Thursday, November 26, 2015

How to Really Keep Your TBR Below 20 Books | Book Blogging Tips (#27)

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As a book blogger, we all know this problem: buying books to no end, with even no intention of ever actually reading them.

An unread library is a great thing, right? You'll convince yourself that you'll get to read those books eventually, but you never do. And suddenly your TBR is in the hundreds.
Let me help you fix that.

I'm not going to tell you to just stop buying books like most of these posts say. Let's be realistic, we're never going to stop buying books and we don't want to. I have found a bullet-proof method to make sure that TBR is going down. With every step you decide to take it will get harder and more difficult. If you do them all and actually go through with it, your TBR WILL get smaller. Trust me.

  • Step 1: Create a bookshelf only for unread books.
Reorganize. In order to know what kind of problem we're dealing with, you have to find out how big it actually is. If you know your TBR will be in the hundreds, stick to making space for it in a single shelf. If you're really serious about this, you can even make two shelves or even an entire book case.
But be warned: the bigger the TBR we are planning to eliminate, the harsher this will be.

  • Step 2: Make a schedule
You won't get to read a new book unless you've read ___ books from the shelf.
My TBR was about fifty when I started that method, so I stuck with two books from that shelf and then a book I really want to read (no matter if from that TBR shelf or not) or a book received for review.
Depending on the size of your TBR stack I propose this:
50: 2 from the TBR, 1 book of your choice
100: 4 from the TBR, 2 books of your choice
200: 8 from the TBR, 3 books of your choice
300: 10 from the TBR, 4 books of your choice
If that your TBR shelves are eliminated, restack them with the rest of your unread books until there are less than twenty left. Twenty is an okay number to stop. Don't let that TBR pile build up again, you've learned your lesson.

  • Step 3: Close your blog for pitches.
Yup. You have enough books to read, stop being delusional. There won't be any book proposed to you that isn't similar to a book you already have your TBR. You can reopen your blog for review requests when your TBR has divided in half. I'm serious. Close it now.

  • Step 4: The BIG NOs
Here are some things that you are absolutely NOT going to do. If you do them, increase the amount of books to read from your TBR by one. There goes your treat.
  1. You aren't going to buy that sequel to the really great book you read if you haven't read enough TBR books
  2. You aren't going to spend more than 30$ on books per month
  3. You aren't going to pass on the TBR books because you want to read something different. That shelf WILL be read.
  • Step 5: Buying Habits - Sales Only
Yeah I know buying books is the bane of our existences, but you really have to check your habits if you've made it to step five and still don't really see your TBR shrinking. We have to fight the problem at its source. Your wallet will thank you, even though you might hate me.
  • Only buy books on special sale if you're saving a lot of money. I'm not talking about 2$ discounts
  • No gift cards. You'll still be able to use them after you've taken care of the TBR
  • Don't bring any money or credit cards if you HAVE to go to a bookstore and are already over your book buying limit
  • Take a friend to that book store and tell them to make sure you don't buy anything
If you actually go through with all of these, your TBR should shrink significantly very soon. If it doesn't, you're not following the rules. Always remember: Keeping your TBR in check doesn't only help your wallet, it also helps the conscience. Don't buy stuff you don't want to read! 

What are your tips on managing your TBR?

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