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The Overflowing Bookshelf Challenge: A Pre-Introduction.

Niki’s Overflowing Bookshelf Challenge

Several months ago I created an Overflowing Bookshelf Challenge for my Goodreads group (Fantasy Buddy Reads), but was too wrapped up in my Incomplete Series Challenge to give it much attention. Now that I’m only down to 11 open series (from 129), it’s time to get serious about my overflowing shelves.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen me posting updates on my New Bookshelves Project off and on for the last several months. The project has afforded me the opportunity to really dig into and organize my unread titles. The blunt fact of the matter is that I have waaaaay too many (over 1100). Even if I focus only on owned books, it will take me about 8 years to get through them all. If I’m realistic about how many new books and borrowed books I’ll want to read outside of my collection, I’m looking at more than 20 YEARS!! O_o.

My goal with this challenge is to par down the number of unread titles to just those I can reasonably get to within the next 10 years. Some of these titles I’ve been hanging onto for almost 15 years and a lot of them are medium-high priority titles I keep passing up for low priority “do I really want to keep this? Maybe I should read it to see” books (well, Niki, there’s your problem). From now on I’ll be reading exclusively high-priority titles until I’ve whittled my TBR down to something I can manage. Excessive prioritizing has been working for my Tackling the TBR method, so I don’t know why I haven’t implemented it here before now.

With my next post, I’ll get into the specifics of the challenge, but for now (if you need me) I’ll be digging through my collection. :)

Has your collection gotten out of hand?
On a scale of minimalist to death by TBR, how buried are you?

by Niki Hawkes

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Tackling the TBR [32]: March 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. <-November 2017 I’m trying something new and reading them in a specific, carefully pre-determined order. <-Going back to how I was doing it before.

Here’s what mine looks like:

March 2018 TBR Tackler Shelf:

My new strategy of reading high-priority books in a carefully pre-determined order is … not working. Surprisingly, it wasn’t the highly structured nature of the system that let me down (I actually liked not having the pressure of choosing my next reads), but the sporadic availably of most of the books. Because I was reliant on library checkouts for at least 75% of my titles, that means I was at the mercy of those in line ahead of me (where they would either keep the books the max time, or return them early… either way they screwed up my system constantly). I’m the type of personality that if I set my mind to a system, I want to stick to it perfectly. So after the 5th or 6th book I had to start out of order, I realized the only way I could get this to work was if I was only reading owned books… not going to happen. Not to mention many of my titles were for Buddy Reads, which start on specific dates. Long story short, I’m back to setting my list for high priorities and reading them as they become available. :D I’m very excited for Nyxia Unleashed, so between that and finishing out the Unhewn Throne series, March has a lot to look forward to.  


Niki’s Incomplete Series Challenge [Via Fantasy Buddy Reads]

Niki’s February 2018 Progress Update:

Series Finished: 2
Darkest Mercy – Melissa Marr
The Girl of Fire and Thorns Stories – Rae Carson

Series Brought UTD: 2
Spectacle – Rachel Vincent
Child of a Mad God – R.A. Salvatore

Series Progressed: 5
The Providence of Fire – Brian Staveley
Tricked – Kevin Hearne
The Demon Spirit – R.A. Salvatore
Teckla – Steven Brust
Dime Store Magic – Kelley Armstrong

New Series Started: 1
Child of a Mad God – R.A. Salvatore
Dayfall – Michael David Ares

Abandoned: 1
Dayfall – Michael David Ares

YTD Totals:
Finished Series: 3
Up To Date Series: 5
Series Progressed: 10
New Series Started: 3
Abandoned: 2

Because I’ve been focused on my goal of getting under 20 open series (by July 2018, which I slaughtered), I’m now sitting pretty with 15 open series (not counting the UTD stuff). My next goal is to get under 10. :)


What books are you Tackling this month? Even if you don’t specifically use my system, feel free to share your versions of how you manage your TBR pile (and the links to your posts if applicable) in the comments. :)

by Niki Hawkes

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Tackling the TBR [31]: February 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. <-November 2017 I’m trying something new and reading them in a specific, carefully pre-determined order.

