I know I am one of millions (probably) who has a TBR list that is both daunting and exhausting. I read one book, I’ve added ten more to that list. When it comes time to choose the next read, I wind up flipping through pages and pages of books on my e-readers and/or digging on my shelves for what’s next. And most of the time, I wind up picking something that’s not even there yet.
It all started at the beginning of:
I was stuck for something to read. I wanted to read a hundred and one books and couldn’t whittle it down to the magical one. Did I want Romance or Dystopia? YA or Adult in some form? Did I want to start that new series I just got or finish out an old series that I love? No, no, yes, wait!!! I like that cover! Oh, that premise is really cute.
I wasted a week looking for a read.
And one day, it dawned on me. What I need is a monthly/seasonal theme. Then my choices of what to read are cut way down and I can choose a book much easier.
Last summer’s reading theme:
SUMMER OF SERIES
Under that, I spent my summer finishing out a few series I loved, starting a whole new series I’ve been wanting to read for a while, and possibly acquiring a series or two I had heard great things about. If the book wasn’t in a series, I could add it to my TBR. I could buy it. But I wouldn’t read it. The system worked great. I finished out quite a few series, finally. I found a few more series I could love. And I started one more that I like, but I have to wait for the next book to come out to really finish it.
Since it worked great, I went straight into another theme:
SEPTEMBER OF ROMCOMs.
That one was tougher to do than I thought it would be. I actually blogged about not being able to find what I wanted in the category. But of the ones I did find, I read and adored. Another successful month of a few choices to read and books I actually read. (Another five whittled off my list!)
Current Theme for October:
COSTUMES & HORRORS
Under that theme, I’ve read stories/graphic novels of things people would CosPlay or dress up as for Halloween. I’m also pulling out a few scary books that I’ve put off reading for years. This year’s Horror: The Shining. Last I left that book, about a decade ago, I was less than halfway through and creeped out.
It went in that proverbial Freezer. (Currently 72% complete! Yay me! Even if I am thoroughly scared to pieces a lot of the time I’m reading.) *deep breath* I plan on finishing. I’m not sure if I’ll get time to start its sequel, Doctor Sleep. It’s probably for the best if that one can wait for a while…
Good news is, I’m already plotting next month’s theme, narrowing my TBR list down even more.
NOVEMBER OF NON-FICTIONs
I have four of the books planned–two for Back to the Future (We Don’t Need Roads & BTTF The Visual History), The Wes Anderson Collection, Michael J Fox’s book, and As You Wish by Cary Elwes about The Princess Bride. I could toss in that Twilight book I never read (the one similar to the BTTF Visual History book) and if that Mocking Jay “making of” book comes out…I’m in!
I’m glad to have found a system for deciding on books. It’s working. The real beauty of this system? I don’t even have to stick to it. (I stuck another RomCom in the middle of this month because I really wanted to read it!) It’s purely okay to wander. The real test of this system will come next summer. Is it another SERIES time or will I opt for something else? Time will tell.
Anyone else have some TBR list cleaning tips? Suggestions for themes?