Tackling the TBR [37]: August 2018

tackling the TBR

It’s once again time for my favorite feature: Tackling the TBR! There’s nothing I love more than picking out which books to read next, and this slightly organized method of reading has really amped my enjoyment to the next level. Bring on the mantras!

Read the best books first.
Life is too short to read books you’re not enjoying.

However you put together your TBR for the next month, the goal is to reduce the amount of obligation in reading and increase the fun.

Here’s a look at how the system works:

1. Identify the titles that take top priority in your TBR.
2. Combine them all in your own Tackling the TBR post.
3. Throughout the month pick from that pile as the mood strikes you.

Here’s what mine looks like:

August 2018 TBR Tackler Shelf:

I found myself almost antsy to set this post up because I’ve been having so much fun lately organizing and scheduling books. (<-Edit, that attitude came back to bite me in the butt… you’ll see). From all appearances, my lineup of books looks the same as always, but I have them arranged a little differently this month.

Top Row: Books I already have copies for and am definitely reading (The Kim Harrison ones are super short, so I’ll be doing that entire trilogy).
Middle Row: Books I have a library hold on and would love to read next month if they arrive in time.
Bottom Row: Books I’m either partway through or am just less excited to read (Gardens of the Moon the exception to both of those).

So… I was so excited for this post, that by the time I went to review it the day before publication, everything had changed (lol, I guess you really can be too prepared). Now EVERYTHING on my list I’m excited to read. :D I left a few blank spaces to accommodate a couple of review titles I know are headed my way.

I’ve been over-scheduling myself these last few months, and that has resulted in several half-finished titles I’d like to get a handle on in August (<- Edit, I already got a handle on them by the end of July and deleted them from this list – go me!). I figure if I stick to my conservative 10 book high-priority list, then I’ll have plenty of time between titles to work on some of these lower priority books (which are just good enough that I don’t want to abandon them outright) (<-Edit, I speed-read a couple of them to the end and abandoned the others). The point of this method is to focus only on high-priority titles, so I’m hoping this visual separation will help keep my attentions on the best books first (because let’s face it, some titles that were high-priority drop down the totem pole once you get into them…but I’d still like to finish what I started). I figure a chapter a day of the less-appealing titles is time I can fit in easily. (<-Edit, I decided they weren’t worth my time and did what I needed to do to free up space for review copies and other titles I know I’ll love). 

So, an unconventional post, but one I’m oddly happy with because it shows the honest struggle it can be to plan out reads sometimes. It also highlights how often throughout the month my reading plans are tweaked.  It’s so weird to feel like I’m both a meticulous planner and a mood reader at the same time. I seem to have finally found a method that allows me to mix the best of both worlds… perhaps I’ll do a post on that soon. :)

The fact that I update my reading schedule almost daily has me wondering if posting a Tackling the TBR more frequently might be more helpful. <-Any thoughts on that idea? Would a weekly or bi-weekly Tackling the TBR post (with a different format) feel like too much? I’d love some feedback. :)

 Have a great August!

by Niki Hawkes

23 comments on “Tackling the TBR [37]: August 2018

  1. Ahhh, over-scheduling. What a great problem to have :-D

    It seems like you might be really close to that perfect place for your reading schedule.

    As for whether to increase these kinds of posts, I’d ask the following questions.

    How many posts a month do you normally do?
    Would these additional posts fill in empty spots on the schedule or replace something else?
    What do you want to accomplish with additional posts like these?
    Would these posts primarily be for you or for your followers?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lol yeah lesson learned for next month. What a mess haha. And yes it’s getting closer and closer to ideal. I’m stoked!

      Thank you for that feedback – it’s perfect! I definitely need to ask myself all of those questions, and the one that stands out the most is the “what do you want to accomplish.” It has been really bugging me that the posts don’t accurately reflect what actually gets read throughout the month. It’s a great baseline, but so much changes I feel like I stop using it as a reference about halfway through the month. I think the 15 titles I’ve been including also make it feel more overwhelming than if I was just looking a week or two in the future.

      All that said, I think it would have to be an additional post added to the schedule otherwise I’ll never get reviews out. Currently it doesn’t seem as daunting because they’re my favorite ones to put together.

      Awesome. :)

      Liked by 1 person

      • The posts I do for myself, namely the reviews, I just don’t care. But the blogg’y stuff where I’m writing for the audience, I definitely think a lot about. Am I writing too much, am I writing too little, that kind of thing.

        If these posts are for you, then input doesn’t matter. We’ll get over it :-D But if you are writing for your followers, then everything changes.

        That’s why I write so few scheduled review posts. I have to post when I think I’m funny, even if I’m not. Give me a day to think about it and whoosh, the funny goes out of it and then I won’t post it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s funny because I’m almost opposite – the reviews are what I usually write for an audience whereas the other posts are more and more becoming for my personal amusement (and I’m having more fun with them because of that). These TBR posts are kind of half and half – they’re to help me schedule but they also give people the chance to see what types of reviews will be upcoming.

        I totally get that!!! I have so many impassioned posts that never got published because I sat on them too long before publishing. I need to just delete them lol.

        Your funny posts always amuse me. :)

        Liked by 1 person

      • That is great that you find the reviews/posts opposite than me. I never would have thought that in a million years.

