Reading Effort 2017

Tackling Mount TBR in 2017

Tackling Mount TBR in 2017On New Year’s Day, I tackled a long overdue task: I finally confronted the beast that is my Mount TBR. Which is to say, I organized my virtual bookshelves.

When I committed to #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks in 2016, I did so out of a powerful but vague notion that I desperately needed it. My home had become so swollen with books that I no longer had a clear sense of what I owned and what I wanted to read next. I relied on the search function in my Nook to determine whether I owned a book or not while my paper book situation felt beyond my capacities.

I threw myself into #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks without much planning and the end result was, predictably, uneven. Some months, I did fabulously. In May, my best month, nine of the 10 books I read were my own. Other months, I did dreadfully. In October, my worst month, only one of the 13 books I read came from my existing library. They were wonderful books. But I’ll wager I have some equally wonderful books waiting for me on my shelves, real and virtual.

For 2017, I’m committed to reading my own books again. But this time, I want to do it with greater intention. I want to be less impulsive and more mindful. I want to make active choices rather have reactions. Especially reactions like, “Ahhh, I don’t know what to read next! I guess I’ll just go ahead and acquire an entirely new book.” Because…seriously? More books? That’s my solution?

One of my stumbling blocks is that I’m a *mood* reader. I can never predict exactly what book I want to read until it’s in my hands…and I’m 20-50 pages into it. That’s only part of the story, though. Oh, let’s be honest: It’s mostly a convenient excuse. I have at least 300 unread books in a wide array of genres on my real and virtual shelves. (That is a profoundly conservative estimate.) Surely among those hundreds are books that can satisfy whatever mood I’m in, would you agree?

The key issue: I can’t read with greater intention if I’m in a perpetual state of low-grade confusion, with little idea of what books I’ve acquired and how and why and especially where they are located. I’ve spent the last four years clicking “purchase” on book sales with reckless abandon, loading my Nook like I’m anticipating surviving an apocalypse. (After which I’m apparently expecting to have electricity. And spare time – between scavenging for food and shelter – to read.) 

via GIPHY – This Twilight Zone episode has been my post-apocalypse nightmare since I saw it when I was 12.

Now, finally, I’ve sorted through my Nook books and created nine shelves with to-read lists in a range of genres. I’m sure I’ll rethink and refine how I’ve arranged them. But at least it’s a start.

Next on my agenda? Tackling Mount TBR the physical bookshelves edition…wish me luck!

2 thoughts on “Tackling Mount TBR in 2017

  1. I finally tackled mine by winnowing out the books I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to read. If I change my mind, I can probably find them at the library. The result was a huge relief, at least with the physical books pile. And I cleared everything off my Kindle that I’ve read and left them in the cloud, that way, I can see how many are left. (Too many!)

    1. Yes, too many – I can relate to that, especially on my Nook. Archiving them is a good strategy too. Anything to impose some sense of order on that long, long list of books!

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