Ravings: TBR

So let’s talk TBR (To be read) books. Just for the sake of clarity I will split this up into two categories: the books that I physically own but have not yet read, and the books that I add to my Goodreads TBR shelf.

Physical TBR

This stack comprises about 50 books in my case. For some people this is a huge pile for others this is barely showing up on their radar. For me this is somewhere in between those two. Some of these books I received as presents, others I bought myself, very few are books for review. I have noticed that some people have what is called “TBR guilt”, which is basically the feeling that you shouldn’t have so many unread books on your shelf( there are even challenges and the like to help crush your TBR). And I have to say that this isn’t something I really struggle with. Yes, maybe it’s a little much, especially if you see me arriving home with yet more books this might be a little strange. But on the other hand I really enjoy picking a book from my personal library without having read it yet. It’s nice to have options, especially if you are a mood reader. I’m not someone who can just pick any book and go with it. I need to be feeling in the mood for a book before I pick it up. And that’s a lot easier if you have more than a couple of unread books on your shelf.. At first I thought this TBR-guilt was something I should have, something that should really be getting in the way of me buying even more books. Yet if I’m perfectly honest I notice that I really don’t care. It doesn’t bother me to see these books on my shelves, if anything it makes me want to read. And seeing as I love buying books, I don’t think that my TBR will go away anytime soon.

Goodreads TBR

This shelf is positively overflowing as it contains 1563 books at this very moment. Though this might seem like a lot, know that it used to be even more bountiful in the unread-books department. Recently I did the first wave of purging this shelf by removing all books that were not the first in a series that I have yet to start. This actually cut my TBR down by a good 200 books. I made the decision to do this because I don’t always end up reading the next book in the series and then it will accidentally stay on my TBR forever, because I never really end up cleaning off that shelf ( or coming close to emptying it).

There might be a second wave of this purge coming in the future, though I’m not really sure if I’m going to go through with it yet. This clean-up action would be centered around really finding out what it on my TBR-shelf and looking if I still feel like reading these books. Because I’m pretty impulsive when it comes to adding books to that shelf, as you could have guessed from the amount of books on there, there must definitely be more than a few books on there that I don’t actually want to read. maybe I just added them because I heard good things about it, maybe because it just looked really pretty. In any case, my adding to this shelf is out of control. The ratio of read books to unread books on my Goodreads account is so out of balance it’s a pretty comical sight. This second purge might bring those numbers closer to something that could pass for a weak semblance of balance (because I know they’ll never be in actual equilibrium). But on the other hand,I really love going into books blind, especially lateley I’ve just started picking up books without having even heard more than a whisper about the plot. And it’s been very enjoyable so far. Has it always been succesfull: no, but at least now I can be surprised by the story. And I’m afraid that going through all of the synopses to these books might not only be a really lengthy proces, but also spoil the fun of me going in blind. Because I’m sure that if I read the synopsis of books that sound really good I will want to buy them and hence cannot go in blind anymore.

As you can see I’m not yet sure on how to continue from here, but I’ll keep you updated on how these things go!

So, how are your TBR shelves looking? What’s your count? Do you have TBR guilt? If so: what do you do to alleviate the guilt? If you don’t have this guilt: what are your reasons to be guilt-free?


6 thoughts on “Ravings: TBR

  1. I’m pretty much in the same boat. My physical TBR has about 40 books on it. My Goodreads TBR has over 2000 on it. I’ll never clean up my Goodreads one. I’ve learned to look at my owned TBR as my immediate TBR and the rest as ‘maybe i’ll get to it one day’. You’ll learn to be OK with it and don’t get overwhelmed.

  2. I always have TBR guilt because I have so many titles waiting for a review and so little time to do them in. That, of course, doesn’t stop me from accepting more, lol. My physical TBR usually hovers at about 70-80 and my e-book pile is much more ponderous–which is why it’s my TBR mountain, but I savor the fact that there will always be plenty for me to read…even if I have to resort to re-reading titles, lol.

    • I used to request so many books for review also, so I would just be swimming in books that I should actually be getting to (reading and reviewing). But then I just started to get over it, maybe because there were just too many, and I really didn’t enjoy the pressure. I’m much happier now that I’ve stopped requesting books for review, I just read what I like whenever I feel like it. Even if it’s rereading the same book yet again ;)

  3. Thanks for the add Stefanie! Wow, that is a lot of books! I do understand what you mean about being a mood reader, it works to have a lot of options so you don’t get a reading slump. Personally, I only have 3 books in my bookshelf that I haven’t read yet since I don’t frequently buy books. I have three books from the library that I need to read, as well as review copies on my Kindle (eight books at the moment). So I guess I can say I have a manageable list XD Even my GR TBR list is smalller than my Read bookshelf XD

    • I do buy some physical books, but I also receive a fair few from friends and family as presents. And these definitely add to my huge TBR pile. Because even if I buy my own book the chances of me reading it right away are about 50%, but when I receive a book, it’s about 30%. It’s not that I don’t like the book or that I won’t read it ever. It’s just that when I buy my own books, generally these will be books that I’ve been wanting for a while and therefore look forward to reading them more :p
      But I am working on reading more and more books from my own shelves. Though as I said in the post, it doesn’t really bother me that much. It just leaves me with plenty of options when I am picking out my next read.

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