It’s Time for an Intervention

March 28, 2017 Discussion 41

I was innocently perusing Goodreads the other day, adding things to my shelves when I noticed something alarming. I looked at my TBR pile shelf and… well let me show you:

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And this is where I specify that these are books I actually own. It’s not the Goodreads “To Read” shelf where I add every book I’m slightly interested in. These books are physically sitting on my shelf or are on my kindle, waiting for me… forever waiting.

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It’s quite a large pile. Too large. Unjustifiably large and I’ve just bought another four books despite the fact the shelf is literally overflowing and I had to put my hardcovers elsewhere!

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As a uni student at rotations all day, and with minimal time to read, this number is really not acceptable. At all. There is no way I could get this halved by the end of the year, especially if I buy books at the same rate, or faster, than I read them.

Because of this, I’ve decided an intervention is in order. Once again I am creating a self imposed book buying and requesting ban because that TBR is just ridiculous.


The Rules

  • No requesting books from publishers
  • No buying books
  • No going on Edelweiss or Netgalley unless I’m submitting a review
  • Only audiobooks may be borrowed from the library
  • For every 20 books I read, I can buy or request 1 (ONLY ONE) new book

The exclusions to the rules:

  • I can buy the new releases by my auto-buy authors
  • I can buy the next book in a series I already own (IF I own all the currently released books)
  • Gifts for friends
  • Giveaways may be entered (as they are free and I don’t win that many)


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With any luck, I hope to see that TBR Pile shelf number down by 20-50 books by the end of the year. More will be a miracle!

Is your TBR pile out of control?

41 Responses to “It’s Time for an Intervention”

  1. czai

    I’m honestly on the same boat, Bec. I have like 300+ books in my to-read that I already own, combination of physical and ebooks. but admittedly I can’t commit myself to your rule of no buying books. lol. but you did gave me an idea. I’d like to impose a read 5 books (might change, really) to buy 1 book kind of thing :D

    Good luck with controlling your tbr pile, Bec!
    czai recently posted…5 Authors I’d Love to See in a Dystopian Author Panel!

    • Bec

      A lot of others do try to read 5 books! 20 is a big number but I have limited funds and time so it’s probably better for me.

      Thanks :D

    • Bec

      Digital libraries are an exception haha. I’ve only included by review ebooks. I don’t want to go looking at all the free Amazon ebooks I downloaded…

    • Bec

      Thank you!

      Haha you read so much faster than I do. I am in awe of your speed and how little your TBR is, despite the fact that books like to breed like rabbits some time.

  2. Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books

    201 is kind of a lot to own and not have read yet!! I’m glad I don’t keep track of that stuff because I’m probably not that far behind you. Good luck with your ban– it’s so hard when alllll these books keep coming out!! I wish the publishers would do a new release ban so we could all catch up on reading—– actually nm, I’d be really sad if I had to wait even longer than I do for my fave authors books!!
    Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday– Authors I MUST Meet Someday

    • Bec

      About 10 of those might be rereads, but it’s still an excessive number haha. Keeping track has its pros and cons.

      Thank you! There are so many good books coming out! I’m going to be asking for a lot as birthday and Christmas presents.

  3. Tammy V

    Yes, I have thousands on there. I believe some are from 2011. Goodreads needs to have a better way to delete in a batch. Or maybe I don’t know about it. I’ve stopped adding whole series and all of an authors books. If it is an author I really like I know to read them. Hoping to use it for more of the new author to me or singles in the future. With my new Kindle I’m reading faster (a book about every other day) so hope that will help too.

    • Bec

      Only 2011 :P I have some from 2008 at least haha.

      Oh man, I wish Goodreads would let me know more when I add a duplicate, or even delete books in batches would be handy. (But really I need half stars before all of that!!)

      So fast! I wish I was reading at that rate haha.

      • Tammy Va

        I agree with the one stars. I would even like to have the option of some of the boxes like on Amazon (slow, steady, developed, etc.)

        • Bec

          Those boxes would be useful for review planning. They’re tend to be things I mention in my review so I never thought about having boxes like that

  4. Danielle

    Yes, my TBR is out of control! Between working at Barnes & Noble for a number of years and going crazy during Employee Discount Days, I’ve built up quite a stack (or shelf, or room) of books that I’ve never read. :| Gotta work on fixing that!

    I like your rules. I don’t know that I could enforce them on myself, but I like the IDEA of them!

    • Bec

      If I worked at a book store I reckon my TBR would be even more out of control!

      A lot of people use a similar system, but with a new book for every 5 or 10 haha. 20 is a bit extreme.

