Sunday, January 3, 2016

Top Ten TBR » How To *Really* Crush Your TBR


All good plans need amendments!

About a month ago, I shared my Top 20 TBR plan with you all.  The idea was to slowly chip away at my To Be Read pile, whilst still keeping up-to-date with New Releases and holding on to a sense of spontaneity.  Now, having followed this plan for all of December, I've implemented some well-needed adjustments to make these guidelines more effective.

The Top 20 TBR is now The Top *Ten* TBR!

I decided my plan needed to be a touch more bite-sized.  I was slaving away reading for all of December and only read ten books! To my dismay, I found that I was 50% behind my self-imposed reading schedule.  The idea is to have one mini-TBR last for a month, so I adjusted my plan to fit my reading rhythms.  So now, my plan is called — The Top Ten TBR.

It is made up of:

  1. An Out-of-Comfort-Zone Book

  2. A Book, Borrowed or Bestowed

  3. A Book Meant For Review

  4. An Owned Book

  5. A Book, Randomly Picked

  6. A Falsely Started Book

  7. A Newly Released Book

  8. A Previously Released Book

  9. A Highly Recommended Book

  10. A Book, Sparsely Reviewed

I Can Still Read Whatever I Want

One thing I found while using the old Top 20 TBR system was that I used my cheat slots — the swap-out categories — A LOT.  I realized that I just have a thirst for reading whatever I want, when I want.  The other thing I found was that with the system, I achieved way more reading goals than I did without the mini-TBR plan! So, with the Top Ten TBR, I'll decided to read what I want, but if I read a book off the list, I give myself a tally mark.  It's not a punishment or a rebuke, just a little mark to keep note of my un-scheduled books.

Visual Planning is Good Planning

Something that really worked out was keeping a fun list of my books I was reading. This was the first chart I made:


It was so much fun to fill out, especially in planning new mini-TBRs for when I finished the current one! It really kept my pace in gear. I decided to make a new planner for the Top Ten TBR:

Top 10 TBR

You can download this planner HERE!

It's cute, right? At the bottom, the Top Ten TBR categories are listed for reference, and the boxes are for the titles to be filled in. The mushrooms are for morale.

The Reward System Is Used

This is a new implementation, and one I haven't yet achieved.  Because I'm going to read books NOT on my Top Ten TBR occasionally, I decided I needed a little boost to get all of those planned books read.  So, as a treat, I'm going to allow myself to buy a bookish treat for myself whenever I finish a Top Ten TBR completely.  I already have tons of ideas —  bookish mugs and throw pillows from online boutiques... fancy editions of books I already own in tatty paperback form.  It's going to be great.  I can't wait to get reading so I can reward myself!

This Will Crush My TBR

The Top 20 TBR plan saw some awesome reading goals met in December.  I really look forward to seeing how my Top Ten TBR plan continues and expands upon that progress!

The TBR will fall!



  1. Glad you are finding something that works for you! I know that this year I plan to focus more on my TBR pile than I ever have before and I really think I will like it. I know in 2015 I read more from my TBR and had so much fun getting back into beloved series and trying books I have been meaning to for forever. I really hope we both have a great time reading those books we have had forever and yes, reading ARCs and new ones as well. :D

  2. Yes! Cheers to an excellent upcoming reading year! *clinks champagne glass*


    1. Don't Eat.
    2. Don't Sleep.
    3. Showering is optional.

  4. But Joy, I'm surprised you can't read and eat simultaneously! This fine talent was honed by myself in my youth, although through the years I've gotten much better at avoiding getting food splotches on pages.