How Do You Manage Your TBR?

Posted August 8, 2017 by Bekka in discuss / 3 Comments

In the beginning of July, I wrote a post assessing how my TBRs were working out and noticed I hardly read anything I listed for the month. With that knowledge I implemented a new system that I really think helped me get to my TBR in July and will help me going forward. I’ve always been a mood reader so I felt these lists were kind of constricting in the past, but with this new system I’ve been able to not only read 10 books in a month for the first time in well over a year, I was also able to read a mixture of back list and new releases, work on an old series I had neglected, and make room for spur of the moment mood reading. Today I’m going to go over that TBR compiling process, using August as an example.

So in the last week of July I knew I had to get my August TBR post scheduled, and since I like to work a little ahead, that was the right time. Keeping in mind that July was an anomaly of a reading month, I still went for it as far as ambitious to-be-read piles go. My whole TBR was not actually featured in the monthly post, either, by the way. I made a list of things I prioritize; these things include new releases, series I’m in the middle of, ARCs I’m interested in, and read-a-thons I’ll be participating in.

So, first things first: the new releases I pre-ordered:

  • Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle – This comes out right in the beginning of the month so I’ll definitely have time to get to it. It’s a priority for me because her last book was a 5 star read.
  • The Girl With the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke – I’ve heard absolutely nothing but rave reviews for this, so while I don’t normally read WWII fiction, I had to have this one.
  • The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes – Somehow I ended up with two books about the Berlin Wall? Either way, this one will probably not be read in August because it comes out so late and I’m prioritizing the Balloonmakers first.

Series I’m reading right now:

  • After Daybreak by J.A. London – I read the first two books in July so I’m really hype to get this one read. This will likely be read in between some of the others when I need a break (especially during Tome Topple.)

Upcoming ARCs:

  • Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust – This one sounds amazing and definitely sticks out among my upcoming ARCs. One thing I know about myself is that I over-request and won’t be able to read everything I have, so I pick a few that stand out to me that I have to get to, and the rest are happy accidents.
  • Unraveling Oliver by Liz Nugent – So this is one of my few adult thriller ARCs and it sounds very disturbing. Plus it’s on the shorter side, which is sadly a pro when putting together a TBR.


So this month the only read-a-thon I plan to take part in that has a specific objective is Tome Topple, in which readers aim to read books over 500 pages long. My firm TBR for this is:

  • The Diviners by Libba Bray
  • The Tiger’s Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera

This is how I built July’s TBR and it went extremely well, so I went ahead and applied it to August. I really hope this system keeps working for me. In July, I read 3 of the books mentioned in my TBR, plus I’m one third of the way through another. The 5th book probably won’t get read because I’ve been hearing some problematic things about it. Like I said, this system opened the door for a ton of mood reading instead of less, somehow, which made the month that much better.

How do you manage your TBR? Do you break it down into a complicated system like I do, do you wing it, or somewhere in between? I’d love to hear how everyone manages their upcoming reads. Organization and planning ahead are definitely my jam so the more information the better!

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3 responses to “How Do You Manage Your TBR?

  1. What I’ve started doing is picking out 5-9 or so books. Since this year my *main* challenge I wanted to focus on was NetGalley, I’m simply working backward through the most recent ones I requested. Once I finish that batch of books, I move on to the next batch. This way it alleviates the anxiety I have about NetGalley and makes the large load more manageable. And I’ve ignored all my physical books this year. Now that we’re in the latter part of the year, I’m looking at my Alphabet Soup challenge and picking out books that I still need to fill slots, so for the next batch I went back through my entire NG download list and picked out the first one for each of the letters I needed. I’ll start that batch after I finish the four on my list right now.

  2. I use Goodreads to help me manage my TBRs but occasionally I have to go through and purge books off the list because I can’t remember why I added them in the first place. When I decide what to read next I always have to keep my book club titles in the forefront because I always want to make sure I read those books in a timely manner. Often I go completely off track, usually after a trip to the library, where I find myself reading books not on my TBR list, ignoring the list altogether.

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