Friday, July 17, 2015

Rearranging Your Reads


In last month's quarterly check-in for The Picky Pledge, I mentioned that I had organized all of my physical TBR pile onto a separate bookshelf that's in my bedroom. Here's the exact quote:
There's merit in having shelf space dedicated to your TBR pile. I recently reorganized my shelves, and put ALL of my to-read pile (review and non-review) on a smaller one that's now in my bedroom. It's been easier for me to see what reading options I've got, and reminds me that I have plenty enough books on my plate without adding more.
It was an idea that came to me when I was reorganizing my shelves during a cleaning binge, and I just ran with it. I've found it particularly useful for whittling away at my to-be-read pile, especially in the last few weeks since I implemented this new system. Funnily enough, when I was discussing this with Hannah, she mentioned that she had actually been doing the opposite thing and switching up her TBR shelf to include books she wanted to reread! We're both sharing posts today talking about why and how our current shelving systems work, so be sure and check out Hannah's post for her perspective.

In particular, there are three things that having a TBR specific shelf does for me:

1. It helps me have a concrete idea of the size of my TBR. Honestly, I use to have a vague idea of my pile of books to read, and I always underestimated the actual number. Putting all those books in one place gives me fresh perspective on the actual amount; knowing I have so many stories waiting for me makes it less likely that I'll add more to the list!

2. It helps me remember that I have a variety of genres on hand. I'm a little bit of a mood reader, in the sense that when I want a certain genre, I know and I search for a corresponding novel to read. Having all these books together shows me the variety of genres I already own, and I get to choose from things I already have to satisfy my cravings.

3. It helps me prioritize what I need and want to read. I'm the teensiest bit OCD about arranging my to-read piles, both the review books and physical books. I like organizing the review stuff by schedule, since that's how I try to read them; I like organizing my physical books into seasonal or monthly TBRs, as well as what I currently feel like reading within any given week.

I thought it would be fun to share what my current set-up for my physical TBR looks like, showing you my system in action and giving you a chance to see what novels are waiting for me to crack them open and give them a read. (I'm also hoping you have an opinion on what books I should tackle first!)

1. The small black shelf holds all the finished copies that I bought, borrowed or was gifted. The top of the shelf contains my immediate to-read pile. I currently have some of the novels for the Summer of Series challenge in front, and at the back are novels from my Spring 2015 TBR and Summer 2015 TBR. The middle shelf contains all my unread YA novels, and the bottom shelf contains all my unread adult novels. (Note: I've already read Prodigy, but since I borrowed that from Rachel, it'll stay here until I get to give it back to her.)

2. The piles on the floor are all my review books. These are sorted into stacks based on what month I intend to read them. I usually aim for reading one month ahead, so the August books are currently in a "July" pile, the September books in an "August" pile and so on. The post-its have the corresponding month written on them, as well as the e-galleys I'm hoping to tackle right alongside the physical ARCs.I also have a separate stack and post-it for the books I'm reading along with Rachel for our regular Friends with ARCs feature.

3. The pile on my bedside table contains my next set of reads. I usually pick 3-5 novels to place on that table, simply for easy accessibility. I generally choose one I want to read (mood), one I planned to read (challenge or TBR) and one I need to review (review). I also have my Kindle on hand on that bedside table, just in case I feel like reading on it! (Note: I've already finished Champion, but this photo was taken before then!)

Keeping my TBR pile separate from the rest of my shelves is definitely something I've found useful in my attempt to whittle it down this year. It keeps me focused and aware, and I've appreciated how helpful that has been, particularly in these months where I have a ton of review books to tackle.

Do you separate your TBR books? How do you organize your TBR? Any books you see in this post that you think I should prioritize reading?


This was posted as part of The Picky Pledge.

21 comments:

  1. My books are currently all mixed together (color organization ftw), but I actually think it could be helpful for me at one point just to pull all my unread books off the shelf and put them together just so I have a tangible idea of what my TBR is. I think it's quite easy to lose track of how much of your shelf is TBR when they're all put together, and it can then be easy to continually add more books to your shelf because you don't feel as guilty about all the unread ones already sitting there! Of course, it's a little easier for me since I don't do ARCs and don't have books with time-sensitivities, but still. I can see this being a helpful way to do things! :)

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  2. I like the way you organize your ARCs by month and have a separate place for them. I'm so had at getting ARCs read on time. I do keep them separate from my other books so I know how many I have, but it doesn't help, lol. I have a TON more digital ARCs that just get lost in my kindle and that right there is the bigger mess, lol.

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  3. Yup, I have all of my tbr books on their own shelf. It does help to have a visual representation of just how many books you have still to read, especially if you are heading out to the library or book store...

