The Terrible TBR

January 3, 2015 Challenge 71

As you may or may not know, last year I was on a pretty strict buying ban. A buying ban that has to continue on into 2015.


Unfortunately, I now need to save my money for boring, responsible adult things. So no books for me (excluding those new books in series I am very invested in or authors I love… Which is pretty much any and all Maggie Stiefvater and Sarah J Maas and I JUST REMEMBERED MARIA V SNYDER HAS A NEW STUDY BOOK COMING OUT.)  Well, I have to at least try to resist. My rule is try library first and if I’m not lucky and my library continues to suck then I need to work my butt off and earn that book. Or con Mum into bribing me with it.

In an effort to actually convince myself that sticking with the ban is a super good idea, I’ve joined a challenge! This challenge is being hosted by ChapterBreak and Second Run Reviews. The whole point is to face the greatest challenge known to bookworms everywhere: resist the new pretties in stores and conquer that tbr!

There’s also monthly posts involved and this was a very long introduction to the first one. Today I’m here to show you my horrifying TBR pile.

I don’t have a specific pile of books I want to get through for the challenge, especially since I’m going for the black belt (read 51+books).  But there are two specific piles (or, ah, lists) that I want to at least halve in size.

The first is my physical TBR shelf. If you’ve seen my TBR book tag post you know the pile is already monstrous in size. And I can tell you that it’s grown since then, without me buying any books. After Christmas and my birthday there is no spare space on this shelf…


The second TBR is my eARC TBR. Currently I have no books from Edelweiss (they love rejecting me) but the number of unread books from Netgalley… After a cull of books last year, I did get my ratio to 84% but I still have quite a few books to read to get that ratio higher.


… After actually checking my kindle, it appears there’s only 9 Netgalley books. Only 3 are 2015 releases. This is a much more manageable pile. Let’s see if I can knock it over by June. In the meantime, a requesting ban must also be put in pace. I want as many of those physical TBR books moved onto my read shelf as possible!

Now, time to get motivated and slaughter this pile.



Do you have an out of control TBR?
Are you participating in any challenges this year?

71 Responses to “The Terrible TBR”

  1. Amber @ Books of Amber

    Good luck with the slaughter of your TBR! I’m also working on this, and have decided to only buy a book once I’ve read at least five of my own. I’m not really in a book buying mood anyway so I’m hoping to power through a tonne before I buy anything at all.

    That’s just my physical TBR though. I have way too many books on my Kindle O_O
    Amber @ Books of Amber recently posted…Anticipated Releases: January 2015

    • Bec

      Thanks! I don’t think I have enough self restraint to only buy one book at a time. Not being in a book buying mood helps a lot XD

      Oh yeah, I’m very scared to look at the books on my kindle that aren’t in my NG folder. There’s a lot more of those.

  2. Kyra

    My TBR pile is also completely out of hand and I’m also participating in a few challenges to knock some books off of it. Wow, your Netgalley ratio is fantastic! Mine is quite low, so this year I want to focus on raising it! :D

    Good luck! <3
    Kyra recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #74

    • Bec

      Good luck with your own challenges! The only reason my NG ratio got so high is because I went on a massive cull.

    • Bec

      Staying away from bookstores can be so hard. Good luck! I had to make a separate TBR shelf just to help remember what books I hadn’t read yet.

  3. Wattle

    Good luck with your book buying ban and tackling your TBR pile!

    I’m also doing a buying ban for 2015 (well, I’m going to attempt to do one I suppose) but I’m not sure how long I’ll hold out. I went a little nuts toward the end of December with a few book sales, so I’ll have some arriving for the next couple of months at least!

    My TBR is also a mess, and I’ve signed up for a challenge to help deal with it too!
    Wattle recently posted…Of new beginnings (sort of)

    • Bec


      It was so hard to stay away from those sales! At least you have new books to tide you over for a while. That will definitely help.

      Good luck with your challenge!

