This is pretty unheard of and I get a Home Alone face about it pretty often because there are SO many books in the world to read, how can I NOT want to read all of them? I'll tell you why...Life is too short for bad books. I also consider reading a hobby and not something that should overwhelm me. It's why I rarely have more than one or two books on NetGalley and Edelweiss to review because if I request it, it means I REALLY want to read it and I REALLY want to read it now. Same goes for any other book that isn't a review book that I add to my mental TBR. To me, if I have hundreds of books I "want" to read, it's overwhelming and then I'm just reading to get through it and I'm not enjoying it because in the back of my head there's ALL the other books I have listed to read. That's not fun for me but maybe it is for you. I'm not here to judge. I am here by prompting of Hannah and Alexa to give you my criteria on how books make it to my list.
I ask myself these questions before committing to reading...
1. What's it about?
This is an obvious question and for me, a person who reads any and all genres, not always helpful. Because I read a wide variety of books and am open to anything I ask this to--duh--get a general idea of what it's about.
2. What makes this book unique?
This question is more helpful to me than the first one. I've read a hundred dystopian books, what makes this one unique? A new adult contemporary--is there anything about this that makes it stand out against my favorites that makes me want to read it? Like I said, life's too short for bad books so if I'm taking the time to read, it better be worth my time. Another reason my TBR is short. I'm taking the time to read it, I want to have a good sense I'm going to like it. Thus why most of my book ratings are 4 and 5 stars. I know my style while still being open-minded.
3. Who is recommending it to me?
This is a big one to me, too. There are very few people whose recs I will take seriously. That isn't to say YOU have bad taste in reading it's that the people I trust are the people that know me. They know my style, my tastes, my likes, my dislikes, my dirty little mind, and fucked up heart. Everyone brings their subjective response to a book but more often than not my close friends who rec me books will know what I like. And there are plenty of times I read one of their reviews and say, oh will I like this? And they say, well *I* loved it but I don't think you would like it as much as I did. I appreciate that honesty. Those select people know I don't waste my time with books that I might find just okay.
4. Do I want to drop most things to read RIGHT NOW?
This is the absolute determining factor in whether or not the book makes the list. The preceding questions are helpful and obviously are the sole influence for what the answer to this final question will be. If I'm not immediately excited to read said book, I'm not going to add it. If I can't see myself making this book a priority in the next 2-4 weeks then it's just meh to me and will take up space on my shelves or Kindle. To me, reading should always be exciting! Granted, there are of course books I read that I 2 star or don't like but more often than not I like or love the books I read and it is because of this cut throat system. Ain't nobody got time to read bad books which is also why I have no issue DNF'ing. It doesn't happen often because of 'The System' but it does happen. Why would I waste time trudging through a book and wasting time when the next one could be a new favorite?
Now as a disclaimer, I need to mention the downside and the obvious question of, if you're so hesitant to add books to your TBR aren't you missing out on books to take a chance on? The answer is simple and it's yes, maybe. Of course, we are all going to miss out on books we would love and obsess over because they are just unknown to us. They sit quietly on the shelves of libraries waiting to be opened and loved but due to circumstances we just never get to them or even hear about them. That's the risk we all take and there are books that I would not have added or passed the test of question 4 had it not been for the people I refer to in question 3. I would never have read Daughter of the Forest had it not been for Hannah's pushing. I would have never discovered the joys of historical romance had it not been for Alexa. I would have missed out on all the amazing that is The Vampire Academy had Betty not shoved it down my throat. And I would never have had my torrid love affair with all things Karina Halle had Stephanie not turned me on to her. And I definitely wouldn't have become inspired and obsessed with Girl Before A Mirror had Cass and Ellice not threatened me bodily harm.
What do we think? Are you cut throat with your TBR choices? Do you have a list a mile long? Do you like this? What are your thoughts?