Various & Sundry

Taking Control of the To-Be-Read Pile/List

pile-of-bookSo! After reading books completely at random for the beginning of the year, and consequently feeling a little unorganized because of it, I have assigned myself reading for the remainder of the year. Is that crazy?

Thing is, I was adding SO MANY THINGS to my TBR list on Goodreads (up to 150) and not really taking anything off the list despite how many books I’ve read already this year. I figured I need to take control of my TBR list. (Thankfully, it’s not a pile since I don’t allow myself to buy books the way I used to.)

How do you handle your TBR pile/list? Do you read certain things at certain times or do you just pick up what suits you in the moment?

I’ve listed how I am handling mine below. Hopefully, it will work!

Here’s what I did:

  1. I created two new lists on Goodreads. An “Absolutely Want to Read” and a “Kind of Want to Read” and added books accordingly. This allowed me to prioritize what books I want to read first.
  2. I made a spreadsheet for the remainder of the year and divided up my list among the remaining months.
  3. I gave myself three books a month from my Absolutely Want to Read list and left two or more spaces open for something random that I may stumble upon or an interesting ARC that may come along. That way, I have a little wiggle room and don’t feel like I’m depriving myself of cool things.

So, here’s how the rest of the year looks (behind the cut). I still staunchly stand behind the fact that if I’m not enjoying a book or can’t get into it enough that I will put it down and move on to something else, so this is just a tentative list. I’m allowing myself to read in any order for the month as long as I at least try to read what’s on the list in hopes I will actually be marking things off my list.

EDIT 6/9/14: So, I’ve already gone off the rails from the list thanks to not being able to read Shutter Island without my brain attempting to sync up movie events to book events. :(

JUNE (Mental Health Awareness Month)

  • Letting Ana GoAnonymous
  • Shutter Island – Dennis Lahane
  • A Beautiful Mind – Sylvia Nasar
  • Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness – Susannah Cahalan


  • The Gospel of WinterBrendan Kiely
  • And Then Run – Eric Hublot
  • All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr
  • [Random Selection / ARC]
  • [Random Selection / ARC]


  • Be Safe, I Love You – Cara Hoffman
  • The Hurricane Sisters – Dorothea Benton Frank
  • I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You – Courtney Maum
  • [Random Selection / ARC]
  • [Random Selection / ARC]


  • The Help – Kathryn Stockett
  • House Girl – Tara Conklin
  • I Shall be Near to You – Erin Lindsay McCabe
  • [Random Selection / ARC]
  • [Random Selection / ARC]


  • The Light Between Oceans – M.L. Stedman
  • A Paris Apartment – Michelle Gable
  • Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore Robin Sloan
  • [Random Selection / ARC]
  • [Random Selection / ARC]


  • Orphan Train – Christina Baker Kline
  • Possession – A.S. Byatt
  • The Art of Hearing Heartbeats – Jan-Phillip Sendker
  • [Random Selection / ARC]
  • [Random Selection / ARC]


  • The Murder Complex – Lindsay Cummings
  • The Secret Side of Empty – Maria E. Andreu
  • Stir-Fry – Emma Donoghue
  • [Random Selection / ARC]
  • [Random Selection / ARC]




6 thoughts on “Taking Control of the To-Be-Read Pile/List

  1. I struggled with this earlier this year-my TBR list was out of control and I was feeling overwhelmed and burned out. I ended up removing over 100 titles on my TBR list, and it felt great! Fast forward a couple of months, and I’ve added more than that back onto my TBR list, lol. Ah well :)

    When I switched over from blogger to WP I added the fantastic editorial calendar plugin and it not only helps me organize my blog posts, but it also helps me organize my TBR list. I have my ‘to read’/’to review’ books mapped out to the end of August right now :)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a good idea. My problem is that I’m a little rebel. If I made a list like this I would somehow manage to read everything BUT those books. But the idea of those shelves on GoodReads is still good though, because my TBR shelf on GoodReads is so big right now that it’s kind of useless.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I do have a spreadsheet and try really hard to only add things that I really want to read, but it still gets out of control. One of the major problems is getting ARCs of new publications that I feel obliged to read in time for the publication date, but I’m trying to stop taking so many. It’s hard when so many are so tempting though…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve started viewing the “to-read” list on GoodReads as more of a “maybe will read one” kind of a list. It’s there to remind me that I once felt like I might maybe perhaps want to read a book one day. I have a separate “exclusive” shelf for books in my TBR pile – I have to already own them or have them in some format before they become a TBR item. That helps me not feel as overwhelmed and stay organized about reading what I already have.

    I like your reading schedule! It’s good to leave yourself some freebie slots (in case of mood reading!) as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I like your idea! In fact, I think I will try to implement that instead of what I have. The list has not been working out so far. :( It feels too much like a homework assignment and it’s left me not feeling excited about any of the books! That defeats the purpose for me so… on to something different!



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