TBR Plans and Feeling Overwhelmed

Do you ever look around at your TBR pile and think ‘Help!’? A couple of weeks ago I counted how many books I own that I haven’t read yet. The number came to 185. Let’s consider that number for a second. In 2016 and 2017 I read around 60 books per year – so if I keep that rate up it’ll take me at least another 3 years to get through my current TBR – and that’s without buying any new books!

At the start of April I went to York for a small holiday. I took one book with me for the trip and came back with ten new ones. I didn’t even manage to finish the book I’d taken on holiday, let alone start any that I’d bought whilst I was there.

It makes me sad that these books that I was so excited to read when I bought them are just gathering dust, unread. Some of the books I’ve had on my shelves for eight years. That’s too long. It’s quite clear that part of the problem is I buy books quicker than I can read them (not hard when you work in a bookshop and can’t resist a charity or second hand bookshop whenever you pass one).

Okay so what am I going to do about this situation? I would really like to get round to the books I own, but not buying any more is not going to be an option – that’ll just make me sad. Perhaps I should just get rid of all of my books and start afresh? No, that idea’s horrible. I will be looking over the books I own frequently and asking myself whether I really want them but I won’t be getting rid of them all just to have a zero TBR. That’s just not my jam.

I do, however, have a game plan. Project TBR please step forward.

  1. I can still buy books but I’ll only be allowing myself to buy 1 book for every 10 that I read from my TBR. That way I’ll still be able to buy books every 2 months or so, and hopefully it’ll make me a bit more conscious of what I’m buying and it’ll get me reading the books I already own. I do have one exception to that rule and that is poetry and graphic novels (poetry especially) but I have to try to finish them within 48 hours of purchase (so strict!)
  2. I can DNF and get rid of my books as much as I want free of guilt. It doesn’t matter if I’ve read half of the book, one chapter or none of it – I can get rid of it I’m not enjoying it or I don’t think I’m interested in it anymore.
  3. Avoid bookshops (Oxfam charity shops in particular – one of my biggest weaknesses) at all costs. They’re just too tempting. Kind of hard considering I work in a bookshop, but we’ll gloss over that.

Of course this is the plan, it might all become too depressing to be this strict with myself, and I might give up. I’m so used to buying books regularly that I think it’s going to be very hard to try and break that habit. I’m not going to put pressure on myself, if I’m not enjoying it or it’s making me unhappy I’ll stop. We shall see how it goes!

If you would like to see all of the books on my TBR  and my progress (regulary updated, they will be disappearing as I read or get rid of them) this is the link: TBR. It will be a permanent fixture on my blog.

That’s all for now! Happy Reading!



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