    • Bec

      TBR piles are definitely some strange, fast growing organism. We need to figure out how to control them XD

  4. Brianna @Listful Booking

    I currently have two bookshelves for my physical tbr- one for hardbacks and one for paperbacks. I’m also trying to get through many of them lol I decided to do a book ban with only allowed to buy two books a month that are new releases. Hopefully it helps!

    Good luck on your own tbr. :)
    Brianna @Listful Booking recently posted…Bout of Books 12

    • Bec

      I only have the one but it’s double stacked. Good luck sticking with your ban! Resisting new releases is going the hardest part for me.

  5. Nova @ Out of Time

    I feel so glad that I’m not alone with the whole TBR pile thing. I mean, mine’s become a couple shelves too. I feel your pain! Also, I’m not on any bans because I make no money so technically i’m on a forever [or until i’m 18] ban haha
    Nova @ Out of Time recently posted…Collecting Book Boyfriends?

    • Bec

      It’s a common problem for a lot of bookworms, I think. Haha not having money really helps you stop buying books XD

    • Bec

      Netgalley is a temptation I struggle to stay away from. I only managed to get the ratio so high because I went through and deleted all the books I wasn’t going to read anymore.


    • Bec

      If I ever get my TBR pile to zero I will be a miracle worker. I am too scared to look at my full kindle TBR

  6. ShootingStarsMag

    I have a TON of physical books in my room and around the house that I need to read. I’ve collected so many books through the years from gifts and buying them and I just never got around to reading them. I did pretty well reading more of my own books in 2014, but I hope to do even BETTER in 2015. As for challenges, I’m taking part in the 2015 discussion challenge. :)
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…2015 Discussion Challenge – Bookish Items You Love

    • Bec

      I’ve been keeping them all in one place so I wouldn’t be so quick to buy new books. I hope you get to read more of them in 2015!

      I haven’t heard of that challenge! It sounds really interesting though.

  7. Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)

    Yes I need to seriously start trying to reduce my TBR this year. I am on a book buying ban right now too actually, especially since I went crazy on book outlet on boxing day hehe. Nope, I’m not participating in any challenges apart from the GR reading challenge! I feel way too pressurised if I did so yeah. :P

    Good luck dealing with your TBR, Bec <33
    Melanie (YA Midnight Reads) recently posted…Midnight Madness Newsletter (76)

    • Bec

      It was so hard to resist boxing day sales haha. Especially on sites like Book Outlet. They’re so cheap so it doesn’t feel like you’re spending much but it adds up. Then there’s the horrible shipping :/

      Challenges can have too much pressure attached but sometimes that pressure is what I need to actually accomplish something!
      Bec recently posted…The Terrible TBR

  8. Naban

    I too, plan to reduce the amount of books on my TBR but it’s so tempting to get more new books, I’m not even sure if I can do it. I’m not participating in anything except the GR challenge since they never work for me. v_v

    Good luck on tackling your TBR! Hopefully, it will be loads of fun.
    Naban recently posted…Review: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

    • Bec

      RESIST THE TEMPTATION, NABAN! You can do it!

      Most challenges I forget about haha. But I am determined to make this one work!

  9. Cat

    I’m struggling with the will to buy books too :( I want to get a tattoo and travel this year but unfortunately I don’t have enough money for everything. we’ll see how that goes. good luck to you! :D

    • Bec

      It can be really hard to divvy up the money sometimes! There’s so many different things I want but only so much I can spend. Wish we could be millionaires!

  10. Suzanne @ The Book Magpie's Nest

    Good luck with your challenge :) I’m doing this one too. I did not too badly about buying books last year, but this year I’m being super-strict, as ideally I’d like to reduce my TBR by like 90%… it may never happen but it’s worth a shot!

    • Bec

      Good luck! Man, reducing this pile by 90% would be amazing. I don’t even know if I have enough time to read that much!

  11. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    In 2014 and 2013 I was on a book buying ban. Those were dark, difficult times…but, so far I’m thinking I *might* not need one in 2015 *crosses fingers* I know the pain all too well though and I’m really digging this idea of a challenge. One bookshelf isn’t even enough to house all my physical TBR copies o.O The eARCs are not quite so bad but still enough to make me cringe. I wish you nothing but luck clearing out your ARC piles and hopefully your resolve rubs off on my XD
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Stacking the Shelves *42*

    • Bec

      Two years of buying bans! How did you survive?! I bet you’re really excited to (hopefully) buy more books this year!

