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Footnotes 2017-2018 > Thoughts?

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message 1: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments So I’m thinking of completely erasing my TBR and starting again in a more strategic way instead of adding everything willy nilly. It’s out of hand. Five hundred and fifty five books. In its current state it is just too big and overwhelming. What do you all think? Do you have a better strategy than just add add add?


message 2: by Joi (new)

Joi (missjoious) | 3822 comments OMG you are courageous.

You could export your TBR. Then wipe everything, then go back and add the ones you wanted with your strategic planning? That way you at least have record of what was on it before? Or you could just purge your current TBR, then add tags/shelves to things? Either way it's probably quite a bit of work for your end result.

I don't know. I wish sometimes I would have better tags for my TBR. I've seen some people with "owned" shelves, I liked Jolene's idea of having a shortlist. I try and purge my TBR every once in a while. If I can't remember why I added a book to the TBR, which reminds me- I should probably do that soon too.

Good luck, hopefully some other people will have more helpful things to say, lol.


message 3: by Tracy (new)

Tracy (tstan) | 1207 comments If I’m interested in a book, I add it to my amazon wishlist. That way I can easily pull it up on my phone when I’m at the library or a bookstore. And I cull that list at least once a week. I try to use GR for what I have read or am reading, since I know my TBR would be unwieldy too!


message 4: by KateNZ (new)

KateNZ | 2503 comments Ouch - that’s a long list!

Exporting before deletion sounds best. I don’t think I could bear to lose it altogether.

My GR TBR is my go-to list for the library etc so I don’t mind it being long or varied. And having the visual cue on a GR list is useful sometimes. But I don’t tag things properly when I add them - I just tap the ‘want to read’ button. So I often can’t remember why I added it, and it makes it harder to find what I want later. I think I need to re-sort my shelves (after switching off notifications so I don’t spam my friends’ home page feed lol). A New Year’s resolution in the making ...


message 5: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7782 comments I purge my TBR every couple of months to keep it around 100-150. You can also do the mass edit option on your shelf and click all of the ones you want to remove at once, leaving the ones you want to keep.

Maybe less time consuming that way.


message 6: by Idit (new)

Idit | 1028 comments I wouldn’t delete.
Maybe create few other lists that are in the same hierarchy (so a book can be in only one of those lists - such as read, currently reading and to read)
And then. Start adding these types of category TBR
Like TBR challenges; TBR awards; TBR hot recs; TBR horror; whatever. Then you can slowly move them where Thiet should belong.
... or just chuck the whole thing :)


message 7: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7782 comments You inspired me and I just deleted 17 books.


message 8: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments I’m feeling ruthless!


message 9: by Nicole D. (new)

Nicole D. | 1490 comments that pains me


message 10: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments And yet here I am, still adding books! Maybe a cull is all I need.


message 11: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8854 comments My TBR is at 435, and I have been trying hard to bring it down. I cull every few months and here's what I do. If the ratings are less that 3.5 or 3.6, I try to remember why it is still there. Like Go Set A Watchman stays on because I do want to read it. Some are there so I have them if the right tag comes along. Some are old Tudor holdovers, or were leftover from a challenge possibility, and again, I might read if the tag matched. There's a whole pile of witches waiting for Octobers to come. But what helps me the most these days is that on my phone I have a short list - where I have what I really most want to read upcoming. Also, I keep the list of 2018 interested books, 2017 and before, and I just started 2019 (The Huntress, The Lost Girls of Paris). So I am able at a moments notice to figure out what to order at the library, what to recommend for my book group, what to by at the bookstore, and how to re-order my list based on new challenges or tags. Organizing the favorite top list on my phone has helped immeasurably, because the TBR is all over the map. Hopefully something in there helps.


message 12: by Ardhi (last edited Dec 01, 2018 06:08AM) (new)

Ardhi Listyar (listyar) | 1 comments My way of updating my TBR is not listing more than 10 books. This ensures that I could still remember why I decided to put them on my TBR and thus, keeps me focused. Besides, there's only so much we can manage at one given time, right? So there's no need to overdo it.


message 13: by AJ (new)

AJ Timberlake (ajtimberlake) | 825 comments You inspired me and I deleted everything off my TBR to start afresh


message 14: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7782 comments Whoa! AJ just jumped right in to the deep end! Lol


message 15: by Charlie (new)

