So a few posts ago I mentioned this Book Riot essay about whittling down the TBR pile and said that I would tweak it a bit to fit my TBR problem, which is prioritizing library books over the books I’ve bought. Working in a library makes it nearly impossible to avoid putting the newest books on hold as soon as they’re in the system. It’s a perk, because I’m almost always near the top of the holds lists. But as those hold copies come in, if I’m not on top of them all the time, I can quickly be buried in new books that can’t be renewed (because others are waiting.)
Since reading that essay, I have indeed experimented with a new reading system: two of my own purchased books for every one library book. And it’s been working beautifully! I’ve read FOUR of my own books in about a month, which is practically unheard of for me. (In case you were wondering, they’re John Crow’s Devil, How It All Began, A Few Green Leaves by Barbara Pym, and The Zero by Jess Walter.)
HOWEVER. (You sensed that was coming, right?) A few new library books sneaked up on me and arrived before I wanted them to. And they’re much-buzzed about ones that I’m excited to read: No One is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts and Borne by Jeff Vandermeer. So I am thinking that my little system is going to be coming to an end very soon.
But I do like this alternating library books with my own books thing, so I’m going to make a conscious effort to do that more, especially when I don’t have a lot of new holds coming in. I try to make use of my library’s “Vacation Stop” system and push back holds if I’m nearing the top of the waiting list, but sometimes I forget to manage it. All in all, for a mood reader and heavy library user like me, the “Two For One” system is too restrictive to use long-term.
So what about you? That Vacation Stop thing is a helpful feature – do you make use of yours to manage your own library holds? Have you ever tried a new reading system? How do you choose your next book?