What should be the goal?

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What should be the goal?

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lokakuu 11, 2016, 8:34am

Fantastic topic in the general Book Talk forum that we ought to bookmark in this group.

As I read through it, it suggested the question: what is the goal of monitoring and tracking our TBR pile? Do we, or do we not, expect/hope ever to reach its bottom? Or is that not part of the mission at all?

I keep trying to drive down the total number each year, after I began to feel I was getting "carried away". I'm successful so far, but very, very, very slowly.

lokakuu 11, 2016, 8:49am

Well I would certainly like to read everything I own, but I have no goal of getting to the bottom as that would mean new things didn't come in. Or at least, they'd come in at a SUPER SLOW rate because it will be many years before I finish what I currently own.

I do want/hope to read more than I take in every year, but I'm not sure that ever happens, lol. I don't go buying books very often, only every few mos, but I generally come back with at least one large stack, if not several, sooo... xD

lokakuu 11, 2016, 8:57am

I ultimately realized that my goal in tracking is not actually to read all the books in my TBR pile—impossible, and interests change over time—but to become better at assessing what I do want to read, so that I can shop more effectively and discard with confidence unread books that I'll never get around to.

lokakuu 11, 2016, 5:05pm

This question has proved harder for me to answer than I anticipated.

I originally started tracking my reading in 2008 as an attempt to force myself to read more fiction. I'd always loved to read, but I couldn't find the kinds of books I liked, so my novels-per-year were very low and I mostly read manga. I decided that I was just going to have to try harder to find them and LibraryThing helped with that... oh boy, did it help...

So the next couple of years saw my library grow a couple thousand books as I spread the net wide and acquired anything and everything that had the slightest chance to be the least bit interesting to me. I used my tracking to temporarily prevent any re-reads as I devoured new stuff and it all worked out beautifully.

But now my collection is so large that I use my tracking to guilt myself into reading more just to make a dent in my mountain range. I can't possibly read all my unread books in a lifetime -- I did the math -- and there are several authors I love who will probably be publishing for many decades to come... Now I have the problem where I have to decide if the next book I read will be one I'm 90% sure I will like, or if it will be one that has been collecting dust on my shelf because I acquired it when I was more desperate. If I read the older book I can then legitimately decide if it's a keeper or a swappable, but do I give up the surefire read for it?

And even still, I am currently 5 books behind schedule this year because I barely read anything for 2 weeks because, and you know how this goes, there was nothing in the house to read! Nothing! So I borrowed the books from my sister that I had given to her for Christmas last year. We are both hopeless in that regard.

So now I track my reading to revel in the futility of it and to say, "has it really been 5 years since I read that?"

lokakuu 12, 2016, 7:59am

One statistic I've removed from my TBR tracking is date acquired. No longer matters to me or factors into what I choose to read next, else guilt starts to trump other considerations. Not that I can entirely erase all memory of how long some of them have hung around. I say read the surefire first, always.

tammikuu 27, 2017, 2:12pm

I'm trying to think of a percentage reduction goal (10%, 15%, what have you); something that takes into account my usual reading levels/goals and what I acquire around holidays. Anyone else try this?

tammikuu 30, 2017, 7:54am

I can't aim for percentage very well, but for a specific number, like, reduce the total by 10 each year. Sounds modest, but it means I must read ten more than I acquire - that's the trick.

helmikuu 3, 2017, 5:27am

If, every time I buy a book, I can read two books before I buy another one, I'm bound to catch up pretty quick, right? Yet I'm pretty sure I read more than two books for every one I buy but I see no signs of shrinking my TBR pile.

Can't work it out ...

Um ... now I've looked at that, I've realised how slack I've become about updating my Currently reading pile - think I need to put in a couple of hours LT spring-cleaning ...

helmikuu 3, 2017, 9:10am

>8 alaudacorax: instances where that happens to me: something from the library, someone I borrowed, or something I just bought and immediately started reading so quickly it didn't get a chance to make friends or be registered on the TBR pile.

helmikuu 3, 2017, 11:15am

>8 alaudacorax: Not if the two books you read are from the library.

helmikuu 3, 2017, 12:25pm

I stopped going to the library because, I told myself, why are you going to the library when you have 90 books on the TBR shelf? (Triple stacked.) However, I usually get novels from the library while the TBR shelf is almost exclusively heavy non-fiction. So the upshot is, I simply read less. But I did finish a TBR last night!

