Tackling the TBR – September & October 2015 [3]


Back in May, I discovered, like most avid readers, I have problems tackling my never ending TBR lists. I was putting too many books on hold at the library and buying more books for my Kobo than I was reading. Things improved by the end of June but I still had more I wanted to accomplish. I found that by posting my goals on my blog, I was making a great and more conscientious effort to carefully select what books I read and when. So, I decided to make this a bi-monthly feature!

For July and August, I had 5 targets:

  1. Read a total of 6 ARCs (3 per month)
  2. Read 2 TBR jar items a week
  3. By the end of August, limit the number of library books I read to 1 a week
  4. By the end of August, have a maximum total of 10 books on hold at the library
  5. Execute my Trilogy Termination Blitz by end of August

So, was I successful? Here’s how I actually did!

Rule #1: Read a total of 6 ARCs/review copies

I read a total of 9 ARCs/Review copies in July and August. This was more than I had planned but it was just so easy to press that request button on Netgalley!

Rule #2:Read 2 TBR jar items a week

This one did not happen! To be honest, I kinda forgot about it! I read a total of 6 books from my TBR jar and that was mostly thanks to the Make Me Read it Readathon. That’s almost one a week but not nearly as much as I wanted to get done.

Rule #3:Limit library books I read to 1 a week by the end of August

This goes hand in hand with Rule 4 and I think I did a great job with this. By the end of August I had reduced my library holds so that I only had 2 eBooks out from the library during the first two weeks of September. And that was pretty fantastic considering earlier in the year, I could have had upwards of 5 books out at a time.

Rule #4: Have 10 Items MAx on hold at the library by end of august

I actually managed to get this done by July and dwindled down to 4–YES only 4! Considering I had more than 30 books on hold at one point this year, this number doesn’t seem real to me! It definitely helped that I made myself stop adding holds (there was the rare exception) to my accounts but it also helped that I read most, if not all, of the books I did have on hold.

RULE #5: Execute my trilogy termination blitz by end of august

This also didn’t happen, but because I met most of the other targets, I truly think I can start this in September!

So what did I learn?

I really love this having fewer holds at the library! Originally, I planned on no more than ten because I couldn’t fathom having any less than that on hold. But once I was down to five, I REALLY felt like I had more control over what and when I read. So I decided to cut the 10 to a maximum of 5 and only update the holds list once at the start of the month (instead of continuously having 5 on hold at all times). While I have an unending list of books I can put on hold, it doesn’t mean that I have to add them all or reach the maximum capacity for holds my library allows and that was a really important lesson for me to learn.

Also learned that summer book sales are killer for buying hiatuses…I bought more than I really should have but the deals couldn’t be beat! And most were to complete series I had already started/had so I did it for the sake of the blog 😉

My Game Plan for September & october:

With school starting, it’s hard to say if I am going to have more or less time to read. I’m easily distracted so I’ll probably read more than I should. Which is A-OK with me, I just want to be more proactive about it! I have some trilogies I want to finish (Trilogy Termination) in addition to clearing up my Kobo of unread books (which is what my TBR jar is).

So here’s my new game plan:

  • Read a total of 2 ARCs per month
    • this probably won’t start until October because I had a lot of carry over from August
  • Read 1 TBR jar item a week for the rest of September; 2 for October
    • unless I have multiple books for the pulled TBR selection if it’s a series
  • Read only 1 Library Book per week 
    • exception to be made for my Trilogy Termination picks
  • Read 7 of my 10 selected trilogy series for Trilogy Termination
  • Only add books to my On Hold list at the start of each month
    • For a total of 5 books between all libraries (3 continuing series; 2 new novels)

Was the summer kind to your tbr list? Or did you just add more? let me know below!

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Comments 15

  • Great job achieving your goals! I can’t even imagine how relieved you feel to have your holds at under 5 if you once had 30. I don’t like having more than 1 book on hold at once.

    • It was a weird change at first! I had to actively remind myself that I don’t need to add another book on hold now that one has become available.

      I wish I could go down to 1 hold at once! Because I’m from a smaller town, the hold lists at my library are ridiculously long for the more popular books because we have fewer copies. And because I don’t like to buy really expensive books (I mostly buy indie authors or ebooks that are under $5), I rely on the library a lot to read the more mainstream titles. So I really want to take advantage of going to school in a huge city and reading as many books as I can before I graduate. Or at least that is what I tell myself 😛

  • Whoa!! You limited your library holds down to just 5?!!! Way to go! I love how you set specific numerical goals because it makes it really clear to see your progress. Your trilogy termination goal is a really cool idea – I’ve had a light goal of finishing all the series I’ve started (okay, maybe not all of them, but the ones from my favorite authors) but not very many of them are only three books, which has been my problem. Anyway, it’s so cool to see the system working so well for you. 🙂

    • Yes I know! I was shocked when it happened!

      I find I need to set number goals for myself or else I just get really ambiguous when it comes to my habits. But I still break them. Like right now I have some pre-release books on hold despite having my max 5 so I cheat every once and a while.

      As for the trilogies, it was just a common trend among the series I have yet to finish. I also have some 4 book series to get a handle on as well. I’ll get there eventually.

  • I need to adopt some sort of plan like yours because my ‘mood reading’ is totally unreliable and a shoddy method of doing things. I need to read all those ARCs I’ve unfairly requested and review them stats. I also need to stop requesting books I am hesitant to bump to the top of the review pile. Good luck with getting your TBR under control again!

    • I feel your pain! I find this year I’ve been getting more and more reading slumps because I was reading books I had requested/put on hold when the mood struck but only reading them months later when my interest had died. And they also felt like a chore to read too, like I was obligated to read it and that dampens any reading experience.
      Good luck reading those ARCs!

  • I seem to be in the same boat as you and many others. I buy, borrow, and request books. Plus, I don’t read as often as I used to (hence why my GR’s goal is only 30 books this year, haha). Right now the ARCs are receiving priority but I hate that I don’t have time to read books from my TBR shelf. The TBR shelf is looking quite monstrous, it literally just keeps growing. Not to mention, a couple of months ago I did that thing every pro/experienced blogger advised newbies like me not to do: I went crazy on NG and requested so many titles. Good thing I got my ratio back up to respectable number and caught up though. Anyway, I love your upcoming plans! Good luck, Lauren! You got this!

    • Thank you Summer!

      I was doing great with NetGalley requesting (one or two a month) and then at the end of August I went a little “request” happy. To be fair to myself (I’m just giving myself an excuse) there were some books took forever to get approved for so of course they all get accepted at once 😛 I’m definitely going to work on that for October.

      But I get the having no time. I’m only in my third week of school and already my reading habits are suffering! I’m hoping once I get back into the groove of things it will be smooth (and more productive) sailing from here on out!

      • Another thing I keep forgetting to take into account is that the publisher may approve my request. XD When I was new blogger I was so used to getting declined… So now that I’m finally getting approved. I’m both happy and burdened. And I so understand what you mean about school! Hopefully we’ll both get back into blogging even with our busy schedules! ^.^

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