  12. Leigh @ Little Book Star

    This is my goal for this year too! I’m definitely going to stop buying books and the max amount of books I can buy this year is 5 (not including school books of course). I’ll start with my eARCs first then my physical copy. Good luck to us!

    • Bec

      We spend more money on school books than fictional books anyway, I’d much rather it be the other way around XD

      Good luck to you!

  13. Anya

    Woot, I completely support you in this! I am going to attempt something similar though not a specific challenge since they stress me out >.>. I’m mostly going to resist buying books to read and instead borrow them from the library. I’m also culling the books on my own shelves that don’t interest my anymore so it is much more likely I’ll actually get to them all that remain :D
    Anya recently posted…Updates from the Lair 01/04/15

    • Bec

      I think I need the extra pressure of a challenge to finally get it cut down!

      Be careful with the library! You could borrow more books than you can possibly read, which is what I used to do XD Really, it didn’t help my problem haha.

      I need to go through my shelves and get rid of unwanted books too. I’ve been meaning to do that for a couple of years now :/

    • Bec

      It is Red Queen! I have a couple of other ARCs I need to read first but I promise that it’s up the top of my tbr list!

  14. Tabitha (Not Yet Read)

    a book buying ban! Goodluck with that. I can’t even try to tell myself I would stick to that. I have however been much better about not buying books unless I REALLY want to read them RIGHT NOW. Because I can always tell myself I have a HUGE stack of books to already read for review and a HUGE stack of already owned books that I never got to. And that I can just wait for this one to go on sale. And that usually works. So now I scour bookoutlet for those books that I made myself wait for. And save tons of money!
    Tabitha (Not Yet Read) recently posted…Review: The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow

    • Bec

      The last one was the first ban that I was successful with for more than a month of so! And now I don’t have a choice now!

      Book Outlet sounds like a great place to buy books from! If only shopping to Australia didn’t cost so much T_T

  15. Andreea

    Ah, year, TBR piles…Mine is not so huge because I managed not to buy too many books these last months, but I still have like 30 books that wait for me to read them. I also don’t want to buy that many books in 2015, just the ones that I am highly anticipating!

    Good luck with the challenge!
    Andreea recently posted…My Most Anticipated Books of 2015

    • Bec

      Yay for you! My pile has been building up for years. There’s not even that many recent additions to it.


    • Bec

      Especially since I’ll probably be seeing you at Lifeline book fest haha. Tell me to add it to a to buy/ to read list or something instead!

      That’s not my entire kindle tbr, just the netgalley one. You don’t want to see my entire kindle tbr. It’s horrifying.

    • Bec

      I just downloaded my library’s ebook loaning app thing! It’s called Borrow Box! Unfortunately they had no kindle apps :(

      Thanks! Good luck with your own tbr!

  16. Melissa Lee

    Best of luck with your piles! And I hope you are able to resist the urge to buy. I’m not supposed to bring home any new books either, lol.

    I just came across your website and joined in the Commenting Back. For some reason I couldn’t add a comment to that specific post of yours. I just started blogging and I’m interested in connecting with other bloggers. Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

    • Bec

      Thanks! I hope so too! Managed to walk into and out of a bookstore the other day without buying a single book so the resolve is there!

      There were a lot of spam comments on that post, so Alise turned the comments off. Thanks for joining!

  17. Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity

    I have an out of control TBR :D Which is why I am going to try and not buy books this year (or at least not too many). I BUY ALL THE BOOKS and then I don’t read any of them. Which makes ZERO sense because I paid money for these books, I should read them dammit.

    Bec, that physical TBR pile is not monstrous. I should put mine together and take a photo for you because then you’d be really happy with the size of yours. I have over 230 physical books that I own and haven’t read. *cue screaming*

    I have joined the LGBT+ Challenge, where I want to read 10+ LGBT+ YA books, which I think will be pretty easy.

