Sunday, July 8, 2018

The TBR -How Do You Deal?

Our topic at SFF Seven this week is How long is your TBR list? The answer for me is easy to give:


The "TBR" is the To-Be-Read list. I know exactly how many books are on mine because in the fall of 2015, I started a spreadsheet to keep track of it. A brilliantly conceived effort, my spreadsheet tracks format (paper, ebook or audible), date acquired, WHY I thought I wanted to read it, and even assigns a  priority.

Like many brilliantly conceived plans, it works moderately well.

It does help me to know if I already own a book - one of the primary purposes of the list, as I'd found I had books in both paper and digital format - and I use it to keep track of high priority reads. I use it A LOT to recall how something ended up in my possession and why I wanted to read it - except for the occasional book that I forget to log in. This is particular bad when I buy books on my phone in the bar during conversations that I don't remember weeks later.

The other way the list doesn't work is that it never goes down. I'd had this grand idea that I wouldn't acquire ANY new books until I read the ones I already have.


Instead, I started out with 298 books on the list when I first cataloged them all. Today it's at 299. The list hangs around 300 most of the time, fluctuating up and down. It's not because I'm not reading. I've read 80 books so far this year - I keep track of that, too, moving them off the TBR onto the read spreadsheet once I start them - and last year I read 107.

Clearly I read pretty much at the rate I acquire. Likely I should clear out a bunch of these books that have languished in the pile since October of 2015. Do you all do that - eventually give up on books that never escape the TBR pile?

Also, I've started a podcast! First Cup of Coffee. Just me, sharing my first cup of coffee of the day along with various thoughts on writing and life. They're short and informal. Here's the first one. 


  1. Ahhahaha! Buying books at the bar...that tends to happen when one finds themselves around other bookworms. Happened to me last night actually, though the bar was a friends deck.

    I use Goodreads to keep track of my TBR list but adding in which books I already own would be a smart addition. I've ended up with duplicate books, too.

    1. Right! Any convo with bookworm friends will do that - and that ease of buying has changed everything.

  2. I am hopelessly lost in my TBR.