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Topic: How do you choose what to read next off a big TBR pile?

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Subject: How do you choose what to read next off a big TBR pile?
Date Posted: 9/10/2008 6:34 PM ET
Member Since: 9/23/2006
Posts: 527
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I know I'm not the only one here with a daughting daunting TBR pile (or even shelves!) staring me down. :) I was wondering how people choose what to read next when they have so many great choices? I have so many weird categories for my own reading but it usually seems to help.

A lot of the time PBS really impacts my reading- I usually put books with long wishlists on higher priority. That way, even if I don't dig the book or want to keep it, it'll be able to go to someone who might enjoy it quickly. It also helps when taking books to the used bookstore. I'm also reaching for 2008 released books more for "best of" polls later on.

I'm still so new to the romance genre that going by the AAR Top 100 list really impacts what I choose next. It's fun and also raises the probability that I'll read a quality book. Now I know other peoples tastes don't guarantee a thing, but about 8 out of 10 times it works really well. :)

Sometimes I'll just get a "craving" for book. After glancing at it enough times on my shelf I'll just HAVE to read it!

Date Posted: 9/10/2008 6:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I usually have a stack of differnt genres and carry a lot around with me in the car then pick whatever suits me at the time. the other day Idecided to ring 'late for the wedding 'by amanda quick because it's the last in that trilogy and I wanted to complete it plus I was taking a short break from funny contemporary. sometimes I read the series romances like harlequin, love inspired, silhouette when I need an easy read without a bunch of characters to keep straight. other times I reach for erotica then need a break and go to something entirely different. what bugs me the most is knowing a book I'm wanting to read then not being able to find it!

Date Posted: 9/10/2008 7:04 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2007
Posts: 376
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Funny you would ask this on the day I received 7 books from PBS in the mail, the day after I received 4 books from Amazon, and 2 days after I got 4 books at the UBS...

On a whim, I've been following 3 different Reading Challenges, 1 I set for myself (it's more a Quest than a Challenge): read all 100 of the All About Romance Top 100 2007 books (like the OP). The other 2 are from a Shelfari group, Readers of Romance challenges. These 2 challenges are meant partly to be a way of whittling down your TBR Mountains. My TBR mountain grows because, as I read an author I like, say from the AAR Top 100, I am compelled to glom. So I choose books from this that fit the challenges, and try very, very hard to refrain from getting new books that aren't in my current glom...

And today I'm sitting here surrounded with 15 books to choose from, not counting the books already in the pile - well, 14 since I finished one earlier today.

Just when I had decided which one, I read a review of another, and rather than decide, came in here and saw your post.

I guess that isn't really an answer. How to choose??? I'm not sure. Maybe I'll try Eenie Meenie Minie Moe.

Last Edited on: 9/10/08 7:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/10/2008 7:42 PM ET
Member Since: 1/19/2008
Posts: 14,843
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in general, i try to alternate genres - usually romance and sf&f, but occasionally i'll read a mystery.

i try to group authors into a month so the index in my book journal (by author) isn't totally unmanageable, so lately, i've started setting up a 'mini-TBR' at the beginning of each month with a stack of books i plan to read that month.  if i've got additional books by someone i've got a library book from, those go on first.  i'll pick out a couple of things i'm just really wanting to read, and then if i have an anthology with that person named on the cover (and no editor named, or that's who goes in the index), i'll pull that, and see what else i've got from those authors.  i try to make sure i've got enough on there for different moods, and since i usually don't end up piling as many books into the mini-TBR as i'll actually read, there's room to add something else if i want.  staring at only 10-20 books for most of the month makes it easier to decide what to read next.  :)  (and i end up reading a lot of books at the end of the month where i only have 1 from that author at the moment.)

for example, this month the anthology Hot Spell is driving most of my mini-TBR pile for romance - Lora Leigh, Emma Holly, and Shiloh Walker.  since i have 3 or more books from each of them, that's a decent sized pile.  the library book for Acheron adds some Sherrilyn Kenyon to the pile.  that's 13, and i added a couple more.  on the sf&f side this month went Glen Cook (P.I. fantasy), Jack Campbell (military sci-fi), and Catherine Asaro (fantasy with romance, sci-fi), and an old Lora Leigh fantasy novel i found at a thrift store, and that's another 9 books.  that's plenty for most months!

