There’s a lot of talk in bookish communities about our TBR (to be read) lists. My “Mt. TBR,” as some people call it, only gets bigger no matter what I do. I blame it on all of the social media with which I engage – I allow myself to be inundated with twitter feeds, Instagram pictures, podcasts, and blogs that gush over the next hot book. Or the book that I should have read 20 years ago, but was only 12 so it probably would have just gone over my head anyway.
Embarrassingly, I experience such angst with creating and maintaining this list; I am constantly weighing the pros and cons of using different formats. I have so many TBR lists that I’m not sure that I would even be able to find them all:
- Scribbles on scratch paper that I’ve had had since Elementary School (I’m sure)
On Goodreads and see something that I want to read? Add it to the Goodreads list. Scrolling through Pinterest and something good pops up in my feed? Pin that baby! I still haven’t found the perfect system for me. Having a smartphone makes it easier, because I’m one of the sad souls that can’t stop looking at mine. But, heavens to Betsy, paper lists can be so pretty! So what’s a paper addicted, list lovin’ girl with an interest in almost everything to do? Write down everything that I love and hate about each medium, of course!
LibraryThing is a bookish website that I’ve been a member of since 2008. It was one of the first bookish social websites that popped up, so it makes me feel cool, in a nerdy-sort-of-way, to have been on board for so long. Serious Readers are abundant, and there are rich, complex discussions within the groups and wonderful recommendations from people with interests similar to mine. Each book has its own page and there are links to many major booksellers to ensure ease of purchase. It’s fairly easy to add books to your wishlist and super easy to see when books are a part of a series. LibraryThing is totally un-spammy. Users are discouraged from openly advertising books that they’ve written and focus on the love of books and cataloging.
There are a few downsides to using LibraryThing for my wishlist. If I am reading on my kindle, it is not possible for me to access the LibraryThing site. And on a personal note, there was a period of time that I lost touch with LibraryThing and when I returned, it was difficult to reconnect with other users. And because there are so many Serious Readers that are connected with each other, it is very difficult for me to keep up with the threads. Also – LibraryThing focuses on the utility and functionality of the website – which means that sometimes it’s not very pretty.
Goodreads is newer to me. I can easily access my wishlist with my Kindle and I love how easy it is to follow and interact with lots of different authors. It is VERY pretty and user friendly. I haven’t spent very much time there, but recognize that there are tons of groups on the site, which allows for making connections with others. I’m a member of a couple of groups, but do not follow the threads closely.
Oh, and did I say that it’s pretty?
I am one of those people who put off “trendy” activities on principle, which is why I stayed away from Goodreads for so long. Am I off the mark by calling it trendy? The hardest obstacle for me to hurdle is my thinking that Goodreads is very commercial – it seems as though the love of books and the connections that shared interests create aren’t the primary focus of this website – its goal is to sell books.
Pinterest, oh how I love thee. I have a gazillion boards, and one of those is dedicated to books. Book shelves, libraries, reading nooks, funny bookish coffee mugs, and of course, interesting looking books are all piled onto this board.
This is probably the WORST place for me to keep my wishlist. It is not accessible with my kindle, it’s not easy to search for a specific pin (for me, anyway!), and the books can get lost in all of the other prettiness. But how can you resist the ease of just pinning something the moment that you see it and knowing that it will always be there?
Scribbles on paper:
I am a notebook lover to my core and always have one on me. Always. A good pen is my most important tool – and the tool that I’m the most picky about (featured above is one of my favorites – the Pentel Slicci pen). It’s easy to jot things down on sticky notes, scraps of paper, and the notebook shoved in my purse. But, how do I find all of those little notes when I need them? This is certainly not the most efficient way to keep a list, but it’s absolutely the prettiest!!
Any advice for me? How do you keep up with your TBRs?