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 3, 2017, 12:33pm

Yes, but the library books are (mostly) free, and using the library does reduce the number of books I buy. I think. To read is back up to 287 after a trip to the library and a bookstore.

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helmikuu 3, 2017, 1:58pm

>12 MarthaJeanne:, same here, if I forbid myself visits to the library then I'll feel more compelled to buy a copy for myself of whatever I'm not letting myself borrow. It's absurd, but it happens.

maaliskuu 25, 2017, 10:21pm

Went to a used book sale today: 11 books for $5.50. Tomorrow is the last day, when they have their $5 a bag deal: As many books as you can fit in one bag for $5. I regret nothing.

maaliskuu 27, 2017, 7:28am

>15 AngelaB86:, I'm in danger of same in about a month or so, when the library sale strikes again. I might have to flat my tire on purpose or something.

maaliskuu 27, 2017, 10:15am

Just give in. I came home with 41 books and a DVD yesterday, for $10. I'd like to think my library and I are better for it, and the charities certainly need the money.

maaliskuu 27, 2017, 10:44am

And any you read and decide not to keep (or start and decide not to read) can be given back to tempt other people next year

maaliskuu 27, 2017, 10:45am


maaliskuu 27, 2017, 2:37pm

I read only 30 books a year, and complete everything I start. Bringing home loot from one of these library sales is like trying to eat our family's Christmas dinner all by myself.

elokuu 28, 2017, 9:01am

One of these days, I'm going to figure out how many new books I buy in a year. I don't think it is a large number, under 20 for sure, and possibly fewer than 10 (not counting Kindle deals, I mean books at full price). Mostly I purchase new books by authors I love and in series I love, which is limited since so many of the authors I love aren't living anymore.

My issue are the books which wander in from the wild at no cost. My father-in-law is constantly giving us bags full of books which people drop off at the senior center and they have no room for. I've inherited books from several people who knew I loved them, and even going through them and only keeping the ones I was interested in still meant I acquired hundreds of books at one go. I don't go to yard sales anymore, and our library hasn't had a sale in several years. Although, they do keep a couple of carts with donated books they can't use on them for sale. I have pillaged those a couple of times.

Then there are the deals on Kindle. We won't even talk about the unread books on my Kindle.

Muokkaaja: elokuu 28, 2017, 9:27am

I never bought any books on Kindle until I bought a $35 Fire for a one trick pony to help with monitoring the greenhouses and found it has a few other uses like reading the paper (fits better on the table with my cereal and espresso AND the type is larger than my S4) and the free or 99 cent books - - - so far read 2 and about 10 are just waiting. No will power. . .

elokuu 28, 2017, 9:26am

I agree, we do not speak about the e-reader books. I rate those more akin to books-I'd-like-to-read-but-don't-own than to books taking up physical space in my house. In fact, going 100% e-reader would probably feel like a solution to my whole problem. Not going to happen though, I like the ones I can see, touch and hold too much. And oddly enough, you can't find the e-reader kind in yard sales, discount bins, library sales, passed on by friends, etc.

elokuu 28, 2017, 9:44am

I don't enter e-books until I have read them. In the beginning I read mostly old stuff from Gutenberg. Then my library subscribed to OverDrive, and adds about 100 titles a month to the list we can borrow from. Luckily a lot of them are thrillers that don't interest me in the slightest. But there are still a lot that I 'have' to immediately borrow or put on hold, and even more cluttering up my wish list there.

That makes it much harder to get through the 'To read' list of books on LT, whether they are library books or books I have bought or picked up somehow. But I am making progress on that. Partly by setting a goal. I currently have promised myself not to order any books from Amazon until I could enter them without going over 260.

But the wishlist on OverDrive does NOT count. And there is room there for over 4,900 more titles ... Do you think anyone really uses that up? Actually, I think the max used to be 1,000, so maybe some people had maxed that out.