February 26, 2019

Tell Me Something Tuesday: How Have You Learned to Keep Your TBR Pile in Check, or How Would You Like to Control Your Pile?

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post on Rainy Day Ramblings, where the blog's owner Heidi discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.
Here is what is on deck this week:


First off - compared to most TBR piles I see around (judging from Goodreads at least), mine is relatively small...and always seems to dance around the same number - a little more or a little less than 100 books. At present, I have 79 in my Want to Read shelf and 19 in my Not Sure one. And since 57 of them are either out of print or impossible to locate through my usual webseller (the only one I know that accepts cash on delivery), less than half my TBR list is made of books that I can ACTUALLY buy at this very moment. Unless I decide to use a credit card (debit card, in my case) and buy from Amazon, The Book Depository and the like - which would allow me to request used copies or ebooks where new/physical ones are not available. But...I'm so wary of that.

Anyway, my method for keeping my TBR pile under control is simple: I don't pledge to read the printed word. I'm very, very selective about what I want to read. I rarely add new books to my list, and usually, I keep them under scrutiny (via Goodreads reviews) before I commit to them. Also, sometimes it only takes one review for me to decide to cross them from my list, if it mentions a particular pet peeve of mine. Yes, my budget is severely limited, but anyway...I rarely take chances on books I'm not fairly sure I will enjoy. You have to earn my money, book 😠. (To be honest, most of the time I would probably do the same even if the books were free. I'm not easy to please, OK 😂).

Well, that's it for now. And if you're interested in participating, here is the TMST prompt list for the month of March:
  • March 5th: Spring picks for 2019
  • March 12th: To tour or not to tour? Do you participate in book tours? Why or why not?
  • March 19th: What personality traits do you love/hate in a character? (pssst...I suggested this one! 😉)
  • March 26th: What are things that make you steer clear of a book?
I'll be back for the meme on Mar. 12th, and I'll do the next one as well. Not the spring picks one because I don't really have picks...seasonable or not...see the post above. Sorry for having such restraint 😳 😂.

Now tell me something...do you manage to keep your TBR pile in check? and if so, how? do you pledge to read the printed word?


  1. I am bowing to you and your amazing self control. I add every book that tickles my fancy to my TBR. It doesn't mean I have the book, but it's on the GR TBR. I also do not have all the books I own on my TBR. I know, I am very backwards here, but THAT TBR is like a wishlist. My spreadsheet is the most honest TBR I have. It lists all my review books by year, and those are book I really, really might read.

    1. Haha, it's not about self control, really (but thanks!). As I said, I have very specific bookish interests, which helps a lot!

      Quote: "My spreadsheet is the most honest TBR I have. It lists all my review books by year, and those are book I really, really might read."
      I bow to you as well! Being organised isn't an easy feat.

  2. I think even at my peak 180-ish pile - I have less than most people. It helps that I don't really peruse Goodreads/Netgalley and the like looking for books. I only check them out if I'm headed to a conference so that I have a better idea of what's worth waiting in line for lol

    I won't be attending any conferences for a long time after the move so I expect my pile (maybe at 60 something right now) will go way down and stay there as I shift more to library reads.

    I'm getting pickier too. I hate the thought that I had 100's of books just sitting there unread and I lost interest in them. A waste of arc's or $ if I purchased them.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

    1. I see people I follow on GR add 4 or 5 books everyday LOL. Of course, as Sam above put it, that's more of a wishlist than a real TBR pile. Even pruning it later must me a hell of a work though...

      I take it there aren't any book conferences held in Washington state?

      Being picky is the key, but while it's natural for me, I suppose I'm like hen's teeth in that respect LOL. But see! you made it! it can be done! I guess having 180+ unread physical books lying around helps with finally putting it into perspective 😉.

  3. I feel like everyone else's definition of tbr is different from mine lol. I just add any books I might be even vaguely interested in, but I really don't plan to read them all. It makes sense to be picky about what you read though! Books don't just cost money, they cost our time too :-)

    1. That's true! Many people do the same thing as you - they add books without necessarily committing to them. Most only count as TBR the books they own and haven't gotten round to read yet. I use my TBR list as a wishlist, except it's made of books I DO mean to read sooner or later (though sometimes I cross a book from it for whatever reason)...

      And yep, books cost our time too, and even if they were free, I'd only want to read the ones I think I might like!

  4. Wow, I'm impressed by your dedication to keeping your TBR culled. I just don't even want to admit how long mine is---definitely a LOT longer than that. LOL!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. Thanks, but in all honesty, I can't accept praises for that, because it's just the way I'm wired LOL. Good luck with yours!

  5. Have I learned? No. Have I cleaned my TBR recently? Yes. Do I feel guilty? No. Did I give up halfway through that TBR? Yes.

    I think over the years I've learned, and I think that's partially thanks to well... not being on social media a lot now (I do spend more time on Discord though), along with cleaning it occasionally. Plus with 6+ years of slacking around on Goodreads, it's only natural I'd accumulate well over 2000 books on my TBR. I've gotten pickier now, since I peek at reviews before I actually buy the book (budget) or borrow (I'm privileged, I know) them.


  6. Over...2000?!? *faints*

    I read HEAPS of reviews. Of course, it eats up a lot of time, and on GR you can always stumble upon an unmarked spoiler (THANK YOU SO MUCH FELLOW READER 😡), but it saves from book disasters. Or from spending money and not getting its value in return...

    It was morning when I approved this comment haha. But as always...very appreciated. I'll read it again after dinner 😂.

  7. Haha, I've always been in awe of your restraint when it comes to choosing the books you read! I think it leads to a higher than average success rate, since you're so clear about what you like.

    I've gotten a little more selective as blogging has brought ever more books to my attention. I realized I can't hope to read Every. Single. Book. that crosses my path--and also that I probably wouldn't enjoy them all. I could make myself crazy trying to read all the fantasy books that are popular just because they're popular. I'm less successful at weeding out books once they're already on my TBR shelf, even if I've totally forgotten why I put them there. I just assume my past self had a reason for it, but let's be real. That girl doesn't always know what she's doing. 😂

    1. I would probably have read ALL the books when I was a kid, because I have a feeling that, back then, I assumed all books were bound to be good. Nowadays, it's not about restraint...it's just that I have so very specific tastes (and yet sometimes, despite that and despite all my researches, I still stumble on a book that doesn't do for me what I expected it to).

      Haha, fantasy books are probably half the stuff that's out there these days. And I suspect there are many copycats...

      Quote: "I just assume my past self had a reason for it, but let's be real. That girl doesn't always know what she's doing. 😂"
      LOL, I'm sure she does! And anyway, even if it weren't the case, she would always be able to turn even a bad book into an amazing review 👍.

  8. "And anyway, even if it weren't the case, she would always be able to turn even a bad book into an amazing review 👍."
    Awwwh! 😍


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