Charlie  Ravioli (charlie_ravioli) | 493 comments Let it ride. That's my opinion. I have 2,368 books on my TBR list. I can hear PBT member's skin crawl as I type this. I'll never read them all but that's ok and I'm fine with it. Here's the thing, obviously part of my love for reading is actually reading, but also I love reading about all the books that are out there and that other readers love while I search for the next perfect book. Like many (I hope, I think), I use my TBR list not as a self-inflicted sentence but rather as a library from which to choose what I or others have seen, read, commented on as my next best choice when I am ready to read my next book. I don't look at my TBR list like an undone To Do List that nags at me with guilt but rather as a universe of almost endless (2,368 and growing) possibilities. Every year, I do try to pick from my TBR the top 50 I want to read for my annual challenge, and sometimes I keep to it, and sometimes I don't. One man's opinion.


message 16: by AJ (new)

AJ Timberlake (ajtimberlake) | 825 comments Nicole R wrote: "Whoa! AJ just jumped right in to the deep end! Lol"

I'm an all or nothing kind of gal


message 17: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7871 comments Charlie wrote: "Let it ride. That's my opinion. I have 2,368 books on my TBR list. I can hear PBT member's skin crawl as I type this. I'll never read them all but that's ok and I'm fine with it. Here's the thing, ..."


I am with you Charlie, I have 671-for the last few months I have been trying to clean it up, but I delete 10 and add 15 more-since joining PBT I have added more than the normal GR shelves, and that has helped me when I need to find a specific genre for a challenge. I love your thoughts on it being your own personal library-


message 18: by Jgrace (new)

Jgrace | 2943 comments Charlie wrote: "Let it ride. That's my opinion. I have 2,368 books on my TBR list. I can hear PBT member's skin crawl as I type this. I'll never read them all but that's ok and I'm fine with it. Here's the thing, ..."

I agree. My GR list is 1185. I don't regard it as a to do list. I do try to tag the books when I add them so I can search the list for monthly tags and challenges. Sometimes I'll delete a book when I see that the reviews aren't favorable, but I don't make a task of it. Virtual books don't fill up shelves or require dusting. I can add as many as I want.
Now if you want to talk about my physical bookshelves.....


message 19: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8854 comments Shocked me too AJ! A girl with Gumption!


message 20: by Amy N. (new)

Amy N. | 256 comments I have different tags for different genres. So even though the whole thing is around 150 (seems small compared with some folks here) the biggest tag only has around 45. Much less overwhelming. :) And that way, when I'm in a sci fi mood, I have that library to choose from, and when my mood switches to children's, I've got some choices there.

I also tend to delete when something is a year old unless I have a good reason not to. If I didn't bother to pick it up in that amount of time I'm probably not ever going to.

But I think no matter how you approach it, the other comments about not regarding the TBR as a To Do list are spot on. Reading shouldn't be drudgery!


message 21: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7782 comments I actually was more apt to keep a longer TBR shelf on Shelfari because of better multiple tag search function. I just tagged all the books on my TBR with my initials and I could easily pull up any book on my TBR that also fit the monthly tag!

But, without that here on GR, I tend to keep my TBR shelf pretty slim.

*RIP Shelfari


message 22: by Barbara M (last edited Dec 01, 2018 08:42AM) (new)

Barbara M (barbara-m) | 2275 comments Charlie wrote: "Let it ride. That's my opinion. I have 2,368 books on my TBR list. I can hear PBT member's skin crawl as I type this. I'll never read them all but that's ok and I'm fine with it. Here's the thing, ..."

Thank goodness! A member with a bigger TBR than mine! I have 1482 right now and it grows whenever someone raves about a book. Like Nicole, I used to tag with my initials because it was so easy to see if I had something on my TBR that fit a tag. (I still miss Shelfari)

I have culled my list, but long ago and it needs some redoing. I made the mistake of adding all books in a series if I liked the series. Now I just add the next one and if the series is still good when I read that, I'll add the next one. So, I have some oldies I need to remove.

