Over the last year or so, I got into the habit of snapping up physical copies of nearly any book that piqued my interest. And, after joining Bookstagram and getting back into the book blogging community, that was a lot of books. I bought a TBR cart to house the shiny new titles to be read and got a lot of joy from adding them to the shelves.
Except that the shelves got full. prettu quickly. And then there was a stack next to the TBR cart and on top of the TBR cart. I confess I started to feel really overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of unread books hanging out in my home office, a feeling I’ve never experienced before. Books are my happy place. How could they ever be a source of guilt and stress? And yet, the knowledge that I wasn’t reading them at nearly the rate I was bringing them in did start to make me feel guilty.
At the start of the year, I went through the TBR cart and got rid of a good handful of titles that no longer interest me. The books (mostly) fit on the cart now, and I feel so much better having some of the unread titles off to new homes via my Little Free Library and a trip to Half Price Books.
But one cleanout won’t do much if I don’t rethink how I manage my TBR. Otherwise, the room will just keep on filling up with unread books. So, this year I have some very specific goals around how I’ll be managing my TBR. They are…
Read primarily from the TBR cart and my NetGalley shelves
There are so many amazing titles I didn’t get to last year, so I want to spend some time catching up on them. If I can’t find a book I want to read on the TBR cart, that means I need to do another cleanout. I’ll still let myself grab highly anticipated new releases like the latest Emily Henry or Berkley title I didn’t get a ARC for, but I want to focus on the book I already have to start the year.
Use Goodreads to keep track of books I want to read
I stopped using the “Want to Read” feature and would just grab a copy of a book if I wanted to read it, which is silly because I can only read so many books in a year and tastes change over time.
Don’t buy a book if I’m not planning to read it in the next few weeks
This is largely brought about by seeing books I snapped up in hardcover come out in paperback before I’ve gotten around to reading them. I actually prefer paperbacks, and they’re less expensive, so it doesn’t make much sense to spend more for a book to sit around on my TBR cart for a year (looking at you, Matrix).
I’m really hopeful that these goals/rules for myself will help me read through the physical TBR backlog and avoid letting it stack up to the point of overwhelm again. There are so many great books out there, and I want to actually read the ones I’ve brought home! The rest will be waiting for me when I’m ready for them.
I’m curious, book friends–how do you manage your TBR?
Happy Thursday, book friends! Today is my work-from-home day, which means I get to cuddle with Azula while getting work done. Right now, she is diligently chewing at a new turkey chew she got in her latest PupBox while I settle in for this blog post.
Today, I thought I’d highlight a few of the most recent additions to my TBR. For a while, I was in the habit of immediately acquiring any books that seemed interesting, resulting in a massively overwhelming physical TBR. Lately, I’ve been trying to get back into the habit of adding books to Goodreads instead, while I work through the books I already have.
Here are a few that I clicked “want to read” on recently.
It’s the time of year where I start thinking about my holiday-themed reading, and I believe I came across Holidays Romance on another book blog. It’s a friends-to-lovers holiday romance, so naturally I couldn’t resist. Here’s a snippet from the synopsis:
Nothing romantic has ever happened between them: they’re friends and that’s all. But once a year, for the last ten years, Molly has spent seven hours and fifteen minutes sitting next to Andrew on the last flight before Christmas from Chicago to Dublin, drinking terrible airplane wine and catching up on each other’s lives. In spite of all the ways the two friends are different, it’s the holiday tradition neither of them has ever wanted to give up.
Molly isn’t that bothered by Christmas, but—in yet another way they’re total opposites—Andrew is a full-on fanatic for the festive season and she knows how much getting back to Ireland means to him. So, instead of doing the sane thing and just celebrating the holidays together in America, she does the stupid thing. The irrational thing. She vows to get him home. And in time for his mam’s famous Christmas dinner.
The clock is ticking. But Molly always has a plan. And—as long as the highly-specific combination of taxis, planes, boats, and trains all run on time—it can’t possibly go wrong.
