If you are a reader or you want to consider yourself a reader (like me) then you probably have a long list of books on your TBR (To Be Read list – it’s a bookworm thing). Here’s how you can get through that humongous list before you die of old age.
1. Take some books off the list.
Okay, I understand that this point is kind of cheating, but a few of those books on your list are only there because a friend guilted you into considering it (that friend being me) or because it sounded cool when you heard of it on NPR in 2015. Run through your list and kick a few off. If you need help, find some criticizing reviews on Goodreads or Amazon.
Don’t tell yourself “I’m going to read thirteen books this week, I love them all!” (This is a direct quote from me.) Instead, focus on one or two (or maybe three) books at a time. My usual system is one nonfiction, one fiction, one audiobook (usually fiction) and one read aloud to the kids. However, currently I’m reading seven or so books, so I really just need to take this to heart myself. But they’re all really good books!
To read the books on your To Be Read list, you must read. Try reading instead of watching TV. Often you’ll enjoy this more, feel like an accomplished person, and end up going to bed earlier and getting a better night’s sleep. Think of how quickly you could finish a book if you read it for 45 minutes every day! You could read A Wrinkle in Time in about four days, The Diary of Anne Frank in a week, and Pride and Prejudice in two weeks!
4. Listen to audiobooks.
Audiobooks are wonderful because you can read a book without spending hours actually reading it. Instead, you can take a walk or drift off to sleep as you listen.
You don’t need to spend loads of money to listen to audiobooks. Most libraries have a good collection of audiobooks, or you can get a free one for every email address you have by signing up with audible, or you can use the Libravox app to listen to almost any book in the public domain.
5. Be particular about books that get on your list.
Don’t just add a book to your TBR as soon as you hear it mentioned on a podcast. For one thing, if you heard an author on a podcast talking about his or her book, you probably heard everything you need to know. You can quote me on that.
If you heard an author on a podcast talking about his or her book, you probably heard everything you need to know. – Levi Pierpont
Only add a book to your To Be Read list if you are really excited about reading it, or it’s a fairly short book. Also, word to the wise: classics aren’t necessarily boring old tomes from the past, they’re just books that have staying value, that have withstood the test of time. That’s why classics are the best books to read, whether that’s War and Peace or The Time Quintet, age doesn’t really matter, as long as masses of people have read it before you and generally agree that the book has good, strong quality.
To view my current TBR, click here. This will take you to my Goodreads list, and with a little maneuvering, you can also view all the books I’ve logged as already read.