Thursday, August 20, 2009

What are you Reading Thursday - How Do You Pick?

This Thursday PHS editor Donna Alward tries to determine what to pluck next from her TBR....

If I've come to realize one thing about romance readers - and writers - over the last few years, it's that we ALL have a TBR. A to-be-read pile. A giant stack, or shelf, or box, or whatever, of all the books waiting to be devoured. Because let's face it, there are so many books. So little time.

When I see some of the counts of people participating in the eharlequin challenge, I feel really inadequate. It's August and they are counting their reads in the hundreds. Not me. I'm at about fifty books for the year, which is much better than last year's grand total of fifty-six. Will I make one hundred? I don't know. But I do know that reading fifty, sixty, or even seventy books is quite a number.

But I do what I can, between running after kids, keeping up with the house and yard, and oh yes, WRITING.

I have certain parts of my tbr "system" that are organized - for example, I keep a notebook with all the titles of my tbr and I check them off when they've been read and reviewed for eharlequin. Each one is numbered too. I'm currently at nearly 100 since the beginning of the year - ones I started with and then each new purchase or gift added in.

Other parts are not organized at all. Research and craft books are on one shelf, fiction on another, but other than that, my tbr shelves are not organized at all. And neither are my choices.

Do any of you have a system for conquering your tbr? Do you organize by date of publication? Purchase date? Author groupings? Genre? Alphabetical? It occurred to me that there are tons of ways to tackle that growing pile (and as much as I say I'm not going to add to my tbr, somehow it keeps growing!).

My current system, or lack of, is to look at the shelf and read what grabs me at the moment. If I am really pressed for time, I grab a few category romances for quicker reads. But I have some new historical single titles taunting me, as well as a book on craft and some research books and some women's fiction.....Decisions decisions!

How in the world do YOU decide what to read next?

Donna's next release is a holiday story, coming in November! Yeah, it's early to be excited about snow, and Christmas carols and all the rest that goes with it, but she can't resist - not with this great cover! MONTANA, MISTLETOE, MARRIAGE is out in hardback in September and in stores in November.


  1. Wow, Donna, a system! I'm impressed. I have no system at all. I just grab whatever appeals at the moment. And if it keeps me interested, I finish it as quickly as possible. If not, it might languish for days or weeks while I've gone on to other books.

    I make my decision on what to include in the TBR pile almost exclusively by author. I like particular authors' voices and their subject matter, and so that's what makes a book a to-buy or not to-buy choice. I do try new authors, though. Then I hope they impress me enough to get on the automatic buy list.

  2. I think my system is an attempt to make order out of chaos, Anne. LOL.

    Do you know I read more new to me authors than favourites? And then I hear of authors I WANT to read and haven't yet - like Phillipa Gregory, for instance.

  3. Can I say like Anne that I am impressed with a system? Mine is grab the one that appeals.

    My dd adores Phillipa Gregory and is currently her latest -- The Winter Queen which is about Elizabeth Woodeville, rather than the Bohemian Winter Queen.

  4. Wow! Wish I was as organised as you. To have any sort of system would be good! I'm reading lots of lovely books that I won in a competition run by the lovely Kate Walker. 15 books in total. The hardest thing is picking which one to read next. Take care. Caroline x

  5. I still grab what appeals. There's no system to that. But I do love having my book. It also helps if I haven't logged reads for the challenge because once I log that read, I check it off.

    A friend gave me this book a few years ago. You can put in books read, there's a spot for favorite quotes, and a wish list section. It's a gem.

  6. My TBR books live in boxes. This comes from a shortage of shelves as they are all full of books... We live in france and depend on kind, book addict friends to top us up with english books when they come here on holiday. So the box is lovely and full now. Never knowing what's going to turn up certainly adds to the excitement.

  7. I just unpacked mine :) I grouped it by genre, but maily because it was easy to do and didn't make it look so...massive. I tend to grab based on line and blurb. Sometimes cover. Yep, all things the author has nothing to do with!