The TBR stack – it’s still there

I write a post every year about how I’ve made virtually no progress on my TBR stack. Some bloggers will read this post and feel really good (smug) about their own manageable-and-totally-in-control TBR stacks. Others will read it and say, “Pfft. That’s not a stack, this is a stack”, and point to pictures of their hallway, lined with bookshelves that are filled with unread books.

I started the year with 327 books in the TBR stack and had the modest goal of getting to 299. As always, ARCs and library loans were my undoing. I estimate that I will finish the year with 310.

I’m not going to set a goal for 2019 but will continue my efforts to read from what I already own – my reading challenges should keep me focused on the TBR stack.

How’s your stack looking?


13 responses

  1. My stack is sitting at about 150-ish. Give or take a couple of book parcels that have arrived while I’ve been on holidays (so, less than 48 hours). I did bring 17 books with me, so hopefully I will go home with a smaller number (and by that I mean that less books will arrive than the number I read).

  2. I am right there with you! I didn’t read very many books on my TBR shelf, but I certainly added more to the pile. I blame it on these awesome used bookshops near me and that I work at a bookstore.

    After the holidays I’m going to weed through the piles and do an unhaul. 🤞 I would impose a book buying ban, but I know that’s not going to happen.

    I’m also doing a bunch of reading challenges and so far I’ve managed to tentatively schedule books I already own for a lot of the prompts. We shall see.

    Happy reading and good luck!

  3. I don’t get review copies and I try not to buy new books I won’t read, but I still have 30 or 40. Plus hundreds of old books bought in bulk second- hand, nearly all Australian; and from my late father’s collection (Dumas, Scott etc, etc, plus 15 cartons of war books I haven’t opened).

  4. Oh! that TBR pile … I recently trimmed mine down – the Library book sale benefitted. I tried to read one TBR per month – think I managed 10 in all. Next year? targets? hmmmm … Book Buying ban ? again : hmmmm … right now I’m slowly reading a great Fantasy ( Rotherweird) and in holiday mode. Enjoy the Festive Season!

  5. I understand completely, but you should be proud of yourself. You have done well to cut down your TBR list, whilst mine has only grown.

  6. I have no hopes of decreasing my TBR piles because I have at least a 1000 books in my TBR in boxes, on shelves, and in stacks on the floor. And each year I buy at least 100 books at a wonderful local book sale. So at best I stay even. Fortunately (or unfortunately) my husband has no problem with this. Maybe this year I can at least cut my “new book” buying a bit.

  7. Ha, you know already which group I belong in…
    I have no idea whether my TBR is more or less than it was. I haven’t counted ’em.
    But I’ll pass on a piece of advice that was given to me when I was a senior teacher tasked with achieving behavioural change. (Of teacher, not children). People change what they are doing when it no longer works for them. (So pounce when a colleague tells you she can’t get a kid to read, or understand some maths, or whatever, because that’s when she is open to suggestions about changing her methodology, because it isn’t working).
    If your TBR doesn’t bother you, worry about something else. (God knows, there’s plenty to choose from, given the state of the world)
    But, if your TBR is bothering you, change what you do: act. Throw out the ones that now no longer appeal, and choose a manageable *very small* pile of ones you are not quite so keen on. Estimate how long you think they’ll take to read, given other commitments. Set a ROTO (read or throw out) date. If you haven’t read them by the ROTO, chuck ’em out. Repeat until your TBR no longer bothers you!
    PS Do not feel guilty about chucking out books. Firstly, some book buying comes from FOMO. Well, if those books weren’t read while they were hot, you’ve already missed out, so move on. But for some people, a TBR is a kind of respectable hoarding and hoarding is a psychological issue. So removing some of them to a happy home in an OpShop is a triumph, it’s achieving a goal.

  8. I’m in sympathy having gone a bit off the rails towards the end of the year. But then I think having a large number of books isn’t a problem , its really the pleasure of having your own library at your disposal 24/7….

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