TBR Tag

As usual, I have not been tagged for this one, and I think it’s pretty old, and I don’t know where it actually originated (if you know, please leave a link in the comments or at least let me know, so I can give credit where its due). But this is one that is always fun for me to read, and I don’t think I’ve talked about my TBR on my blog before. So we’re gonna let it happen.

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

Two ways. I joined Goodreads in…2012? But I didn’t start using it regularly enough for that to be a reliable way to keep track of things until 2015 or so. So I use my Goodreads TBR shelf primarily now, but I also have written lists. With my written lists, I keep track of books I own but haven’t read yet, so that nothing new and unread on my shelf can get lost in the shuffle, and I keep a list of the books that I know I can get pretty easily through my library. (I live in a very small town and a lot of my library books come through a loan system shared with other towns in the area, so sometimes the wait isn’t worth it or there simply aren’t any copies available.) This way I can keep track on Goodreads of all the books I ever want to read, but I can also keep track of what’s easily available to me to help me prioritize. I make an effort to update about once a month.

Is your TBR mostly print or e-book?

Right now, I’m reading exclusively print books. I use my TBR shelf on Goodreads to keep track of books I don’t own or have access to yet, as well, so I guess it’s not fair to say that my entire TBR is in print format. By the time I get around to reading some of them, maybe I’ll have switched over to e-book or audiobook copies, who knows. But right now, I’m reading print books, and if they come up in my TBR and I don’t own a physical copy yet, I try first to get a physical copy.

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

I set monthly TBRs for myself. If I surpass the monthly goal, I generally try to pick up books that have been on my shelf unread the longest because I feel bad for neglecting them. But first, when I’m planning my monthly TBRs, I look at my list of books I can get easily through the library, and I pick usually 2-4 that I’m most in the mood for. I prioritize books in a series, both with my library picks and the books I plan to read from my own shelf. If I’ve started a series, there will be at least one book from it on my monthly TBR. Sometimes I’m in the middle of several at once, and if I’m not in the middle of any series…well, I’ll probably be starting one. I also am currently a subscriber of Book of the Month Club, so I put at least one BOTM book on each monthly TBR. After planning for whichever series I’m in, and my BOTM book, and my library books, then I turn to the list of unread books on my bookshelf, and choose from there as many more as I feel like I can handle that month. Of course, there are always new releases or new discoveries, so I have to be flexible enough to add new books on a whim. But mainly, once my monthly TBR is set, I just choose whatever I’m most interested in at the moment from that list, until it’s gone.

What book has been on your TBR the longest?

It’s impossible to say. I know I’ve had books on my mental TBR longer than I’ve had my Goodreads TBR, but now they’re all on Goodreads (mostly) and all I know is the date I added them to that shelf, which may or may not be the date that I decided I wanted to read them. I didn’t have a great system until 2015 so… the closest to truth I can get in this question is to say that the first/oldest book on my Goodreads TBR shelf is Alice Walker’s The Color Purple. (Which I will be reading this year as part of my 2017 reading challenge, so it won’t have that spot too much longer.)

What book has been most recently added to your TBR?

Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind. I’ve been hearing about how good this book is for so long, and when I went to check its rating on Goodreads (an impressive 4.55), I realized I’d had it in mind but never actually added it to my Goodreads TBR. So I did that.

What book is on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover?

I don’t decide to read a book based on its beauty. I do sometimes decide whether to buy or borrow based on cover attractiveness, however. Last month I bought Emma Mills’ This Adventure Ends because it was on my TBR list and it’s beautiful.

Which book on your TBR do you never plan on reading?

I cull my TBR regularly for books that I added on impulse and am not actually really interested in reading, so I don’t think that I have any. But I will say that Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables is on my TBR and I know it’s going to be a long time before I pick it up because it’s so long and I’ve seen the movie enough times that it’s going to be a real challenge to forget enough of the plot to want to start reading.

What is an unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?

I discovered Ruth Ware’s two thrillers in 2016 and coming up soon (July 25) is her next release–The Lying Game. I’m super excited for it. I haven’t pre-ordered yet, but I probably will.

What book on your TBR does everyone recommend to you?

Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale. I own it. I fully intend to read it. Probably even this year. I don’t know what’s holding me back. I guess I just haven’t been in the mood for WWII historical fiction, but I do really want to read it, and I will. Eventually.

A book on your TBR that everyone has read but you?

  1. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. I’ve read other Austen, and I have a copy of this one, and it’s my classic of the month for September, so I’ll get there.
  2. The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern. Again, I own it, and I really want to read it, and especially around the time Caraval came out I felt really left out for not having read this one. I just feel like it’s going to be a good October read, thrilling and magical and…spooky? Is it a little spooky? For some reason I have a full October TBR already even though that’s still so far away and I don’t have any other months planned.
  3. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. I just officially added this one last week when I read A Court of Wings and Ruin. I feel like I’m not going to like it as much as the ACOTAR series, but I want some more Sarah J. Maas in my life while I’m waiting to see what’s happening with the fourth ACOTAR book. Everyone’s read it, everyone has opinions, and… I want to see for myself.

I realize that was three and not one. (My answers for these questions have been a bit long, oops!) I just always feel left out when anyone has read a book that I haven’t, which is awful because it’s not even possible to read enough books to combat that. But I’m trying to cope, and these three have been on my mind a lot lately.

Which book on your TBR are you dying to read?

Iron Gold by Pierce Brown. Its release date got pushed back from August 2017 to January 2018, and those four months extra seem like eternity. I’m trying to avoid think about it at all, but clearly it’s not working. I absolutely loved Brown’s Red Rising trilogy when I read it in 2016 and I neeeeeed to know what happens next.

How many books are in your Goodreads TBR shelf?

295 at the moment, but that fluctuates a lot. For most of the year it’s been hovering around 280, but I’ve been adding books again. The problem is partially that when I read a book I really like, I always add another book by that author to my TBR afterward, or a book in a similar genre or with a similar premise if it feels like something new that I haven’t experienced enough of. I only keep one book from a series on my Goodreads TBR at a time–even if I want to read the full series, I only add the first book to my TBR, and when I finish that, I add only book two, and so on. So my TBR is this constantly changing beast that I’ll probably never conquer, and that makes me sad on one level, but then again, what kind of life would it be without a perpetual list of books I’ve yet to read? As satisfying as it is to complete a list, I don’t ever want to hit zero on this one.

And that’s a wrap.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this inside look at my TBR. I’m not going to tag anyone, as usual, because I wasn’t tagged myself and this is an old one. But I do love to see answers for this one, so if you want to give it a shot, let me know in the comments below so I can check out your TBR tag post! (I love tags like this that you can answer fresh every year or so and always have different answers. It’s interesting to compare where you stand and how things have changed.)

I’m really curious: how big is your TBR?

Sincerely,

The Literary Elephant

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