Feral Friday - TBR (To Be Read) Piles

It’s Feral Friday! And we here at Book Nerd Reviews thought we would discuss a topic that really sends us feral.

This week, we’re talking about managing our TBR piles:

Kristy’s say:

I can’t say that I actually manage my TBR pile, it’s more like I juggle it. My TBR pile is always increasing, which is both a blessing and a curse, as I have to continuously change my reading plans.

And how I juggle it actually depends on a lot of things - and there is really no consistency in how I rearrange it, but I will explain a few of my reasoning’s for how I pretend to manage it. :)

Firstly, there are some books that I will push straight to the top of my TBR pile. These are either books I have been eagerly waiting for - either because of the author or because it is a sequel I have been dying to read. For example, any Laini Taylor book would cause me to drop everything - the book I am currently reading, my social/personal plans, housework etc. Failing that extreme situation, there are other authors that jump straight to the top of my TBR pile, as they never fail to impress me. Other books that jump the queue are those long (sometimes painfully long) awaited sequels.

After that, I try to give priority to any advance readers copies or review copies that I have been fortunate enough to be provided with. I feel this is an obligation as I am in a very fortunate position to get these copies. But I don’t mean obligation in a bad way - I don’t feel obligated to the point that it feels like a chore, I just feel that if I am fortunate enough to be in this position, then I will try my to read and review that book as soon as I can. However, this could easily result in obligation taking over my enjoyment of reading, so to make sure that doesn’t happen; I only request ARCs and review copies of books that I really want to read. For me to even ask a publisher for one, I already have to know I want to read it; which could include the author being one of favourites, or the synopsis really appealed to me. However, for any copies I am approved for, I will only read when I am in the mood for that book - otherwise it’s not fair to me, the author or the followers of Book Nerd Reviews.

After that, the priority system fails and it really depends on my mood. Sometimes I will pick up a book because it is a standalone, other times because I am in the mood for that genre, other times because someone I know has said how great it was (or begged me to read it). I also have some books on my TBR pile that the beginning of a series, so if the sequel comes out (or even last in the trilogy), sometimes I will read them, as it gives me a chance to read multiple books back-to-back, allowing me to get lost in that world for a little longer (or even start and finish a series in one hit).

At the end of the day, I don’t put too much emphasis on how to manage my TBR pile - I need to want to pick up “that” book - I don’t see the point in picking up a book that I am not in the mood for, as I won’t enjoy it as much as I could. My TBR pile is always growing as there are always great books being released, so I just get through them one at a time. :)

Melissa’s say:

My TBR pile is both a blessing and a curse (Post edit: I realise Kristy has said the exact same thing - there is something be said about that in itself! lol). I love always knowing I have something to read, and I feel motivated when I am adding new books to my TBR pile - it sort of gives me some gusto to dedicate more time to reading to get through my books quicker. But then at times, it can feel completely overwhelming, and I feel immense pressure. Pressure to have read enough books, pressure to update BNR and have my review ready to go, pressure from the publishers, pressure in general. And that in itself can make reading sometimes feel unenjoyable and then lead to a reading slump.

It’s really a catch 22.

For me personally, having been blogging now for 2 and a half years and constantly feeling that pressure, I think you just have to read books you’re excited about. I think as I have become more experienced at this, and experienced a number of reading slumps along the way (one in May that would have seen the end of Book Nerd Reviews if it wasn’t for Kristy coming on board!), I am more selective in what I read. If you get stuck reading the books you just don’t absolutely adore and you feel forced into reading, it’ll never work long term.

Sometimes I still get a case of the guilts when it comes to Advanced Readers Copies (ARC’s). As book reviewers, we sometimes request books with the best of intentions but never get around to them. And sometimes we get unsolicited ARC’s. I used to try and get around all of these, but I soon realised that if it’s not something I am really hanging for or excited to read, then I can’t spend a lot of time fussing about it. And to me this is a big sticking point. Reading is for ENJOYMENT. I do not get paid to do this (as with all bloggers really), and I don’t want to ever lose sight of why I created BNR in the first place. It’s because I LOVE books.

So these days, I have a constant list on my Microsoft One Note app (Thanks again to Asti from A Bookish Heart for the big tip!), and I keep a list of about 10 books - both ARC’s and books that I want to read on this list at any one time. It’s a visual reminder for me, so I can see what books are going to shortly be released, as well as to help me stay on coarse when it comes to my TBR pile. This is what my current list looks like:

Given I read what I feel like reading (for the most part), I basically choose my next book based on the 10 in my list, but not in any order. So if I have a book on there that I really feel like reading, then I pick that up next. Do some books still miss out? Sure. It happens. But I’ve come to realise that we’re not superheroes, and as much as I am sure we’d all love to read every book that we come across in our lives, we all know this is not something that could actually ever happen (although if someone finds a way, please let me know!). I try not to feel bad for not getting around to everything - I just do the best I can these days.


We would really love your opinion on this - how do you manage your TBR pile? We all have them as readers - books we’d love to read. Does yours get out of control? What strategies do you use to keep on top of this? Let us know in your comments below!

What do you think?

  • Brianna says:

    I don’t think I mange my TBR pile very well. It’s more like it takes over my life. I try to have a list of books to definitely read in a certain time frame, but then all the new pretty books come out and I get distracted. I have lots of lists to try and help. Also all my books that I haven’t read are on a shelf together for a visual aid of what I need to get through.

    I feel that all people who love to read will always have an out of control TBR list. How can we not?

    • Kristy says:

      I agree Brianna - the TBR pile will always be out of control, and really, that is a good thing :)
      I have all my unread books together as well, it is great for that visual reminder - however it doesn’t help for my ebook situation lol

  • Carolyn says:

    I can never remember which books I have in my TBR list so I now keep a whiteboard on my fridge with the list on it. Feels great to be able to wipe them off when I’ve read them, although random books will still be read as well if I feel like a change or get something new that really appeals to me.

  • […] a Book Bender explains why some books are $2.99. - Kristy and Melissa @ Book Nerd Reviews discuss managing their TBR piles. - Gaby @ Queen Ella Bee Reads complains that reading more books has made it so less stand […]

  • Arra says:

    I also have a list of my priorities usually those books sent by authors themselves and for the blog tours. Then I will proceed with the others. And yes it is a blessing and a curse. If books are pools, I would’ve drown and died already. Haha!

    Style Reader

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    CommentLuv badge