The TBR Tag: Snapshots of My Extensive Organizational Systems

Posted November 13, 2014 by Debby in Uncategorized

I’m pretty sure I’m like the last person to get around to doing this tag, but Gaby and Lisa, the Bookish Broads, finally tagged me, so here we are. This tag was created by Dana Square and A Perfection Called Books.

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

2014-11-09 12_39_26-Goodreads _ Debby (Snuggly Oranges)'s bookshelf_ to-read (showing 1-30 of 461) ( Goodreads is my saving grace – though my organized brain won’t simply settle for one “to-read” shelf. Nope, I have multiple systems running to allow me to prioritize books and keep it at a manageable size. I have my to-read-soon shelf, where I prioritize the 10 books that I want to read next (in theory) which is based on my reading schedule and compendium of spreadsheets which I’ll get to later in this tag. Then I have my must-read-soon shelf (which overlaps with the general to-read shelf) to prioritize further. There I put the books that I’ve had on my shelf for a while, recommendations from friends, books that have been getting hyped, everything that I’m basically most excited for. I also have a shelf denoting my for-review books, sorted by publication date, so I can easily check on when I need to read those by.

Then I have my unreleased shelf – where I keep the books that have not been published yet. I keep these separate because I like being able to browse my to-read shelf and in theory be able to pick up any of those titles at any moment. It also allows me to continually and easily check on the unreleased books when their release dates are approaching – is this really something that still interests me or have reviewer friends warned me off? I also have my classics-to-read shelf separate because otherwise my to-read list would look so ginormous, and let’s face it: it’ll be a while before I get around to all of those.

Finally, I have my own-tbr shelf to show all the books that I already own and haven’t read yet. Physically, in my room, I also keep these books in a separate bookcase. In fact, like my Goodreads shelves, I have them in different piles to prioritize. I usually keep a stack of my review copies, a stack of the books I want to read this month, and my bookcase of unread books.

2014-11-09 12.44.53 2014-11-09 12.45.24 2014-11-09 12.46.32

Is your TBR mostly print or ebook?

Definitely mostly print. I used to read a lot of ebooks, but then I succumbed to the pretty covers and the immense satisfaction of holding them in my hands, and that all changed. I have some 189 physical copies on my TBR. Most of the e-books I read are all eARCs. Currently I have 8 of those, and 2 other e-books to read. So yeah, there’s a big difference there.

How do you determine what to read next?

Phew, this is another one of those complex processes of mine. I start by looking at my review copies – as soon as I get any, I put them in my blogging calendar for about two weeks before their release date. That gives me an indication of when I should be reading those. Then, I have a spreadsheet. (Surprise!) This one I haven’t shown on the blog before, because it’s one of my personal thingies and I wasn’t sure if it would be interesting at all.

2014-11-09 14_43_25-Monthly TBRs

Basically, in this spreadsheet, I have one sheet for each month. I base it on the fact that, bare minimum, I’m able to read 8 books per month, roughly. I put in my review copies and book club books, and then see how many spots are left. Then I look at my “must-read-soon” and “own-tbr” shelves on Goodreads (+ which new releases have come out lately) and decide what I want to fill the gaps. Usually it’s based on my mood. I often need to find the right balance of long/short books, heavy/fluffy books, and keep all that in mind when planning out what to read per month. I also usually put in some ideas for if I read MORE than 8 books per month (which is usually). But anything aside from my review copies and book club books are flexible and I can decide to switch it up whenever I want.

But keeping this spreadsheet helps me in planning for the long run. I give myself the flexibility to read according to my mood because I look for months in advance at how many review copies I’m accumulating and whether or not it’s becoming too much. I’m trying to cut back, and by keeping track of them this way, I can easily say, “Hey, no, you already have 5 review copies for February. You need to stop.”

A book that’s been on your TBR the longest:

I shamefully never finished the Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket! I had all the books but I never read the last three or four. I don’t know why. But I do want to still read them, especially with Netflix now producing a TV series based on it – the only problem is that right now, those last volumes are still at my dad’s house in Texas. Maybeeee I’ll read them when I’m there for Christmas. 🙂 I do need to reread everything though, because it’s been ages.

A book you recently added to your TBR:

2014-11-09 14.32.17Physically, My True Love Gave To Me. I’m not usually someone for anthologies, but since I read all the Stephanie Perkins books, I was just like, yessssssss, I want all of the cute. And it sounded like an awesome idea to have short holiday stories for (for example) my flight back to Texas this Christmas 🙂

On Goodreads, more recently, I added An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. I hadn’t heard of it at all, but all of a sudden, everyone was buzzing about this book and how it’s going to be 2015’s big thing, and the first reviews were all gushing and… okay. I’ll bite… I guess?

A Book On Your TBR Strictly For Its Beautiful Cover?


Seriously, I’m in awe of the cover of Smart, but it’s middle grade mystery. I actually had it in my hands a while back but didn’t buy it because I needed to be mindful of my cash, and I realized I probably wouldn’t read it. I’m still torn. I dunno. But so pwetty.

