How To: Manage A Big TBR

Do you have a big TBR? You do? Me to! But, don’t worry because I am here to help you narrow down your TBr and figure out what to pick up next!

I know that  some booklovers really love having a big TBR, Goodreads or otherwise. Though, I really don’t. I prefer having a clean tbr shelf, that way I can more easily choose my TBR for the month. So, this is how I clean out my tbr shelf.

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STEP ONE: GO THROUGH YOUR TBR!

1 – WHAT DON’T YOU WANT TO READ?

adsdividerarrowleftfeatureA Thousand Nights (A Thousand Nights, #1) Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things What We Sawdividerarrowrightfeature
adsBOOKS I KNOCKED OFF MY GOODREADS TBR

My main piece of advice I can give is, if you have a big TBR, or even just an average TBR – if you have a TBR at all, just go through it. What I really want to press with this post is that we all have big TBRs and I think a lot of bloggers, or even just readers in general want to lower the number of books on our To-Read shelves. And so, due to the pretty large scale of books we want to read we don’t always have the time to knock down our stacks of books so what I like to do is narrow down my Goodreads and Physical TBRs.

So, you do yourselves a solid, man or woman up, get yourself a snack and sit down in front of your bookshelf and decide what you are and are not actually going to read. AND GUYS YOU NEED TO BE REALISTIC ABOUT THIS! It’s cool if you wanna hang onto all your books, I don’t blame you. But, if you don’t actually intend to read it then it’s not really on your tbr, is it?

What you really need to do is sit down and look at your shelves or better yet, do what I do and along with cussing out your unread physical books, also check out your tbr on Goodreads.

You never know what books you will actually read, but what I’m trying to point out is that people change and with that, so does taste in books. What I try to do every few couple of months or so is go through my Goodreads shelf, I mean I used to have a massive TBR, but not so much anymore. I prefer to have a smaller TBR, it helps me to narrow down my taste in books and help me to choose my monthly TBRs.

In preparation for this post I actually did a bit of spring cleaning (even though it’s Winter, lol) with my Goodreads shelves, which you can find here! I managed to get my To-Read shelf down from 236 books to 87 – I found 149 books that I didn’t want to read anymore!

Also, one small piece of advice I have is, if you have Goodreads shelves or you write your TBRs don’t add the sequels or next book in the series to your TBR – like, of course you’re probably going to read them but, you’re not up to that book yet so why add it to your to be read count.

2 – WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ADD?

adsdividerarrowleftfeatureInkheart (Inkworld, #1) Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood Nova, Volume 1: Resurrectiondividerarrowrightfeature
adsBOOKS I’VE ADDED TO MY TBR

There’s also another aspect to this whole TBR thing – you have to make sure that you’re looking forward to the books on your TBR, hence the first part of step one. However, now you need to actually get out there, go to the book shop or watch some booktube – find some books you’re interested in and add them to your TBR! I mean, I don’t know about you guys but if I like to be motivated about a book, I’m probably not going to enjoy it if I didn’t even want to read it in the first place.

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STEP TWO: READ!

Okay, so you’ve got your TBR all sorted out. now all you have to do is… READ!

Firstly I recommend trying to finish off some of your series. Pick an author you really like, whose series/s maybe you meant to finish a year or two or go and go forth and binge! Or maybe try reading a few of those standalones you’ve been meaning to pick up but haven’t had the chance to read because of those series.

Although, if you’re not really feeling like reading specific things just to knock some books off your shelves. You can always just pick up one of your favourite authors or pick up one of those books that you’ve been meaning to read by a popular author.

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Howto

How To: Read More // How To: Readathon // How To: Get Out Of A Reading Slump

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How do you guys manage your to be read shelves? Do you go through your Goodreads shelves regularly?

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How To: Get Out Of A Reading Slump

Need advice on HOW TO READ MORE?
or HOW TO READATHON?

This past month, I have been in a reading slump and I am now slowly getting out of it. I hate slumps so I thought it might be helpful to tell you guys how I get out of them! 

Anyway, without furtherado, I hope this helps!

01 START SLOWLY

Try to ease yourself back into reading, start off with smaller novels or even a novella!

Often when you’re in a reading slump you don’t want to read so in order to get yourself back into the groove you need to read something familiar or simple. To get me out of my reading slump I picked up the Percy Jackson series and just listened to that on audio on Youtube.

