Wednesday, May 10, 2017

That Uncontrollable TBR

So I finally finished going through my kindle and adding all those books (well, most of them) to my Goodreads shelf. In the second half of 2016, I felt an urge to clean up my TBR and organize my GR shelves. I started with around nearly 3,000 books on my to-read list and I'm still not halfway through them all yet.

I now have shelves for all the books I own on kindle and in physical copies. (Well, again, most of them. There were some I left off because I don't know if I want to read them anymore). I also have shelves for DNFs and books I set aside and want to try later, and books I definitely will never read and those I'm unsure about or have lost interest in. And then I have shelves for those I AM interested in, both a wishlist and a shelf for those books I'm curious about but don't *need* right this second. It all may seem like a bit much, but it's actually helped me to have organization. And this way, I also get to keep books around on the off chance that I might want to read them someday. I was too worried to just delete them from my TBR outright. 

But I still have SO MANY books and not nearly enough time for them. Recently, I've been making time, but that means I also push back writing, and I can't keep doing that. I've never been good at balancing that, so I want to do better. And that means being more ruthless about what I will read, but how do I do that? To read not only books I've forgotten about but those that I'm most excited for? I don't have quite a solid answer, but I do have a few ways I think might help me be organized and a bit more picky about what I'm buying and adding to my GR shelves.

1. Keep cleaning up that TBR. I want to continue knocking books off my to-read list. I want to bring my # down, and not because I feel like I have to, but because I just cannot read all the books I want in a lifetime. So I REALLY need to ask myself: am I going to read this book or not? It's been difficult, because many things still interest me, and I always wanted to give books a chance even if I wasn't sure. But it's too much, and I don't have enough time for everything. I still have a little less than 1,600 books to sort through, so wish me luck! And every so often, I need to do mini cleanups of the rest of my shelves, specifically the unpublished and those I own. I'm all about that organization on Goodreads!

2. Pull names from a jar. This is for those books that have been on my kindle *forever* that I still want to read but I keep pushing off because of all the ARCs and new releases and backlist I already have. I have so many that are from indie/self-published authors specifically that I've forgotten about or have ignored. But I KNOW there are gems in here, and I want to find them. So I want to make a TBR jar for these books, and try to at least read one or two a month.

3. Try not to panic. I'm not even kidding. I feel the pressure to read more, but not because of other people. It's because time is scarce, and I want to make sure I'm not spending all of it with my nose stuck in a book. But that means giving up time I could be reading when I have ALL THESE BOOKS I want to get to, and ugh. It's hard to balance this, for me. I just try not to think about it all. (Which doesn't *seem* to be helping that much, but OH WELL).

4. Do a massive culling of my physical bookshelves. I've ironically been meaning to do this for ages but just haven't found the time and the motivation. There's A LOT. Most of what is already on my two bookshelves will stay (definitely my entire "read" shelf as I've already done a purge of those a few times before and what's left is what I want to keep forever). But the rest of it, those on my floor and on my desk in the closet, need to go. The hardest part, and what's stopping me, is really the unread books. How do I know that I won't want to read it SOMEDAY? Again, this is the reason I haven't completely deleted books off my Goodreads shelves. You never know. But at the very least I am organized on GR. Ha!

5. Be more ruthless about DNFing. I've gotten loads better at this since my early blogging days when I tried to finish everything and I ended up in terrible reading slumps. But I still find myself not willing to actually mark a book as DNF, even when I haven't touched it in months (i.e. Frostblood and Timeless and Sweet Escape and Rival). I don't know why. I guess it's just a lot harder when I was actually liking the story. There was nothing wrong about any of these books. But it's also been so long since I have read them that I'm not even that interested in continuing. So, I should just DNF. Someone make me do this because I'm terrible at it.

6. Be more picky about what I buy. I'm AWFUL at this. And it shows. I've been using Crini from All About Books' spreadsheet for what I'm reading and acquiring in 2017 and dear god I've spent so much on books already and it's only April. I've also acquired over 100 books already. So, uh, yeah. I need to keep an eye on this, which I HAVE been doing. It's definitely making me aware of what I'm spending, and I find myself seriously considering before I press that checkout button. But you know, Amazon has been doing A LOT of deals recently, and BookOutlet just started free shipping on orders $35 or more. It's been hard to say no. BUT. GUYS. The last time I went to Barnes and Noble, I BOUGHT NOTHING. AREN'T YOU PROUD OF ME??? #restraint

How do you deal with your uncontrollable TBR? Or do you let it just run wild and not care how big it gets? I WANT YOUR SECRETS.

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