One Fifth Avenue

A book on your TBR you never
plan on reading:

Probably One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell. I picked this up at a book fair – they had the hardcovers there for just under 2 euros or so, I think. I couldn’t resist, I guess. But now that I think about it, adult chick lit? Probably full of melodrama? Errr…. It’ll be a while if I ever decide to pick this up.

An unpublished book on your TBR
that you’re excited for:

Untitled-2Of the ones already in my possession: When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill (a.k.a. Liz Czukas). New adult from the author who can write romance like it’s MADE FOR ME. I want to swooooooon. Of the ones I don’t own…. Winter by Marissa Meyer comes to mind (ASDFJKL: I NEED IT I NEEEEEEEEEED IT). Also The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall (that coverrrrrr) and A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab and A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas and The Fill-In Boyfriend by Kasie West and choosing is haaaaaaaaaaard.

The Raven Boys

A book on your TBR that basically
everyone’s read but you:

At this point, with Christina having given in as well, I’m convinced it has to be The Raven Boys. I’m the last one, I swear. I do want to read it though, and it’s on my Christmas wishlist, so I guess we’ll see. Sometime.


A book on your TBR that everyone
recommends to you:

Vicious by V.E. Schwab, I guess? I’ve had it for about a year now but just keep putting it off for absolutely no reason. I know it’s good. I know I’ll like it. I just have to make time for it. And I can’t promise it’ll happen this year anymore either. *sigh* But seriously, at least 10 people have directly told me I should read this. I get it, guys.

Every Breath

A book on your TBR you’re dying to read:

I guess because of the immense surge in raving lately, I’ll say Every Breath by Ellie Marney? Seriously, I’d never even heard of the thing and suddenly everyone was freaking out. But basically any modern take on Sherlock is catnip for me, and apparently there’s a killer ship? Damn you, book buying ban. *sigh*

How many books are on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

Between all those shelves I listed up there in response to the first question, that would be 674. Damn. That’s never going to get shorter, is it?

I Tag:

Christina at A Reader of Fictions
Kara, Lyn, and Bekka at Great Imaginations
And anyone else who wants to do it 🙂

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10 responses to “The TBR Tag: Snapshots of My Extensive Organizational Systems

  1. Yaaaaaaas Every Breath yaaaaaaaaas

    Also your TBR methods are so impressive I am jealous come run my life I will pay you in baked goods and let you sleep in Ginger’s bed IT’S REALLY SOFT I SWEAR

    *refuses to be the 394052345th person to pressure you to read The Raven Boys* *nope* *no pressure* *NOT PRESSURING AT ALL*

    • >.> you would.

      BAKED GOODS AND A small plushy bed hmm okay MAYBE MAYBE sounds pretty tempting compared to my current job tbqh. 😛

      LOL, actually, I don’t think I’ve been personally pressured about The Raven Boys (not like Vicious, for example). I just seeeee everyone else talking about it all the time and I kind of hide and IDK SOOOON MAYBE POSSIBLY IDK.

  2. Sooo organised! I loved reading your answers, Debby. 🙂 I definitely have to get a copy of My True Love Gave To Me even though I’m not usually one for anthologies either – it’s too gorgeous to resist! I definitely recommend reading Every Breath sooner rather than later – it’s amazing. Being in Australia, I’m lucky enough to have read it months ago and to have also read the sequel. Needless to say, I’m dying for the third book even though I don’t want it to be over.

    • Haha, glad you enjoyed 🙂 Yeah, I think the pretty design for My True Love Gave To Me also played a biiiiiig role in my deciding to buy it, hahaha. It’s just STUNNING.

      Maybe to avoid the painful wait I’ll hold off on reading Every Breath until the whole series is out 😉

    • Awwww thank you 🙂 I feel you, I spend waaaaayyyyy too much time on Goodreads for it to be healthy. But organizing makes me happy, so it’s like a hobby for me xD

  3. I’d probably never read My True Love Gave To Me (not a fan of anthologies either), but when I first saw that book I was like OMG MUST HAVE!!! It’s so insanely gorgeous O_O

    • HAHAA, I know right? I saw you tweet about probably buying it asdfjkl; I hope you do teehee. It is just worth it to have on your shelves, for sure.

  4. *bows to the Spreadsheet Queen* Haha, no, seriously, I’m always impressed by your spreadsheets. Your ‘what to read next’ system sounds flawless! Smart doesn’t sound like a book for me, but the cover is indeed very pretty. WINTER, I NEED IT SO BAD. And also A court of thorns and roses, because she is a goddess and I want to read everything she writes + FAIRYTALES. Never enough.

    • Bahaha, thanks Mel 🙂 I actually really enjoy planning what I’m going to read next. Other people are like, “ehhh, I’ll decide when I get there,” but I make a list, revise it a time or twenty, and that gets me excited about the books more 🙂