Cheesy romantic novels are often an easy way to help get you back into reading.

Some cheesy novels I really enjoy are:

  • Twilight by Stephanie Meyer – don’t judge me I know it’s trash
  • The Lux series by Jennifer Armentrout
  • First & Then by Emma Mills
  • Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen

That being said,  while getting out of a reading slowly is what usually suits me best sometimes what you need to do is read quickly. Readathons can serve to really get you into the reading mood!

02 READATHONS

I wrote a post with some tips for readathons if you want to check it out!

Depending on who you are as a reader and the type of readathon, this will either help you out of  a slump or put you deeper into your slump.

I usually don’t participate in readathons if I’m in a reading slump because I like to read at a slower pace when I’m in a slump. However, if you think a readathon might be the right thing for you there’s a whole readathon calender that you can check out!

Some of my favourite readathons:

03 AUDIOBOOKS

A majority of the books that I read, I listen to via audiobooks. In fact, audio is my favourite type of format I use to read a book.

If you don’t have access to audiobook sites or apps like Audible or Audiobooks.com then there is also a massive selection on Youtube and libraries usually have a solid collection.

With audiobooks you can always do other activities while listening to your book. My advice, if you’re in a slump or an audio beginner is to start off with a familiar novel that you’d be okay with spacing out on a bit.

Whenever I’m in a slump I feel pretty much exhausted which is why my slumps tend to hit towards during December/ January or the middle of the year around June and July. So what I try to do  is keep busy – I go into the city but don’t buy anything, I just walk around, let my iced latte water down and listen to my audiobook. If you can’t make it to the city or get too distracted while you’re there you could always try your local shopping center (I think Americans call it a Mall??… weird). I get if the noise or the shops are too much of a distraction so if you have a dog you could always take them for a walk or even just go for a jog just by yourself.

Audiobooks I recommend:

  • Harry Potter series narrated by Stephen Fry
  • Cormoran Strike series narrated by Robert Glenister
  • Mistborn series narrated by Michael Kramer

Let me know if you guys would like me to do a How To: Audiobooks because I know a lot of people struggle getting into audiobooks.

04 DIFFERENT FORMATS

I think that changing up the format of what you’re reading can really affect your progress. Even if you just pick up something like a trade paperback comic, once you finish it I assure you, you will feel more accomplished!

Some of my favourite comics:

  • Spiderverse by Dan Slott (Text), Christos Gage (Text) & David Hine
  • Nova by Jeph Loeb (Text) & Ed McGuinness (Illustrations)

If comics just aren’t your style you could always try something different like a graphic novel, which is basically just a larger comic.

Some of my favourite graphic novels:

If you don’t want to read something that has a lot or any pictures than you might want to try just listening to something on audiobook. Or, if you do prefer reading with your eyes then you might want to try reading an ebook  or a shorter novel because even if it’s a slight change to the way you usually read it might kickstart your reading!

05 CHILL OUT, WATCH A MOVIE!

Watch a movie based off of a book, this almost always works for me. Watching the movie inspires me to read the book and often if it’s a classic you can find the novel on the internet so it’s not too hard to start the book while I’m riding the high of the movie.

My favourite Book-t0-Movie adaptations:

  • Safe Haven
  • Not Another Happy Ending
  • Harry Potter
  • Gone Girl
  • Mansfield Park

My favourite Book-to-TV adaptations:

  • Shadowhunters (fight me, I really enjoy this show)
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events (my review for season 1 will be up soon so look out for that!)
  • Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
  • BBC’s Class (not a book adaptation but books were written after the show came out)

If you’re in a slump and kind of want nothing to do with books that’s cool to! 

Here are some other movies I enjoy!

  • Life As We Know It
  • Ant-Man
  • Mystic Pizza
  • The Man From U.NC.L.E.
  • How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days
  • Think like A Man
  • The Wedding Date


READING SLUMPS 1.0 – A QUICK OVERVIEW

  • It’s okay to be in a slump. If you’re not feeling like reading a book then go out and see some friends or see a movie.
  • Binge watch a movie or TV series. Sometimes you just need a break from reading. Catch up on some sleep and watch some Tv, no one will judge you, I promise.
  • It never hurts to read a favourite if you don’t feel like anything new.
  • It also never hurts to try another format.
  • Take a breather! You don’t need to be reading 24/7.