    And them my self imposed challenge to read the books I own, fix up my Net Galley ratio, and stop buying books. We’ll see. We’ll see.
    Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity recently posted…2014 Favourites

    • Bec


      Over 230! That’s so many. At least now you’ve graduated you’ve got lots of time to read them (in theory)

      LGBT+ books are popping up more and more often nowadays. I’m sure you’ll achieve that easy.

      Good luck!

  18. Ashana Lian .

    *sigh* The depressing topic of the never-ending TBR…

    I don’t have a eReader, but I think in terms of getting a hold of newer books my library is pretty good. That’s something, at least e_e You have so many physical TBRs! I have mine scattered about my room, a few here, a few there… I think not seeing the huge pile once helps me not panic and flail. O_O

    I just thought you’d like to know, I’m hosting a TBR challenge this year (< link) because SO MANY bloggers have talked about this exact thing (including me) about how many books they have sitting around waiting to be read. =/ So I tried to think of a way many people could complete this goal together.

    Also if you're interested, I'm hosting two other challenges as well (a series one and a fantasy one.) It's a bit much, but then I thought – as I'm reading The Fellowship of The Ring now and I've wanted to read it for ages, it qualifies for all three! so maybe I can complete all 3 of my own challenges if I'm smart about it =D
    Ashana Lian . recently posted…TBR Smash Challenge || 2015 Link-Up

    • Bec

      I am jealous of your library. Even the new release ebook collection sucks at mine :/

      It won’t be long until I have to start making piles of books around my room!

      I just joined the TBR challenge :D

  19. Adriana @ BooksOnHerMind

    Haha! I can just hear Ross’s whining voice in my head.
    I’m not that bad but my NetGalley ratio is worse than yours. I have 9 books on my shelf but I don’t think that will get me to 80% ratio *hangs my head in shame*
    I have about the same amount of unread ebooks as you have unread physical books. It’s a bit crazy. I read mostly library books which always makes me forget the other books I should be reading.
    Good luck on your challenge and your ban.
    Adriana @ BooksOnHerMind recently posted…Sunday Post: Back to School

    • Bec

      It is very, very easy to get a low ratio on Netgalley. The only reason my NG ratio is good now is because a few months ago I bit the bullet and deleted/sent “sorry I can’t read this anymore for x reason” feedback for all the books I had no interest in. There was many.

      Mum made me stop going to the library years ago! I was putting to many books on hold (which costs 80c a book :/ ) and never reading them. I racked up some big fees… So that’s when I stopped using the library and just started buying books which then led to this problem we see here.


    • Bec

      Thanks! I’m failing so far haha but will get it to improve again ASAP!

      That NG ratio took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears (not really. I bit the bullet and sent back feedback saying I didn’t have time to commit to the books I didn’t want to read anymore)

  20. Renee Bookboyfriends

    Ha ha oh wow control. I need control this year. Year 12.
    I. Am. Only. Reading. 15. Books.
    And I am going to stick to it!
    (not including school books because that doesn’t count for me (even though it sort of should…meh.)
    I just definitely need to read the last Bloodlines book The Ruby Circle after reading every VA and Bloodlines book since it came out since Spirit Bound (or maybe it was Last Sacrifice?). And then of course, the FINAL Raven Cycle book! I already know I will cry!!!
    And then Inkheart trilogy and some Jane Austen should do it!
    And then at the end of the year, I am hoping to start my own book blog! YAY! Then we’ll see
    Good luck with all your challenges girls!
    Renee Bookboyfriends recently posted…unapologeticallyhere:



    Don’t expect…

    • Bec

      ONLY 15???!?!?!?! You must have so self control. Not even I could limit myself to reading only that many. I’d go insane. Reading is my study break.

      They’re sure to be all great books haha Good luck sticking to that! I’ll be in awe of you if you can!

    • Bec

      It doesn’t look so bad because you can’t see half of them haha. There’s almost 150 all up waiting to be read.


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