Lately, I’ve been seeing the “Down the TBR Hole”, where go through their Goodreads list of “to read” and pick a few in order to decide which ones to keep or let go. That sparked me to look at my own list and realize that it’s 405! For me, that seems a bit too big. So after reading a few of those posts, I’m now gonna share my weeding experiment with all of you.
At least once a month (maybe more or less depending on time), I’ll read from 3-6 samples from either NetGalley or my Kindle. After I read them, I’ll write up my thoughts and decide which ones to keep or let go in a compilation post. I would rather have my TBR be full of books I actually want to read, rather than have a pile of random ones that I never really looked into.
How will I decide which ones to keep or let go? For each sample, I will ask myself three questions:
- Did the first page entice me to keep reading? This is huge for me. Throughout my college experience, every professor talked about the first page of a paper or story being crucial to draw the reader in. Many authors changed their first sentence 50 times before getting it right. For me, the first page needs to be a good opening scene to a story.
- How is the pacing of the beginning? Can I see why it’s written that way, or does it turn me off? This will vary of course, since every book begins differently. I feel like the reasons why you can read samples on your e-reader is for marketing reasons; they want you to read enough to entice you to buy it and read right away. I want to be engaged to the beginning the story. Whether it’s a murder, betrayal, family secrets, etc, there’s endless possibilities. But I also don’t want to be bored the whole time. If I read a full sample of a book and don’t feel any connection to it, or felt like the story never really takes off, it’ll get the chopping block.
- Will I read the full novel? Yes, No or Undecided? This is the biggest question of all. For many of us that use NetGalley or other similar services, we read a sample to see if it’s worth requesting it. Or we want to just see what the hype is about surrounding a popular book before deciding if it’s worth the time investing in reading the whole thing.
If I become undecided about a book after reading a sample on my Kindle, I will go to my local library and find a copy and read the first 100 pages. If that doesn’t work, then I’ll know that I don’t need to waste my time reading the whole thing. I’m hoping that I will be able to tell which ones I’ll actually read or not. **Note: I will not label books as DNF if I’m just trying out the first 100 pages for weeding my TBR.**
Goal: For this project, I would like to get my TBR on Goodreads down 100 books in the next year or so. This is flexible and could change over time.
Thanks for stopping by! What are ways that you weed out your TBR? Do you just delete stuff off the list after a certain amount of time? Do reviews persuade you to do so? Let me know in the comments about what you think about dwindling your TBR down and how you decide which books you want to read. Hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day weekend!