Weeding my TBR | sharing tips and my own progress

I don’t know about you guys, but when I first started blogging, I threw everything on my TBR! Okay, not everything, but basically any book that got any amount of hype. Here I am, almost five years later and my TBR has grown immensely. There are so many books on there that I have no recollection hearing about. And every time before now that I’ve tried to weed my TBR, I’ve become overwhelmed. Goodreads doesn’t have a very good weeding feature that I’ve found–every time you remove a book from your “Want to Read” shelf the whole page reloads and then you have to rescroll to where you were…it’s a process. So every other weeding attempt has found me giving up after deleting like 10 books, max. But I think I’ve finally found a way to clean up my TBR!

Weeding my TBR

Sort your TBR first

One of the biggest difficulties with my previous weeding attempts is that it’s hard for me to remember what I’ve already taken a look at and decided to keep. When I was still working at the library, we would divide big group weeding projects (thousands of books) up into sections that made it a lot more manageable, so I did something similar here. I alphabetized the titles in my TBR list and just took it one letter at a time–I didn’t have to do everything all at once. There are a ton of different ways you could sort it–author, publication year, page count, whatever! Just pick a way that works for you and stick with it throughout the whole project.

Figure out your weeding standards

Another thing I learned from library weeding–you don’t have to look at every book. If there was something that was in good condition and was circulating well, then we just left it on the shelf. Similarly, if there’s a book on your shelf that you already KNOW you want to read, then just go ahead and leave it.

But for the books you do want to look at, you’ll have to decide what determines if it will stay on your list. Here’s the process I go through:

  1. I reread the synopsis–does it grab me? This is the most important step for me because if it doesn’t sound interesting to me anymore, then I’m probably going to remove it.
  2. I consider the overall star rating. Anything under 3.75 may act as a little warning flag for me.
  3. Last, I consider my Goodreads friends ratings. Most of my Goodreads friends are other bloggers that I interact with and I trust their ratings more than the overall Goodreads rating. If the Goodreads rating is low, but my friends are giving it 4 or 5 stars, I’m more likely to keep it.

You can obviously use whatever standards you want, this is just how I’ve been doing it.

Remember the sunk cost fallacy

Sunk Cost Fallacy is something that we talked about in my Econ classes A TON. Humans act in this really irrational way where we’ll do something even if we’re not enjoying it because we feel like we have to for whatever reason. For example, people will overeat to a point where they’re super uncomfortable at a buffet because they feel like they need to “get their money’s worth”. In my case, I’ll keep a book on my Kindle even if I’m not interested in it anymore because I paid for it. This has been a huge sticking point for me, but finally I think I’ve gotten past it. Don’t let the fact that you bought a book make you keep it on your TBR if you’ve lost all interest in reading it!

How well did it work?

This is the first year that I’ve been trying to keep track of my TBR growth. At the beginning of the year, my TBR was at 383 books. By the beginning of August, I was at 469 books which is an 86 book increase. That’s not even taking into account books that I’ve read from my TBR, so with that in mind I’ve probably added over 100 books to my TBR so far this year.

I started this project towards the end of August, so I’ll use 469 books as my TBR starting point. It’s taken some time to get through it all and even though I’ve been adding books in the meantime as well, I’ve gotten it down to…..drumroll….306 books! That’s a difference of 106! It’s crazy to me that I had so many books chilling on my TBR that I wasn’t interested in reading anymore. It’s almost like I’m starting over fresh! I can now move forward with my lighter, more concise list. It feels like I can actually go to my TBR to pick my next read now instead of feeling crazy overwhelmed by it! I know that I’m actually interested in every book on my list. I was reminded of so many books that I feel EXCITED about and I’m going to try to actually use my TBR in the future instead of just adding books to it.

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It’s reading season | October TBR

I had a really great summer reading-wise (and otherwise) and I’m excited to carry that into fall as well! This time of year is really great for spooky and atmospheric reads (for obvious reasons) so we’ll see what I actually end up reading.

There we go! I’m getting close to finishing the Flavia series and have been thinking about starting Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series to replace it. Any thoughts on that?

What are you guys reading this month? Let me know in the comments!

September was Holly Black month | September Wrap-Up & TBR Update

My reading mood continues (thankfully) I feel like I’ve just been reading really good books lately and I’ve been excited to read. Audio books have also been super helpful in increasing my reading productivity though my podcasts have been suffering a little bit.

monthly tbr

Also read/reading:

Books finished this month: 11 plus 1 novella and 1 DNF
Books currently reading:
2

Overall TBR:

TBR at the beginning of the year = 383
TBR at the beginning of September = 412
Books added to TBR = 2
Books read/deleted from TBR = 72
Total on TBR now = 342

How did your reading go this month?

10 books to read before the end of the year

I set my reading goal at the beginning of the year to be 70 books. As of right now, I have surpassed that number beyond my wildest dreams. I reset my goal for 100, but I’m currently sitting at 90 and I think I’ll easily be able to hit that new number. However, I’m going to make another goal to at least read these 10 books before the end of the year:

Legendary by Stephanie Garber – Sitting on my shelf…mocking me. I will get to it this year!