I couldn't bear not to put a recommended book on my TBR because, when a new tag comes up, I can see what I have in my radar. Like Charlie, I think of it as a library of choices for whenever! I wasn't a librarian for over 30 years for nothing!


message 23: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6196 comments I have 989 on my TBR, but it is also my books owned list, so I wouldn't get rid of it. It is not quite accurate because I cleaned out a box of books which I decided I never was going to read and I didn't delete them from the list.

I need to clean out several more boxes.


message 24: by annapi (new)

annapi | 5068 comments I have only recently started marking books as Want to Read on GR as I never kept an official TBR before. So I have a very manageable 135. I'm sure some have dropped off because I have forgotten them, except for those on my physical shelves that never made their way onto the GR list. But I don't see it as a target, more like a reminder that this book sounded interesting to me at one time.


message 25: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7782 comments annapi wrote: " But I don't see it as a target, more like a reminder that this book sounded interesting to me at one time. ."

Same with me. And, the books that tend to linger on my TBR are nonfiction/history/popular science books because I really would like to get to them one day, but I read so few of them a year.


message 26: by AJ (new)

AJ Timberlake (ajtimberlake) | 825 comments My problem with my TBR was that it wasn't actually books that I wanted to read anymore. Mostly I know the books that I actually want to read that I really will get to and so it would be better to add those to my Want To Read rather than never actually decreasing my Want To Read because I'm reading stuff that is on my mental TBR instead of my Goodreads one


message 27: by LibraryCin (last edited Dec 01, 2018 11:06AM) (new)

LibraryCin | 8626 comments Charlie wrote: "Let it ride. That's my opinion. I have 2,368 books on my TBR list. ..."

Wow! I have just over 600, but I don't cull. I figured I added it for a reason at the time (even if I can't recall that reason), so I would usually like to try it at some point to see what I'll think (even if I wouldn't have added it again at the time it comes up to read).

I use my TBR list not as a self-inflicted sentence but rather as a library from which to choose

And yes, It's a nice broad list (even at 600) to choose for most of my various monthly challenges, so it's rare that I don't have something that will fit.

Every year, I do try to pick from my TBR the top 50 I want to read for my annual challenge,

And I aim for 15(ish) of my oldest. I don't always do all of them, but I list them out for myself to bring them to a forefront. Sometimes, even if they'll fit a challenge, because I use tags to search, they don't all have that many tags to bring them up.


message 28: by LibraryCin (last edited Dec 01, 2018 11:08AM) (new)

LibraryCin | 8626 comments Barbara wrote: "Like Nicole, I used to tag with my initials because it was so easy to see if I had something on my TBR that fit a tag. (I still miss Shelfari) ..."

I still do this (and can make use of the multiple tag search function) at LibraryThing.

Now I just add the next one and if the series is still good when I read that, I'll add the next one.

Yes, this is what I do with series, as well.


message 29: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments I agree that the TBR is a library from which to choose. I suppose I feel a bit like AJ in that some were added so long ago and I don’t know if I really want to read them any longer. I thought my TBR was huge, but now that some of you have chimed in which much more sizeable lists I’m feeling a bit better about it! Amy, I like the idea of ditching those with a low star rating, although I think one of my favourite books, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, has a fairly low rating. I might miss something fabulous! AJ, you go girl!!!


message 30: by Karin (new)

Karin | 7200 comments Susie wrote: "So I’m thinking of completely erasing my TBR and starting again in a more strategic way instead of adding everything willy nilly. It’s out of hand. Five hundred and fifty five books. In its current..."

The easiest way is to simply erase it all, but what happens if you erase something you really wanted to read?


message 31: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments I know Karin! I’m scared!


message 32: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8854 comments So don’t be so restrictive, and keep a few with a low rating. And fact, it’s interesting when you call to see how your deciding what you keep and why. I have had a thought when doing this, that this one is probably going to go out on the next cut, but I’m keeping it for now.


message 33: by Anita (last edited Dec 01, 2018 02:54PM) (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6543 comments Susie wrote: "So I’m thinking of completely erasing my TBR and starting again in a more strategic way instead of adding everything willy nilly. It’s out of hand. Five hundred and fifty five books. In its current..."

I felt the exact same way, so I made the following tweak. I am limiting my Want to Read shelf to 100 books that I'm very serious about and fully intend to read. Then I created another "exclusive" shelf called "interested". That's where I am putting titles that catch my fancy, or I see in the media, or that win awards, that perhaps might percolate to the point that I feel I will seriously read them. Or not. But at least they have a home. It's also a list I can mine for challenges or f2f book club reads, etc.