Another witchy book. Is anyone surprised? Some folks believe you should primarily practice and tap in to the magical practices of your ancestors. My family doesn’t know much about where we came from in the way back times (mostly Ireland, probably?), but I do know that, more recently, we have Appalachian roots. So, naturally, I decided to give this a read.
Witchcraft is wild at heart, calling us into a relationship with the untamed world around us. Through the power of developing a relationship with plants, a witch—beginner or experienced—can practice their art more deeply and authentically by interacting with the beings that grow around us all. Bridging the gap between armchair witchcraft and the hedge witches of old, Wild Witchcraft empowers you to work directly with a wide variety of plants and trees safely and sustainably.
With Wild Witchcraft, Rebecca Beyer draws from her years of experience as an Appalachian witch and forager to give you a practical guide to herbalism and natural magic that will share: -The history of witchcraft and Western herbalism -How to create and maintain your own herbal garden -Recipes for tinctures, teas, salves, and other potions to use in rites and rituals -Spells, remedies, and rituals created with the wild green world around you, covering a range of topics, from self-healing to love to celebrating the turning of the seasons -And much more!
Fully going to confess the NPR of it all. My husband and I caught a snippet of an interview with Chaundry on NPR, and then I saw a banner ad for this book. Just like that, it’s on the TBR. I’ve also been thinking, reading, and listening to a lot of podcasts about fat bias and how the BMI is, frankly, a completely bananas measure that has no real relationship to health outcomes. Of course that means I need to read some memoirs on the topic as well.
“My entire life I have been less fat and more fat, but never not fat.”According to family lore, when Rabia Chaudry’s family returned to Pakistan for their first visit since moving to the United States, two-year-old Rabia was more than just a pudgy toddler. Dada Abu, her fit and sprightly grandfather, attempted to pick her up but had to put her straight back down, demanding of Chaudry’s mother: “What have you done to her?” The answer was two full bottles of half-and-half per day, frozen butter sticks to gnaw on, and lots and lots of American processed foods.
And yet, despite her parents plying her with all the wrong foods as they discovered Burger King and Dairy Queen, they were highly concerned for the future for their large-sized daughter. How would she ever find a suitable husband? There was merciless teasing by uncles, cousins, and kids at school, but Chaudry always loved food too much to hold a grudge against it. Soon she would leave behind fast food and come to love the Pakistani foods of her heritage, learning to cook them with wholesome ingredients and eat them in moderation. At once a love letter (with recipes) to fresh roti, chaat, chicken biryani, ghee, pakoras, shorba, parathay and an often hilarious dissection of life in a Muslim immigrant family, Fatty Fatty Boom Boom is also a searingly honest portrait of a woman grappling with a body that gets the job done but that refuses to meet the expectations of others.
I saw someone else had added this on Goodreads and if I am a sucker for anything, it’s a pretty cover and a close look at our current system of wellness and self-care. It comes out in March 2023, so off I go to see if there’s an ARC I can request.
You may have noticed that it’s nearly impossible to go even a couple days without coming across the term self-care. A word that encompasses any number of lifestyle choices and products–from juice cleanses to yoga workshops to luxury bamboo sheets–self-care has exploded in our collective consciousness as a panacea for practically all of women’s problems.
Dr. Pooja Lakshmin finds this cultural embrace of self-care incomplete at best and manipulative at worst. Self-care dogma says that to fix your troubles is as simple as buying a new day planner or signing up for a meditation class. But the game is rigged. The self-care fixes that our culture prescribes keep us looking outward–comparing ourselves with others or striving for a certain type of perfection. Real self-care, in contrast, is not as simple as a fancy spa retreat or a journaling app; it’s an internal process that involves hard work and making difficult decisions.
I love how this list pretty well encapsulates my reading interests. We have a romance, a witchy book, a memoir, and a book about self-care. That’s what we call a representative sample.
What about you, book friends? What have you recently added to your TBR? I’m also curious to hear how you track the books you want to read. Bullet journal? Goodreads? Storygraph?