Wednesday, January 25, 2017

So Many Books, So Little Time

You hear me?

I know you hear me on that one.

As I mentioned in an earlier post about how I find books I want to read, the finding is the easy part.  As for the prioritizing,  back when I accumulated both titles and actual books at a slower rate, I'd read whatever struck my fancy until the stack was all read, then I'd take them back and get some more.

No more.  It's not just my virtual to-read shelf that's stuffed.  There's the library books, the library holds, the classroom library books, the book mail, the book splurges...if I stopped acquiring books right this second, I'm sure I could continue to read for a few more years before I ran out.

Like having a kitten fall asleep in your lap, this is the opposite of a problem, right?  So many great books to read, poor me.  The only reason I really care is because a) FOMO is real and b) if I just read what catches my fancy, I veer suspiciously easily into reading a bunch of books by and about white women.

So this month I came up with a plan, or as my sisters and I took to saying during the chaotic three year slog in which both of our parents died, an idea for a plan.  And I gave myself permission to go off plan whenever I want, so I don't sabotage myself out of some weird misplaced rebellious instinct.
This was the plan for January.

  1. Read a Cybils book for judging.
  2. Read a Mt. TBR book.
  3. Read a diverse book for the Dumbledore's Army Read-a-Thon.
  4. Repeat.
Sometimes one book served dual purposes, and sometimes I got distracted by a new acquisition.  And once I read a book because I didn't feel like going downstairs, and it was closest.  But I was really happy with how this gave me variety AND made me feel like I was accomplishing things.  

The read-a-thon is over, but I'm going to continue with the system, substituting "library book" instead.  I have SO MANY library books out!  And I keep getting more!  Because I'm insane!  And when I finish they Cybils books (I only have about 3 more), I think I'm going to work Printz books into rotation. Again, there will be some overlap.  Or maybe it will look something like this:

  1. Library book
  2. Mt. TBR book
  3. Printz book OR nonfiction OR deliberately diverse book
Yeah, that's probably about what I'll land on.  

How do YOU choose what to read next?  Careful plan?  Whatever's nearest?  Mood?  Randomizer?  Has your method changed over time, or are you consistent?  


  1. Random number generator all the way. I usually have about 40 unread books on my shelf. The number generator picks 1 short story collection and 1 other book for me to read. I like doing it this way because I never know what I’m going to read next.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  2. I collect an armful of books I think I might want to read. Then I read the first paragraph of each one. Usually there is one that pulls me in, one where I realize I read the first page instead of just the first paragraph. Now I have my daughter using the same method to pick books.

    1. I used to always do this with my library books! Such a wonderful feeling, settling down with that stack and waiting to see which one jumps out first.

  3. I use my Goodreads to read shelf just to remember books I've seen and liked. I do challenges AFTER the fact. That is when I've read a bunch of books, I pull out the challenges and see what matches up. Usually there's a category or two I have to be intentional about, but otherwise I usually fulfill them this way. My audios for my commute are all by request at the library, but I have no control over when they come in so I take them as they come. Sometimes they go back without being heard because too many arrive at once. Kindle books, print books I buy--whatever strikes me at the moment.

    1. That makes sense about matching up challenges after the fact. My to-read shelf is also a list of everything that's ever caught my attention. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one.

  4. I only began my blog recently and that's changed the way I prioritise my reading slightly, especially as I also signed up for Netgalley. I try and read one Netgalley book followed by a physical book I own. I try and organise my Netgalley reads based on publication date rather than the order I've been approved to read them in to make sure I've had chance to read and review before the book is released.

    I have a Goodreads bookshelf, an Amazon wish list and an Excel Spreadsheet to keep track of my reading. The spreadsheet in particular helps me manage which books fit which challenges and is a really easy way to track my total number of books and pick out trends such as any particular genres I've been reading, or the type of book, eBook, hardback etc.

  5. I used to be much more random about my reading, but now I have so many review books that I'm pretty scheduled. There are positives and drawbacks to that, of course. I want to be more deliberate about other things, like diversity, but sometimes it's all I can do to keep up with my review schedule!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  6. I read whatever takes my fancy as long as I don't have a review book to read. I tend to look at library books due back first but they don't always win out. Thankfully I'm not doing any challenges at the moment to have to read to.

  7. I do review copies first then read-a-thons and challenges and back list books. I'm making diverse books a priority so most books I'm reading now qualify. I also keep several options open, like I'll have one hard copy, one regular e-copy, and one Netgalley since I can only read Netgalley books on my phone.


Please share your thoughts. Comments are almost as sweet as chocolate!