Musing Mondays: Oh, that TBR mess

musing_mondays Here’s this week’s question:

As a follow up to last week’s question, Joseph asked how you keep track of your TBR list. Do you have a paper list or on your computer? Do you take it with you when you go shopping? How do you decide what gets added to it?

My TBR stack, circa February '09. It's now... bigger.

My TBR stack, circa February '09. It's now... bigger.

Oh my! I’d love to say there’s an absolute method to my TBR madness, but that may not be true. I mean, I do have some steps in place . . . like, say, reading a ton of blogs, looking for books that appeal to me and then adding them to my BookMooch wishlist. This usually works pretty well! It’s in a list format, which I love, and it’s easy for me to see if something I want will become available that way. BookMooch just tells me.

But many newer books are hard to get your hands on, so I typically put those on a separate list in BookMooch — my “saved for later.” I scout around LibraryThing, too, and check out what might appeal to me based on the recommendations of other users. That’s really how I find my books! I just listen for and read recommendations online, and talk books faithfully with friends and coworkers.

When I go shopping for books in the ol’ brick-and-mortar stores, I usually do take a little snippet of paper with some of those TBR titles on it — though I’m more likely to just go in looking for one book, take a coupon and be on my way! I’m known to grab books on a whim, though, based on cover art and/or the synopsis. I’m pretty bad about that, actually. Before I buy a book, I really try to do some research on it . . . checking it out on blogs, reading reviews on LibraryThing or Amazon. But every now and then, a book just speaks to me from one of the little themed tables at Borders! And I’ve found some great literature that way. Probably things I would have never chosen had I really thoroughly “researched” them, but books I love all the same!

And as you can see above, once something is officially added to my TBR stack — when the book is in my hot little hands — it just goes in the stack. There’s no rhyme or reason to the stack . . . I have too little room to actually organize it. At one point, I was trying to put quality paperbacks on the left and mass markets on the right, but that soon became too much to keep up with. Now, I just throw the next batch on top and pray it doesn’t topple over!

6 thoughts on “Musing Mondays: Oh, that TBR mess

  1. I look for recommendations in magazines, and I have good friends who always recommend books for me to read. I also look for books by author’s I like. If I liked one book they wrote chances are I might like the others. I don’t shop for books though. I always get them at the library.

    I know what you mean though. Once I borrowed a book based on the cover art and it was horrible…


  2. That TBR pile looks so familiar…

    Can I ask a slighty-off-topic question? I’d love to hear more about BookMooch. I think I’d like to give it a go, but am not completely sold yet…


    • Hi Rebecca! I absolutely love BookMooch. It sounds a little weird — the points system, and all — but it actually works very well. I’m not sure if you’ve read too much about it yet, but if not: check out the Wikipedia page for it.

      I’ve gotten so many great books through BookMooch! I originally joined in order to clear out some space on my shelves and give the books to those who would be excited to have them, but I actually have way more books now than when I started. I will say that it’s harder to get new, first-run books through BookMooch — most of the books available are older. But it’s not impossible. Anything I’m interested in just goes on my wishlist, and I monitor closely to see when the novels I want pop up in someone else’s inventory! It’s definitely been great for me 🙂 I recommend it!


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