So we all know the common joke: “I was born with a TBR pile that I will never finish”. We, as book lovers, know this is true. There will always be more books to add to the pile. Backlist books you find out about months, years, decades, eons after they are published. Truly, we book lovers know that we will never get through the pile of books we want to read!
But what happens if you are a book blogger? Should you divide your TBR pile into 2 stacks- your review consideration pile and your personal TBR pile?
Let’s discuss why we that might be a good idea…..
Review consideration is a nice phrase for accepting a book from an author or publicist and not tying yourself down to a review. The truth is that while some bloggers will write a negative review- many just choose to not review the book if it’s not their cup of tea (and that is a whole other discussion!)
I think that many, when they start blogging, are fearful if they don’t accept every book from a publicist that is offered to them- they won’t hear from them again. While it may be true, in some cases, I think, mainly, it’s not an issue. If you say “no” you will (most likely) hear from that publicist again. Trust.
Why Your TBR Pile Should Be An All You Can Eat Buffet:
If you take a look at my TBR shelf on Goodreads, you’ll see that I have 110 books- which is a fair, but not complete, total of books I want to read. There are books I have added, books I have been wanting to read for years (but haven’t made time for).
I think having a wide arrange of books in your TBR is a good thing- it gives you choices, maybe even shows how you have changed as a reader (maybe you were 100% romance reads and now you include mystery… or vice versa.)
Your TBR pile should be filled with all those books you think you want to read one day- the classics or every trashy novel ever published. It will be big. You will probably die before you finish it. But it will be ok.
Why Your Review Pile Should Be The Hottest Club In Town:
First, I can’t take credit for calling the review pile the hottest club in town- that little gem came from one of my blogging friends after a discussion on blogging blues.
Here’s the thing: You accept a few books for review consideration that you are all jazzed about. Then maybe you accept a few that you are unsure about- maybe you felt like you needed to accept them to keep the pub/blogger relationship going, maybe you felt pressured by a personal relationship with the author, maybe you just wanted to give the book a chance. Maybe everyone is talking about this book and you are feeling left out- the list of reasons goes on and on…. Maybe, maybe, maybe…
If you really start thinking about your review pile (because the truth is- that even if we abide by the thought process of “review consideration” there are many who still feel the stress of not getting the book read “in time”) and after awhile, seeing that book- sitting there is going to start stressing you out.
Do you have to review every book you let in your exclusive club? No, you don’t. There may be some that you think sound good- but then, for reasons unknown, fall apart. It happens. And life will go on.
But if you start to consider carefully what you think of as “review” books vs “just for reading”- then you might feel less stressed about your review pile.
Each blogger is different. Some only “review” backlist books. Some only review the new books. Some bloggers are moving away from the traditional review and getting back to basics- quick thoughts, talking on social media, etc. There is no right or wrong way to do this- it’s all about you.
But, for me, after my bloggy friend said that about “the hottest club in town” I really got to thinking about my review vs TBR piles in a different way. And the realization is, that for me, I can’t AND don’t want to review everything that is offered to me. Not all books are a good fit for me OR for my blog… Plus, not every book I read needs to make a feature on my blog. Sometimes, I don’t feel like finding the image, coming up with some clever things to say, and taking the time to post a review. There are times when I just want to snap a pic of the book, tweet it and say “Go get this book!” And you know what? That’s ok, too!
What do you think? Do you make distinctions in your book piles?
Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T