Discussion: How do you best utilize your library in your TBR planning?

Posted April 26th, 2019 by in Discussions / 18 comments

My question today is how you utilize your library if you have specific TBR goals for the month.

I’m wanting to use my library more and save more money on my reading hobby. I like to plan my TBRs and I can do that very easily when I own or have immediate access to the books that are in my plans.

Using the library complicates things a little bit as books come in whenever they come in. For me I mostly use the Overdrive catalogs of my library. They do give you an estimate of when the book will be available but so far that doesn’t really seem to be accurate.

For example, I put a book on hold on February 12th, 2019. It had an estimation of 6 weeks. To me, since you can’t renew ebooks from the library with holds on them, that would be 6 weeks or less. I’m now on almost 10 weeks out. I’m honestly not upset that it’s taking longer than anticipated. It is what it is. It does make TBR planning a bit difficult though.

If you map out specific TBR goals for a month how do you work in those library holds? Do you just shuffle your goals around to accomodate them? Am I being way too rigid about this? Let me know below!



18 Responses to “Discussion: How do you best utilize your library in your TBR planning?”

  1. Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

    I plan no more than 8 arcs a month allowing for books from the library, my tbr pile and unexpected discoveries. You would need to adjust that number based on how many books/audios you can handle a month. I average 15-24. And yes, i drop everything and read/listen to the library book. It also helps that i schedule ahead on my blog. I am scheduled up until the second week of June at the moment.

    • Stephanie

      I can average a full length book a week. If I’m doing good I can read 2 (or maybe 6 a month). Right now I have the once a week BSC books and then I break it down to 2 ARCs that are upcoming and 2 of the books from my shelves. I’m worried that I’ll end up pushing off ARCs or my own books to fit in holds. I have a feeling I’ll be able to sort out something. Lol. I’m not sure why I’m making a bigger deal out of this than is necessary!

      I think my answer is just prioritize library holds and ARCs.

    • Stephanie

      Lol! It’s actually the Brooklyn Public Library. I pay $50 a year to have a non-resident card so I can access their ebook collection. It came in a few days after I had scheduled this post. And it’s better than the library here. I imagine funding has a lot to do with that. For the size of the town they’re fantastic but Brooklyn is so much bigger so the library selection is larger.

      My old library in IL had a fantastic inter-library loan system. I could get almost anything I wanted. Here it’s $2 a request and you get whatever the first person sends. I wanted a mass market paperback and got a large print hardback. I haven’t done that since.

  2. Sam@wlabb

    I use the library more for my audiobooks, which I tend to use for a lot of my reading challenges. I cannot count on my library when it comes to new releases. I am gone 12 hours a day for work and prefer eBooks, so I use our eLibrary site, but I have waited months for a new release to become available. That’s why the ARCs are such a perk for me as a blogger.

    • Stephanie

      I need to check out more of the audiobooks available to me from my libraries. I don’t know that my local library has a lot available but I have three non-resident cards that I can look into. Had I continued to use my local library alone I would have just kept borrowing books. Unfortunately they are a small library serving a small community but apparently voracious readers. Lol. I wanted to read the new John Grisham book and the ebook had just under 300 people waiting between like 3 or 4 copies. I had an estimated 6 month wait.

      ARCs are great when you have limited access! 🙂

  3. hillary

    I wish I had a more solid answer for you. In Cleveland, I could get almost any book I wanted in 5 days. Here in da hillz of South Eastern KY, I have been on some waiting lits for months and months, so I am still trying to figure out how to game the system in my favor!?

    • Stephanie

      Then you know exactly what I’m going through!!! I could get *almost* any book within a few days (maybe a week and a half for a new release). They had both OverDrive and Axis360 for ebooks and audiobooks. I really considered getting a non-resident card from my former library because I’m there every other week. Still thinking about it actually.

      I’ve bought some non-resident library cards at Houston ($40 per year), Brooklyn ($50 per year), and Orange County, FL ($125 per year but their catalog is SUPER impressive!!). Currently it’s the only thing that is really letting me access libraries in the way that I am used to. I’m keeping track to determine if I need to keep all three yearly or if there will be one or two I can cut next year.

  4. Trish @ Between My Lines

    I will always prioritise my library audiobooks. And try to limit my arcs, so that I only read 8 or so a month. That way I can have a mix of bought books, library books and arc books. Note I say TRY, it doesn’t always work out!

