Home / Books / How Do You Manage Your TBR List?

How Do You Manage Your TBR List?

This is more or less how I manage my To-Be-Read list:

1. Innocently browse Amazon, GoodReads, NetGalley or the internet in general. Ok, browing NetGalley is not as innocent as the others

2. Stumble upon an exciting new book that really intrigues me

3. Add it to my ever-growing TBR on GoodReads

4.Watch the book fade into the back of my list, as newer books pile in the front

5. Feel guilty that I’m cheating on the first book with so many other newer books 🙁

If I don’t watch out, the picture to the left is what my house will start to look like!

So… maybe this post should be titled, “Help Me Figure Out How to Manage My TBR” instead. I feel so torn on how to manage the books I want to read.

NetGalley requests tend to shift to the front of my list because, well…there’s an actual deadline vs. just me trying to decide how to order things.

It’s like I have book ADD or something.

Does anyone have a system or specific method they use to manage this list? Feel free to share tips, tricks or anything else you think is helpful.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Your description is exactly what I do with my TBR list too, which one exception. I order the books I want to read next in Shelfari on my I’m Reading Now list. This helps me keep some sort of organization, but other books often get pushed in front of those on the list. But, I think it does help.

  • bdi5870

    Oh goodness that’s exactly what I do too! If I didn’t get my kindle my bedroom would have no room for me to sleep in it anymore. My mom told me I had to get rid of some of the books I have and I was dragging behind her trying to hold onto the box of books I haven’t read in years, but I’m a hoarder when it comes to books.
    My TBR list is so long, but I just keep piling it up and up and up. I swear I’m going to be the crazy cat lady with a house full of books when I graduate college.

  • I have recently discovered NetGalley and can now share your pain. usually with my books at home I just grab whatever tickles my fancy or whatever one of my book clubs might be reading. But Now that I am getting review requests I try to do them in order that I get them, but if I get something that is not released yet I try to do that first and then focus on already published books. But I just keep requesting more! Luckily they are Ebooks so I don’t have to worry about getting physically buried!

  • I have the exact same problem! I think there are four or five book waiting for me at NetGalley, and then I went and requested another one yesterday. No self-control at all! 🙂

    When you find the solution please share.

  • P E

    For me, I basically only use Goodreads. I look at a cover, title or review and say “ooh, pretty cover/interesting story/great review… I’ll read this” and then add it to my TBR. My Goodreads list has many books I’ll probably never have the time to read. I get most of my books from the library so I stack them by due date and make sure I finish them on time or I get a fine. With everything having a due date I read more and feel accomplished more.

  • Thom

    I use Evernote to keep my life in order.
    And I have a “notebook” with TODO lists in it.
    Among them is a collection of links to BOOKS TO READ !

    Love your blog, Lisa!

  • please, for the love of the book gods, do a follow up post with what people have to say! i am HORRIBLE with this!

    thank you for getting the conversation started!

  • Readingwabc

    I am sorry to say that this is very common. In my case I put the library books at the front of the pile and tend to leave my books and e-books for last. I keep track of the books I want to read using Goodreads.

  • Ems

    I’m pretty sure my house is going to start looking like that soon. Very soon. I use Goodreads mostly, and I use NetGalley & GalleyGrab. I try to get through those first as well, because of the deadlines. (I’ve missed some of them O_o because I didn’t realize they were getting archived!)

  • BJ Rae

    Anything with a deadline gets bumped near the top of the list, but otherwise, I just read what I want. I tend to have a least two books on the go at any given time (one audiobook, one ebook or “real” book) and I just pick whatever I feel like when I finish with one.
    That being said, since my blog focuses on steampunk, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance, I try to make sure I’m reading different genres at the same time, so I don’t end up reviewing only one genre in a week. Having that rotation also helps keep things from sinking too low on the TBR.

  • Jenny

    That picture is AWESOME! I have absolutely no advice for you, though. Sorry. I’m in exactly the same boat. Sometimes I click on my Read List just to prove to myself that I am very slowly making progress. Good luck!

  • This post really made me laugh! I know what you mean though, my Goodreads TBR list is just crazy and every time I receive a new review book with a deadline it pushes everything back further. My husband was starting to become concerned with the state of our bookshelves (we have one in every room of our house and they are all full) so it was a no brainer for me to get a Kindle. Of course that doesn’t help me read them any faster (well maybe a little because I always have a book with me) but it cuts down on books taking over the house!

    I try to read at least 2 of my own picks (ie. not for review) a month, then I don’t feel like I’m cheating on my TBR list!

  • Suz

    This is exactly what I do with my TBR list, as well. I swear, it’s getting seriously out of hand.

    Suz @ A Soul Unsung
    Check out my Third Sentence Thursday!
    What am I waiting on Wednesday for?
    Tweet Me!

  • Pingback: 6 Easy Tips to Manage Your TBR List | Read. Breathe. Relax. | Fantasy and YA Reviews()

  • Melissa Hayden

    Truth be told… um, I do pretty much the same thing with my TBR pile. I buy more books and fast than I can read. I never started out to do that, but I have. I just don’t know how to stop. (now that Borders has closed it might help majorly) But my tbr pile is governed by review books. I just keep buying books I want to read and adding to the stack, where once in a while I’m able to pull from to read. And I do make myself do it as I spent the money on them and I want them. They are a treat to me. But I have many review books to get through too. Which I WANT too. ;D Good luck with that TBR pile. They are very unruly and hard to tame. 😉