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SOCIAL MEDIAS

Goodreads

Books Amino

Instagram

Twitter

How To: Readathon

How To: Readthon

Littlebookowl’s Readathon 2016 Calender

General Tips:

01 Schedule Time 

  • Schedule free time. If you are still at school or work full-time you should try to make time on the weekends or for an hour or two during the school week.
  • Also, make sure to read during the holidays. Read some of those bigger books now that you have the time.

02 When To: Readathon

  • Try to avoid readathons when you have big assessments coming, you won’t read as much as you wanted to and your assessment won’t be as good as it could have been had you put all your time into it.
  • You don’t have to participate in every readathon – there’s probably one the next month.

03 Preperation

If you’re doing a 24 hour readathon then you need to prepare. Have ready meals and snacks available.

The day Before:

  • Make sure you get plenty of sleep prior to the readthon.
  • Prepare food before the readathon.Chopped up fruit and other bite sized foods are great to eat throughout the day.
  • Have a sensibly sized TBR. Have a stack of short books, comics and/or graphic novels. It’s a short readathon so you need short content. Graphic novels and comics are definitely great for short readathons.
  • If you’re doing a week-long readathon you don’t need to prepare as much but you do need to make sure that your week is mostly free and that you don’t have many, if any socials during the week.

04 TBR

  • Have a sensibly sized TBR. If you know you won’t be able to read a certain amount of books then don’t overload your TBR.
  • Your TBR is never set. You can always switch the books on your TBR if you suddenly don’t feel like reading them.
  • It is completely okay if you don’t complete all of the challenges for the readathon. If you’re stressing about not completing all of the challenges and feel like you have to complete them then try to make some books fit into multiple challenges.

05 Keep Motivated 

  • Get hyped prior to the readthon, watch some TBR videos and get inspired, participate on social media and post a picture of you r TBR or even post a video on YouTube.
  • If you don’t want to do the readathon alone the buddy read a book with a friend, it’s always really cool to be able to talk to a friend a bout a book and to be able to see what they did and didn’t like about a book.

Stay Motivated

If a book is not keeping your attention then stop reading it, you can always pick it up again after the readathon.

If you are feeling unmotivated go to social media. Usually for a readathon the host/s will have spints going (twitter) and there are always people posting reading updates – if you see someone reading a book on your TBR or that you’re currently reading talk to them about it.

06 Different Formats

Different formats help to break up the bigger novels and make the whole readathoms process WAY less stressful.

Try: audiobooks, graphic novels or comics.

07 Distractions

This step sort of contradicts step 05 but for most people technology is a distraction. Turn off your notifications (or go the extra mile and turn off your phone and shut down your computer) and try to stay tech free during the readathon (this is especially important for short readthons, 24 hour readathons in particular).

08 Take Advantage of The Library

Libraries are there for a reason. A lot of readathons have challenges so in order to fit books into those categories you may have to buy some of the books. The thing is you don’t always know if you’ll actually enjoy all of the books so if you can, try to find the books at the library.

Short Readathons:
  • Short books are a given. DO NOT read a long book because you will never finish it.
  • Comics & graphic novels are great for short readathons. They are a great way to break up all of the shorter novels in you TBR because they’re a different format.
Long Readathons:

Multiple challenges 

  • Most readathons will have multiple challenges (usually 5-9) so that can be a lot of pressure on you to try and read that many books. Where you can try and fit a book into multiple challenges.

Move around

  • Staying in one spot for a really long period of time can be quite boring so try moving around every now and then. Go to the library or go grab a coffee at a cafe and read for half an hour. If you’re an outdoorsy person you could even go sit at the local park or listen to an audiobook as you walk your dog.If you do end up moving around and you do end up going to get that coffee then set a goal. Tell yourself that you will read the next 2 chapters or that you will read 50 pages of your book before you go home. If you have a goal set then you’ll feel much better about your progress in the readathon.
  • It can be very taxing to read a lot of books that are all the same size. But it can also be very annoying to read books that are all really short and have very fat paced plots. Try and switch up the lengths of the books you plan on reading, this may contribute a bit in your enjoyment of them.

