If you’re a reader, you know the delight and the terror of a TBR list.
(TBR stands for “To Be Read”).
There are so many great books out there to read! And. . . there are so many great books out there to read.
I asked on Instagram over the weekend about strategies for keeping track of all those books you want to read and there were so many great suggestions!
Here are fourteen suggestions that might help you better manage your personal TBR list.
14 Ways to Manage Your TBR List
- A TBR List on Goodreads. This was BY FAR the most common response. Goodreads makes it super easy to scan a book barcode or search by title or author and add it straight to the “Want to Read” category. You can also add additional tags like genre or who recommended it.
- The Notes App on your phone. If you want simple, it’s hard to beat a running list in the Notes app of your phone. You can even format it to have a checkbox next to each title so you can mark them off as you read them!
- A dedicated tag in Libby. For any book on Libby, you can add a tag to it. You can create a simple one (TBR) or more specific ones (TBR: Fantasy or TBR: Read Aloud). Plus, then you can easily request books off your TBR list without a bunch of extra steps.
- A Pinterest board. If you’re a visual person, a Pinterest board is a great way to see all the covers of the books on your TBR in one place. Or create multiple TBR boards for different genres or categories.
- An Amazon Wishlist. Amazon allows you to wishlist any item in their (massive) catalog. You can create multiple lists, so you can break it down as much as you’d like. You can also add a comment to any book so if you want to remember who recommended it or why it appealed to you, it’s easy to do. AND you can rank it as a high priority or lower priority (there are 5 levels).
- A Bookshop Wishlist. This is the same idea as an Amazon wishlist, but Bookshop is set up to support independent bookstores. It doesn’t have the option to add notes, but you can create as many lists as you’d like.
- A library catalog list function. Many library catalogs have an option to save titles to a list – this makes it super easy to request titles right from your TBR! Take a look and see if your library’s digital catalog has this option.
- Screenshots on your phone. If most of your reading suggestions come from your phone, you can screen shot them or save the image and then create an album to save all those images in so you can scroll through easily!
- An Instagram Collection. You can save any photo from Instagram to a collection (just tap the little bookmark icon under the photo on the right hand side) and you can create as many different collections as you want!
- Send a Kindle Sample. This was such a brilliant idea! Send a Kindle sample of the books on your TBR list to your Kindle and you’ll have them all in one spot, plus you can read the first few pages to see if you want to actually read the whole thing.
- The Reading List app. This free app makes it super simple to add books to your TBR and keep track of the books you’ve already read. Basically a very streamlined version of Goodreads.
- Spreadsheet. Whether you use Excel or Google Sheets or another spreadsheet, this makes it super easy to keep track of the books you want to read, search them, color code them and make notes!
- A paper notebook or reading journal. I never met a notebook I didn’t like (I’m a paper planner person forever!) so I love the idea of keeping track of your TBR list in a physical place.
- A reading chart. Several people mentioned they use the free Reading Chart I created with Hadley Designs to keep track of books they want to read by writing the title on the spine and then coloring them in when they read them! So smart!
Do you have another way of keeping tabs on your TBR list? I’d love to hear!
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Photos by Heather Mildenstein