Bibliophile Commentary

Some Ideas on How to Tackle Your Crazy TBR Pile

Every week, like clockwork, more and more books come out and my stack just keeps getting bigger and bigger with no end in sight. I have counted and I have over 300 books in my bookshelves and various places around my house that I haven’t read and I don’t know what to do! I feel overwhelmed and extremely guilty all at the same time and it’s driving me and my husband crazy. 

There are many different ideas about how to tackle your TBR pile, but I’m not consistent or I just suck at them. Here is a list of the things I’ve tried. Hopefully you have better luck with them than I did.

Option 1: Log in Your Reading in a Reading Journal

OMG THESE ARE SO COOL! I have seen these all over social media and I really want to start one. It is a journal where you can catalog how long you have read, what books you have read, the different genres you have read, and so much more. 

They are always color coded or done in a gorgeous designy way that I wish I could do, but I am always worried I will mess up or spell something wrong. These have always seemed daunting for me, but a lot of people respond well to this idea so I can’t help but say try it and see how it goes. 

Option 2: Put all the Books on Your TBR into a TBR Journal 

I have actually done this and I’m planning to continue it, but I don’t know how much help it will be for me. My TBR pile is just so overwhelming that I don’t know where to start!!! However, it really is helpful to see what books I have so I can keep track because it got to a point where I didn’t know what books I had or didn’t have! I also tried to separate them by genre, but my fantasy and horror list got too overwhelming so I just separated them between young adult fiction and adult fiction. 

Option 3: Put all the Books on Your TBR into a Jar 

This is actually a really cute idea for not only organizing your TBR books and helps you choose what one to do next, but it also makes for cute posts and stories for your bookstagram, booktok or booktwitter. The only thing I struggled with is that I need more than one jar because I HAD SO MANY BOOKS ON MY TBR! It also took so long to write all the books on scraps of paper for the jar that I eventually gave up. However, please don’t be discouraged because so many people do well with these jars, I am just the dumb exception. 

Option 4: Join Readalongs or Buddy Reads that Has a Book with on Your TBR

So this has been a HUGE help for me in narrowing down the books on my TBR pile. Whenever a bookstagrammer or even my book club asks what books we should read next, I will offer a book that has been on my TBR for a while. I also scroll through bookstagram for readalong or buddy reads that are reading books on my TBR so it encourages me to pick up that book. This is not only a great way to read books on your TBR, but also a great way to meet new people or talk to people about the book as you read. 

Option 5: Blind Choice 

This is actually a fun game I’ve done a couple times to pick a book to read from my TBR. You just close your eyes and choose a book randomly and you read it. Make sure to shuffle the books around first because you may just pick up the book you wanted and it would defeat the purpose of the game. 

Option 6: Set Aside Your TBR Books in a Separate Shelf or Book Cart 

The bookshelf right next to my bed is full of books that I haven’t read yet so if I am in bed and have the need to read, I will choose one of the books right next to me. I have also seen a lot of book lovers on bookstagram, booktok, and booktwitter put their books TBR on a book cart for looks and to keep them separated. 

Option 7: Make a Monthly TBR Goal 

Lots of readers will plan the books they are going to read monthly. I try to do this, but I usually get distracted with other books so this rarely works out for me. 

Overall there are many ways that you can tackle your TBR pile, so don’t be overwhelmed or discouraged. Those books will always be there so you will get to them eventually, no matter what option you use. 

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