Hi friends! I hope you all are okay 💛
It has come to my attention lately that I’m a little slow at getting books. Like, if you compared me to a sloth, you wouldn’t be too far off, at all.
Some people put books on their TBRs almost instantly. Some people buy books quicker than I can turn my computer on. They might be impulsive, they might be passionate, they might be very excited about the books. I’m NOT JUDGING, at all, to each their own. I’m just…. not them, at all. My process, from adding books to my TBR to actually getting to READ them, takes a whole lot of time.
Today, this is what this post is all about. Basically, me being slow. Also, me hoping I’m not the only slow one here. Please tell me I’m notttttttttt.
A million thanks to Chana @ Paper Procrastinators, whose comment on one of my latest blog posts about books I want to read, but don’t want to read, inspired this entire post. Chana & Malka have one of the greatest blogs and I encourage you all to check it out and support it!
🗣 STEP 1: Finding out about new books to read
Before I started book blogging, I found out about new books to read every… wow. I can’t actually remember how I found out about new reads before that time.
Now, I find out about new books every single day, whether they’re unreleased, backlist titles or have just been out into the world.
My main sources to find new books in this first step are, in that order (I think):
- Book blogs & book bloggers
I read a whole damn lot of book blogs, even if I have slowed down a little bit lately, too. I still think book blogs and book bloggers and their recommendations are my number 1 bookish source. When I’m talking about book blogs, I’m thinking about “old fashioned” bloggers, meaning bloggers with their own website, whether it’s on wordpress, blogspot, etc. I’m often finding out about new books to read thanks to book blogs and, on any kind of post, really. Whether it’s a book review, a book recommendations’ post, a book tag or meme, or a monthly wrap-up, bloggers are always talking about books and… my TBR always grows because of them.
- Book twitter
I don’t spend that much time on book twitter lately, for personal and mental health reasons, but I can’t deny that, over the years, book twitter has given me some incredible recommendations through tweets. I think it’s the place where I managed to find out about new releases and upcoming books the most, given that’s where a LOT of book deals are announced. Basically, book twitter gives me ALL the books to read… in a thousand years, when they’ll finally get published.
- Bookstagram, Goodreads, NetGalley, Edelweiss.
These are all together because they’re the least likely to influence me, compared to the first two, but… they still do.
- I just recently made a bookstagram account, but I have been following a whole damn lot of them for years and, every now and then, bookstagram can make me curious about a book…. but more often than not, I scroll down and forget about it.
- Goodreads might influence me a little bit with the recommendations it gives, but I maybe watch them every couple of months or so, sometimes, scrolling down book lists and watching recommended reads next to a book I’m currently reading or adding to my TBR.
- NetGalley & Edelweiss sometimes gives me new book recommendations, but I don’t look at these often because, well, international book blogger and denial don’t make me want to click on everything either.
📚 STEP 2: Actually putting the books on my TBR
Oh boy. From finding out about new, potentially interesting books, to actually putting them on my TBR, there’s an OCEAN.
Also, small side note, here: when I’m talking about putting a book on my TBR, I’m talking about putting it on my goodreads TBR. Not my actual, physical TBR. But we’ll get to that later.
Some people are immediate-TBR-growers, let’s put it like that. They find out about new, potentially interesting books and immediately run to goodreads, or wherever they keep track of their books to read, and just add the books. THAT easily.
Why make things quick and easy when you can make them painfully slow and complicated? This should be the title of this blog post okay.
There are TWO different scenarios for me, when it comes to putting a book on my TBR:
- I do it immediately after finding out about the book. This rarely happens, but it does, I swear it does. If you’re telling me about childhood friends to lovers, if you’re talking to me about texting relationships, if you’re giving me new books by Morgan Matson, Mary H. K. Choi or like, any of my favorite writer of all times, I’ll do it in the NEXT SECOND. Also, more often than not, if it’s this kind of book, it ends up straight on my wishlist for me to get it as soon as I can.
