3 Jul 2017

Tips for keeping your Goodreads TBR small (and unintimidating)

We've all been there, right? Getting into the habit of adding hundreds of books, or sometimes thousands, into your Goodreads TBR or 'want to read' and thinking that you'll never be able to make it out from under the pile of books. I've got some tips on how to clear it out so you feel better about logging into Goodreads. You may have thought of all these ideas already, but when was the last time you cleared out your 'want to read' folder?

A few months ago I was looking through the list and realised that there were almost 500 books in there... slightly intimidating to say the least! These are the things I did to reduce the list:

1. Be realistic!
I've been on Goodreads since 2015 and a lot of really amazing books have released during that time... and then there's all the books that everyone's still raving about before 2015. Go through your list and decide whether or not you're really going to be reading some of those books. I had quite a few hyped books on my shelf but when it got down to it I didn't feel like I was missing out by not reading them, you know?

2. Haven't started the series yet? Don't add it's sequels/prequels/novellas/etc. 
This is a big one. Half of my list is and entire series, but the reality is I hadn't even read the first book yet! How will I even know if I'm going to go on to read all 3-100 of the others? I decided to go through my 'want to read' list and remove all the books that weren't the first in a series (including novellas) and that cut it down by hundreds! Once I've started a series I'll either only add in the following book or add them all back depending on how much I liked the first one. Generally I find that just adding the next book keeps your TBR more manageable.

3. Reassess every few months.
When I started this post I had 160 books on my Goodreads TBR but decided to do another cut-down. I'm now at 118. My favourite genre changes quite a bit, and recently I haven't been as in love with high fantasy as I used to be, so I went through and deleted those high fantasy books that I knew I'd never get to.

4. If you like an author, don't just add everything that they've ever written to your TBR.
I have quite a few auto-buy authors, but the truth is (at least for me) that I'll never read all their books. V.E. Schwab is one for me. I've never read her books but I'd heard great things so I just added all her books to my TBR. Not a fab idea. All it does is bulk out your list. I've ended up with only a couple of her series on my list now (and just the first book from those) just in case I don't enjoy her writing as much as everyone else does.

5. Take a deep breath. 
Reading is supposed to be fun! And you may be the kind of person who absolutely loves to have their TBR in the thousands, in which case that's great! But for those who find themselves stressing about Goodreads goals and TBRs just take a second and remember that all reading is good reading. It doesn't matter if you read the classics or you prefer to sit down to fanfiction every night. Enjoy what you read and don't stress about numbers!

What are some of your tips for not stressing about reading or keeping your TBR to a smaller number?

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