Like many bookworms, I basically live and die by my TBR (“To Be Read”) list. Even in the midst of one read, I’m wondering – in the back of my mind, yes, but wondering – what’ll I read next? And where will it come from? My own shelves, a friend’s shelf, the bookstore, the library? I’m both exhilerated and intimidated by the fact that, though I may go through ten books every month, I’ll never come close to scratching the surface of everything that’s out there.
Now, some bookworms have a meticulously curated TBR. They have spreadsheets and goals, and they methodically log information as they go along. Yeah. I don’t do that. Oddly enough, although I’m quite organized in other areas of my life (have you seen my pantry?), I like to take a more relaxed, go-with-the-flow approach to my TBR. As a result, it resides in several places, all in incomplete form:
- Goodreads – This is my primary list. I try to add to my “to-read” list on the site whenever there’s a book I really want to read. That way, I know that my list is always accessible, and I can just whip out my iPhone in the middle of the library stacks if I’m having trouble choosing a book. That said, sometimes I bypass Goodreads and go straight to…
- Library Holds – If I want to read a new release, I often cruise right to the library website and reserve it, skipping Goodreads altogether. (With some popular new books, I can’t waste the precious seconds adding the book to Goodreads – I must get on the library reserve list IMMEDIATELY. Yes, I realize this might be a touch crazy.) This has the effect of creating a secondary TBR for me on the library website. And also, I get the fun of checking to see where I fall in the queue for my next borrows.
- This blog – Some time ago, I posted about TBR Insanity and told you all about the silliness that ensued when I wrote down a list of the books I wanted to get to “next” (in some nebulous way). Every so often, I go back and look at that post to remind myself… oh, right, I meant to read that book ASAP, hahaha.
- Challenge lists – I keep Word documents with lists of various reading challenges – Rory Gilmore’s reading list, The Guardian‘s top 100 books of all time, and the 1,001 Books to Read Before You Die list, and I cross them off as I go along. I don’t make conscious efforts to get through these lists quickly – especially not the 1,001 Books list; that’s a darn lot of books – but if a book on one of these lists happens to pop up on another TBR, I happily cross it off the list.
- A piece of paper – At one point, I kept a TBR on several sheets of looseleaf paper. It was quite an extensive list. I think it’s in one of my purses, but I haven’t seen it for a long time. It is entirely possible that it came to life and ate my box of fluourescent paper clips, which has been missing for roughly the same amount of time.
- My head – I can’t even tell you how many mental notes I’ve made to read something. The funny thing is, this is one of my more reliable TBRs. Once I get the idea in my head that I need to read a book, especially when I decide it’s urgent, I don’t let go easily. I usually last about three days with an idea before I either buy or borrow the book.
Do you have a TBR? Is it all organized in a central location, or is it scattered to the winds like mine?