I’m always curious how people, especially readers, choose and manage the books they want and have. I think it’s a little different for writers because we often buy books by authors who are our friends or published by the same publisher or are like the kind of book we write.
For example, when I started writing, I was targeting Harlequin/Silhouette. I subscribed to the reader service for at least four different lines so I could see which one fit my writing the best. That was before kids, and I still had 60 books stacked on my dresser at a time. I buy a lot of books I don’t read because they’re not my preference (I don’t read many historicals anymore, for example).
The combination of kids (less time to read) and conferences (tons of free books!) built my TBR in a much more eclectic way. I narrowed down the H/S lines, then decided I don’t fit any of them and broadened my approach. Then a funny thing happened. My TBR was always so big, if it shrank…I started to panic. Only 30 books left! What if the zombie apocalypse happens?!
Now my reading is digital as well as print, and I have a real TBR pile (split between my bedroom and my office) and a Kindle TBR. And a Kindle Wish List. I NEVER used to read the opening of any book. I just bought it based on blurb. But now I’ll send samples to my Kindle for new-to-me authors or stuff I’m not sure of (I hate present tense; it’s not always a deal-breaker, but it will put me off something new, unfortunately). If I want to buy something, it goes to my wish list. When I’m print shopping, I’ll reference that list. Then I just kind of wait until Mother’s Day, my birthday, or Christmas, tell everyone I only want gift cards for books, and load up. 🙂
Some people get wide eyes when they hear I have 43 books on my Kindle and 50 on my shelf, or whatever. But I know many of you have FAR vaster TBR piles. If you’re one who has hundreds or thousands of books they want to read, how do you manage them? How do you choose what to read next?