    I'm a planner as well. I actually keep a list of my next few reads at the bottom of my to-do list on my computer. It works for me! :)

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  4. My bookshelves are a mess, although I do have an ARC shelf just for review books. I'm not very good at keeping to it, and now I'm wondering if I should start doing the stacks like you do, with the books to read per month, but no date for each one to be done. I think that will help more than what I've been doing, which is scheduling reading in my Google Reader and then ignoring it completely. =p Thanks for the idea!

    Also, I know Hannah is now mixing in her re-read books...I don't feel like I need to do that because I'm a terrible mood reader and I will just go ahead and re-read if I feel like it. I actually think the stacks with the stickies will help a lot with keeping me on track, and reminding me, like you say, that I have a variety of contemps or fantasy or whatever at my disposal and I should read those instead of going back and reading Harry Potter one more time. =P

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  5. Oh how lovely!! You are so organized!
    I actually don't separate my TBR books... I've tried before and usually by the time I get to them, I don't feel like reading the same ones. My schedule is all up in the air now and somehow that's working better for me! So weird.

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  6. I'm very similar! I've got a whole bookcase filled with my TBR (roughly 200 books crammed in there?), and a pile on my nightstand about 10 high for my next reads. It's intense! But I like having it there, a constant presence, so I can see that I DO have something to read next, that there's no need to buy ANOTHER book.

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  7. This gives me some good ideas! I have a book cart with three levels that helps me organize, but I also have an ARC Cabinet of Doom, so that tends to get a little bit out of control.....

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  8. My books are in such a mess right now because I literally have no more room! I wish I could be as organised as you! BTW Champion will make you cry!

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  9. Danielle @ Love at First PageJuly 21, 2015 at 7:48 AM

    My parents bought me a small bookshelf for Christmas, and I use it exclusively for my TBR. Top shelf are books I want to read in the current month, middle shelf for books I want to read the next month, and the bottom shelf are all my other TBR books. Like you said, it helps me stay organized, keep track of what I need to read next, and let's me know I have a lot to choose from!

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  10. I love separating my tbr books from my already read books. It helps me remember what I have yet to read and keeps me motivated! Love your thoughts on this. :)

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  11. Yes, me too! I really like knowing what's still unread on my shelves and having them organized like this always helps. Thanks for reading the post, and I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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  12. I love that you organize it by the time in which you want to read the books you've got on your TBR! It's similar to how I organize my review books. (And if I had more space, I'd probably organize the rest of my TBR that way too.) And same - I like knowing what I have left to read!

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  13. I totally understand Lily! I live in a much bigger apartment now, but I used to have way less space and had piles all over the place (and still kind of do, if you think about it).


    And Champion gave me feels! I read it and really liked it; it's my favorite of that series.

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  14. I LOVE THAT YOU HAVE A BOOK CART! I think that's even better because it's portable and you can move it around to wherever you wish. Now YOU are giving me ideas ;) Also, I love that you call in the ARC Cabinet of Doom!

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  15. YES. It really helps me restrain myself from getting MORE books (from stores, from libraries, from publishers) when I see how much I have, and the variety of what I have. It's like a very obvious physical reminder, and I appreciate that.

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  16. I honestly think that arranging your books is different for everyone! For some people (like me), it works best to have it all organized and laid out like this, though it does seem a bit constrictive. For some people (like you and even my husband), it's best to pick up what you're currently interested in and go with that. Every single method is totally valid, and I think whatever works for you is the best way to go!

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  17. Thanks for stopping by the blog, Ann!

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  18. I have such limited space in the apartment, so it's important to me to keep things organized. (Plus, I've always just been really organized in general.) This shelf is basically me working with what I've got for my TBR; you should see my other shelves, which are a teensy bit nuts. I'm glad the way I arrange my review books gave you an idea for how to arrange yours!


    And yes, she is! I can totally understand why that works for me, but for me, it's easy for me to decide to go ahead and reread something and grab it off my other shelf ;)

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  19. Exactly! You're a girl after my own heart, with your lists. I keep a list on my phone for my review reads, have another list in my blog planner and also have the shelves to help me out. It really works in my favor!

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  20. I'm really liking it too! It helps me see what I need to try and read before a month is up (though I try not to put too much pressure on myself to do that). I don't have as many digital ARCs now, which is helpful. But in order to keep track of ALL the ARCs (physical and digital), I actually have a list on my phone! It's arranged by pub date, so I can also look that up if I have to.

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  21. I actually want to arrange the ones I've read by color, just because I think it's so pretty! It may or may not happen when I acquire new, bigger shelves for my living room. And yes, I agree with your TBR assessment - it's much easier for me now that I'm separating my books. I didn't realize how many books I had acquired to read but hadn't read. And now I can easily fix that!

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