The TBR stack that (happily) never goes away

I write a post every year about how I’ve made virtually no progress on reducing 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 310 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 302.

I’m not going to set a goal for 2020 but will continue my efforts to read from what I already own, knowing that I will need to pencil in major TBR-stack-expansions in February, May, September and November (for the Stella Prize longlist; the Wheeler Centre’s Mayhem series; the Melbourne Writers Festival; and Broadside, respectively).

How’s your stack looking?

14 responses

  1. So when you say TBR stack, is that only physical copies, or does it also include e-books? I probably have a similar number (~300) of unread print books in my house, but I never count up the e-books (400?) as that would be overwhelming. It’s requesting print ARCs that really distracts me from my own books, so I’m going to try to limit that next year. I’ll still be able to rely on my library and NetGalley for the can’t-miss new releases.

    • Hard copies and ebooks. I only listed them so that I could see at a glance what I had (done after I doubled up on hard and ebooks a couple of times!).

      I’ve pulled back on ARCs as well – don’t want to feel ‘obliged’!

  2. I didn’t set a specific goal, just a rough idea that I wanted to reduce it by about 50 (or just about the equivalent of the number of books I know I read in a year.) I just about managed it by being more willing to abandon books I wasn’t enjoying and getting rid of books that, having read one chapter of I decided it wasn’t going to be for me.

  3. Pingback: Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts | booksaremyfavouriteandbest

  4. I can only agree with you. The numbers are very slowly going down. Due to the present, difficult times, I have a personal challenge. To read at least seven books from my TBR every month! I have read two so far, are reading three others at the time…hmm! Well, that’s me. Being back in Sweden I tend to borrow too many books from the library instead of reading from my own shelves.
    Well, good luck with your efforts for 2020. I also hope to lower the numbers a bit!

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