Infinite options and overwhelming data in the reading life
Im trying to rename by TBR or at least change how I think of it. It’s not so much a list of books I must read or even books I really, really want to read but more a list of books that caught my eye and want to check out to see if I want to read them. Periodically I go through the list, especially the ones that have been there the longest, to see if they still pique my interest. The samples provided by Amazon are great for this. If I don’t love what I read there then I cull the title. I use Storygraph and use their tag feature to record how the boom came to my attention - prize list, specific bookstagrammer etc. Periodically I check those tags to see how I rated the books I’ve read from that recommendation source. I’ve learnt that some people describe books in such a way that I really want to read the book, but rarely enjoy the books they recommend. That knowledge helps me trim my TBR and be more selective about I add to it.
I took Instagram off my phone (you inspired me to do this, Sara!) and that has helped me so much. I still look at it occasionally on my computer, but I feel like it has really helped with the feeling of FOMO about all of the latest reads. I have also started viewing the books I own as a collection of art, rather than a TBR. I am supporting authors I love (or am at least interested in reading), and it is okay that I won't get to all of them. I still sometimes get overwhelmed by my TBR, but these strategies have helped me a lot.
I enjoy reading books on my list that I will have a chance to discuss with others; i.e. book club reads and buddy reads. So I concentrate on these first. If I have time to slip in a book from my TBR or from a prize list, that's next. Do I ever read all the books I want to read - no - and that has to be ok because so many books, so little time. Thanks, Sara, for your helpful tips!
These are such great tips! I’ve recently started diving in more without knowing much about the book and it’s been so fun.
These are great ideas. My list is like a million books long, and I constantly feel like everyone else is reading way more than I am. I’m basically always “in a dither” over it. I remember the days of just going to the library or bookstore to find a couple of books that sounded good, just based on premise alone. Good times!
I ignore celebrities and most readers on bookstagram. I read what sounds good to me not the 1000 media influenced recommendations for the average reader (no offense to average readers, I am surely average in my many ways). I only allow my TBR to grow based on recs from people whom I understand their taste and if it coincides with mine. Granted, I still find myself reeled back in sometimes, but generally it's helped drown out the constant book noise.
I love the way you handle library holds - I often get stuck trying to remember why I requested the book when I could just dive in and see how it goes!
I’m in a reading slump right now, I think I’ll try the advice you have in point #4. I also love the idea of having a reading project. I’ve been doing an A to Z challenge this year that’s been delightful.
I love the idea of a reading project to help guide and narrow down choices! There are so many authors who I’d love to read more of their backlist but always set aside in favor of the new thing. Love these tips, Sara! So helpful, as always ☺️
This is something I've been hearing more and more being talked about by readers- feeling overwhelmed with their tbr's, feeling FOMO if they're not reading the "popular" books on Bookstagram etc- for me, I've taken an extended break from Goodreads, I pay close attention to what my trusted sources are reading at that's about it, I've stopped mindlessly scrolling on IG. I enjoy adding a lot of books to my tbr because I never know what I'll be in the mood for
I love what you wrote about treating your shelves as an bookstore. Need to shift my way of thinking and use that way instead of feeling overwhelmed. I don't have a huge physical tbr right now, but I let myself get too excited for new releases, so I easily neglect the books I already own and haven't read. When it comes to buying books, I make sure to only get the ones I know I really want to read and it has helped me from getting a huge tbr or books that I might not get to at all.
The method that works really well for me now is, I’ve created a very extended list on Amazon of books I’m interested in (even if I heard about it only once on booktube or book stage am or here). I check the site everyday to see if one of them is on sale, and I automatically buy if the price is less than 2€. Now because I have so many books on my kindle, when I want to start a new one, I just pick a dozen that call out to me in the moment, and I use a picker wheel website to decide which one I’m going to read. And finally, if I like the book I buy the physical copy so that I support the author and have the pleasure of having it on my shelf. Writing it out it sounds like a complicated method but it works for me!