To-Be-Read Tower

Like most bibliophiles I know, I tend to buy books faster than I can read them, but I have a deep dark confession.

My To-Be-Read (TBR) pile is up to an anxiety-inducing 137 books. Yep, that’s 53,889 unread pages that I own. I’m starting to hyperventilate just writing about this.

Last year, I made it a goal to start knocking out that pile. However, 20+ books had been added and I joined two book clubs, but deep breaths, I can do this. When I get overwhelmed I’m of the mindset, make a list and break it down into reasonable chunks. And that’s what I have obsessively planned in order to knock down my TBR tower within 6 years of this blog post. My list gives me the ability to set milestones and see my progress by detailing out books in a series versus stand alone novels, number of pages, author, and genre. Below you can see my behemoth of a list and why 137 books is not simply a “pile” anymore, but a “tower.”

My strategy…

  1. DON’T BUY MORE BOOKS: Duh, but I’m focusing on self-control to actually keep my physical and digital shopping carts empty. Whenever I walk into a Target doesn’t mean I need to come out with the latest NY Times bestselling thriller. Now, this of course has the book club exception…
  2. MAKE A LIST OF THE TOP BOOKS I’D LIKE TO READ FIRST: Queue those up in my list for next year and pair long books with short ones for each month. 
  3. PARTICIPATE IN THE GOODREADS READING CHALLENGE: Since I’m that person that can’t stand my Goodreads account saying the challenge was “Incomplete” in an obnoxious banner across the icon, it’s good motivation.
  4. DON’T GO A MONTH WITHOUT FINISHING A BOOK: March seems to be the month for me that I don’t read. No idea what distracts me – maybe coming out of hibernation, running season starting, or filling out my March Madness bracket based on the cutest mascots? –  but I’ll be damned if I don’t complete a book in that month going forward.
  5. MAKE MY READING GOAL ATTAINABLE: If the goal is unrealistic, then I’ll get frustrated and not finish knocking down this tower. I know I’m consistently reading around 30 books a year, so in order to avoid frustration I’m anticipating reading 24 books a year from the list.

Here’s to conquering that TBR tower.

leo dicaps great gasby

Let me know if you’ve run into the same TBR blues and what you did to overcome them. Also, hangout with me on Goodreads 🙂

Till next time bookworms,


spreadsheet of books

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