Monday, December 7, 2015

Top 20 TBR » How to Crush Your TBR Once and For All

December January Top 20 TBRMy TBR has a problem, people.  I keep feeding it and it has become a fat, bloated beast. Right now, my TBR — books To Be Read — stands at a horrifying 880 tomes.  That means, if I'm on point and read nothing but my current TBR, I'll finish it in about 9 years.  I'll be... well, never mind how old I'll be.

Here's the thing.  I like order in chaos, but my TBR has just become too chaotic.  It's time to impose some order, however loosely. That's why I'm implementing a new system, called my "Top 20 TBR."

It's like how it sounds.  Apart from my regular TBR, I will have a Top 20 that is made up of books I'm ABOUT TO READ.  I cannot forge a new Top 20 TBR until the current one is FINISHED. But I don't want to make reading a chore, which is why I'm going to balance planning with spontaneity and fun.

Here's my planned breakdown:

Top 20 TBR

  • 1 "Classic"

This is whatever I deem a classic to be — basically books I feel I should read, rather than books I'm hopping up and down to dive into.  It could be a book like The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, or it could be something like Villette by Charlotte Brontë. Flexibility is key. Note that the "Classic" is just one book out of twenty! I'm not going to go crazy here.

  • 1 Book Borrowed or Bestowed

It's sad how many books I have that were lent or given to me that I haven't read.  This is especially bad because someone went out of their way to give you something — it's important to honor their gift! Examples of mine include Works of Isaac Asimov by Isaac Asimov and The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes. (Shout out to Ben M. and Anna D. — thank you!)

  • 1 False Start

This is a category for those books that I've started reading, but put down and forgotten about.  The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin is a perfect example.

  • 1 Re-Read

This doesn't mean I'm going to re-read the whole book, per se, although I certainly might.  I just think it's important to revisit books, especially if you already own them.  This is also helpful for me if I haven't written a review of that book yet. Examples: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

  • 2 Owned Books

It's appalling how many books I own, but haven't read.  I know I'm not alone in this, too.  You're at a Goodwill or Barnes & Noble and see a book you've had on your TBR for a while.  Of course you buy it!  But then... it sits on the shelf. Personal examples include Atonement by Ian McEwan, The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula LeGuin, and All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

  • 2 Random TBR Picks

There are some books on your TBR that always sift themselves to the bottom.  For me, these are usually out-of-print books or books that I forgotten about.  I will never make progress with my TBR unless I read from the bottom of the pile, because God knows new ones keep getting added on top. Examples: Cinnamon and Gunpowder by Eli Brown and Perfume: Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind.

  • 4 Books Out of My Comfort Zone

I am known online and by family and friends for being a recommender of books.  I consider it a job, really — an important one.  And I will never be a truly great recommender if I only ever read one genre.  Which is why I'm going to read more male-oriented books, more adult fiction, and more middle grade.  I absolutely hate it when I need to make a recommendation in that area and I can only pick between one to three books.  It's embarrassing.

  • 8 New Releases

This is what I normally read.  I love to know what's new and breaking in the YA world.  It's my niche. I want to stay up-to-date while crushing my TBR.  These will be books like those listed in my December 2015 YA New Releases.  These eight books will not be set.  They'll be open slots, so that I can read whatever I choose, when I feel like it, to some extent.

The TBR Will Be Defeated

I've made a plan, folks. And by God, my TBR will fall.

Check out my Goodreads page to see my current Top 20 TBR at any given time.


  1. I wish you the best of luck! I've long since given up on my Mt. TBR pile.

  2. Good luck! Several of your TBR books overlap with mine (which is not at all surprising, lol).
    Crush that TBR, girl!

  3. Just read your 'Guilt' post. Makes me wonder, am I feeling guilt over my TBR pile?? Hmmm.

  4. Giiiiirl! I'm happy to hear from you. :D

    I stalked you on Goodreads the other day and saw that you liked "How to Live a Life of Crime." It's one of the MANY books I'm reading now. :D

  5. Glad to hear it :P.
    Oh, oh! Let me know when you start reading The Name of the Wind and/or The Outsiders and/or All The Light We Cannot See. Maybe I can buddy read them with you. I need incentives to get out of my months-long reading slump.
    So keep your currently-reading shelf updated! (TO THE MINUTE) :)

  6. Girl, YES. I am SO down for a buddy read. I will tweet at you (like a yappy little bird) as well, when I start reading them. I just got out of a reading slump, too. I'm doing my first OFFICIAL Beta Read for OFFICIAL author Celine Jeanjean, and I had some issues with starting her manuscript, not because of anything to do with it, but because I was nervous! I JUST now finished it and I feel so good for breaking the slump. Aaaahhh!

  7. I think I have every single one of these categories in my own pile as well, how sad of me! I have well into the 2000's. *sigh* I will never read them all but I have made a valiant effort this past year to read more of them and I plan on doing that next year too. Less ARCs, less buying (still working on this one) and more reading of ones I already own!

  8. My mouth just dropped. 2000's..... oh my god. But NO! YOU CAN DO THIS! If not all of the 2000, then a big chunk! We'll get through this together!