Book Talk | My TBR Shame

Lately, I've been seeing some booktube videos where people show what books they have on their book shelves that are unread. I have seen a variety of 50 up to 250. I also recently read a blog post from Book Riot, in which Rachel had over 850 unread books (check out her post here).

This got me thinking about how many unread books I have on my shelves. I knew I had quite a few and when I got to 100 I stopped counting. But I knew I needed a reality check and therefore sat down and made myself count ALL of my unread books. After counting every single book, I was all
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Do you know how many I had? The number has since changed...keep reading to see how. I had 310 unread books on my shelves. In which I was more like
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I'm so embarrassed. And ashamed. And overwhelmed.  And sorry to my books. 
How did this happen?!

Here are some reasons I think grows my tbr/hinders me from reading books on my shelves:
  • I am constantly checking out books from the library and those books get priority reading-time because I have to return them within a certain amount of time, therefore I'm reading more books from the library than my own shelves. 
  • There are SO many good books to read. I already limit myself on the books that I buy, making sure to only buy the ones that I know I will love.
  • I am a sucker for coupons and good book deals. Most of my books were bought at discount prices and library sales. 
  • My own personal goal is to have a little library of my own someday. Why not start building it up now with good deals and good books?
  • I've had review books that have taken a priority over the books that I already own on my shelves.
So what did I do about it. I went through a major culling of my shelves. I cleared out 113 books. These are books that I was iffy about reading and knew I could get them from the library if I still wanted to read them. I had to seriously buckle myself down and say are you going to read this within the next year? Would you read this right now if you could? If you read it, do you think you would love it? Would you be okay with getting it from the library? After drilling myself through, and spending the whole day in anxiety, I pulled out 113 books to get rid of. I let my sisters pick through them (I can always borrow them if I want to read them:) ) The rest will be donated or sold. 

So how many books do I have on my shelves to-be-read now: 

This number is still way higher than I want it to be. I would ideally like my shelved TBR to be under 50. By the end of this year, I would like it to be 100-150. I have a long way to go, but I'm hopeful and as long as I'm reading, the number will keep shrinking. I am going to start by reading at least 50 books before buying another one. UPDATE: Just after I posted this, I found out about Project 50. Basically the same idea I just mentioned, you read 50 books you own before buying a new book. This was started on Youtube by Girlygirlbookworm and Alyssa from ACReads started the hashtag #BookTubeProject50. I'm joining in and I hope you will too!

Let's Talk: How many books do you have on your shelves that are TBR? How many would you like to have? Do you have a system for keeping control of your TBR pile? (Please share, advice and companionship of book hoarding is welcome!)


  1. That is a lot of unread books! But I completely understand. In all honesty, I would definitely have at least as many as you, if not more. I am a self professed book hoarder. If a book is recently released and I want to read it, I will buy it. Or if I see a book I have heard really good things about and also want to read, I will buy it. If there is a cheap book that looks good, I will buy it. A library sale? I will buy a whole bag. I just love collecting books and owning books. It makes me incredibly happy.
    But like you, it also makes me feel guilty. Why am I buying all these books just to read review copies, or library books instead? Just because they have a deadline on them? That's not right, or fair to the books I've spent money on and are waiting patiently on my shelves to finally be the book I pick up and read.
    Although I know I would never be able to get rid of 100 books, especially id I hadn't read them. I'm proud of you! I think the only time I could ever get rid of a book would be if I had read it, and knew 100% that I would never be interested in reading it again. And even then I would be hesitant. My books are like children, or extra limbs or something. Haha XD

  2. You have written out my exact thoughts! I agree! There is an incredible happiness to collecting, owning and reading books. Then the guilt set in to the books that I already own and have neglected. It was so, so, so hard to get rid of books but I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn't saying goodbye to the book, that I'd have a chance to read it again if I so desired. It was still hard. I thought of them as a part of me. But then I was a bit liberated when I lowered my TBR down. Your support is so wonderful, thank you for hearing me out and reaching out. Us book hoarders need to stick together :D


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