Just a short post today, because I have to get working on my NaNoWriMo project. When I am not thinking about plot and characters or worrying about how I will reach my word-count goal (in a meaningful way), I like to think about my reading plans for next year. I keep a notepad next to my computer, and throughout the week I jot down the names of books I read about online that look interesting. Yesterday I decided to put everything in a spreadsheet (what? procrastinating on NaNoWriMo? me?), and here’s what I found: I currently have 179 titles on my TBR wishlist, which consists of books I do not own. Scratch that: I have 179 fiction titles on my TBR list. I haven’t created the non-fiction spreadsheet yet!
As for my actual, physical TBR piles: I have several stacks of unread or partially-read books around the house, so I decided to count those as well. I have 82 unread books here at home–again, this is only the fiction–waiting for me to read them. That’s 261 titles, total!
I like to think of ways to tame the TBR list. The most obvious thing to do, of course, is to stop adding books, to keep the list under control. The problem is, at the end of six years, I would probably find that there were at least 261 interesting books released in the six years I was not adding books, so I would be right back where I started. The other thing I could do is apply the 50-page rule with a vengeance: if I pick up a book and it doesn’t grab me after 50 pages, I stop reading and strike it from the list. The only problem with that is I tend to be moody about my book choices, and I have ended up loving books upon the second read that I hated the first time around. Perhaps I could just move the title to the bottom of the list and give it another chance?
Another problem I have is how to choose which books from the TBR list to read. Should I print out the titles cut them up, and pull them out of a hat? Should I print a wallpaper-sized version of the list and throw darts? Blindfold myself, spin around and play “pin the tail on the TBR”? Ask an objective third party to choose?
Hm. Maybe I am procrastinating, just a little bit. But tell me, how do you tame your TBR? Or do you even try?