Date Posted: 9/10/2008 8:55 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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OK you'll probably think I'm crazy....but I pick out 2 books and I show them to  my husband and I say "pick one" and I read the one he picks.  He never even looks at the book - just points. LOL


Date Posted: 9/10/2008 9:18 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 240
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I do TRY to alternate the genres I read.  And of course, if all else, fails . . . eenie, meany, miney, mo always works.  ;-)


Date Posted: 9/10/2008 9:27 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I try to go by what I can get rid of quickest - wishlisted, or likely tradeable at the UBS. Or overdue at the library. But then I get tired of that and want to just read whatever I'm in the mood for.  I tend to trade off between genres, too.

Date Posted: 9/10/2008 9:38 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2008
Posts: 2,530
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I just go for whatever I'm in the mood for. I try to do the WL books 1st, but if I'm not in the mood for that book I go for whatever I'll enjoy at that time.

Date Posted: 9/10/2008 9:50 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
Posts: 2,553
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I alternate generes and time periods. I also consider what is WL'd and try to get through those first. I just finished a contemporary romance so I'll probably pick a historical. Then maybe I'll read an urban fantasy, after that an erotica, then maybe another historical or perhaps a mystery. I actually don't think that far ahead, and sometimes I just stare at my bookshelf until a good title pops out at me. I also log all the books I own at goodreads.com so my entire bookshelf is on there (read, TBR, currently reading, keepers, traded)  and I keep a "short-list" of books I can't start that minute but at some point I want to read soon and don't want to forget about them. So I have my entire TBR and my "short-list" (which is actually about 35 books at any given time). I usually check my short list before browsing the entire TBR.

Date Posted: 9/10/2008 10:04 PM ET
Member Since: 6/9/2007
Posts: 745
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I try to read WL first just to get them outta here, then library books, especially library books that I know are on other people's reserve lists. I also try to mix up genres so I don't get bored. Sometimes I just read whatever falls off the TBR mountain. ;)

Date Posted: 9/11/2008 12:12 AM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2007
Posts: 1,550
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Ok, mine are in my hutch all nice and stacked hidden from sight lol! and I have them in there starting with the ones I've had the longest and add the new ones to the end and grab the first one, I know strange but.....If I don't do that there are probably some that I won't pick up but they might be good........... LOL

Considering my TBR Mountain is like 850 books it can be overwhelming at times, so this takes all the decision making out of it for me lol!

Date Posted: 9/11/2008 12:34 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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It's sometimes whim/mood, often an author I pick up and like and want to read more from, sometimes something that's caught my attention from comments or book excerpts here and I either ordered right away or already had, and sometimes things that I keep tissue wrapped and ready to pull out for a rainy day, because I know they're special, but I don't want to burn up my short supply of those all at once:P

Last Edited on: 9/11/08 12:35 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/11/2008 7:27 AM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2008
Posts: 7,333
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It use to be whatever I was in the mood for but now that I've become addicted to these "swap games" I have to read what I plan on using for that swap.  I need to take a break from the swaps so I can actually read what I want...yeah right, like that is going to happen anytime soon.

Date Posted: 9/12/2008 3:54 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I usually go for a WL book unless I'm really in the mood for a particular type of book and I have none that are WL. If I can't decide on any type of book-then I grab a WL. I do the opposite though-I look for one that has a short WL line so I can post it while it's still WL. 

I"ve damaged 2 WL books recently.  I actually picked up 3 of my WL tbr books from the library yesterday.  I'm going to read the library versions which are already beat up and post mine.  Actually I'm saving one for the WL Romance swap.  (no I don't intend to abuse the library's copies-none of which would actually be postable if I bought them from the library)

Date Posted: 9/12/2008 10:10 PM ET
Member Since: 8/3/2006
Posts: 3,823
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I first go for the swap books that I NEED to read, then it all depends on mood and where, when I'll be reading. If I have to take it somewhere, it'll be mystery or womens fiction, if its at home, then I'll read romance or erotica. Sometimes I just can't decide, so I stick my hand in the back of the closet (where all the good books are hidden) and pull something out and that is what I have to read.