I always have a very, very general idea of what books I want to read within the upcoming weeks. There are definitely times where I’m like “wait… what the hell should I read next?!” … but those times are few and far between lately. And usually, when those moments happen, it’s just because I can’t decide which books out of a certain ~group~ of books I want to read NEXT. I always have some idea. This is especially true for the different “required reading” books I have each month. My problem though is spacing out books correctly and WHEN to read certain things.
Each month, there are a few bookish events that I take part in. They always require reading a book by a certain time or within a certain timeframe. These ones are usually able to be planned for with my TBR but sometimes things get in the way (like ARC tour books – they always surprise me…)
The books I know I will have to read by certain dates include:
- Last Wednesday of the month: Book Buddies Review book selection
- Mid-to-late-month (dates often change): Book club (IRL) book selection
- Whenever they come in, within a week: ARC tour books
- Whenever I have them planned: Blog tour review books / posts
So each month, by the middle or end of the month, I have 2 books to read – one for book club and one for Book Buddies. My issue is that I usually don’t start reading them until the week before (or a few days before) they’re “due.” I have to compile Book Buddies questions by the day before so we have time to prepare our posts. If I’m not in the mood to read the book at the moment, I have to power through anyways. I don’t have a choice. Don’t get me wrong, these are both books I WANT to read. It’s just that I might not be in the mood for them at the time I sit down to read them.
My bigger issue with TBR planning involves my unplanned ARC tour books. I usually sign up for them and don’t see the book come around to me until a month or more later. It shows up and I have to read it within a week. I LOVE these tours because I get to check out books I normally can’t read early, but it can be hard to plan a TBR around them. They’re usually unexpected and time-sensitive.
→ How to fix my issues: read when I’m in the mood and only request books I know I’m eager to read or don’t depend on my mood
If I’m kind of feeling my Book Buddies book three weeks before we’re going to post it, I just READ IT. Right then. We usually email questions to each other so all I need to do is prepare my questions ASAP after finishing it, take good notes while reading, and be all set. I keep the “Required Reading” section of my spreadsheet updated so I know when books are “due.” There’s honestly no solution for ARC tours, so the biggest key is to make sure I only request books I KNOW I’m going to want to read – regardless of my mood. Picking high fantasy when there’s a huge chance I won’t want to read that when the time comes… just doesn’t make sense. I can stick to lighter fantasy books or contemporaries.
Aside from the required reading I have each month, I try to have a general idea of some of the books I want to read soon. It’s never anything fancy and usually stays in my head. I only recently started to try to write them out (and it barely works). These books usually are:
- Library books (especially if I’ve renewed them too many times)
- eARCs and physical ARCs I have that are coming out soon
- Matching the season (summery contemporary books, holiday books during December, etc.)
- Something I’ve been saying I need to read soon and still haven’t
- Books I’ve been anticipating that are releasing soon
I usually read between 10 and 20 books per month. I realize that’s a big jump. In July last year I read 24 books and in March I read 9. I average about 15 because of the ups and downs. So, it’s hard for me to really say “these are 10 books I want to read in March.” That could be my entire TBR for the month… or only half of it. I’m better with giving myself more options (like what Nikki does – I’ve never tried the grab bag kind of method, but I usually say these are 20-30 books I want to or need to read soon).
→ How to fix my issues: give myself guidelines only as reference and keep track of library book due dates and renewals, plus ARC pub dates
I love checking out too many library books and then forgetting about them, or having the due date come faster than I thought. Lately I’ve been pretty good about reading MOST of them. I like to make myself a pseudo-TBR (even if it’s just in my head) for each month. I also have more info coming about this on Monday – I’ve further organized my TBR on Goodreads 😉
I really just give into being a mood reader most of the time. With ARC tours coming in regularly, it can be hard to do that since books have a deadline. If I get more than one at a time, I don’t have a chance to read anything else but the books I have. It’s a good problem to have because they’re all books I want to read, but I just might not be reading them when I actually want to read them.
My mood reading tendencies have gotten better because of this. I’m WAY more likely to pick up any book, read it, and enjoy it. Sometimes I get burned out by certain genres if I read too many in a row, but it’s been happening less and less. It sounds stupid, but I’ve been able to train myself away from having to mood read when I have certain deadlines. Whenever I feel too burnt out from following a TBR, I just pick out the next book I want and go with it.