels on the train as I commute but occasionally will see what comics I have loaded up on my iPad and read them.

What’s in your “To Be Read” pile?