Last week I asked everyone how they managed their TBR lists in this post. While all of us love books and reading, not many of us had any firm ideas on how to manage our to-be-read lists.
The most common response to the post last week was: “Please let me know if you hear of any good ideas! My TBR is crazy too!” With so many people wondering how to manage the growing beast that is the TBR, I couldn’t just let this post go.
I did a bit of research and came up with some ideas to help us out! Here’s what I’ve got:
- Use book sites to keep track of your to-read list. If you’re not using Goodreads, LibraryThing or Shelfari as a way to keep track of the books you want to read, I highly recommend them! On Goodreads, when you view a book, there’s an “add to my books” button underneath the book image. Hover over the button and select the “to-read” label to add this book to your to-read list!
- Export your TBR list from Goodreads to an Excel doc. If you already have a massive list of books to read listed on Goodreads, you can export the file to your computer as an Excel spreadsheet. Once you’re logged into Goodreads, go to the the “My Books” tab. On the left sidebar, click the “to-read” link.
Now, click the “import/export” link further down on the left sidebar under the heading “Tools.” Next, on the right sidebar, under “Export your books,” click “Export to a CSV file.” This may take some time if you have a ginormous list, but a doc will appear in your downloads folder with your TBR list! Voila!
- Sort books by review deadline or publication date. Whether they’re physical books or e-copies, keep a list of books you want to read and sort them by the date that they’ll be published. They can be listed in different columns in a Word doc or Excel spreadsheet, but sort the books with the closest publication date at the top of the list. Most NetGalley publishers request that ARC reviews be posted within a month of the book’s publication, so I make sure to list these books at the top of my list so that I don’t miss the deadlines.
- Schedule reviews weeks (or even months) in advance. Write down publications dates and book titles in your Google calendar, on a physical calendar, in a spreadsheet or by any other method you prefer. I’ve already written down the books I want to review for the next two weeks on the calendar hanging in my kitchen. This way I can visually keep track of the books coming down the pike and plan for new ones that pop up. Plus, it gives me the satisfaction of physically checking off reviews, which gives me endless joy.
- Review an older book on your TBR once a month. Find a book that’s been sitting in your TBR for ages and incorporate it into your scheduled reviews, which are now listed on your calendar or spreadsheet. This way you’ve committed to reading the book! If you add in an oldie once every couple weeks, then the most ancient of books on your TBR will be dusted off, read and reviewed in no time!
- Re-evaluate your list. Go back through your TBR and really evaluate the books you’ve added. Has the book been sitting there for months because you haven’t found the time or because you’ve lost interest? If you think you’ll continue to feel uninterested in reviewing the book in the next 6 months, either remove the book from your TBR altogether or put in on a back shelf (figuratively or literally 🙂 ). Even though it sucks to admit it- there’s only so much time in a day to read.
I hope some of these tips have been helpful! For me, I know I need to get organized. It’s a simple step that can feel overwhelming. I’ve already begun the process, though, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought once I set aside a few minutes and really dug in.
As always, any suggestions, ideas and comments are welcome! 😀