Hasn't Killed Me Yet: Living With Chronic TBR Overflow (Pt 1) | My Musings

**Today's Topics: Where do I find books that I might want to read? How do I decide whether or not to add them to My Library or Research List?**



Chronic TBR Overflow: A condition in which the person habitually adds more books to their shelves/lists each week than they are able to read. Although the condition can be managed with great willpower, there is no known cure. The number of reported cases has greatly increased in recent years due to the invention of electronic reading devices, the popularity of self-publishing, and a rise in exposure to free books and ARCs.

This is the first post in a 3 part series that I am writing, in part, to force myself to clarify and streamline my processes. A lot of reading things have changed for me in the last few years, getting a Kindle and now starting to blog being the biggest ones. And I am still using a mishmash of old & new systems. These posts represent my ideal, and I will be working to make them a reality.


It is a sad fact that there are more books published in a single year than I will be able to read in my lifetime. Not only that, but when I first got my Kindle I went wacko and "bought" every free book that looked even slightly interesting. My Library now includes more that 40,000 books, over 99% of them I will probably never read. And that doesn't even include all the possibly interesting books, that I don't already own, which are on my various lists.


I would love to go back through them and delete those I know that I will never read, but I just don't have time. I do occasionally do a small weeding project, such as deleting all the books about MLM (I thought it was a computer programming language). But, for now, the best thing I can do is to be much more selective when adding books.


How Do I Find Books?


Kindle Books

I find the majority of my free Kindle books via FreeReadFeed. I also occasionally (usually if I'm not feeling well and can't concentrate on something productive) will do a category search on Amazon and then sort by price (Example).



My main resources for finding new audiobooks that might be of interest are the Coming Soon & New Releases pages on Audible. These have become a integral part of my week now that I am publishing a weekly "New Audiobook Releases" post, which highlights the most interesting looking SciFi/Fantasy selections.


New Developments

Before I became a book blogger earlier this year, I never read book blogs unless a review for a book I was researching came up in a Google search. Now that I am a blogger, I have overflowed my RSS feed with interesting blogs. Since I have a limited amount of time available, I focus on two types of posts when looking at possible books: 1) Coming Soon / New Release posts and 2) Posts from the following meme's, to which I link my own Sunday Summary - The Sunday Post, Stacking the Shelves, It's Monday, What Are You Reading?, and Mailbox Monday. (Note: I especially like the ones that include links to all their recent posts, since it is a really simple way to keep up with what they are blogging)


Also since I have become a blogger I have begun to locate online sources of audiobook publisher catalogs.


How Do I Select Books to "Buy" (if free) or Research?


Kindle Freebies

I check FreeReadFeed once a day. I have a book mark with pre-saved settings (Found Free Since = "My Last Visit" / Sort By = "Most reviews (then stars)"). With this search I get the books with 100 reviews (for example) in descending order of # of stars, then the books with 99 ratings, and so on.


  • I rarely get any Non-Fiction anymore unless it has lots of good reviews and is something I am actively interested in. (I prefer physical books, plus can find lots of info online.)
  • I don't consider any Fiction unless it has at least 15 reviews and  4* or higher rating (I picked this somewhat arbitrarily, since most days it represents a workable number of pages to look at).
  • I also rarely consider anything under 200 pages, unless it already has an Audible version available or is part of a series I own.
  • I never take anything I know to be part of a serial (hate 'em).


So that's what I won't pick, what will actually bring a book to my attention, enough for me to at least click through and check out the Amazon Page? And once there, what will make me click to buy? Note: I mostly look for SF/F books but don't use a genre filter, since the official genre shown is often misleading. (Note: I think this is a boringly standard list so I am including a couple of good external links.)


  • Interesting title. Check out this fun post from Kristen @ Metaphors & Moonlight about judging a book by its title.
  • Good cover (and not too steamy).
  • The blurb. Which hopefully doesn't give away any spoilers. Check out this this rant on that @ Sarah's Book Shelves.
  • The review headlines/length. Obviously I don't have time to read every review, so I scan the headlines to see if there is a general trend. I am also a bit leery if all the reviews are just a couple lines (and most of them say, "I don't usually read...").



Pretty much anything SF/F that looks interesting will go on my research list unless it has less than 3.75 stars. If a new audiobook looks interesting but has less than 10 ratings (on Audible), then I will check to see if it has more than that on Amazon or Goodreads and use them. Or I will check the ratings on other books by the same author. I occasionally cheat and put a brand new book by a first time author on my list anyway.


That's all for this week, check next week's post for the answer to the questions "How do I organize all those books & lists?" and "How do I create an actual TBR list?"


Living with Chronic TBR Overflow

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  • Where/how do you encounter new books that you might be interested in?
  • How do you choose which books you are actually going to look into?


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