        Getting back on subject. If these posts help you and you use them, then I say go for broke and do it every 2 weeks. See if it works.
        I’ve seen people who do weekly “Upcoming Reads” and while I don’t understand it, if it works, then it works :-)

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s mostly because of the feedback I get on Goodreads and occasionally from publishers. I wrote a column for a newspaper for a couple of years, which only reinforced the sentiment.

        I really don’t enjoy those upcoming reads posts. My task now is to see if I can come up with something functional that doesn’t look like that at all. I’m currently looking into progress bars, maybe for the sidebar, or something similar. We’ll see. :)

        Liked by 1 person

      • You might have to change your theme to get a good sidebar widget going.
        I know there was some sort of tracker that I was introduced to over at mobileread. It was free and pretty easy to copy/paste the code. I also think you had to setup an account so you could have multiple trackers at once. The only downside I found was you had to manually update each one and all the trackers were gag-worthy in my opinion. Let me go see if I can find out the site…

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for finding that. :) I will have to debate a few things. There are a handful of things my current theme won’t allow, but for the most part I’m happy with it. My biggest holdup is that the theme I’m using isn’t offered anymore, so if I switch I have to be 100% certain it’s what I want to do because I can’t go back (dang it).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mine specifically, anyway. Last time I was “shopping” the available themes I think yours was still on there (it’s one of the other ones I’ve tried and liked, so it always sticks out).

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel like I overschedule myself a lot too! I think you’ve already got a good start on how you want to do things, just have to find the best way to do it. :D I definitely plan but I feel like mine is always ‘tentative’, except for my review requests because I feel guilty otherwise, lol.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I feel guilty with those too. I find myself reading them way earlier than necessary because I’m worried I’ll get busy. Sometimes they’re more stress than fun haha. I’m glad I’m not the only one who over schedules lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You really did a great job with your reading, the catching up and the scheduling! Wow!!!! :)
    I am dying to read the new Ilona Andrews book *_* But I would have to wait quite some time for it, because I have decided to buy it as a reward… but I haven’t chosen yet for what it would be a reward. Sometimes I don’t make sense to myself, and this is one of those times, sorry!
    I liked Fate’s Edge and I hope you would like it, too, and the same it goes for Once Dead, Twice Shy. I read it a lot of years ago, so I don’t remember a lot about it, tbh, and maybe my taste in books is a little changed, but I remember that I liked it, it was quite a fast and pleasant read :)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! :) it was definitely more of a concerted effort than I usually put in to get caught up.

      Haha that makes total sense to me!! It’s definitely worthy enough to be a fantastic reward for something, that’s for sure. :) I’m pretty active in a Goodreads group with a lot of Ilona Andrews fans, so I’m worried someone will accidentally spoil it for me if I don’t read it immediately. Otherwise I’d love to save it to savor!

      Thank you I hope I like both of those too. From authors I love, so that already bodes well :)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yaaaasss!!! I’m so happy to hear that. This trilogy beat out hundreds of other titles to become my top priority, so I’m stoked to hear it will live up to expectation (my last pick was a huge flop lol).

      Liked by 1 person

    • Me too! Have I caught up to you yet? I think I’m still about a book behind. Once I get there, we should totally encourage each other to the end. I promise I won’t crap out like I did with House of Night lol.
      Surprisingly, No Humans Involved was my favorite since the first two books. Who’d have thought??


      • I just finished book 9 two days ago, so just ahead of you! I’m actually really enjoying them still – as a lightweight fun supernatural read that doesn’t require too much brain power they’re perfect!

        Whose your fave POV so far? I’m actually finding that I enjoy the werewolf ones less, but then again, I’ve never been a big werewolf story person! I tend to prefer the books where they’re present but not at the centre.

        *You were right to back out of House of Night, it was horrendous and I wish I hadn’t waited my life.


      • Ah okay, I’ll just be starting book 8 in a couple weeks. It’s my #1 urban fantasy priority at the moment, so assuming they’ll keep being available from the library, I’ll be getting to one every few weeks. This last book really reinvigorated my enthusiasm. Lightweight and fun is the perfect way to describe them! 😃
        My fav was Elena in book one and two, but I have to say I thought Broken was just okay. Surprisingly, I think Jamie is my current favorite which blows my mind because I wasn’t even sure I liked her at first. She’s grown on me however and now I kind of like how atypical her character is. Eve was my least fav thus far. I didn’t find her relatable at all. Yours?? :)
        I still have my copies for the rest of HoN, but they got moved to the very bottom “only if my collection burns to the ground and these are the only survivors” of my priority list lol.


      • Ah awesome. I’ve been taking reasonably gaps between reading them, and need to buy the next book. So with your pace we’ll probably equalise soon!

        Jamie is actually my favourite character at the moment as well. She was so much fun and is always full of surprises. Like the romantic pairing with her as well. I’m also now really liking Hope, and I like Paige a lot too but I felt like they played up the sexy school teacher cliche a bit too much with her!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think I will catch up, if that’s the case. :) I managed to get my outstanding series down to a reasonable number, so now it’s easier to binge read to a degree haha.
        I really like that Jamie is a great example of a character with flaws, but you learn to love her based on her actions and how kind and selfless she can be. And the romantic pairing!! Easily my favorite of the series. ^_^ I agree with your assessment of Paige. I find myself almost jolted out of the story every time Armstrong plays up that angle because it just doesn’t seem to fit that well.

        Liked by 1 person

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