Here’s what mine looks like:

February 2018 TBR Tackler Shelf:

My new strategy of reading high-priority books in a carefully pre-determined order is definitely working for me. As long as I continue to prioritize the best books first, I can jump into the next book on my list with confidence (and zero lag time). I’m now rotating books within 5 series, and throwing in ARCs or impulse reads in the 6th spot to keep things interesting (the 6th spot is also where I’m tacking my slightly lower priority books). I have a detailed “schedule” of books laid out on this Goodreads Bookshelf, and it delights me to no end to see all the TBR books from each series in a solid line down the page (it’s also really fun to see the books move up the list as I complete them… I’m such a nerd). Anyway, the book I’m currently most excited to get to on this list is Spectacle by Rachel Vincent. :) 


Niki’s Incomplete Series Challenge [Via Fantasy Buddy Reads]

Niki’s January 2018 Progress Update:

Series Finished: 1
Naamah’s Blessing – Jacqueline Carey

Series Brought UTD: 3
Magic Binds – Ilona Andrews
Burn Bright – Patricia Briggs
Persepolis Rising – James S.A. Corey

Series Progressed: 5
Lady of Misrule – T.A. Pratt
Radiant Shadows – Melissa Marr
Dragon Hunters – Marc Turner
High Rhulain – Brian Jacques
The Shadow Rising – Robert Jordan

New Series Started: 1
Menagerie – Rachel Vincent

Abandoned: 1
Lady of Misrule [8/10] – T.A. Pratt

YTD Totals:
Finished Series: 1
Up To Date Series: 3
Series Progressed: 5
New Series Started: 1
Abandoned: 1

Because I’ve been focused on my goal of getting under 20 open series (by July 2018, which I slaughtered), I’m now sitting pretty with 16 open series (not counting the UTD stuff). My next goal is to get under 10. :)


What books are you Tackling this month? Even if you don’t specifically use my system, feel free to share your versions of how you manage your TBR pile (and the links to your posts if applicable) in the comments. :)

by Niki Hawkes

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Tackling the TBR [30]: January 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. <-November 2017 I’m trying something new and reading them in a specific, carefully pre-determined order.

Here’s what mine looks like:

January 2018 TBR Tackler Shelf:

I didn’t get through a handful of last month’s books, mostly because I decided on a whim to join the Buddy Read for When the Heavens Fall by Marc Turner. Dang book took me a full two weeks to get through (3 stars). In any case, my first TBR Tackler Shelf in 2018 contains series I’m trying to complete along with a bunch of books I’m reading with my FBR Goodreads group. We’re embarking on the Malazan Ultimate Reading Order adventure, which I’m super excited for, and continuing on a few series started in December (I’m most excited to continue with Staveley’s Unhewn Throne Trilogy). Overall, I have so many good reads planned this month, I doubt I’ll get through them all, but it sure will be fun to try! 


Niki’s Incomplete Series Challenge [Via Fantasy Buddy Reads]

Year-End Update:

Series Finished: 25
 Series Brought UTD: 21
Series Progressed: 56
New Series Started: 22
DNFed: 5
Abandoned: SOOO Many.

I’m thrilled with my progress in 2017 to reduce the number of open series I had going. I started my challenge with 129 incomplete series (O_o) and ended the year with only 45 open (24 of which are UTD). Of the new series I started in 2017, I’m only carrying 6 into the new year. My goal is to be under 10 series within the next few months and I hope to maintain that going forward. Here’s to a good year in reading!


 

 

What books are you Tackling this month? Even if you don’t specifically use my system, feel free to share your versions of how you manage your TBR pile (and the links to your posts if applicable) in the comments. :)

by Niki Hawkes

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Tackling the TBR [29]: December 2017

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. <-November 2017 I’m trying something new and reading them in a specific, carefully pre-determined order.

