Thursday, June 8, 2017

How Do You Keep Your TBR Under Control?

ray bans
via Cherry Darlin' on Flickr
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a reader in possession of unread books must be in want of more books.

I don’t know why we are like this. It doesn’t make sense for us to be like this. We readers will have 378 books we want to read, and then say something silly like, “You know what I need? Twenty-six more books in my arms this instant.”

To be a reader is to be Sisyphus pushing the Hydra up a mountain—for every book we finish, two more spring up in its place.

Thus, I understand people’s motivation when they embark on personal book bans. I am most familiar with the book buying ban, in which you do not spend any money on books, on account of books are quite expensive and tend to pile up around your house.

I get that, and I applaud those who stick to that ban, because I imagine it is hard. In my own experience, I do not buy books as often as all that, so I’ve never felt the need to put intense limits on my book spending.

However, I am finding that my TBR is truly becoming outrageous and unmanageable, so I can see myself partaking in a few book bans in the next few months:

a library-book ban—it is always nice to get the new and shiny library books, but since last summer I’ve obtained a great many books. Unlike library books, they have nowhere to go back to. I’m thinking I’ll go on a library book ban for the rest of the summer (current holds and checkouts excepted) so I can catch up on my own unread books. I need to get my personal library in order.

a paper-book ban—I am fond of eBooks, which is no secret. The thing about eBooks, though, is that no matter how many I obtain, they take up the same amount of space in my room. This is great in terms of clutter, but in terms of getting those books read, it gives me no physical eyesore to challenge. I can see myself going on a paper-book ban once school starts (not counting my homework, of course!).

an owned-book ban—once I get my personal library under control, I want to get my digital TBR under control, too. At this minute, I have 253 books on my TBR spreadsheet, and that does not count most of the things I’ve taken a fancy to on Goodreads. I could legitimately see myself making 2018 about solely reading things I do not own, just to get those lists back down to size again.

Keeping on top of a TBR is hard work, man. But you knew that already. Still, I’m curious to see whether I can stick to these bans—I’m hoping they’ll make a difference. The stability of my room depends on it!

Have you ever enacted a personal book ban?


  1. These are all noble goals and I wish you the best of luck! I gave myself a book buying ban for one of my New Year's Resolutions, and I've mostly stuck to it. I think I only bought one this year, and that was because I had to work toward my goal of reading new 2017 YA releases and I just couldn't wait for my library to get The Hate U Give. So far so good. :)

    1. Thanks! And I have to admit, there are indeed some important times when one must break their bans. And The Hate U Give is a fantastic book so if you had to break your ban, that was a book worth breaking it for! :D

  2. It is very hard to keep all the books under control, I'm so with you. E-Libraries are the worst, because you're just checking to see if the library has the book and then before you know it you've downloaded it and now you have to read it. I'm on a library ban at the moment, which doesn't negate the fact that I have about 8 books I want to read before next week, when I leave for hiking. I do library bans quite a lot, and I'm thinking of doing an 'owned books exclusively' thing for a while, just because I want to reread a bunch of my books before (sob) I have to leave them.

    1. I don't utilize my e-library nearly as much as I probably ought, but I understand the frustrations. That's a lot of reading ahead of you! (Or behind you, at this point.) But that makes sense. Sometimes you need to take a minute and regroup with some of your bestest and most familiar reads. <3

  3. I want to try a library book ban to catch up on the books I've recently bought.

  4. I feel this pain -- I too have instituted a ban on library books, as I've undertaken the rather perilous task of attempting to read all of the physical books I own before I graduate & move to some far-off land where I will not be able to take my precious collection with me. I'm telling myself that it will all be worth it once I move out in a year & a half without a mountain of unread books behind me, but oh goodness, it is difficult to resist the allure of all of those lovely new releases! Wishing you the best of luck (&, of course, standing with you in solidarity) as you navigate the TBR without adding more & more to it, dear Heather. <3

    1. Wow... I've thought about doing something where I read all the books I own in a go, but that's still, wow. I hope that you are able to cherish both the stories and the opportunity to go learn somewhere new! And yeah, it may be better in the long run to go for a minimalist's bookshelf. Thanks for your kind words, Topaz! :)


Check it out, comments and stuff. I love to hear from readers, and I always respond to commenters! Here's the fun part—if you leave a link to your blog I'll show up and comment back. I have just one rule down here: Don't Be a Problem. This spans the entire umbrella of rudeness and crudeness, so I reiterate: Don't Be a Problem. Thanks for stopping by!