For What It's Worth

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Tell Me Something Tuesday


Tell Me Something Tuesday is hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings and discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging.

Question: How have you learned to keep your TBR pile in check or how would you like to control your pile?

Answer:
I guess I’ll start by saying that I only count my physical and Kindle books as my TBR pile. Any books I may want to buy I consider a wish list – not books I need to read because they’ve been sitting on a shelf for years judging me 😜

It has taken me awhile but I think I’ve finally tackled my TBR pile. I did it by breaking things down over a span of a few years.

The first year was my Kindle books. I stopped grabbing all the freebies, sorting the books I did have onto shelves and deleted everything that no longer interested me. I have it at a manageable (to me) 30-50 books at any given time.

I’m more careful about what I download now and tend to read new Kindle books almost immediately because they tend to be fun (rather that review) reads.

Next thing was to get review books under control.

By far, the biggest thing I’ve done to not get swamped by a TBR pile again is limit my review requests on Netgalley.

I allow myself 2 books at a time. And I need to review them before I can request another and that pretty much keeps me reading on time and thinking before I request anything. But, to be honest, Netgalley was never really a problem for me except for in the very beginning. I feel pressured to read and review on a schedule when I get books from there and I can’t enjoy reading.

The same rule goes for accepting direct requests from authors or publishers. 2 at a time or per month.

And finally was the more troublesome physical book TBR pile. I had gotten it down to about 148 books but got stuck there for a few years until 2018 where I really set to work on it. I ruthlessly culled it first by reading reviews, asking friends, and skimming to see if the book was still something I was interested in. It had been years since I first got most of those books and my reading has changed drastically. I passed a lot of books on.

Next I just stopped requesting or accepting many books for review and stuck to that pile. I’m down to about 30-ish.

Of course, I’m totally backsliding now with the upcoming move and not having read anything for almost a month and since my books are packed away. It’s something I’ll have to sort out again once I get settled next month.

Right now, I’m big on the library and I keep a wish list of a few dozen books I’ll request once I have more time to read.

How do you keep track and control of your TBR pile?

31 comments:

  1. Moving is always rough on reading. I always try to keep a stack of books on hand, but I never actually get around to them until I'm settled at the new place. I definitely think limiting your requesting and accepting requests at a minimum are the ways to go. I try not to go on Netgalley and look around because I have a lot of physical books that I have had sitting on my shelves for years that I haven't read yet.

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    1. I left a few out but I'm too exhausted to read at the end of the day and I can't read while in the car. I did finish an audiobook today so yay me!

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  2. I only request 5 at a time on NetGalley. For a while I was winning so many books that they really started to pile up and so I focused on those until I had read most of them.

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    1. You just have to find what works for you. I hate feeling the pressure to read on a schedule so that's helped me clear things out. I want to have fun reading.

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  3. I am still catching up on my NG pile, but I have it to the point where it is almost manageable.I think I have twenty that are current and they are over the next five months, so it averages to about three or four a month, which is easily doable. I still have a hundred some that are backlogged from the last 8 years and I am still trying to go through them and read some and cull others. Hope your move is going alright.

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    1. I don't go there a lot unless I have a specific book I want to request. My feedback ratio is 102% lol

      I had to clear out dozens from back int he days where they would just add books to your shelf without you requesting them.

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  4. Quote: "not books I need to read because they’ve been sitting on a shelf for years judging me 😜".
    As if Figment wasn't already taking care of that 😂.

    You've been slaying your pile like a champion! and I'm sure you'll be able to slide back into the healthy routine when the big move is over 🤞.

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    1. I can't do anything about it right now. Even when I have time to read at night I'm too tired.

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  5. I really should delete kindle books, but there are so MANY!

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    1. It took me almost a year to get that organized and under control. It's tough to sort though. I didn't even remember 1/2 the books.

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  6. I am the opposite. My TBR is a wish list, and I generally only know what review books I have. Every once in a while, I take a look at my Nook Books or my Amazon cloud, but I generally have no idea what's there.

