After four years with the Little Red Book, I feel like I've got a handle on tracking my reading. Now I need to work on the other side of the equation.
My TBR shelf was always a bit out of control. I tried to keep the TBR to one shelf on my bookshelf. Then it was a double row of books on that shelf. Then it was a double row of books with others piled on top. For every one I read, three more magically appeared. They were breeding like rabbits. Pretty soon I was going to have to rent them their own apartment. And still, I didn't always have exactly the right book for my reading mood.
Then came the Kindle.
For a while I did pretty good. Since I could have just about any book I wanted any time I wanted, there was no need to stockpile. I could download a sample for any book that struck my fancy, and then browse and buy at leisure. It was the damn freebies that got me. Out of the 153 books in my TBR file, I only purchased 8 of them. Everything else was a promo.
Then All Romance Ebooks had a major sale leading up to the introduction of Agency pricing last spring. Hello, Sony Pocket, and hello piles of ebooks. Bought at a discount, of course, but still purchased and languishing on my reader. With the world of ebook retailers suddenly wide open, I also discovered Kobo. And let me tell you, Kobo loves to run coupons. This summer Carina Press opened it's doors, and I've probably bought half of the books they've published so far, many from Kobo at obscene discount. And then there were the thousands of library books available for download with my Sony.
Are you starting to get the picture here? I have a lot of books, just waiting to be read. And with them demurely tucked away on ereaders, and not bursting off the living room shelves, it's easy to forget exactly how much I have, and how much I really don't need to take advantage of that next coupon.
My name is Chronic Betty, and I have a book buying problem.
The only way to take control and clear out some of this backlog is to start making a list. For a while this summer I had a list of all the books I needed/wanted to read, along with a notation for whether I had paid for them, gotten them as a freebie, or downloaded them from the library. I'd cross each book off as I read it. But it quickly got cumbersome, since I didn't dedicate a special notebook to this and instead just mixed it in with all the rest of the every day notes. (Proof that my Little Red Book was a good idea.)
So for 2011 I'm trying something new. I've had my Goodreads account for a while, but I haven't taken full advantage of it's shelf system to organize my books. This year I will. I've created a shelf called Books to Read in 2011. There are 105 books on it right now. A few of these are library books that I know I'll be able to download at some point in the coming year. A few more are books that are coming out in 2011 that I know I'm going to want to buy. But the majority are books that are sitting on one of my ereaders, just waiting for me to get around to them. This list isn't set in stone. There will probably be additions as the year goes on. But if I can get most of the books on this list read by the end of the year, I'll feel pretty good about my progress. If I stay away from the coupons it will help.