Culling the lengthy TBR list – first attempt

Lost in a Story began this idea for blog posts as a way to edit a growing to-be-read list.  You take your Goodreads TBR list, sort by ascending date added, and look at the oldest 5-10 items on your list.  If you haven’t read them by now, are you likely to? Why or why not?

I was astounded to discover that I began using Goodreads in September of 2012.  I thought it was earlier than that.

I’ve reread the Goodreads blurbs for each of the following and based my decision on the Goodreads rating and whether the blurb still piqued my interest.

My ten oldest titles on my Goodreads TBR

The secret keeper” by Kate Morton (Goodreads rating 4.13)

As Kate Morton is one of my favorite authors this decision was easy. KEEP

The city of shadows” by Michael Russell (Goodreads rating 3.72)

The first in a historical mystery series set in Dublin. KEEP

The asylum” by John Harwood (Goodreads rating 3.40)

A gothic thriller about a woman who in held involuntarily in an English asylum.  Sounds great!  KEEP

No regrets, Coyote” by John Dufresne (Goodreads rating 3.44)

First in a series featuring Wylie Coyote set in Florida.  REMOVE

The wicked girls” by Alex Marwood (Goodreads rating 3.48)

A psychological thriller that still sounds good to me. KEEP

Human remains” by Elizabeth Haynes (Goodreads rating 3.56)

Psychological thriller about Annabel, a police analyst, who discovers her neighbour’s decomposing body in the house next door…  KEEP

Burial rites” by Hannah Kent (Goodreads rating  (4.01)

A debut novel, inspired by a true story about the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829.  KEEP

A dark redemption” by Stav Sherez (Goodreads rating 3.77)

First in a police procedural series featuring DI Jack Carrigan and DS Geneva Miller of the London Met as they investigate the brutal rape and murder of a young Ugandan student.  Tempting…  UNDECIDED

I can see in the dark” by Karin Fossum (Goodreads rating 3.38)

Scandinavian thriller that sounds intriguing… and I own it… KEEP

In the moors” by Nina Wilton (Goodreads rating 4.03)

First in the Shaman mystery series set in the English countryside. Sounds wonderful!  KEEP

Well…  you see my problem.  When revisiting the ten oldest titles on my Goodreads TBR I only got rid of one and have one that I’m undecided on.  As I write this post, I have 1,865 titles on my Goodreads TBR!  Help!  I think I need counselling.

If you strongly disagree with my decisions please let me know in the comments. I’m easily persuaded…. LOL  I need all the help I can get.


About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
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33 Responses to Culling the lengthy TBR list – first attempt

  1. madbooklove says:

    An excellent idea…and ten a day sounds so manageable (even though it would still take forever for me to get through my TBR). There isn’t anyway I could read all the books on my Goodreads TBR in several lifetimes. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. gkdewolfe says:

    Lynne, I met this author in Albany, New York several years ago and bought a copy of
    The Wicked Girls and liked it. I have since read all her books and The Killer Next Door
    is definitely my favorite… any of her titles, you won’t be disappointed!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Annie says:

    Hahaha I do this every week, but I remove many more than you 😛 READ THE SECRET KEEPER NOW!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t use my Goodreads TBR function enough. I never have trouble finding a book so I don’t add them to that list. I have about 10 on my list!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. skyecaitlin says:

    Great idea, Lynne: some of these are now on my TBR and two in my shopping cart. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I joined Goodreads in April 2012 and somehow I managed to keep my TBR list on a very manageable 60 titles. After reading your article I’m now at 51. Very proud of myself 🙂
    But it is not an easy task, and I think it starts even before putting the book on the TBR list. I always ask myself, “Will I ever find the time to read it? Is it really worth it?”
    I think that’s how I managed to keep the list on such a low number.
    But your post really gave me the opportunity to go and look at it again, thanks for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. bibliobeth says:

    Oh dear! 😆 I do agree with all your choices it’s so difficult isn’t it? There’s always the worry you’ll miss something really good if you get rid of it!


  8. emmareadstoomuch says:

    i’m like weirdly obsessed with keeping my tbr limited? i think it’s at like 100 right now. what helps me is putting all of my to-read books on one of three shelves: owned, to-buy, or library. idk why but it helps me keep it in check


  9. You have chosen to keep some really good books – love Kate Morton, Burial Rites is a stunning read and Wicked Girls is shockingly good!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. carhicks says:

    I have over 3000 and was able to take about 200 off during my last purge. I will try again. It is tough.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. suzigun says:

    And I thought I had a problem with a TBR pile! Glad to see Burial Rites is a keeper – you should try to move it closer to the top! For what it’s worth I don’t think you should discount A Dark Redemption…
    May need to have a go at this myself. I could also do the same with the books I’ve read but for which I have yet to write the review (25 and counting).

    Liked by 1 person

  12. That’s a fun experiment, I’m going to try it too. And Kate Morton is one of favs too. The Secret Keeper is a good one!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Zoe says:

    Great idea, Lynne! I’m scared to look at mine. I think it’s a good idea to keep Burial Rites. I actually picked this one for my book club a few years ago and everyone really enjoyed it. 🙂 Maybe the next ten will have more you might delete:)

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I had over 900 titles in my TBR and I’m down to 650!! Of course, I’ve been reading pretty exclusively from my TBR now which helps but still…
    Good luck removing the books you’ll never get to!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hey, undecided is cheating, lol. If it’s not a definite keep it’s got to go. There, I just doubled your cull result for you…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I love reading these posts! I’ve read The Wicked Girls and Burial Rites and really enjoyed them both. The Asylum grabbed my attention so I’ve added that one to my wishlist so thank you 😊


  17. Sarah says:

    I use more of a ‘cull as I go’ method, probably because I get most books from the library and so don’t have a lot of financial investment. I’ve gotten a lot better about not finishing books that really aren’t my cup of tea, so I usually will at least get a book from the library and page through it before knocking it off… which means my TBR is also at the 1000+ mark haha

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Don’t worry. Most in posts I see about cutting down TBR, only a couple of books actually gets removed.
    I did a TBR cleansing last month. I think the trick is not to contemplate too much…

    Liked by 1 person

  19. So glad to see you joining in with this, it’s such fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Glad to see you kept Burial Rites. Such a unique story. Really enjoyed that one.

    I can see it’s going to take you a while to lower the amount if you keep going like this 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Holly B / Dressedtoread says:

    Enjoyed the post! I removed 10 from my GR TBR, only to add them back later. I was having regrets I guess! Although my list is not as long as yours!

    Liked by 1 person

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