How do you maintain your TBR list?

That’s a question I’ve started thinking about only recently – How to maintain your ‘To Be Read List’. My reading has been haphazard and erratic to say the least. Sometimes I read book after book (like this month, for instance) and then I go bookless for long periods. When I want to start again I find myself lost.

I am not one for elaborate lists or excel sheets. I need to have some place that can be updated and accessed anywhere any time – when a friend suggests a read, when I stumble upon an interesting review on a blog or in the newspaper, a recommendation on Facebook, a book release… anywhere.


The obvious choice then is the phone.

I’ve been on Goodreads for a while now but I’m trying to use it more effectively – specifically my ‘Want to Read’ shelf. For the times I have a sluggish Net connection I go to Evernote. That has helped.

I’m also a great hoarder of books. I buy and stock up books during online sales or if one catches my fancy while I’m shopping for something entirely different. I’ve caught myself going to Crossword/Landmark under the pretext of buying CDs or craft supplies or toys and stationery — stationery is another one of my weaknesses – gorgeous handmade paper and trendy copy books, staplers and pen holders… totally drool worthy!

But I shouldn’t digress.

Almost always I have a bunch of unread books stocked up but I never remember them when I need to find one to read. Then one day when I decide to sort my cupboard I stumble upon them. It’s not that I don’t like the surprise but I’d much rather have them in some order.

Now I have set aside a physical cupboard for books I haven’t read. These are often my immediate next reads.

This isn’t exactly rocket science and most of you would probably be doing it already. Or do you have a better way to do this?


Linking to Mel’s #Microblog Mondays where we’re talking about bibiliotherapists – a fantastic concept specially for book lovers. If you don’t know what they are go look up Mel’s blogpost.


23 Replies to “How do you maintain your TBR list?”

  1. Stick to goodreads and track your progress. That works for me. Alternatively, have a diary where you actually write down book titles and tick them off when done. That helps too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Goodreads seems to be the most popular way to do it. As for writing by hand – I seem to have forgotten how to do that. Typing is more my thing.


      1. Lol Shailaja I’ll do that. The problem remains though of carrying it around with me everywhere.


  2. This is something that I struggle with too. The way I handle this is two-fold.

    1. Any interesting book that I come across – on the internet – through a review or recommendation – I add it to my Goodreads To-Be-Read shelf. I might not always get to them, but I know that I will not “lose” them.
    2. The ones that are actually with me – physically or through Kindle – the physical ones are almost always top priority – as I don’t like to have many unread books on my physical shelf. I sift through them very often, and keep them on my immediate reading list. Mostly because, I don’t feel comfortable buying new books if I have too many unread ones on the shelf. This is just me, but it works well as a motivator to read everything on my physical shelf. Though I have no such qualms about e-books.

    This year however – the Bingo is my guide. It has helped me plan my buying list, as well as my library books, well in advance.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Goodreads. I stick to it. And the list is ever growing. Also Google Keeps comes in handy as it’s easier to search through the book names when on a shopping spree! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Goodreads is great though I am not using it well. I am using Goodreads to just track the progress of books read. Must use it efficiently for TBR lists. As for the unread books at home, I keep them out or stack them together at one place and pick them on priority.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You’re describing me, too! This is my year of decluttering stuff, so maybe something practical may pop up. I’ve got books to read from years back. It may simply be time for me to donate or sell the books I thought I wanted to read but continue to ignore them.


    1. Oh yes I have a pile of those kind of books too. Some are the ‘famous’ ones which I didn’t quite like or manage to get through. Yeah donating them would be good – so I can make space for new ones.


  6. Oh yes, I am pretty haphazard with my TBR list. I hardly ever review the books on Goodreads or track their progress. Evernote is good to not down a quick suggestion.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I too am haphazard with my TBR list, but this year, there’s going to be a difference. I’ve made an excel sheet with some categories, and books in that category I will read. 🙂 It’s nice. Evernote or Google Keep is always good. Maybe you can share your TBR on Google Keep with a friend. and if you seem to be veering away, your friend can prod you to keep the Keep. 😀


    1. Oooh I’m impressed, you are very organised. Your excel sheet sounds a bit like Shantala’s Bingo.That’s the second recommendation for Google Keep – I need to check it out.


  8. There is a physical stack of books I have on hand, but otherwise, I download a sample of a book I want to read on the iPad, and when I need a new book, I pick from the samples. So anything anyone tells me about that sounds good gets downloaded as a free sample into iBooks. And then I have samples to check out as well before I head to the store.


  9. For the longest time, I did not have a way to track my books. In school and college, I used to write the names of all the books I own in a notebook, but back then too many people would borrow books and not return them and crossing out their names made me sad (and the notebook messy). Later I discovered goodreads, but didn’t start properly using it to track books until a few years ago. As for my ebooks, I move them into a folder called ‘Read’. I tried the Excel sheet for books that were sent for review, but when my laptop crashed last year, I lost the sheet as well as the PDF copies of the books that were sent. Oh well.
    And I’ve been thinking of buying another, bigger, bookshelf since forever now, but I am always broke :/


    1. I know what you mean about being clueless with book lists. We invested in a bookshelf recently – one I quite like so at least everything is together.- most of it at least.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Goodreads! It is the best I guess. The other rule is follow is I don’t buy till I read things on my shelf(imaginary ofcourse) So, that way, I avoid piling books.


    1. Self-control – that’s what I lack. I cannot resist picking up books specially if they’re at a discount and the unread pile just grows.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Goodreads works really well for me, but I’m also starting to assign myself books for the upcoming month so a few of the books I read I know will be ones from my TBR/Owned books versus hearing about a book and then just buying it to read.


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