Reading · Writing

Purging my to-read list.

book stackEvery once in a while, I go to my Goodreads account and take a look at my ever growing to-read list… and I raid it. Very much like raiding a closet filled with old clothes and shirts that used to fit you six years ago but you couldn’t part with them because you’ll lose enough weight to wear them again (yeah right).

It’s a rather interesting experience; more than just deleting books that don’t grab your attention anymore, it’s involves some reflection – why is this book in my to-read list? Why did I ever think this was interesting? Another thriller? Why did I ever think I could tolerate reading a novel written entirely in tweets?! Oh my god I must’ve been half-asleep when I added this! … aaaand so on. Of course there are some positive thoughts too, mostly, “This book seems really cool, why do I not own it yet?” Okay, so it’s positive depending on how you look at it, since it involves spending a lot of money!

Many of the books I removed were books I added in 2011 and 2012. I thought it was funny that my tastes have changed so much over the span of two or three years, to the extent where books that seemed good enough to earn a spot in my to-read list no longer appeal to me. Actually, this is also a bit worrisome – at 25, I enjoy fantasy novels, chick lit, children’s and middle-grade books, the occasional thriller and a sprinkling of literary fiction… what will I be reading a few years from now? I like to think that as I read more and more books, my tastes keep getting refined. These days I don’t buy a book just for the sake of buying a book. I take care to read some good and bad reviews before I buy anything because I’ve wasted a lot of money on books I could’ve been spared from reading had I paid attention to what others had said about them.

As I went through the books I added on Goodreads one by one, I read synopses more than once and asked myself, “Is this really something I would want to read? Is there a possibility that I might go out of my way to search for it?” Yes; you’re safe. No; sorry, nothing personal but I’m ticking you off. I’ve also taken to deleting some series from my list. I’m already caught in the midst of at least FIFTEEN series and I don’t think I can take on anymore, no matter how appealing a book might seem. I don’t mind if they can be read as standalones, but when every book ends at a cliffhanger, it gets a little bit annoying for me. On the subject of series, has anyone noticed that almost every new release out there is part of a series? But I’m straying from the main subject here. As of now, my to-read list has gone down by 40 books… and I’m still going. I’m not worried though; I know I’ll eventually fill it up again, haha.

Have your reading tastes changed over the years? Do you purge your to-read lists too? Incidentally, just how many books are on your list right now? I’m curious!

22 thoughts on “Purging my to-read list.

  1. Hi Zen! Purging is a good thing. When you are busy and have so little time for reading, there’s nothing wrong with being more selective. Especially someone like you who finishes a book no matter what. I’ve recently found my tastes in television have changed again. Shows I used to record and watch every week no longer hold interest for me. It’s funny how our tastes change over time.

    I think a lot of indie authors write series because it’s so hard to get noticed. We do all of our own marketing and promotion. By having a series, the chances of the books being seen are higher, and, hopefully, if someone likes one book, they will go on to read the others. But even before I started writing, I liked series books. If I found an author I liked, I usually read all of their works.

    I have seen the trend of of calling books a series, when they are really installments. I purchased a book last fall that I enjoyed quite a bit. When I reached the end – it wasn’t. I realized I was going to have to buy three more books to get the full story. I found it frustrating that the book description didn’t inform me that I wasn’t buying an entire novel.

    It’s nice to see you. I hope the new job is still going well.

    1. Hi, Maddie! How are you? 🙂 The new job is going well, thank you for asking! It’ll be sad to leave it in a couple of months though.

      Yes, exactly. xD I cannot not finish a book, and to be stuck with one that doesn’t interest me in the first place… that just sucks. Also, I understand what you mean about TV shows! I barely have time to watch any TV these days, but there are a few I will take the time to sit and enjoy.

      That’s a fair point about indie authors; I admit I didn’t think of it that way. But, for example, I don’t mind books like yours because the plot ends when the book ends, and doesn’t leave you on a cliffhanger! Also, I dislike those books that try to hide that they’re part of a series – it’s as if they cheated you into buying them!

  2. I have very few on my TBR list, Zen because I just don’t have to time to read a lot (gee I’m bad at making excuses!) 😉

    Those old clothes you talk about in the closet actually shrink (that’s a well known fact and I’m sticking to it!) lol 😀

    1. Well I know how busy you’ve been with your kids and making your house look super! 😉

      Haha, I’ll take your word for it! There are a few clothing items I just cannot part with!

  3. The NEVER ENDING SERIES PROBLEM. Agh, I feel you. There are too many these days, more stand alone books please!

    Good for you purging your Goodreads, that’s a great idea and I should probably try it. My tastes have definitely changed over the years. Now I look at some of the book I have yet to read on my shelves and think why the heck did I buy that again?!

    Hope all is well with you Zen. 🙂

    1. I knew you’d agree with that problem, Becky! xD I agreeee – but I feel my choices are becoming narrower and narrower when I opt to just read standalones. =[

      Haha, you should definitely try it! I was surprised at the number of books that went from, “Ooh that sounds awesome!” to “Meh.”

      I hope all is well with you too! 🙂

      1. Hehee, yes, I think we’ve agreed on this point a few times, and for good reason!
        You’re so right, that’s why lately I’ve been trying to hold out longer before buying books, waiting for the hype to die down to make sure I really want them. 🙂

        1. That’s a good way to go about it. xD I think that’s partly the reason why I haven’t read the Hunger Games yet. There is so much hype and I do not want to be disappointed.

  4. I probably need to do this soon, too! I got sooooooooooooo behind on my reading due to the insane amount of editing I’ve been doing. Looking forward to catching up on some good reads (pun intended) this year.

    The series thing is quite popular, because it seems to be a marketing ploy that works for people and everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. The hope that cutting a story off at a cliffhanger so the reader scoops up the next one is silly if every author is doing the same thing. Very few stories have the staying power to be a series, in my opinion. I get bored and want to move on.

    1. Oh yeah, I remember you saying you were knee-deep in edits. How are those going? 🙂

      I guess that’s true. I like the series that actually finish a particular plot in one book before moving to the next; those are tolerable. Standalones need to become a trend again! xD

        1. That was a good decision on your part; we’re our own worst critics after all and I think you may even find fault with it after your editor returns it all spotless and polished!

  5. I love reading about you cleaning your TBR list. Mine keeps getting bigger and bigger so I really should do the same. Sometimes I go through it and see a book I’ve already read, haha!

    1. That happened with me too! I saw a couple of books in my list and I thought, “Wait… I’m pretty sure I read this already.” Turns out I had added different editions of the same books. xD

  6. I find that simply not having a “to read” list makes it a lot easier to periodically go through it and delete items. I’m done before I start—every time!

    This probably explains why I’m stuck on reading the same book for the past year…

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