  5. Kelly

    Suddenly, I don’t feel so bad! Haha

    I have somewhere in the 50s sitting unread, occupying shelf space. I’ve also made a goal to curb my growing pile, but I’m not doing so well so far! Haha
    Kelly recently posted…First

    • Bec

      I made a new shelf on GR to track the TBR pile I actually have. I was forgetting what I had and hadn’t read haha. There’s just so many books to be tempted by.

    • Bec

      I’ve read the first Green Rider book and loved it!! I’ve sort of skimmed some of the sequels but never read them properly. They’re on the TBR to finally be reread and completed :D It’s definitely an underrated series!

  6. Kelly

    Oh god, I honestly laughed my ass off. I remember your last book buying ban and it looks like you’ve accumulated double the books since then. I feel you though. I buy books and have some sitting in my shelf still three, fours years later then I forget I’ve bought them and then buy it on Kindle. I’m going to take inspiration from you Bec and start clearing my shelves before I buy anymore and the more I read, then I can treat myself. I feel like I’m missing out on so many wonderful reads. Good luck and keep us updated with how you’re travelling <3 <3

    • Bec

      Shhhhhhhh you see nothing :P

      My last buying ban was pretty successful overall! A lot of these new books are from my massive 21st birthday haul and unsolicited review copies. Those added together would make up more than my new purchases.

      Good luck with your own shelf clearing! I know what you mean. A lot of the books on the TBR I’ve heard nothing but good things about, so I don’t know why I haven’t touched them yet.

  7. Ethan

    I’m glad to see I’m not the only one with this problem! Recently I narrowed down my actual TBR list from hundreds of books to 23. Now I just have to find something to do with all of these books that I know I’ll never read!
    Ethan recently posted…Lola by Melissa Scrivner Love

    • Bec

      You’re definitely not alone! Most book bloggers I know have a TBR issue.

      Holy hell that’s a massive cull! Well done. I’ve been thinking of doing a similar cull and selling my books online, or donating them to a charity store.

  8. Julie @ Happily Ever Chapter

    I feel like my TBR list has gotten way out of hand too, but I can’t make myself stop requesting…it’s an addiction, I swear! lol! I ended up having to buy a new bookcase because I have sooo many books. My Kindle is even worse…I think I have around 450 books on there…oops!
    Julie @ Happily Ever Chapter recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday

    • Bec

      Definitely an addiction! I’ve been avoiding Netgalley at all costs except to submit reviews to try and avoid the “accidental” request haha.

      It’s great how little space kindles take up haha. I myself need another new bookshelf (my new, big bookshelf broke when me moved).

    • Bec

      Oh wow O_O That must be a bit intimidating. Haha stopping buying books completely is hard, which is why I’m trying to limit the number rinsed. We’ll see how long it lasts.

  9. The Book Filled Day

    Yikes! That’s rough to deal with. Good luck with it! I’m pretty lucky. My TBR pile isn’t so bad, though I’m pretty crazy about keeping it not too large. Well, my Kindle is slightly out of control, but I have a method on there that keeps in manageable at least. And I try to read all the books I actually buy, though sometimes I miss out.

    • Bec

      Thank you!

      I really should have been stricter earlier on to keep it manageable but it’s too late for that now!! Kindles are so much easier to get out of control because they aren’t physically taking up space.

  10. Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity

    Ah, Bec. I FEEL YOUR PAIN. I am also not going to request any books (but only after June because I am problematic when it comes to self imposing book bans). I think I have even more than 200? And that’s only physical. I think I have 100 ebooks alone *crying*

    I really, really want to try and get the number of books I own and haven’t read DOWN. I need to stop buying new books, and I need to stop caving to the egalleys. I HAVE NO SELF CONTROL.

    What I’m trying to do is finish all the completed series I own and have not yet finished (so I’ve only read the first book, most of the time). If I don’t like the entire series then I’ll probably try and give them away. I really want my shelves only to have books I REALLY enjoyed, or loved. I am sick of having two star books on my shelves T.T

    Good luck with your intervention, Bec!
    Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity recently posted…Review: Assassins: Nemesis by Erica Cameron

    • Bec

      Don’t worry, I just broke it to buy the complete set of one of my favourite childhood series haha. And I may or may not have “wished” for things on Netgalley (there is no guarantee I’ll get those though).

      I don’t know how many ebooks total I have because I downloaded so many free ones. The review ones are the only ones I’ve kept track of haha.

      That’s a good idea! I have issues giving away my books, but have had thoughts of selling the meh ones too.

      Good luck knocking your own TBR pile down!

  11. Anon

    I work for a publisher and it’s a common joke at work that we should have a moratorium on publishing books for a year or two, so that everyone can catch up on their reading!

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