July 17, 2015

Rearranging Your Reads

In last month's quarterly check-in for The Picky Pledge, I mentioned that I had reorganized my books and no longer had a strictly-TBR bookshelf. Here's what I wrote about that decision:
Adding books I want to re-read to my TBR shelf has changed my attitude towards my shelves. There's a bookshelf in my bedroom that I use to keep everything that's on my TBR. It's been that way for at least a year, and I've enjoyed that system for the most part. But I realized that I sometimes struggled to pick a book because nothing felt new. Adding in books I wanted to re-read gave it a much-needed refresh!
I'd created the TBR bookshelf because I felt like I was overlooking my unread books, but I realized that it was no longer working for me. Since rearranging my books is one of my favorite activities (I wish I was kidding), I decided to try a different system. And I've loved the change! The funny thing is that Alexa did the opposite - she's created space dedicated to her to-be-read pile. So, we're each posting today about reorganizing our shelves and what our current setup look like in action. Be sure to check out Alexa's post for her perspective.

Here's how mixing my TBR with books I want to re-read has helped my reading mojo:

1. It feels less overwhelming to have a curated portion of my TBR. When my bookcase contained just my TBR, I'd sometimes feel stressed out looking at how many books I still hadn't read. And since I love buying books, it never seemed like I made any progress on emptying it because I was adding books as fast as I was reading them. Now, I'm seeing only the books I'm most looking forward to reading, and I approach my shelves with more excitement. Even though I have more TBR books hiding upstairs, it feels more manageable this way.

2. It reminds me to make time for re-reading. I've long lamented the fact that I've let blogging impact how much and how often I re-read. I used to frequently revisit my favorite books, but I've fallen out of the habit as I've focused more on ARCs and newer releases. Co-osting The Re-Read Challenge with Kelly this year has already helped me focus more on re-reading, but mixing books I've been hoping to re-read in with my TBR has been another motivator. Plus, I love seeing some of my favorites that remind me of why I love reading!

3. It gives me a variety of options when I'm looking at my shelves. One of my issues with a TBR-only bookcase, the thing that prompted the reorganization in the first place, was the fact that I felt like I was always looking at the same books. When I was trying to choose what to read next, there was never enough variety! Now, there's a better mix on my shelves. I have a select portion of my TBR, and I can rotate those out if my mood changes. And somehow my desire to read certain books grows when I'm not staring at them every day.

We thought it would also be fun to show you our current set-up for our physical TBR, letting you see our system in action and giving you a peek into what we've got waiting to read (and re-read, in my case). And if you see something that I need to read right away, I hope you'll tell me it's time to move it to my nightstand!


1. My blue bookshelf holds the books I'm most excited to read and the books I've been dying to re-read. I've been craving some fantasy favorites lately, so those re-reads got their own shelf... but every other shelf is a blend of old and new! My main bookcase is sorted into categories - Adult Fiction, Classics, Young Adult Fiction, Children's Fiction and Non-Fiction - and then alphabetically by author last name. But this bookcase is mostly sorted by genre (fantasy, contemporary, historical fiction) so I can choose what to read based on my mood.


2. My armoire has my stack of review books. I like to keep review books in their own pile since the publication date affects when I read them. While I don't like reading on a schedule, I try my best to get them done in time! I typically sort this pile by priority, and that's usually determined by when each book is released. There are a few other books stored in here - usually recent purchases or things that would take up too much space on my blue bookcase. I'll admit that this area can get a little messy since I can hide it by closing the armoire doors...




3. Three "overflow" shelves in my big bookcase upstairs contains my low-priority TBR reads. When I decided to reorganize the bookshelf in my bedroom, I knew I had to find a place for my low-priority TBR reads. I initially mixed them in with the books I'd read on my main bookcases in our home office, but I didn't like that system. It took more time and effort when I wanted to grab TBR books to add to the shelves downstairs. So, I made the bottom three cubbies my designated place for those reads - and that's worked a lot better!

Mixing re-reads in with my to-be-read pile has made me look at my shelves with new eyes. It's helped me stay on track as I get through my TBR while still reminding me to take time to revisit old favorites. I'm sure I'll get the itch to reorganize at some point, but this has been the perfect refresh for Picky Pledge!

How do you organize your TBR?
What prompts you to reorganize your books?

2 comments:

  1. Props. I certainly don't have that kind of organization for my TBR. I keep my list on Goodreads, because I have a small collection of books in my room, and then there are books that I'd like to really read, but I would never buy them because it would be a waste so I'd much rather borrow them from the library.
    - Krys

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  2. I really am fascinated by the fact that our methods for arranging our TBRs have similarities and differences! I think it's cool that you've chosen to integrate your rereads (which isn't something I thought of doing). That definitely ensures you'll get a chance to revisit old favorites, and have some more variety in your TBR piles!

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