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Tell Me Something Tuesday: TBR Piles

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly book-themed discussion surrounding a question posed by Rainy Day Ramblings. This is my first (of hopefully many!) Tell Me Something Tuesdays, and this week’s question is:

How have you learned to keep your TBR pile in check,
or how would you like to control your pile?

I religiously use Goodreads to keep on top of the books I want to read, which means my TBR list in the past has really piled up – it’s very easy to read a quick summary of a book and click ‘want to read’, and before you know it there’s hundreds of books on your Goodreads ‘Want to Read’ shelf.

Earlier this year I decided I needed to organise my TBR list a little more. As standard, Goodreads has three exclusive shelves: Read, Currently Reading, and Want to Read. I made a fourth exclusive shelf named ‘To Buy’, reserving my ‘Want to Read’ shelf for books I actually owned, either as physical books or eBooks. I’ve found this is actually super helpful when trying not to buy new books. When I finish a book and I’m deciding what to read next, I automatically look at my ‘Want to Read’ shelf. With all the ‘To Buy’ books kept separately, I’m not tempted to read anything I don’t already own.

I also regularly cull my TBR list. Once every few months I’ll go through the books on both lists and decide whether I really want to read them or not. I used to feel like if I owned a book I had to read it, but now if there’s any that I’m really not feeling then I’ll give them to friends or donate them. I’m also a lot more picky about what I’ll add to my ‘To Buy’ list this year. You only have so many hours in the day, you can’t read every book that community raves about just to keep up with the chatter so I only add books that I really am genuinely excited by.

At the moment I have 52 books that I already own on my TBR list, and another 20 that I don’t own yet (a handful of these aren’t out yet though). I’ve actually only bought two books this year – NetGalley ARCs have definitely helped curb my book-buying! – and one of those books was just a small Penguin Modern Classic, so focusing on reading the books I already have has definitely helped my wallet. As my reading goal for this year is 80 there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to get through all of these!

How do you guys keep your TBR pile in check?

5 thoughts on “Tell Me Something Tuesday: TBR Piles”

  1. I have thousands of books on my Goodreads TBR, for all the reasons you mentioned above. I’ve tried sorting them out, but haven’t always done as well as I’d like. So I saw a post on another person’s blog about Cleaning Up My TBR, and I’ve made it a weekly post where I go through a bunch on Goodreads and decide to toss or keep. I’m also using the weekly post as a giveaway for the older ARCs that I’ve read and need to pass on. You can check out my last week’s post HERE.

  2. Thanks for being a part of TMST this week. It sounds like you are on top of your TBR. Have you tried perhaps your local library? I have found that is an excellent resource for me. You can check out books online ebooks and audio, that way you aren’t buying books that perhaps aren’t going to work for you.

    1. I used to use my local library but I’ve moved sort-of recently and haven’t gotten around to joining here. I definitely should. Now I’m in a big city the resources are probably much better here than back home!

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