A TBR of 500 isn't the most useful thing - - that's 10 years of reading for me. And I had one almost the exact same size as yours. Even a 100 is a tad ridiculous. I may try to get to 50 and move another 50 off to interested. That seems more realistic.


message 34: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6543 comments Ardhi wrote: "My way of updating my TBR is not listing more than 10 books. This ensures that I could still remember why I decided to put them on my TBR and thus, keeps me focused. Besides, there's only so much w..."

I have a "read next month" list (just a regular tag, not exclusive) to help me focus on upcoming reads. So a similar idea, but I don't use the same tag as you are doing. It is helpful to have a very short term listing to work against.


message 35: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6543 comments By the way, Susie - - I did do quite a bit of culling as I reorganized. Some books that were on there just didn't appeal to me any more or their ratings were terrible. So now I have just under 100 on my Want to Read and another 100 on my Interested. But I'm not going to limit my Interested list . . .that's a holding spot and nothing more.


message 36: by KateNZ (new)

KateNZ | 2503 comments I like that idea, Anita - a separate shelf for the month’s reading. An easy way to keep focused. I’ll give it a go


message 37: by AsimovsZeroth (new)

AsimovsZeroth (asimovszerothlaw) | 436 comments Barbara wrote: "Charlie wrote: "Let it ride. That's my opinion. I have 2,368 books on my TBR list. I can hear PBT member's skin crawl as I type this. I'll never read them all but that's ok and I'm fine with it. He..."

Ahaha! We're within ten books of each other.

My TBR shelf is currently at 1,472 and I expect it to continue growing. I'll occasionally purge a book here and there, but that is extremely rare. I'm actually making it a New Years resolution to spend a weekend going through and shelving them better, as I neglected to do so at the start.

I'm right with Charlie though. I use it as a library. I don't expect to ever finish my TBR list, because I'm always adding to it. I know I'll never get to read all the books I want to, but I can at least have lists to remind me of what I want to read. Since I joined goodreads, I've read many books I would have forgotten about completely without my catalog of books.

I do have an owned shelf, but it's no longer accurate. I've given some away and acquired more without updating it. Mainly because the GR app was making my old phone overheat and I got lazy, so updating that is also part of my resolution.

I really like the idea of having a priority shelf though. I hadn't really thought of that until reading this thread. I think I'll have to start that.


message 38: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments Anita, I think you’ve started a trend. A read next month shelf sounds like an excellent idea, and I like the idea of want to reads being definite, and separate from I maybe sort of want to read depending on other reviews and opinions. Thanks every for your thoughts! Valuable as always.


message 39: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6543 comments Good luck with whatever you decide! It is a bit of a job regardless, but it is working a lot better for me, lol.


message 40: by Sushicat (new)

Sushicat | 804 comments Jgrace wrote: "Charlie wrote: "Let it ride. That's my opinion. I have 2,368 books on my TBR list. I can hear PBT member's skin crawl as I type this. I'll never read them all but that's ok and I'm fine with it. He..."

Same here. The books tagged "want to read" are ones I've actually added to my (e-)shelves (1268). I love the possibilities. When I run out of space, I consider what I could donate, because I'll probably never get around to them. I try not to add too many to that list, it's currently reasonably stable.

When I come across something interesting and manage to refrain from buying, it gets added to the wishlist (919). I have no restraints on adding to that one. I consider these as reminders that at some point I found them interesting. Sometimes I come across one I've lost interest in and remove it from the shelf.

When I look for a book to read for a challenge, it is very helpful to see if there is anything out there I would like to read or not. I try to give precedence to my TBR, but I'm so easily tempted...


message 41: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8854 comments See that is the plus about having a huge TBR on Giodreads. I click on the month tag and all the books that are on my TBR that are on the list, come up and match. That’s why I know when advance how to vote. There’s always at least one match for every list if not plenty.


message 42: by Sushicat (new)

Sushicat | 804 comments And I have a "next up" section in my physical library. Books I really, really want to read soon. It's a small shelf, so books get added and removed at a fairly regular pace. And of course there are the piles of books on the stairs I put there at the beginning of the month, because they fit one challenge or another.


message 43: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 6543 comments So, Amy, you tag your books as you add each on to your TBR? How do you decide which tags to add?


message 44: by AsimovsZeroth (new)

AsimovsZeroth (asimovszerothlaw) | 436 comments Anita wrote: "So, Amy, you tag your books as you add each on to your TBR? How do you decide which tags to add?"

