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Saturday, April 13, 2024

How I Pick My Next Read

I love checking out book recommendations and adding to my TBR. They’re practically everywhere. Goodreads, Evernote, Instagram, Twitter, audiobook wishlists. Unfortunately, there is a downside to it. Too many books, too little time. TBR anxiety is real. The overwhelming feeling when you stare at the books and can’t decide which one to pick next.

How do I decide what books to prioritize? Which book to pick next? I am a mood reader but there is a method to the madness. If you, like me, have an overflowing TBR, read on as I share how I tackle it.

Assessing the TBR

At the start of the year and every quarter or so, I take stock of my TBR. Using my favorite spreadsheet from Kal (I cannot recommend it enough), I consolidate all the recommendations into a formal TBR pile.

Sometimes I cannot decide if I want to remove a book from my TBR. Off it goes to the “maybe” or “I do want to get to it at some point in time” folder that I return to later. It might not work now, but it might work six months down the line.

Creating a priority TBR

There are TBR lists and then there is a priority TBR list. Once done assessing my TBR, I set up a TBR list of books I need to get to on a priority. Review copies, ARCs, book club picks, in that order. Although I am a mood reader, I also set up a TBR from this list for the upcoming month to ensure I don’t miss anything.

Creating a smaller list is less overwhelming. I also prefer mixing things up. Adding a few palate cleansers when I have some heavy books on the list. I don’t necessarily stick to it but it is one I turn to when I cannot decide my next pick.

Participating in reading challenges

Reading challenges are an excellent way to tackle your TBR. I participate in quite a few prompt-based challenges and enjoy matching my owned TBR books to the prompts. It does end up with hauling some new books. No complaints there.

More often than not, reading challenges have monthly themes. This too helps in prioritizing the next read.

Clearing up the TBR pile

Every few months, I clear up my TBR on Goodreads. It is my favorite place to add recommendations when I am blog hopping. I have some there from as far back as 2016. Interests and priorities change over time. There is no guilt in removing the books that I know I would not enjoy anymore. As is, I cannot possibly read those 700+ books listed there.

The same method applies to my priority TBR too. If I wasn’t able to get to the book in the last six months, it goes back into the TBR pool. I know I will not be picking it up anytime soon.

Just something that catches my eye

As I mentioned before, I am a mood reader. If a book piques my interest or is available on any of my subscription apps, I just go for it. It does include new titles that drop at Storytel which were previously bookmarked.

Inky pinky ponky

You probably guessed it. Sometimes I just cannot make up my mind and go inky pinky ponky on my priority TBR or my bookshelf. Did you think I was too prim and proper? Hah! Got you!

Let’s be honest. There are millions of books out there that we need several lifetimes to read. Reading for pleasure is all about enjoying the process. It is not a race or a competition. There is no point in skimming or speed-reading the book. Beats the purpose according to me. Reading 20 books in a year that I enjoy and remember is better than reading over a 100 and not being able to recall most of them. I would much rather have 1000+ books on my TBR than race to finish reading them all.

Hope you found the process I shared useful and had some takeaways too. How do you pick your next read? Do share in the comments below.

Tackling The TBR: How I Pick My Next Read #BlogaberryDazzle Click To Tweet

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla in collaboration with Mads’ Cookhouse.

How I Pick My Next Read

Photo credit: Canva.com

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