I have an admission: the TBR posts I make are not really my TBR. Mostly, they are a mash up of things I plan to read in the semi-near future. But my actual TBR is…well, it’s complicated.

Unless they have a dirty secret lurking in a closet somewhere, Amy and Jae seem to keep such neat and controlled TBRs. I don’t know how that works. Then again, I’ve never been a tidy person. I’m all about disorganized organization methods. It may appear disorganized to others, but there is typically some underlying organizational scheme happening within the piles on my desk, the stacks on my nightstand, the crafts all over my studio. My TBR is no different. There is some form of organization. I’m about to try to explain it.

Ok, first thing to note: ignore my Want to Read list on Goodreads. Why? Well, I enter a lot of drawings and my bar to entry is low there. Partly, because if I get a freebie that is marginally interesting, I will still read it and hope to expand my book horizons. But all of those drawings end up on my Want to Read list. So, that list has a TON of stuff that I won’t seek out but would certainly read if I won.

Now, if I see something interesting when I’m entering contests, it goes on my handwritten TBR list contained in my handy dandy tiny notebook. This is also where I put any recommendations from friends, books I find on social media, blogs, Goodreads, etc.

This old school handwritten list serves as the basis for what I check out from the library and what I purchase. And in my home I always have a stack of TBR library books and a stack of TBR that I own. Both physical TBR stacks contain stuff from the handwritten list as well as things I came across that sound interesting.

For the library, I am on many a reserve list. But as the universe goes, I often have five TBR selections drop on me all at once, and I have to feverishly read three or four nonrenewable selections quickly. Those tend to go to the top of the TBR out of necessity. Other library books I get from the quick browse I do whenever I have a pickup.

For books I own, I try to read at least one book from my Book of the Month Box before BOTM drops its next selections. I also have everything I win in contests, and all the books that I trade for using social media book swaps (yes, that’s a thing!). I’m not one to keep an extensive library at home, so other than a few selections a year, I tend to give away and swap any books that I own.

That said, there are probably about 50 books on my TBR right now, considering the list, the library stacks and the stacks of what I own. It is a wee bit out of hand. And sometimes, those poor books I own get neglected because they lack due dates. With my selection this vast, I often struggle with what to read next. It’s hard to manage all my reading desires, y’all! And sometimes I just have to make a random grab.

I would love to know more about how you track what you are going to read. And how you chose what is next!

Do you make a physical list? Track in Goodreads? Are you a mess like me? Please share in the comments!

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