    • Stephanie

      I do try to have a nice variety so I don’t get overwhelmed by too much. Right now I prioritize ARCs coming out and at minimum like to have them done the month before publication. Then I add in books from my shelves. Now I’ll need to split that between my shelves and my library holds. I’m sure I’ll figure out a system. 🙂

  5. Angela - Angel's Guilty Pleasures

    I LOVE my library. I host the Library Love Challenge each year – you should check it out. As for getting items from my library I love the hold feature. I use OverDrive and Hoopla and I also request physical books. Now, I’ve requested the ebook at the same time I put the physical on hold. Why? Sometimes one comes available quicker. I mainly like the Hoopla and OverDrive to get Audiobooks. My library also has a feature (Link+) that if they don’t have the book I can look at other library in the area and request to get the book that way.

    • Stephanie

      I will need to check it out! I use OverDrive and I’m pretty sure one of my non-resident cards has access to Hoopla. I really need to spend more time finding out what my cards give me access too!

      I do the same thing!! Plus I’ve been going back and forth between ebooks and physical and which format I prefer. I like having both available to me if I can but if not, that’s fine too. Sometimes I’ll already own the ebook and put the physical on hold and vise versa.

      My old library had a great inter-library system. I would put a book on hold and if it wasn’t available in my library another library that had it would automatically fulfill that hold. It was magic. I’m definitely feeling the library love…..especially after having a few big purchases come up!

      • Angela - Angel's Guilty Pleasures

        I’ve got two cards as well. When I visit OverDrive I look at both the cards to see if one library system had the book or the other. The inter-library exchange is great. Hoopla is nice I wasn’t sure if my card would work, but I tried it and now I’ve got that option too for look for books.
        Hope you join the challenge. I’d love to have you. Love the Library!!

        • Stephanie

          I’ve never used Hoopla before so that will be a new library experience for em! I’m glad you have found ways to make your library experience great! I think it’s really important. ?

  6. Vi @Inkvotary

    I use my library mainly to get hardcover or paperback editions. Since they only have one ebook or one audiobook per title in stock, it sometimes can take weeks to get it. Result: I barely use it. Good, I have to say that I am using a library in Germany. A great place to go and with two ladies who handle things in a very fantastic way. You ask for a book and they don´t have it – they get it and let you know about it. When I want to listen to an audiobook, I mainly use audible. Because I love to listen to English audios or read the English print edition. And in a German library, you won´t get them. So when I go to my library, I look for hardcovers or paperbacks. And yes, I then read the German edition. But to be honest, I am not willing to pay 2 bucks for a book reservation. We have a library in the city who does the same. But that´s nothing for me. It is not bad, don´t misunderstand me, but somehow I don´t like the thought that I have to pay money for a book that is currently not available when I´ve already paid 15 bucks for the library card for an entire year. Done it one year, after that, I didn´t renew it.

    But library books and arc´s are always read first when I get them. Other books are put on hold then. Because of the limited time I have them borrowed or the deadline = publishing date they have on them. The rest goes between. I am sure, you will figure out the perfect way for you *smile*

    Best wishes

    • Stephanie

      It really is nice when you have staff who are happy to help! I don’t know the staff at my new library well enough yet. They all seem so serious! I didn’t mind paying the $2 but I had made the assumption that I would be getting the mass market paperback as that would have been the most common. It took abut two weeks to get it and the first outside library to respond sent a large print. It was just so different than what I was used to. Lol!

      I’m actually finding a pretty good rhythm for my reading so far and that’s making me really happy! 🙂 I have finished one ARC, one library book, and one of my books in the last week. It’s been awesome!!

  7. Bea

    I don’t really have TBR reading goals though I do try to read 1 or 2 owned books a month. I use my library extensively and those books plus review books get priority. I use my library for wish list books, whether they are new titles or older titles. I use OverDrive and Hoopla quite a bit. Audio books might be an option for you and help you whittle down your pile. I’m fortunate that the state I live in has a fantastic library inter-loan system.

    I’m not sure what you can do about the wait times or when a book comes in except roll with it. Sorry, not much help. 🙁

    • Stephanie

      I think I want to try for half from my TBR (simply because it is MASSIVE). I’ve found a few larger libraries that have non-resident cards and the difference is night and day. I can at least use their extensive digital collection. So far, it has been amazing! I’ve started using Hoopla for the first time. I’m mainly using it for audiobooks right now.

      I really do miss my old inter-library loan system. A lot. Wait times don’t bother me except when they are in excess of a year or two. Lol! I’m sort of learning how to roll with when a library hold comes in. It’s been a new experience for me but I am REALLY enjoying it!!

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