How am I tackling my giant TBR?

Hey guys,

So today I just wanted a little discussion based post about TBR piles. A TBR pile, or in my case three bookshelves, is the books you own that you have yet to read. They are simply waiting for you to read, and I am not going to lie; sometimes I look at my TBR pile and anxiety sets in.

There’s no way I can read all of those.

Look at how much money I have spent and I haven’t even looked at them.

I have so many compared to those I have actually read!

When you are a reader, collecting books generally comes with the territory. I applaud those readers that can honestly say they only have a handful of books at home that they need to read. Those that wait till they have read those that are in the pile before buying new ones. Those with a lot more self control than I have.

But I am not that kind of person.

I’m the kind of person who looks at the bank statement, notices that it isn’t overdrawn and thinks boom!- book buying time. I’m the type of person who has to double stack bookshelves, buy extra bookshelves, and still stack books all over the room. I’m the type of person who will gladly buy the entirety of a series without even reading the first one, all because I can.

I started this year with over 300 books on my TBR piles, I have read almost 75 but I have bought some too. So I currently sit around the 250 book mark. This stresses me out, especially as I am currently going through a huge declutter of my personal space. But I have a plan for reducing the number.

Step one: List all of the books

I started doing this at the beginning of June, I made a 6 page table with all of the books I own, the author, and a space to note when I complete it. I made sure that all series were listed together, in the correct reading order; and I tried to keep all authors together too (like all of the Jennifer L Armentrout books together even though I have different series’ of them).

Basically I organised the books on the piece of paper.

Step two: Organise your shelves

I emptied off my shelves and looked at all my books, I considered whether I was going to read the books (9/10ths I knew I would) and there were one or two that I had picked up from a car boot or a library sale, that I knew I would never get around to picking up.  So I unhauled them, I packed them into a bag and took them to my local charity shops.

I then grouped the books into their series; as I have cube bookshelves and double stack them, I also decide which books should go at the front and which should go at the back. I did this by which ones were screaming read me more.

Step three: Set weekly TBR lists

Instead of considering my entire TBR list for the week, I pick out a few that I want to get through that week; usually two or three books. That way I don’t spend half an hour looking through my entire bookcase looking for a book, I just pick one up from the corner of my desk.

If I do manage to get through the weekly TBR before the end of the week, I tend to pick out an extra book or two (depending on how much of the week is left) and aim to get them done by the end. However, if I don’t get them complete I don’t tend to be as upset as if I don’t get my original TBR done.

Step four: Reward yourself

So when I read all of the books in the weekly TBR I like to reward myself, I first considered letting myself buy a book but that defeated the object. So for each book I read I get a little chocolate on the Sunday evening… even though I am dieting. Well, it was either chocolate or shots and I can still read while eating chocolate.

Step five: Join a reading event

I have found that during read-a-thons, I am driven to read a lot more than weeks that have no events. May was one of my most successful reading months ever, and I put that down to two things. Firstly, my need to procrastinate from uni (exam season was upon me), and secondly, the back to back read-a-thons that covered all but two days of the month.

Step six: Don’t regret buying the extra books

On more than one occasion I have purchased books while I was on a ban- like minutes after declaring a ban. I always feel terrible adding them to the huge mountain of books in my room. But I don’t let that feeling last long, because I noticed that it drove me head first into a reading slump and I wouldn’t pick a book up for days, even weeks.

So that is how I have been tackling my TBR mountain; I plan on getting it down to around 50 books, if not a little lower. But lets face it, that wont be any time soon.

What are your tips for reducing your TBR?

Helen x


8 thoughts on “How am I tackling my giant TBR?

  1. I’m with you on this. I tend to buy books when I realize there’s opportunity for a purchase in my bank account. Recently, meaning today, I’ve decided to put myself on a budget to curb my book buying and to read more of my own books. I keep saying I’ll do this but I gotta start now because I’m running out of space.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve just ordered all of the books for Christmas (I order my presents – boo wise – because the family never get the right ones and they panic over them) and I know I will not have space! Hehe! 2017 is going to be a no buying year (other than sequels!)


  2. I used to plan what books I was going to read next, but that left me with more anxiety than appreciation for what I was reading. I’m a mood reader. I have about 100 physical and ebooks at home as we speak waiting to be read. Now, I just think about which genre I feel like reading and then pluck it off the shelf. (Unless book club is coming up and then I cram that one in ASAP.)

    Liked by 1 person

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