Working at a library is especially dangerous for a book junkie like myself, and when the pile of books by my bedside starts to look dangerously unstable, I have to finally decide which ones I actually have time to read. Here's my list of which books get thinned out first:
*Books where the promotional blurbs on the cover are written by other authors. Somebody owes somebody else a favor, or maybe promises were made over a few beers -- these are almost never as good as the blurbist would have you believe.
*Cookbooks. Yes, I was taken in by the beautiful pictures and the idea that I should cook better food, but realistically, my diet revolves around pizza. And guilt is never a good reason to read a book.
*That third or fourth book by an author I've enjoyed in the past. Give someone else a try -- chances are they've got something new to say.
*Books that start off poorly. It's a safe bet that the writing won't improve if you "just give it more time."
*"Hey, I've always wanted to read 'Moby Dick'!" Not gonna happen (see: guilt, above.)
*This one is the easiest: books that have been in the pile so long they're now overdue!