Wednesday, 2 March 2016

How To Organise Your Reading

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As a reader that shares a lot about books online, I often get asked how I manage to read so much or how I manage to organise my reading effectively to ensure that I'm getting the most out of it. In the interests of being useful, I'm here today to share how to organise your reading throughout the year in 10 easy steps!


consider your storage
The key to more organised reading is organised storage, in my opinion. It's important, for me at least, to be able to see all the books that I own and work out where I'm going from there. Look at your current book storage set up. Is it fulfilling its needs? Is it broken or overflowing? Schedule in an Ikea trip or scour your local secondhand stores or, alternatively, make your own shelving from crates or whatever it is the cool kids are doing these days.

It's also important to order your books in a manner that proves to be most effective to you. As quite a visual person, I personally prefer to organise my books by the colour of the spine. However, you may find it better to organise alphabetically or by read vs. unread. Work out what functions best for you and sort through your collection accordingly. 


donate your books

It's the start of a new year and you've probably got books in your collection that don't really belong there anymore. Set aside time to look through your collection. Are there books that you didn't particularly like when you read them? Are there books that you don't see yourself ever reading, for whatever reason? Put calls out to friends and family or donate your books to local charities. Alternatively, you could try to sell them on or leave them in bookish café's or on transport for those that might need a little light relief. I, personally, donate quite a few of my books to make space for new favourites.

update the physical

Now that you've updated your storage and your collection, you can think about updating the way that you track your reading. If you track your reading physically, now's the time to update your lists, tbr shelves, tbr jars or reading challenge jars.

UPDATE THE virtual

And then, of course, it's time to clear up your virtual shelves too! If you use Goodreads, which I highly recommend you do, ensure that your shelves are up to date and free of any duplicates (there's a button that points these out for you). Why not create a shelf of books  that you want to read across the coming months? Whilst you're having a virtual clean, update any bookish spreadsheets you may have and think about spring cleaning all of  the booktube channels, book blogs and bookish websites or social media channels that you may follow. 

team up with other readers

Reading doesn't have to be a solitary experience! Put the call out for some buddy reads or create your own readathon. Alternatively, search out some local book clubs or create your very own. Teaming up with other readers is not only fun and insightful, it's also a sure fire way of ensuring that your reading is more productive. 


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sort out your bookmarks 

We all use different things as bookmarks, whether it's literal born-for-that-purpose bookmarks or scraps of paper or random limbs. Try and narrow down your bookmark collection to just a few that are up to the job or look up some fun DIYs to create some new ones. My collection isn't necessarily hugely exciting but do let me know if you'd like a post on it! 

wishlist

The book world moves incredibly quickly and I find myself adding tons and tons of books to my ever expanding wishlist shelf on Goodreads meaning that it can be quite a confusing place to be when it comes to actually working out what I want to buy next. Set aside time to really think about the books that you would really like to read and create a list that reflects those interests. It may help to have two lists, one secondary and one primary, to cover everything that you'd eventually like to get to. 

plan reads across the year

As I touched on earlier, when suggesting that you make a Goodreads shelf of books you'd like to read soon, plan some reads across the year. You could maybe pick out a book per month that you hope to get to and these could also double up as books that you put calls out to buddy read. I have created a physical TBR shelf of books that I'd like to read throughout the year. 

work out how to read more

If I had £1 for every time one of you said you wanted to read more, I wouldn't cri evrytiem I checked my bank balance. Read my post on how to read more for some advice on the matter! 

MAKE SOME GOALS
It might be useful to you to make yourself some reading-related goals for the year. They don't have to be full on things either - no one expects you to want to read the longest or most prolific pieces of literature. Goals could be anything from 'read a book this year' to 'explore a new genre', to 'donate some books' or 'share some enjoyable reads on my social media'. Set goals if you wish but don't forget that reading is a bloody beautiful thing that really shouldn't be made into a chore. 

All of this advice is useful if you're hoping to organise your reading. However, use the advice within the context of your own reading as not all of it will be applicable or useful to you. And there you have 10 easy ways to get yourself up to date and on top of your reading throughout the year. Will you be using any of the aforementioned tips? Fingers crossed there's at least one of you out there! Feel free to share some other ways as to how you're going to get your reading organised this year in the comments below.

If you'd like to scroll through all of my advice posts then you can do so.



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6 comments

  1. Loved this post! Although I read all the time & just pick whatever I'm in the mood for from my TBR pile, I will definitely be using some of your ideas!
    And omg, we should totally do a book swap and blog about it! I love it when you get recommendations you have never heard of or wouldn't have thought about picking up in a bookshop yourself.

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  2. Great ideas! I really need room for more books I only have one shelf in my room haha!
    http://wiltedxfaded.blogspot.co.uk/

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  3. These are all really great points, Bee, but the one you've mentioned that is often overlooked is storage - you're so right! I always try to keep my books organised and in a system that works for me. One thing that helps me with organisation when it comes to reading is to keep my unread books on a separate shelf to the rest of my collection until they have been read.

    Great post!!

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  4. I would love to donate some books, but really struggle with parting with items - particularly books! Even if I don't read them anymore, I can't make my mind up whether to give them away. Have you got any tips for when it comes to sorting out what books to give up? :-)

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  5. I've just donated my first pile of books. Until now I found it really hard to part with books, even those I didn't have strong feelings about, I'm not sure why. But it feels good to have a little declutter. You've inspired me to clear out my goodreads to-read shelf now because I'm sure there are at least a few on there I'm not overly interested in any more x

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  6. I'd love to know what books you plan on reading in 2016. I made such a list myself, because I tend to avoid reading books that I know I will really like... which is really silly!

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