I had around 730 books on my to-read shelf on Goodreads. Even if I read 50 books a year that’s over 14 years before I get through that list. I have been on Goodreads since 2007, that’s also 14 years. and I have read 726 books. I’ve been adding books for 14 years, but I don’t think I’ve ever done an audit of all the 700+ books on my to-read and I can’t remember why I added some that have been there for over 13 years.
So in the last few years, I have gotten better at writing notes in Goodreads as to why I added certain books, then when I come back later I can see if that reason is still enough to keep the book on my list given that I will probably have added even more books. But again, I hadn’t reviewed the list.
Now that we are up-to-speed, I’ve started to review them over the last few weeks. It’s hard. I’m afraid to take anything off my list because I assume that I had a good reason to add them in the past. Why do I think that past me is smarter than present me? So, I have to be brutal in the culling.
How I’m going about it. When I come to a book on the list…
If I don’t immediately know that I love the book and can’t wait to read it
I look to see if there are any notes on the book from myself or better yet a recommendation
If no recommendation then I look to see if anyone I follow has done a review
Lastly, I read the book description
If after reading the description I’m still on the fence then I look at some of the reviews
Reading the reviews is hard because everyone is so different. Many people don’t just randomly pick a book and start reading. They have an interest in the topic a reason for picking up the book in the first place, so you have to take that into account. Plus, those that write reviews are invested in the book enough to create a review.
I usually review every book, more for myself than for other readers to see if they should read the book or not, I look at it as a history or journal of what I’m reading. But we can assume that not everyone is like me and that those writing a review have strong feelings one way or the other. So you tend to get people that hated it or loved it not too much in between.
I’m still making my way through all 730ish books on my to-read, but so far I’ve already taken off 100. It’s going to take a while and I can’t be in a rush or somethings will be dropped because I’m in too much of a hurry to complete the task. I could also keep things I shouldn’t because I’m rushing.
I’m thinking this is something I should really do yearly as well. Since many times my interest ebb and flow. I may lose interest in a topic and don’t want to invest the time in a book that is on a subject that no longer interests me.
The only book on the list that I have read. My Goodreads review: “Overall, I enjoyed this book however, I thought it was slow and overly technical at times. If you are into the why and how extinction occurs you will enjoy this book. For me the last chapter was the best chapter. The chapter on Wolly Mammoths was also very entertaining.”
The #1 Best Seller on Amazon in the Ecology category
Now, I’ve never read 100 books in a year. Well, I probably have, but I don’t count the books I read to my kids in good reads, so only 96 in a year a few years back. So, when I saw Aliza Weinberger’s article, What happened when I tried to read 100 books in a year, I was intrigued.
I would have liked to see more reviews in the article. All her ratings where listed but nothing too much about what she thought of the books. Just a few little sentences here and there. To me it was more about her journey reading 100 books and less about what it meant to her or why she was doing it, other than just to do it.
She does later say:
…this project wasn’t really about the number of books I could read. It was about finding books that made me feel what reading had always done for me: that connection, that sheer joy of reading a book that both entertains and moves me.
That was nice to see in there. The worst part was all the little gifs and advertisements that popped up while I was trying to read the article. I can’t take Mashable articles seriously with all this junk popping up while I’m trying to read a article that genuinely interest me. Good content is not going to keep me on the site, if it is observed by all this other stuff.
I was going to read another article that Weinberger linked to on Mashable, but I gave up after having so much trouble loading the first article. I hope they clean that site up, thy have some good content.
I don’t think I will have as rough a time reading my hundred as Weinberger did. I know what I want to read, I have a TBR shelf of hundreds of books. Getting through them all will be the tough part. Wish me luck!