Monday, October 31, 2016

DISCUSSION: Reigning in your TBR

My TBR is so long that it is literally yelling at me.
I know I can't be the only one with this problem.

I have been trying to cull my TBR list, bit by bit, so it's a bit more manageable. And when I talk about culling my TBR, I don't mean books that I have already purchased. If I bought it, you can bet that I will be reading it. It may take me a while, but I'll get to it.
I generally keep books that I want to read on an Amazon wishlist. My wishlist is set to private because it's for my eyes only, but it has all the books I would love to read, but don't own yet. I like the Amazon wishlist better than other methods because I can search for price drops and I can know when a book is on sale.

Anyway . . . getting rid of books from my TBR is harder than it sounds. I want to read ALL THE BOOKS.

So how do I decide which books to remove?
1. If I look at the title and can't remember anything about it, it's gone.

I know I have a bad memory, but if the cover and the title don't jog my memory, I won't miss what I never read, right?
Please don't burst my bubble on that one.

2. If it has been on my TBR for longer than a year and I still haven't bought it.

I feel guilty if books are languishing needlessly for a long time on my TBR. I have books that I buy right when they come out because I'm so excited. But after a year or more, chances are small that I will ever buy it.

3. If it goes on sale with Amazon and I still have no interest in purchasing it.
Seriously, if the price drops from $10.99 to $1.99 and I still don't have any interest in buying it, then that is a sign that I will probably never want to buy it.

4. If I read a sample online with Amazon and I have no interest in reading beyond the first page. 
Yep, sometimes, when I'm really desperate to knock books off my TBR, I give a book a page to capture my interest and that's it.

5. If the premise is not new or interesting.
I do love the dystopian genre and I have quite a few books from that genre on my TBR. But let's face it: that genre has gotten a bit stale. Occasionally, I still find dystopian books that are unique but there are way too many on my TBR that are like a dozen books I have read before. I am not interested in books that are a copycat of the same old, same old.

How do you decide whether to remove a book from your TBR?

18 comments :

  1. I think these are some good tactics - I might have to employ some of these on my own TBR!

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    1. Hope they work out for you bornandread!

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  2. Good tips! I need to do a cull. My list is over 600 books right now.

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    1. Oh wow, Kate. Looks like you need to do a culling ASAP! Hope these tips work for you. :)

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  3. I don't think ever actually do remove them! Which probably explains the crazy number on my GR to-read list!

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    1. Trish, hahahaha. That would probably explain it. ;) I just feel so much pressure if there are too many books on my TBR. Something has to be done!

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  4. Great discussion and it goes in line with my latest discussion post re: ARC over-requesting at bit (at least for me!)

    I don't really keep a TBR list except for ARCs so this doesn't strictly apply to me but I think these same rules can be used when deciding what to request and ultimately read and review

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    1. Thanks Eva! I recently stopped over-requesting on ARCs too. I have almost no willpower, but I am trying REALLY hard to refrain from asking for them unless I am super excited to read them. It's so hard though. The struggle is real.

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  5. I seem to have confused my TBR with "sounded interesting or was mentioned in passing by someone I trust." I am loathe to cull any of them because you never know, right? But I do think I need to maybe create a "really want to read" list that's separate. The trouble is, I've tried that a time or two, and I keep reading things that aren't on that list. I'm hard to handle like that. :)

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    1. Wendy, believe me I understand. I am the same way. I feel like I need to start a "I've heard about this one from somewhere and I may or may not want to read this one at some point" Goodreads shelf.

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  6. DUDE I love rule #3! I have actually just started using that one myself too, only I have been too lazy to like, actually take them off my Goodreads wishlist- they DO come off my Amazon one though! Because you are so right- if it isn't worth my $2, it probably is NEVER going to be read. I really need to do a TBR culling. It always helps when you tell me to "skip" a book- I take it RIGHT off my list. Like, nearly 100% of the time. You help me a LOT, so thanks! Now, off I go to waste time playing with my TBR (maybe this is less helpful bwahhah)

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    1. Shannon, I am the same way!! Do you know how many times I have removed a book from my Amazon wish list because of one of your reviews? SO MANY! And if it goes on sale and I don't remember it, the FIRST thing I do is see if you read it and if so, what rating you gave it. Because of that system, I ended up buying The Great Hunt. You gave it very high marks so I figured it was safe. But man, what do I do for the ones you haven't read yet? Crazy.

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  7. Yeah, I too have tried to cull my TBR, but I read in genre binges, so it is so hard to tell if I will get in the mood for something that is on the list and then forget about it. I do try to remove books in which I have read unfavorable reviews from bloggers that I generally agree with, and books that I added just because they are available at my library. Who am I fooling? Like I'm not going to buy a book over reading something that I'm not jazzed about!
    You have listed some great ways that you determine what gets the ax. The only thing that wouldn't work for me is number one, because I have a ton of classics that I could never get to in a year, but want to read them with all my might.

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    1. B.B., I know exactly how you feel. There are quite a few books on my Amazon list that are part of genres I don't read that often, but I still feel like I should keep them around because I may be in the mood to read that genre.

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  8. I sometimes cull on Goodreads! But...not often because it's actually really annoying to delete books. And I'm lazy.๐Ÿ˜‚ But I did the other month and omg I deleted SO MANY DYSTOPIANS. And like even just cruising through my library website (since I don't have enough books...arhg๐Ÿ˜‚) I was about to reserve some books I'd wanted to read for a long time, only to realise...I didn't anymore??? My tastes have changed!! It's kind of interesting to see these books I wanted to read 3 years ago and now don't really care. But I feel like for any I delete, I JUST ADD MORE ON. IT'S A PROBLEM. ;D

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    1. Cait, you are so right! I just don't read nearly as many dystopians as I used to. I also read way more young adult today than I did several years ago so I have quite a few adult books on my list. A lot of them are still there because I am interested in the premise. But I have lost interest in some of them for sure.

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  9. Ahh, if I followed even just some of your criteria, maybe I would be successful at actually shrinking my TBR! :P I usually do a cull once a year in December. I go over all the books on my list. If I don't remember the what it's about/why I added it, I'll look at the book's Goodreads page. If that triggers my memory in a good way, it stays on the list. I pretty much only remove a handful of books that make me think "Now why the heck would I have wanted to read that?!"

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    1. Jenna, I definitely check reviews too! If a book goes on sale with Amazon and I have NO CLUE, I usually start with Goodreads before I make a decision. If it gets rave reviews, then I will usually get it. But if a few trusted blogger friends disliked it, that makes the decision so much easier. :)

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