Taming The TBR Pile

I have a problem that I’m sure a lot of book bloggers and readers share. My TBR pile is out of control.

I was feeling good the other day because the pile of books in my study was starting to reduce. In other words, it was no longer so tall it was in danger of falling over. Then I remembered that it’s just the overflow of the overflow of my TBR pile – the books that don’t fit on my overstuffed bookshelf, or in my overstuffed overflow box.

And that’s not even beginning to think about the ridiculous number of books on my Kindle – an easier to ignore TBR pile, because a virtual pile doesn’t grow in physical size. But the guilty knowledge of NetGalley books stashed and ignored for months, years even, percolates in the back of my mind, never quite forgotten.

The only way I’m ever going to tame my TBR pile would be to have a real cull – ruthlessly throwing out the books that I don’t want to read enough. I say enough, because I’m a forgiving reader – I want to read all of them. I need to get better at choosing my reads, and being brutal about the others. I have no problem throwing away read books, but I have this pathological need to give the unread ones the time of day.

And there are always so many shiny new books to acquire. For every three books I read, I probably add ten more to the ‘want to read’ list. The thought of all those beautiful tomes, waiting for me in the nearest Waterstones, is almost enough to make me break my book buying ban and have a splurge.

I suppose it’s a very first world problem to have. I’d always rather be the person with too many books than the person who doesn’t know the pleasure of reading. If only there were a way to literally freeze time, escape the confines of reality, when you open the pages of the book, rather than just metaphorically.


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