Order: Hardcover | Paperback | eBook

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – This was on my year TBR so I better finish it before the end of the year!

Order: Hardcover | Paperback | eBook

Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell – Just got this one from B&N. I’ve loved all of Gladwell’s books so I’m especially excited for this one!

Order: Hardcover | eBook

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern – Preordered! So pumped. I LOVED The Night Circus and this book just sounds AMAZING. I never preorder (because $$$) but I made an exception with this one (and I had a gift card).

Preorder: Hardcover | eBook

Bad Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett – I’m hoping to get to this one next month! I’ve got it on my Kindle ready to go.

Order: Hardcover | Paperback | eBook

Queen of Nothing by Holly Black – I read a ton of Holly Black when I was in junior high and I’ve reinstated my status of Holly Black trash recently (see below). No one does faeries better!

Preorder: Hardcover | eBook

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black – **Shrugs**

Order: Hardcover | Paperback | eBook

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater – I started this one so long ago and haven’t gotten around to finishing it. I want to finish it before the end of the year!

Order: Hardcover | Paperback | eBook

The Umbrella Academy vol 3: Hotel Oblivion by Gerard Way – SO PUMPED FOR THIS.

Preorder: Paperback | eBook

Runaways vol 4: But You Can’t Hide by Rainbow Rowell – I recently got back into Runaways. I read the originals way back when they came out and I’ve been pretty happy with this reboot. The Hulu show is trash though.

Preorder: Paperback

What are some books you’re hoping to read before the end of the year?

Summer TBR | Final Update

At the beginning of the summer, I posted a list of 9 books that I hoped to read. Then, I posted an update halfway through July. Now that summer is over, I just wanted to give a final update on how I did.

The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag by Alan Bradley – This was read from before. I’m continuing with my audio binge and am currently on #8
eBook | Paperback

Legendary by Stephanie Garber – Still waiting on my shelf…
eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo – I read this one as a buddy read last month and had some thoughts. Review coming soon!
eBook | Hardcover

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He – I checked this one out from the library. It took me longer than I thought it would to get through and I didn’t love it.
eBook | Hardcover

The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen – Read from before. Sarah Dessen is a queen and I really liked this one. Review
eBook | Hardcover

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo – Read from before. I was a bit disappointed in this one. Review
eBook | Hardcover

This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills – Read from before. I’ve read all of her books that are out now (I think?) and have enjoyed them all! Mini-review
eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black – I’m hoping to get to this one within the next couple of months!
eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi – Still haven’t gotten to this one unfortunately, but the eBook is like…always available from the library, so hopefully soon!
eBook | Hardcover | Paperback (Preorder)

With my last update, I’d read 4/9 and at the end of the summer I’d gotten to 6/9. Which I don’t think is too bad! Especially considering two of the three books I didn’t get to are currently sitting on my shelf, I think I’ll finish this list before the end of the year.

Let me know in the comments what your favorite 2019 summer read was!

No more back-to-school! (At least, for a little while) | September TBR

We still have a good four years before we’re launched into the back-to-school grind, so I’m going to enjoy this non-frantic time of the year while I still can!

I did really great with my TBR last month so we’ll see how this one goes!

What are you guys reading this month? Let me know in the comments!

What a crazy summer | August Wrap-Up & TBR Update

I can’t believe August is over already! It seems like we just moved to California last week, but we’ve actually been here for almost three months. As I’ve been seeing everyone’s back-to-school/end of summer vacation social media posts, I’ve realized that we’re in a super interesting time of life where our summer vacation doesn’t really end? We don’t have any kids in school yet and we’re not in school anymore either. The weather will get cooler but like…we’re in California so it’s not going to get that cold. My husband has been working full-time all summer and he’s going to continue to do that…things just aren’t really changing for us like they are for everyone else. We can still go do summery, outside things basically as long as we want. Anyway, unrelated to book things but it was an interesting realization that I had.

monthly tbr

Also read/reading:

Books finished this month: 14 with 1 DNF
Books currently reading: 1

Well, would you look at that! I actually managed to complete my TBR and then some this month! Way to go me!

A couple other things real quick, I finished my Goodreads Reading Goal this month! I had no idea how this year was going to go (especially with last year being a bit of a dud reading year) so I set my goal to 70. Luckily, I’ve exceeded my expectations! My new goal for the year is 100. Second, I’m working on a TBR weeding project. I’m going alphabetically and I’m trying to just take one letter at a time, figuring out what I want to keep on my TBR and what can go. So you’ll see my TBR count going down significantly and that’s why.

Overall TBR:

TBR at the beginning of the year = 383
TBR at the beginning of August = 469
Books added to TBR = 8
Books read/deleted from TBR = 65
Total on TBR now = 412

How did your reading go this month?