Sleep is key

  • Sleep is completely necessary. If you’re tired you will read less and honestly if you’re yawning through the day you probably won’t even feel like reading.Going with the sleep thing, this is a readathons so you’re bound to get tired at some point. If you find that you are tired and that you don’t really feel like reading then watch some TV. No one’s going to judge you if you watch a few episodes of a TV show – although, you should really try to avoid marathoning/ bingeing a show.
  • It’s a longer readathon so it’s completely okay if you do have errands to run. If you do end up with errands try to listen to an audiobook. You’re still reading and it’s a bit of a break from physical books.

How To: Read More

General Tips:

01 Take Breaks

  • Don’t feel pressured to read everything throughout the month. This is something I struggle with constantly, it doesn’t matter whether or not I read 3 books or 10 books in a month I will still feel like I’ve not read enough.
  • Don’t burn yourself out. If you’re not enjoying a book or you just don’t feel like reading then don’t.
  • Take a break. It’s okay to not be reading at full pace all the time – try taking it slow. You don’t have to be reading all the time, listen to some music, watch a movie or even go walk your dog. You’d be surprised by how much a bit of fresh air can do.

02 Set Goals

  • Goals are a great way to get you motivated to read more throughout the year. Be careful though, there’s a difference between feeling motivated to read and feeling obligated to read. Just because you set your Goodreads goal for the year at 100 doesn’t mean you actually have to read 100 books.
  • Speaking of, set a realistic goal. If you know you won’t have the time to read 100 books then don’t set that goal.
  • Don’t feel afraid to change your goal. Plans change and there’s not always anything you can do anything about that.
  • There are a multitude of goals you can try, the most popular being the Goodreads yearly goal. There are also goals that you can find on the internet based around specific authors and genres.

03 Change Formats

  • If you’re having trouble getting through a book or find yourself in a reading slump try changing the way you’re reading the book, it can help a lot.
  1. Audiobooks
  2. Graphic Novels/ Comics
  3. Ebook

04 Stay Motivated

  • Get motivated. Being motivated will have a lot of influence on how much you enjoy a book.
  • Readathons. Readathons are a great way to get back into the spirit of reading. There are often heaps of people participating in readathons which means you have a massive community to bond with over books.
  • Readathons usually also have a multitude of different challenges – if you don’t have a YouTube challenge that doesn’t mean you can’t do the challenge.
  • If you’re feeling a bit low you can always try buddy reading a book with a friend, it’s always nice to be able to talk with someone about a book after you’ve read it.
  • If you not feeling motivated to read a particular novel but you know it has been adapted then watch the film/ tv adaption to try and hype yourself up to read the novel.

05 Always Have A Book

  • Always have a book. Take a book with you everywhere you go, you never know when you’ll have a spare minute to read. If you don’t have an actual physical novel with you then always have some books on your phone.

06 Reading Slumps

  • It’s okay to be in a slump. If you’re not feeling like reading a book then go out and see some friends or see a movie.
  • Binge watch a movie or TV series. Sometimes you just need a break from reading. Catch up on some sleep and watch some Tv, no one will judge you, I promise.

Good books for a reading slump:

  1. The Lux Series – Jennifer Armentrout
  2. Anything by Rick Riordan
  3. The Lunar Chronicles – Marissa Meyer
  • It never hurts to read a favourite if you don’t feel like anything new.
  • It also never hurts to try another format.

07 Schedule Time

  • Schedule time for reading. This is something I really struggle with, if I’m participating in a readathon even, I’m still more motivated to read but I have a lot of trouble with setting out time to read. Before bed and during your lunch break is a really good opportunity if you’re busy to read during the day.
  • Holidays. This is a great time to read and an even better time to participate in a readathon or two. You’re not set down by any school obligations and have a lot more free time so you have the opportunity to get a lot more reading done.

08 Distractions

  • Block out all distractions. Turn off your notifications or, better yet just turn off your phone (and/or other devices) so they won’t be beeping the whole time you’re trying to read.

09 Surroundings

  • Make sure you have a nice and comfortable spot to read.
  • Put some music on if you like to read that way, otherwise find a peaceful and quiet spot.
  • If you can’t find a nice spot inside try reading outside in the backyard or at a local park.

10 Audiobooks

  • I mentioned audiobooks before but they deserve a catergory of their own. Audiobooks are one of my favourite ways to read a book, I can do chores and get some reading done at the same time. Win, win!
  • If you want to try audiobooks they should have some at your local library and they have a great selection on audible.