As I look through my Goodreads shelves and wonder how the hell I’ve acquired so many books on my digital TBR list, I started to wonder how other people use their shelving system. Do you use shelves like “consideration” or “maybe” or “to check out” on Goodreads to track books? These are the books where you think you MIGHT want to read them but probably not? Maybe? … So you put them on your in-between to consider later. Do you ever purge this shelf? Do you leave it as a gray area or book purgatory forever?
I have a few answers to all this. My “consideration” shelf on Goodreads is primarily books I’m *considering* reading. I guess it IS that simple, to start with. I don’t think “I definitely want to read this” when I see the book, which is why it doesn’t end up on my main TBR. If I say “maybe I’d read this,” I kind of go from there. I get annoyed at myself when I look at the number of books on there (currently 557) and think: I’m never going to read ANY of these. I have 2,016 (!!!!!!!) books on my actual to-read list PLUS the 348 on my TBR for unreleased books. Do I really NEED a consideration shelf?
Honestly, the main reason I keep it around is to keep track of books I’ve seen and keep getting distracted by. Let me explain. I have this whole book cover addiction, as you are aware of by now, so I get distracted. I see someone add a book to their list on Goodreads and I get intrigued by the cover. I read the synopsis and think “meh, probably not for me.” Two days or two weeks or two months later, I see the same cover (forgetting I’ve already done this dance) and repeat the process. THIS BAD MEMORY THING OF MINE CAN BE THE WORST. My solution? Add it to the maybe shelf. I probably will not read it, but I am so effing tired of reading that synopsis after being distracted by the shiny cover. The only way to remedy this is to ADD IT to my shelves, know I’ve looked already, and move on. This probably is true for about half of the books on my consideration shelf.
The other half of the books on that shelf fall into a few other categories. Sometimes I DO actually use this shelf for books I’m considering and not sure of. Usually I still add books I’m HIGHLY considering to my real TBR, so I can find them easily, and books I’m LOW-KEY considering to this middle-ground shelf. One area of books on this shelf are sequels where I’m not sure I feel like continuing the series after book one. I didn’t LOVE or necessarily HATE the first book in the series, I’m thinking about continuing depending on reviews, and am just not sure yet.
Another category on here is for iffy authors. I don’t mean iffy like did-something-garbage-and-we’re-mad-at-them, but iffy meaning I wasn’t sold on the first (or sometimes second, because I give a lot of second chances) book I read by them. If I don’t like the characters or pacing or plot in a book, but the writing was pretty good, I’d likely read this author again. If I don’t like the writing style or the book had something super off-putting for me personally, I may still add this author to my “consideration” shelf.
Some authors are great, but not all of their books will be up my alley. I love the Illuminae series but the other books by Jay Kristoff are very much not for me, from what I can tell. Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle is PERFECTION but I have had very little interest in reading her other books so far. The books by authors I love (that I have no plans to read) will still get added to my shelves.
Another group of books on this shelf are the ones where I’ve lost interest in them for some reason, but am not fully ready to remove it from my TBR in general. I had a book on my TBR that I was excited for, some absolutely terrible reviews rolled in, the average rating is a 2.84, and I probably will never get to it… but I’m not 100% ready to say no yet, for some reason.
Is this an unnecessary book purgatory? Sure. But if it makes my Goodreads experience any better, even just a few times a month when I spot a shiny cover with a lame synopsis, why not? It has me curious though: what kinds of books do you put on this maybe/consideration shelf, if you have one? Do you go through and purge it sometimes with books you know you won’t read? Do you ever look at it for inspiration and actually pick a book from it to read?! Let me know!