So I’ve been trying to get my tbr completed for around two years. Along the way, I’ve come up with a few strategies for quicker completion.
Obviously, these are just things that worked for me, but hopefully they’ll work for a few others too. Good luck!
1. Read short books quickly. If you find a ridiculously short book on your list, read it immediately. Don’t keep twenty add-on short stories on your tbr.
2. Split up your tbr lists. Having one short pile to focus on is always good, and moving books you don’t plan to read until a long time from now onto a different list creates the illusion of having a shorter list.
You can split up any ways you want, but here are some suggestions.
Category one could be books that have just released, series you’re in the middle of, and the books from your shelf that you’re most interested in. Don’t put more than one or two new series on your priority tbr— that can kill motivation. Category two can be books that have yet to be released. It feels so good to have these separated, you can get 100 books off your tbr with no effort. Goodreads lets you order lists by priority, and I’d suggest ordering this list by release date so you always know what book is coming out next. Having this list is so much more helpful. Category three can be everything else. You can even split it up more! I have a whole other list for classics and literary fiction I won’t get to for a while.
3. Delete some books. If you do this on a goodreads account, sort your list by date added. If you added a book back in 2014 and don’t even remember why you wanted to read it, delete it. Delete books you feel obligated to try but aren’t actually interested in. Delete the continuations of series you hated. And delete any books that have universally bad reviews. You’d be surprised how many books you can get off.
Even if you have an owned tbr, donate any books you dread having to read. Try a bookswap service with those you’re not interested in if you want. #booksfortrade on twitter is always worth a try. Sure, you’ll get books back, but hopefully only books you really want to read. If there are any books you’ve heard good things about but aren’t really interested in yourself, gift them to others.
If you have A LOT on your tbr, delete everything except 150 books. I’m serious. You are never going to read all 1000 of those books when new releases keep coming out. Ask yourself how much you really want to read any of these books. Keep only those you’re desperate to read.
4. Focus on short standalones unless you have a lot of free time. Series and long books are better enjoyed when you can fully engage with them, rather than shoving in reading time. But you can finish short standalones in very little time. Also, having three series beginners on your tbr looks easier to tackle than having eight standalones.
5. Read multiple books at a time, especially if you’re tackling long classics. Forcing yourself through a 500-page book will get you nowhere. There’s no shame in reading three books at once.