- I do it after a little bit of time…. Will it be a day, will it be a year? I can’t really tell. It depends on the book, really. If I see it a lot and can’t get it out of my head, if I’m starting to get curious, itchy enough to want it on my TBR.
💭 STEP 3: THINKING about getting the book (a whole damn lot)
Remember when I said I’m making things painfully slow and complicated? Well…. here I am again.
Fair disclaimer here: as an international book blogger, I don’t have many solutions to get books. I’m either buying the book online (or in a bookshop, when I get to travel), or getting way too lucky to receive an ARC of said book.
If I had a library to get my books from, I think this step in my thought process would be… well, shorter, but right now, it’s not, so… ONTO THINKING WE GO.
See, once the book is sitting on my goodreads TBR, waiting for me to actually care about it again.
Because oh, I might forget it. Chances are, I WILL forget about it unless my brain is constantly simulated. So… I need to THINK about the book a whole damn lot to remember it.
For that to happen, I will:
- Read more book reviews, from trusted friends and from strangers, on book blogs and goodreads mostly,
- Read the book’s synopsis more than once, every now and then, to recall why it’s sitting there on my TBR…. (and why the hell did I add it anyway??)
- STARE at its book cover lovingly every now and then and imagine it on my shelves, because why not,
- Just leave the book the heck alone for a little while and see if my brain is still thinking about it, in a little while. Because chances are, if I still am, it’s a SIGN and I should probably read it.
To summarise, I’m a puppy with a short attention span, sometimes.
📖 STEP 4: Actually getting the book (finally!)
After all of this thinking, pondering and forgetting about the books… when I just can’t stop thinking about a book and keep on mentioning it to my sister in a very gentle way so that she knows she will kill me soon if I don’t shut it….
I’m actually getting the book, yay!
- This happens when I can afford it, obviously and when I am allowing myself to get new books, too.
- This happens when I get to visit a bookshop, every now and then.
In case you were worried about me being a very complicated and very very slow robot, well…. let me reassure you, I am not. I still have some space for spontaneity in my TBR additions, I promise.
Which is why my current Goodreads TBR is at 500+ books while I’m probably not interested in half of them anymore.
Which is why, when I happen to get the chance to visit an actual bookshop with books I want, I might get books I didn’t plan on getting right away, but just couldn’t resist.
What about once you got the book? Do you read it right away?
As a matter of fact… almost, yes. I kind of like having a smaller physical (and digital) TBR of books I’ve bought and have to read, so… the book will most likely be read in the next couple of months.
🔍 Is it any different for ARCs?
Ahhh. ARCs, Advance Reading Copies, the eternal temptation of book bloggers. For so many people, being able to get ARCs with a simple click on platforms like NetGalley and Edelweiss makes them skip all the steps and make impulsive choices.
I was that person, sometimes, yes, but I’m not anymore.
Most of it all, because being an international book bloggers makes the simple clicking and getting approved process kind of really not that much of a given. I got denied two of my most anticipated reads just yesterday, despite knowing I want to read these books so deeply I want to cry a little bit, but well.
Any request I make, through NetGalley, Edelweiss or when sending an email, is a nerve-wracking experience and something I think of deeply and pour my heart and insides out, too. So I know, if I get lucky, it’s a book I really really want and am almost certain I’ll love.
Related blog post: My story with ARCs as an international book blogger
And now, in case you’re curious….
📚 Some books I skipped ALL of these previous steps for…
Meaning, I jumped to the wishlist-adding, or when I could get it right away, to the let’s order this book right this second now and SCREAM okay.
📚 Some books I’m still stuck on the 3rd step for…
Meaning, I’m still forever thinking about these books, but not quite getting them just yet.
Do you share a similar process when it comes to adding books to your TBR? Or are you more likely to add books instantly to your TBR?
Okay so… how long is your physical (and digital) TBR right now? Let me know in comments!