We all have them, those books that we are planning to be read…sometime. If you’re like me that list is never ending and always growing.
As a reader, my To-Be-Read list contains books from favorite authors and new-to-me authors that come highly recommended (usually with multiple books in a series).
As an author, my list contains many books on craft, marketing, and the business of writing. I also have the privilege of reading some of my author friends’ work-in-progress stories, but those usually happen right away and don’t sit on my list.
As a Mom/Christian/Homeschooler/Wife/Homemaker/Person, my list is filled with non-fiction books on parenting, education, ministry, home management and more.
So how do I handle all the books?
For a long time, I’ve had a very bad system…if you can call it that at all. It went something this:
- See a recommendation for a book that sounds interesting.
- Check to see if my library has it. If so, request it immediately. If not look for the ebook or decide if I should purchase a paperback copy.
- Get the book from the library, let it sit on my table for two weeks until it’s due back while I read a different book, then take it back. Or buy it and put it on my shelf to read later.
- Forget all about it.
Ugh. That definitely wasn’t working. I knew I would request or order the book right away because I knew I would never remember the book later in life, and I was just sure I needed to read it because it would change my life.
Too bad all these life-changing books were just passing through my life without being read anyway.
My next idea was to keep a written list of books that I wanted to read. As the queen of notebooks this seemed like a great idea! Except that I almost never had my notebook with me when I heard of a new book, and also because I have so many notebooks, I had trouble remembering which one had the list.
I decided I would start a note on my iPhone and keep the list there. And honestly, that was fine. I almost always have my phone with me and can jot down the title of a book. Then if I’m at the library or looking for the next book to read I always have the list available.
Finally one day I decided it was time to investigate Goodreads. I knew what it was, but had never used it much. Let me just say, I love it! (And they’re not paying me to say that!)
Now I have my “To-Be-Read List” organized and easily within reach on my Goodreads App! I love that I can create different shelves for my “reading personality” (author/reader/mom/homeschooler). Then I can decide which book I want to read in a certain category. I typically read a fiction book and a non-fiction book or two at the same time, but the app helps me to remember that I’m already reading a book in that category.
Here’s the thing, I’m a really great starter. I love to start things: projects, books, plans, ideas. But I’m not always great at finishing. I hate to admit it, but I’ve started a lot of books in my life that I haven’t finished. However, I LOVE checking off a box. Sometimes knowing that when I finish a book I get to mark it as “Read” on my app is the motivation I need to stick with one book instead of moving to another one. (I’m mostly talking about non-fiction books. If I start a story I have to know how it ends!)
Goodreads has a lot of other functions that I’m not making great use of YET. There are goals you can set and challenges you can do, but I haven’t dived into that. I basically use it as my Digital To-Be-Read list.
I’m constantly adding to it, but it helps me keep track!
Here are some of my current To-Be-Read books:
What’s on your list??
How do you organize your TBR Pile??
You can click here to see a list of my books on Goodreads and add them to your own To-Be-Read Pile or list!
Milla Holt says
I can relate. I’m much better at starting than finishing things, too!
Thanks for the tip about using Goodreads to organise my TBR pile. I noticed that Bookbub has now started prompting me to keep track of which books I own and which ones I’ve actually read. It’s a stark reminder of how many books I’m sitting on but haven’t yet got around to reading!
Hi Hannah. I can also relate about starting projects and never finishing – especially when life intervenes. I use Goodreads to record by yearly reading. I set a yearly reading challenge and like to be ahead in my reading. May need to look into some of the other options Goodreads offers. Thanks. Enjoy your weekend.
Alicia Haney says
I keep a list of books that I have read , when I started them and when i finished reading them. I also record that I have reviewed them. I have quite a few books on my TBR list of which I am looking forward to reading. Have a Great weekend and stay safe.
