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Tackling the TBR [41]: December 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:

December 2018 TBR Tackler Shelf:

I finally feel back to my old reading self this month, and with so many amazing titles on the docket, timing for a bounce-back couldn’t be better. I’ve been feeling bogged down lately with review and other obligation titles, so this month I took special care to select only books I’m absolutely stoked to read for my lineup. I find myself most excited to read the conclusion to the Powder Mage trilogy with Autumn Republic… followed by the close second of everything else on my list lol. Here’s to a great month in books! :)


Have a great December!

by Niki Hawkes

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Tackling the TBR [40]: November 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:

November 2018 TBR Tackler Shelf:

October was an odd month. I made progress on a bunch of books, but I only actually finished 3 of them (very shy of my usual 7 to 10). I had a lot of personal things going on, and couldn’t really find time to read (or mental capacity to concentrate when I did). So maybe now that things have settled a bit, I can get my groove back. The first 4 books are review obligations, the rest are either buddy reads with FBR or books I’ve been trying to get through for a while (I’ve resolved to clear GotM off my list come hell or high water this month… dammit.). The book I’m most excited for is Skyward. :)


Have a great November!

by Niki Hawkes

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Tackling the TBR [39]: October 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:

October 2018 TBR Tackler Shelf:

Last month I only listed out 10 titles on my TBR Tackler Shelf, and woe and behold – I actually finished most of them. I really liked having a narrowed focus… but alas, review obligations and library holds are making that impossible in October (hence the 14 titles, of which I have no chance of getting through lol). The first four books are review obligations, the rest are just regular high-priority. I’m most eager to pick up the second Powder Mage book (I’ve been in line for it at the library FOREVER), followed closely by the final Legion book by Sanderson. :)


Have a great October!

by Niki Hawkes

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Tackling the TBR [38]: September 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:

September 2018 TBR Tackler Shelf:

I seem to have taken an unplanned mental break from everything these last few weeks (sometimes those are good for you). I’d been sticking to a really strict reading schedule (because all of my library holds came in at once and I wanted to make sure I got to them all) and I think I caused myself a little burnout. As a result, this month I’m back to just listing out 10 priority titles, and I might actually be able to get to them all. I’m most excited for all things Ilona Andrews. :)


Have a great September!

by Niki Hawkes

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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

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The Overflowing Bookshelf Challenge: Niki’s Mini Challenges Strategy

The Overflowing Bookshelf Challenge: Niki’s Mini Challenges Strategy

If you caught my post The Overflowing Bookshelf Challenge: How it Works, you saw all of the mini challenges I created to help my FBR Goodreads group tackle their collections. I’ve tried most of them, and current the ones that are working the best for me are the 3 for 1 and the Book Pledge challenges. Here’s how they’re going:

->The 3 for 1 Mini Challenge

This challenge entails reading books from your collection to earn credits to buy new books at a ratio of 3 to 1 (I’ve adapted it to 5 for 1 for my own personal needs… I have a lot of titles to get through). It’s actually a system I’ve been loosely using for years (allowing myself to buy books after reading 5 of any books, not just ones I owned), but am finding it especially motivating in this challenge. I’ve only started doing this one recently, so I’ve only “earned” one new book, but if I focus on owned books, I could easily justify bringing home at least 2 new titles per month. ^_^

When spending my credits, I’ve been operating under two personal rules:

1. Only buy books you’ve already read and loved enough to add to the collection.

2. If you do buy unread titles, they must be read immediately.

Luckily I have access to most of the things I want to read through digital and audio library services, so it’s easy for me to obtain and read a book before committing hard earned cash to it. If I didn’t have such an extensive unread section already, I might feel limited by this, but as it stands I’m happy that my methods have kept me from adding to my problem these last few years.

Plus, I have the flexibility of being “allowed” to bring home unread titles as long as I read them immediately. This comes in handy when I only own the first couple of books in a series. If they’re not worth reading the moment I bring them home, then that tells me I need to abandon the series and move on.

->The Book Pledge Mini Challenge

This Mini Challenge is the simplest of the bunch. It involves committing yourself to reading a specific number of owned books by a specific date. My current goal is:

To read 100 books from my physical collection by 12/31/2018

It’s kind of lofty for me, but I wanted a goal that would force me to focus. I’ve already made a lot of strides this year and might actually come close. Here are the titles read so far:

Titles Read [Start 9.8.2017]: Heart’s BloodAn Alchemy of Masques and MirrorsA Sending of DragonsYendi, Dragonsinger, Dragonmaster [DNF – Donated], The Infinity Gate, Dragondrums, Magic Shifts, Bard’s Oath [DNF], Rakkety Tam, Oathbringer, Fragile Eternity, When the Heavens Fall, The Emperor’s Blades, Magic Binds, High Rhulain, Radiant Shadows, Naamah’s Blessing, The Providence of Fire, Child of a Mad God, The Demon Spirit, Darkest Mercy, Teckla, Dime Store Magic, The Girl of Fire and Thorns Stories, Lord of Misrule, Sword-Bound, Industrial Magic, Dayfall: A Novel, The Lost Hero, The Last Mortal Bond, His Majesty’s Dragon, The Son of Neptune, An Accident of Stars, Haunted, Carpe Corpus, Skullsworn, Unclean Spirits, Fade Out, Broken, The Mark of Athena, Throne of Jade, A Tyranny of Queens, Wildfire, Kiss of Death

Total: 46/100 (personal achievement: I’ve actually reviewed most of these too)

In addition, I set myself a goal of donating 50 books from my collection. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen that I’m already smashing that. My overall goal of The Overflowing Bookshelf Challenge is to par down my collection to just books I’m excited to read – ones I can reasonably get to within the next 10 years (I’ll shoot for 5 once I hit 10). Part of that is coming to terms with the fact that I just won’t be able to get to some of these titles for over a decade, so then I have to decide if they merit hanging onto for that long.

Overall, the straightforwardness of this Mini Challenge is exactly what I need. Right now volume is key.

Here’s a link to my Goodreads Challenge Thread if you’d like to see how I organize it on there.


There’s nothing I love more that talking book challenge strategy haha. Thanks for tuning in. :) My next post will be about how I’ve organized my unread collection to help me meet my goals.

by Niki Hawkes