Here’s what mine looks like:

December 2017 TBR Tackler Shelf:

I, amazingly, read almost 75% of last month’s TBR Tackler Shelf. It might be too early to confirm whether I like having a semi-set reading schedule or not, but November’s stats showed a remarkable increase in completion rate. Considering those stats also included a Stormlight Archive reread and 80% of Oathbringer, I’m stoked to see what December can bring. Per my Incomplete Series Schedule shelf on Goodreads, these titles are next in the docket and I’m stoked! I’ll be finishing off several series and starting a few that I’ve been eager to read for months now. Oathbringer and Murder of Crows should be checked off by the end of the weekend. I’m most excited for the 9th Kate Daniels book. ^_^


Niki’s Incomplete Series Challenge [Via Fantasy Buddy Reads]

November 2017 Titles Tackled:

Series Finished: 2
 Dragondrums – Anne McCaffrey
The Infinity Gate – Sara Douglass

 Series Brought UTD: 0

Series Progressed: 6
 Working for Bigfoot – Jim Butcher
Magic Stars – Ilona Andrews
The Dragon Reborn – Robert Jordan
Magic Shifts – Ilona Andrews
Bride of Death – T.A. Pratt
The Human Division – John Scalzi

New Series Started: 0

Abandoned: 1
Bard’s Oath – Joanne Bertin [DNF]

Rereads: 2
The Way of Kings – Brandon Sanderson
Words of Radiance – Brandon Sanderson

YTD Totals:
Finished Series: 15
Up To Date Series: 21
Series Progressed: 50
New Series Started: 18
Abandoned: 9


What books are you Tackling this month? Even if you don’t specifically use my system, feel free to share your versions of how you manage your TBR pile (and the links to your posts if applicable) in the comments. :)

by Niki Hawkes

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Tackling the TBR [28]: November 2017

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. <-November 2017 I’m trying something new and reading them in a specific, carefully pre-determined order.

Here’s what mine looks like:

November 2017 TBR Tackler Shelf:

Last month I finished all but two titles on my list, one of which I’m halfway through… win. I’m organizing my TBR Tackler shelves with a bit more structure this month. You see, I was inspired by the Bookstooge’s TBR Organization post and decided to adapt it using my Incomplete Series High Priority shelf on Goodreads. When enabled, the GR shelves let you rank titles, which I’ve used to list them out by priority. My TBR Tackler shelf here reflects the top 15 books from that list in descending order. Cool, eh? What I was hoping to achieve was a stronger focus on these high-priority titles, and scheduling them out more evenly so that I’m not reading too many similar ones back to back.

I haven’t been able to stick to a set reading scheduling the past, but with my current focus on getting through series I’ve already started (meaning they are ALL high priorities), I think this structure is exactly what I need, if only for a little while. It will also help me plan ahead a little better in regard to library reserves. I have 5 series-enders on here I’m hoping to get through this month, so wish me luck! Realistically with my WoR reread and with Oathbringer, I’ll only get through about 7 of these books, but with this new system, the ones I don’t get to will just move up on the list for next month. Let’s see how it goes. :)


Niki’s Incomplete Series Challenge [Via Fantasy Buddy Reads]

October 2017 Titles Tackled:

Series Finished: 4
 Within the Sanctuary of Wings – Marie Brennan
Arcade Catastrophe – Brandon Mull
To Guard Against the Dark – Julie E. Czerneda
Into the Bright Unknown – Rae Carson

 Series Brought UTD: 2
An Echo Of Things To Come – James Islington
Strange Dogs – James S.A. Corey

Series Progressed: 3
Dragonsinger – Anne McCaffrey
Magic Breaks – Ilona Andrews
The Great Hunt – Robert Jordan

New Series Started: 1
Dragonmaster – Chris Bunch

Abandoned: 2
 Dragonmaster [DNF] – Chris Bunch
Guilty Pleasures [10/25] – Laurell K. Hamilton

YTD Totals:
Finished Series: 13
Up To Date Series: 21
Series Progressed: 44
New Series Started: 18
Abandoned: 8


What books are you Tackling this month? Even if you don’t specifically use my system, feel free to share your versions of how you manage your TBR pile (and the links to your posts if applicable) in the comments. :)

by Niki Hawkes