Not Amy (obviously) but I started doing this too a year or two after joining Goodreads. I tag as I add based on very general shelves for the most part. I usually know at least a little bit about the book - like that it belongs on my "non-fiction", "sci-fi" and "dystopian" shelves.

I'll also use the most popular shelves other people have tagged the book as, as a general guideline. After I've read the book, I'll often add more specific tags, or remove tags that the community used, that I don't necessarily agree with.


message 45: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6004 comments Charlie wrote: "Let it ride. That's my opinion. I have 2,368 books on my TBR list. I can hear PBT member's skin crawl as I type this. I'll never read them all but that's ok and I'm fine with it. Here's the thing, ..."

Yes ... ditto what Charlie says!


message 46: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8854 comments I don’t have any tags on my Goodreads TBR. You know me, I’m so low-tech I can barely vote. I would never be able to figure that out.

But I do have like a running list of 50 books on my phone. It kind of starts with the ones I’m planning to read this month and then a numbered list of books I’m really interested in. As tags and challenges come some of those jump up higher on the list. But it helps me figure out what to Read next. I also have a list of November titles, and December titles for fall flurries. I still have a list of remarkable women in his truck affection that I haven’t gotten too. I have a small list of books that I feel like would be a special our way to honor Jolene. And all of this is on the same thread in my notes. Also on that same thread, I have a list of books that I put out a to read list before 2018, another for books I became is interested in in 2018, and just started one for 2019. Where I actually categorize these is on my 2018 book list on my computer, where I list such geeky things such as non-fiction, owned, year lists, and challenge info. So when it comes time to vote for a tag, it’s easy for me to go to the three choices and also pick a few out for each one, which goes on the same thread in my notes, so when the challenge is packed I can remember or know which are the few that fit. Like many others, it’s kind of fun to plan what my next few months is going to be loosely, and more directly the upcoming month. That’s why I knew in advance about these buddy reads have been able to organize.


message 47: by Diane (new)

Diane Zwang | 485 comments You all have inspired me to clean out my TBR list. I am down to 97 and I am good with that number. It never occurred to me to periodically purge my list. Great idea!


message 48: by Meli (new)

Meli (melihooker) | 3394 comments I have my "want to read" list which is just anything that strikes my fancy, but I also have an exclusive "what to buy next" and "tbr" list.
"What to buy" is really really want to read and "tbr" are books I actually own so I want to knock those out first, technically.

I am constantly messing with my lists and it is maddening, but I like to purge the "what to read" (these I don't own and aren't up high enough to "buy next") once in a blue moon and often find books I am no longer interested in, so it's good to spring clean every now and then.


message 49: by Linda C (new)

Linda C (libladynylindac) | 1116 comments Booknblues wrote: "I have 989 on my TBR, but it is also my books owned list, so I wouldn't get rid of it. It is not quite accurate because I cleaned out a box of books which I decided I never was going to read and I ..."

I have over 3000 on my TBR list and it is my "own" list. I indicate what the format of each book is by selecting that edition to add. This way I can use the list to find matches for tags, sort out ebooks when I need to decide what to take/read on vacation, sort by page or pub date for challenges and other things. I have an "up next" shelf where I list the reads I have to read for challenges or F2F book groups or have a deadline.
If I purge a box or group of books I try to delete from here also. I think it is pretty up to date and very useful.


message 50: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 6196 comments Linda C wrote: "Booknblues wrote: "I have 989 on my TBR, but it is also my books owned list, so I wouldn't get rid of it. It is not quite accurate because I cleaned out a box of books which I decided I never was g..."

I tried having a "to read soon" list and I haven't managed to stick with it. It worked about the same way that my coffee table worked for my DTB, now I have a coffee table full of books and no where to put them.

Linda, you make me happy knowing that somebody's TBR can far exceed mine. I used to get nervous when I didn't havea few books on hand to read when I finished the one I was reading. It has been a number of years since that happened.


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