It’s so common a concept amongst avid readers that breaking down the acronym was probably unnecessary.
There are as many ways of categorizing and organizing a TBR list/pile/MOUNTAIN/etc. as there are individuals who keep one.
I’m pretty sure I fall on the ridiculous end of the size spectrum, a feeling that’s reinforced every time one of my blogger and/or Goodreads friends posts something about getting their TBR down to 40 books or how their New Year’s resolution is to read their TBR.
I have thousands of books on my TBR.
And it grows every day. I have zero hope of ever reading Mt. TBR in its entirety. Even the idea of maintaining a TBR with an end goal in mind is baffling to me.
You: Then what do you use it for?
Me: Trying—yes, trying—to keep some kind of hard copy of all the books I would like to read should an opportunity present itself.
I have subcategories of TBR shelves on Goodreads.
When there are, at last count (which, sadly, is months out of date), 2103 on your “books-i-own-but-haven’t-read-yet bookshelf alone, subcategories are required if you hope to maintain even the semblance of order.
Truthfully, most of the books added to Mt. TBR get lost by the wayside. Periodically, I’ll have a hardcore OCD moment and scan the pages and pages of books, looking for any that slipped through the cracks, the books that I’m interested in enough to reasonably think I might one day actually read, and those get added to the shortlist. But the rate at which the shortlist grows in comparison to those removed, marked as “read,” makes the goal of eventual completion as unlikely as it is for the comprehensive list.
How do I prioritize?
A couple of different ways.
1. New installments of ongoing series.
Most of the time, I’ll read these before the next installment is released, but sometimes, for various reasons, enough time passes that I’m closer to getting the new book than I am to the release of the current one, and I’ll double up.
Many are the series that I’ve started but have languished indefinitely. These are a few that I’ve been better about keeping up with:
2. Final installments of ongoing series.
I’ve mentioned several times my somewhat bewildering reluctance to finish a series I’ve read from the first installment up to (but rarely through) the end.
If I don’t finish it, it’s not really over. It doesn’t have to make sense. It’s my neurosis, not yours. #getyourown
I do usually finish them. Eventually. So these books are the closest thing I have to a one-day-i-absolutely-will-read-this-book list.
Right now several of the books topping this sub-mountain are:
3. Those rare books that for some reason really got their hooks in me.
These books are the most fluid in their prioritization. Most of them are already a lower priority than the books from series I’m already invested in, so they can hang out for years. Until one of the aforementioned OCD moments hits and I downsize.
When it’s been years, or even just a year, it’s hard to remember what put the book in question on the shortlist to begin with, and if in the between times, it’s received a multitude of bad reviews from readers I trust, it gets bumped. #themsthebreaks
The top of this list looks like:
What about you? What does your TBR look like? Is finishing it a realistic goal?