There was a time when I was pretty disciplined about my To Be Read stack. I would place books on it in the order I intended to read them, so I always knew, at a glance, what book I would be reading next, and which one after that and so on.
I admit I didn’t always follow the stack, sometimes something else would demand my attention and slip in at the top, but most of the time I stayed “true to the stack”. For better or worse that’s changed, or perhaps I should be kinder to myself and say my TBR has evolved. Now there are simply stacks, piles and bookcase sections that contain a lot of books I’ve bought and intend to read, someday. When I finish a book, I add it to my Books I’ve Read list, mark it read in my book catalog, and then scan the piles to decide what I’ll start next. The only exception to this is if I have a book from the library waiting. Because that’s a deadline book, it will always come first.
That exception aside, instead of some kind of prearranged, or at least orderly, reading process it’s now willy-nilly; whatever strikes my fancy, the whim of the moment. Because there are several places to look, and I tend to make the decision on the fly, the only guiding thought I may have is deciding if I want to read another of the same genre/sub-genre as the last book. If I’ve just finished a mystery, I tend to lean towards a fantasy or science fiction title, or else straight fiction or non-fiction.
I’ve considered trying to organize all this back into the ordered I-know-what’s-next method I used several years ago, but haven’t haven’t had the time or energy (read: I’ve been too lazy) to even begin that process. I suspect if I did try it, I’d rediscover things that might once have been at the top but got buried in piles behind other piles. One thing is certain: too many of the books I do read are going onto – or back onto – the shelves, and not into the Out Of The House Box (hereafter OOTH). You know the one, that box with 2 books in it that never gets filled up.
I guess if the present arrangement isn’t causing any harm there is no point in changing it, but I have a deep suspicion that I’m reading more of the latest arrivals and less of the things I’d intended to read, back when I brought them into the house.