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!