Natalya Lakhno says
How do you organize your TBR Pile?? Is there a way to organize it??? I have no idea how LOL
When I look at it – I feel like I need 72 hours in a day….no….more like 172…sigh
Cindy Davis says
You can add shelves :) And then organize them according to however you want. You can add shelves either on your phone or computer. Here is my list if you want an idea: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/54384321-cindy-davis–cindy-s-book-corner
Cindy Davis says
I LOVE Goodreads! I have started the process of adding the books on my Kindle under the section of “Kindle TBR.” I will check out your Goodreads shelves (but can’t add any to mine because I am doing a no-add July) and I will post my link if you want to see how I organize (this is one of my love languages, I LOVE organizing). I also love checking off boxes, as you do :) Thanks for sharing.
Cindy Davis says
Here is the link that I didn’t post in the other comment: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/54384321-cindy-davis–cindy-s-book-corner
My TRB piles/lists are ok lets say I have books unread but no real list.
I use Goodreads to keep up with what I have read and try to put up a review. I have lots of to be read there which I have no idea how they were added. (I think when I use to try to win a book it put it on the tbr list).
Mary Preston says
I just read whatever I feel like at the time.
Debra J Pruss says
I really do not have a process. I have a stack of books close to me that I want to read next. I have stacks on shelves as well as stacks on a counter. New books keep coming out that are added to the pile. God bless you all.
Debra J Pruss says
God bless you. I really do not have a process. I have a stack of books close to me that I want to read next. I have stacks on shelves as well as stacks on a counter. New books keep coming out that are added to the pile. God bless you all.
First of all let me say….I will NEVER get through my TBR pile, lol! Because I keep ADDING to it :-) Now that’s not to say I don’t read any of the books I have on there, because I do….it’s like shiny objects to a cat, I see a brand new upcoming book and I gravitate to it. Ever have that happen? Yep, me too!
As far as organizing my TBR….I have several lists on various electronic & non-electronic devices. First, like you, I see if my library has either the ebook or physical book to borrow. If not, I request it. Then I go to Amazon to see if it’s available (or will be available) through Kindle Unlimited. Or if it’s on a super good sale, I’d buy it or pre-order. Goodreads is my main way of organizing my books, I do a yearly challenge where I say I want to read 100 books in a year. I normally exceed that, but since I know I can easily achieve that goal that’s the magic number for me. Also, I utilize Amazon lists, which I just recently discovered. I have a “Reading list” for all the books I want to read and a “Wish list” for books I want to own (someday). Then on my phone I have several lists; one for my TBR pile for the books I am reading immediatly, one for those I want to borrow, one for the ones to request my library purchase, and one for review books. Books for review always get read right away & don’t languish on my list :-)
Like you, I LOVE lists! They help me keep organized and on track for anything, and not just reading :-)
My tbr pile is based on physical books, eARCS, and other things with deadlines for reviews.
Let’s say I usually write down in a notebook: If the author is Christian or writes Christian fiction, I write down the author and that reminds me that I want to read his books if the author writes many different things (clean romance and not so clean or Christian romance and science fiction without romance) I will write down only the names of the books.
I go to goodreads to read reviews that helps me to know if the book is for me or not, as I use “commonsense media” for secular books. Once I know that I want to read I will buy the ones they have in my library, then I will look in legal pages to read free books (I am always looking for new pages) and if not I just hope to save until I can have that book …
For a long time, for Kindle ebook fiction, I kept track using two collections within my Kindle apps. I had one for yet-to-read and one for already-read. Now, I use the little indicator in my Kindle library display that says what percentage of a book has been read. I scroll back through the list until I find a book that doesn’t have a percentage listed and that intrigues me. It also works for box sets because I will not usually read a set straight through. I take a break and go read something different. The percent indicator on a box set shows me that I have more stories waiting for me.
When I see a bike turn corners, leaning almost to the ground, it scares me so much! I could never imagine trusting the driver that much lol. Like Marilyn, I’m sure I would lean the opposite way subconsciously. Thankfully I haven’t known anyone who rides. Love your story idea!