2014 and tackling the terrifying TBR list

CharlieRoseLike most readers, I have a TBR list, one that seems to have a life of its own. The books multiply like bunnies. For every one I read, three more take its place. (I blame Dreamspinner Press and their ridiculously amazing sales!) I have eBooks from 2010 and 2011 which I don’t know that I’ll get around to as 2012 and 2013 have produced twice as many eBooks that need reading. Sadly, 2013 was not a good year of reading for me. I read quite a bit, but mostly books on writing or for research.

This year, I’ve decided to try and tackle my ever growing TBR list. Over the weekend, I spent a few hours sorting through my eBook folders. There are A LOT of them. Here’s how I organize them, in case anyone fancies doing something similar. I have an ‘eBooks’ folder in my SkyDrive, and inside that folder, every author who I have at least 3 or more books for gets their own folder. All other eBooks go into a folder labelled ‘Authors’. Then I have a ‘Favorite Authors’ folder, a ‘2012’, and ‘2013’ folder, plus a ‘TBR’ folder. Inside my ‘TBR’ folder is a ‘Priority’ folder. As I read books in my ‘TBR’, they get moved to their respective folders. It’s the only way I can keep track of things. Any non-LGBTQ fiction goes into a separate folder labeled accordingly: Research, Crime Fiction, M/F Romance etc.

I hope to read a lot more fiction than I did last year, and catch up on some books I meant to read ages ago. I’m off to a pretty good start. Here’s what I read this week. All of which I highly recommend!

Piper Vaughn’s – Love Rising
Shira Anthony’s – Stealing the Wind (Mermen of Ea #1)
KJ Charles’s – The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies #1)
KJ Charles’s – Interlude with Tattoos (A Charm of Magpies #1.5)

I’ll probably be adding more of my thoughts on books I enjoyed. I guess you could call them reviews, but I don’t consider myself a reviewer. Despite being a writer, reviews are freakin’ hard, and there’s a lot more to them than just saying I liked or didn’t like something, because I’d consider that more an opinion. My reviews are really more along the lines of fangirl ramblings.

I also don’t give M/M Romance books star ratings. It’s one of those topics that can be debated until everyone’s blue in the face, but personally, I think folks should do whatever feels comfortable for them, and in my case, I don’t feel comfortable rating my fellow authors, so I don’t. I’m not saying authors should or shouldn’t rate/review other authors, I’m just saying I won’t. Now if I like, or love a book, I’m not shy about shouting it from the mountain top. When I read, I read for the sheer enjoyment of it. I read for me.

It’s funny, how despite now being an author, I pretty much still approach books the same way I have all my life. I don’t pick up a book, start reading, and suddenly become its editor. I’m there to enjoy it. I have enough editing to worry about in my own stories without worrying about what was missed in someone else’s. I may notice things I hadn’t noticed before, or have names for all the structural elements that compose a story, but when I pick up a book, the author stays behind, and the reader takes over. I want to be swept away by the story, the characters, the world, and the emotions. If the story succeeds in that respect, I’d call it a winner. As long as it piques my interest, I’ll read any genre. I do however, need coherency. If I’m reading a book, and something in the writing jars me out of the story every other paragraph, I’m not likely to continue. It’s been a long time since I’ve come across a book that’s done that.

Right now I’m reading Jordan L Hawk’sStormhaven (Whyborne & Griffin #3), which I LOVED the first two by the way, and I have a couple of eBooks lined up after that. I’m aiming for at least three eBooks a week, depending on schedules and length of books. There’s also a few new releases coming out this month which I’m looking forward to: Hayley B. James’s – Polyester Prince (ABQ Heat #2), and KJ Charles’s – A Case of Possession (A Charm of Magpies #2)

What are you reading at the moment?

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4 Comments

  1. I haven’t read as much in the past few years as I’ve liked to. Part of it is not wanting to accidentally steal anything from other authors, so I was collecting M/M romances but not reading them. (I have a table with TBRs on one half and TBKs (to-be-knitted (yarn)) on the other….)

    But I’m resolving this year to read more. I currently have Rebecca Cohen’s “The Actor and the Earl” on my tablet and Ellen Holiday’s “Inside the Beltway” on my nightstand.

    BTW, what is Skydrive, and how do I get one? That sounds like a good way to organize ebooks.

    • Hi B! SkyDrive is like DropBox, It’s a way to back up your stuff in case anything happens to your PC/Laptop, you don’t lose everything. It automatically syncs to your devices and the content (or specific folders) can be made available offline so you don’t have to have an internet connection to access it. I have it on my laptop, desktop, tablet, and android phone. So wherever I am, I have all my files available and up to date. You can check out all the info here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/skydrive/download

      I basically just create folder and folders within folders on SkyDrive to organize my files. Very handy.

  2. I like this! I should do something similar–set some goals for the year and stick to them. I always sigh a little when I hear someone say they’ll put one of my stories on their TBR list because I know what MY list looks like, and that means they won’t be getting to it any time soon. But yeah, I should just map out a plan and stick to it–and not be distracted by the new-shiny. :D

    • Hi Madison! I took a few hours yesterday to get my TBR list organized. Aside the fact that I had ebooks spread across three or more places, there was no order. There’s no way I can start from the beginning. So I started prioritizing, keeping new purchases separate to all the older books, and then prioritizing again from there. It makes the dreaded tbr list less daunting. Then once I read a book, I’ll move it from the priority folder to its respective author folder. Who’d have thought reading required so much organizing! lol

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