5

Tackling the TBR List(s): Help!

Like many readers, I keep lists of all the books I want to read.  I started making these lists in a purposely purchased book journal from Paperchase around a decade ago, and now have five rather chunky notebooks filled with fiction and non-fiction galore.  I have been rather bad at using them to choose books which I want to read, borrow, or buy, however, preferring to just browse, or using Goodreads to see what other friends with similar reading tastes have loved recently, and seeking those out instead.

I really need to tackle my TBR lists, but the project seems almost unmanageable as it stands.  I know that I have written down thousands of books over the years, as I have come across them on library catalogues, blogs, or Goodreads, or when they have been recommended by friends.  I probably have enough titles written down to last a lifetime, and then some.

I am therefore seeking your advice, fellow readers.  How would you go about such a project?  Would you choose one notebook at a time, and start buying and borrowing books from the first page onwards, working methodically, or would you be more inclined to choose at random from all five notebooks?  I am leaning toward the first option, thinking that I will research each book a little before I decide whether it still appeals or not, and going from there.  I am a little worried that this will make me lose focus a little, but really want to see that I’m finally making a dent in those lists which I created so long ago.  Any advice will be incredibly welcome; I really need to get my act together on this!

Yours,
Baffled Reader.

12

Help!: What to Read Next

I set up an OpenLibrary account some time ago to aid my reading and, as I was perusing this wonderful resource, I, of course, created several lists of books I wanted to read immediately, but have – perhaps unsurprisingly – not done so to date.  As the lists are relatively vast, I thought that I would note down a few titles to ask for your advice of which are the best texts to read first over the Christmas break.

1. The Castle by Franz Kafka
2. Tree and Leaf 
by J.R.R. Tolkien
3. The Plague
 by Albert Camus
4. Lady Oracle by Margaret Atwood
5. Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson
6. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
7. The Beach by Alex Garland
8. The Magician’s Assistant by Ann Patchett
9. The Red Pony by John Steinbeck
10. Burning Bright by John Steinbeck
11. The Innocent and the Guilty by Sylvia Townsend Warner
12. Sarah Bernhardt
 by Francoise Sagan
13. Book of Blues by Jack Kerouac
14. Down the Garden Path by Beverley Nichols
15. Mrs Miniver by Jan Struther
16. Beatrix Potter by Elizabeth Buchan
17. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
18. Nothing by Henry Green
19. Ignorance by Milan Kundera
20. My Happy Life by Lydia Millet
21. The Far-Away Bride by Stella Benson
22. A House Unlocked by Penelope Lively
23. The Balloon Man by Charlotte Armstrong
24. Celebrating Katherine Mansfield by Gerri Kimber & Janet Wilson
25. Come Along With Me by Shirley Jackson

Thanks so much for your help in narrowing down my list!