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    1. It's easy to get overwhelmed with ebooks. I foreget why I even downloaded them or what they are about after awhile.

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  7. Good for you! I've accepted that my TBR will forever be out of control. Haha!

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    1. I won't be hitting up any book cons int he foreseeable future so that will take care of that lol

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  8. Yeah I imagine moving and packing and all that is messing up your system, but don't sweat it- it'll all work out. :) It's funny how something we do for fun can also be stressful at times! I don't really have a huge TBR either, and I love i. I mean I know the next 4 or 5 books I want to read but beyond that- I'm kinda open. Not that there aren't books coming out months away that I know I want, but heck I might change my mind on some of them due to reviews. It all works out.

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    1. I'm really happy I got the pile down to something more manageable last year now that we're moving. Even so- I still got rid of dozens of books :-(

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  9. I'm trying to control my tbr right now! I have 1100 books on my tbr which is all books I physically own, plus a wishlist that I use for reference. I don't buy everything on wishlist as I sometimes just delete them if I change my mind about wanting to read them. I do check out reviews especially 1 and 2 star reviews before adding to tbr and every so often I do a cull of stuff I've changed my mind on-trouble is, everything I have now I do want to read! I might need to go through them again looking for tropes I don't like and either delete or read now so they are dealt with!

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    1. !!!!! I think my max has been a few hundred. I'm just so much pickier now. There are so many books I NEEDED and then forgot about or hated.

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  10. I’ve cut waaay down on arcs and I’ve found that goes a long way in helping to control my TBR. And it lets me focus on all the backlist books I want to read instead of constantly being distracted by all the new releases.

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  11. I dont even know where I would begin with my kindle, I'm just happy I've stopped jumping on free books

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  12. I lost control of my TBR years ago. I have so many books I haven't read yet. I will say that I stopped snatching every book that came my way so at least my TBR hasn't gotten too out of control.

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    1. For me, it was the book conferences. Each year I would get more - not read them all - then get more....plus regular books I bought or accepted for review.

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  13. I consider my online lists to be wish lists too, since I don't have them in my hands. However, I do try and weed things out every now and then because I'm always adding things to it. LOL As for physical books, I don't usually a ton of review books (physical or e-books) which is nice, but I still need to do better with reading the books that I just own for myself; books I bought or were gifted.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  14. I pretend to keep track via Goodreads but I lost track two years ago and now just try to wing it as best I can. I used to go bonkers on Netgalley too but read all my Netgalley books within a few months a few years ago and maintain my ratio at over ninety percent now. With so many paperback review copies, I can't afford to request many on there. With all your books packed up, it's probably the perfect time to get that Kindle out and read a few from there when you have some downtime, it's good having that option so you can take your time when you arrive at the new house.

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  15. What is this "control" you speak of? HA there is no control, no order, it's just pure chaos. I culled about 400 books when I was moving, and... frankly, it didn't even make a dent. I over-ARC myself alllll the time. Basically I am a mess and while I SHOULD be using your tips because they are very helpful and sensible, I will most likely just continue to be the messiest mess in ALL the land.

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  16. My definition for TBR is the same as yours. The one about books I want to buy is what I call my wishlist. I only properly started tackling mine late last year, and it has been working for me and I am glad that this works for me! I am buying less as I'm on a ban, and I want to read through what I own before considering getting more as well ^.^ Great post and I am glad yours works out for you with these tips x

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  17. I'm the same! Wishlist = books I want but don't own. TBR = books I own and haven't read.

    I'm terrible about controlling it though. I have no system. It's out of control. I need to set some time aside and do what you did and cull the books I'm no longer interested in, because my tastes have changed or whatever, and then methodically work through it.

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  18. My TBR pile is an out of control monster that cannot be tamed. I've tried. Truly, I have. Every once in a while, I give it a little trim. But it grows back stronger, longer. Now I just pretend it doesn't exist.
    Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review

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  19. Oh my gosh on the ebooks. I grab all the freebies and have no shame in it. lol Never know what I'll want when and it's saved me a ton of money over the years thankfully.

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