The End to the Endless TBR


A little over a month ago, I went through my goodreads to be read shelf and deleted pretty much everything on it. I was able to cull my 500+ book, seemingly endless list of books I want to read down to a total of 86 books.

Why did I do this? My list of books I had at one point decided I wanted to read was just a little bit intimidating. There are always new books being released and I would have those moments where I would get freaked out because I can’t keep up and could never read every book! Moreover, with that many books on the list it just wasn’t useful anymore. Many of the books had been added years ago and I had just lost interest, and I could never find anything in the list. Whenever I had money to buy books I would search and search to try and find a few that I deemed worthy of buying. For new releases I wanted to look for ARCs of, I was keeping a list of books on my phone instead of using goodreads like I could have been. It just wasn’t working out.

How did I do this? Well, I started by deleting everything. I clicked that remove button over and over again until I was left with a blank page. I didn’t bother saving any part of the list, because if I couldn’t remember a book than I clearly didn’t want to read it enough to have it on my TBR. After that, I started adding books again. Here’s what I determined worthy of keeping:

Books I Own but Haven’t Read: This is a pretty obvious one. If I own it, it takes precedence on my TBR. Luckily, I only have about 20 books in this category, which is pretty small comparatively but still feels like a lot. (I also feel guilty because I’ve had some of these books on my shelf over a year…)

ARCs I Currently Have in My Possession: This kind of falls in the above category, but not really because I technically borrow all my ARCs. I do tend to add these to my list, but sometimes I don’t. It really depends.

Sequels: If I liked a book enough to want to continue its series, then I add the book to my TBR to my list. It’s a good reminder.

To-Be-Released Books I Want to Read: If a book has not been released yet and I think it sounds interesting, I’ll add it to my list. This helps me with finding ARCs, but also with finding newly released books I want to read. (Those email notifications from goodreads when books on my shelf are released are SO useful)

Books On My Wishlist: This is arguably the most import category. It is the books that in the future I want to buy or I would want others to buy for me. Now I don’t have to go searching when I want to do some book buying!

How many books do you have on your TBR list? How do you manage or sort them?

5 Replies to “The End to the Endless TBR”

  1. I have to admit I’m really tempted to do this. I cleared out some of my “read” shelf the other day, and I find it really interesting how it changed my average ratings and such. I do have separate lists from the books I want to read (to be read, according to goodreads) and the ones I own and want to read (to be read owned, according to me), so deleting the first shelf wouldn’t cause me to have any extra work to read the ones I own. I have some 500+ books on my virtual TBR over there, and it is getting a little frustrating… My temptation grows.

  2. This is such a great idea Tamara! I actually went through something similar before, because there are SO many books I don’t even remember the name of anymore that are on there, and books I added many years ago. I’d like to start fresh again as well, it sounds therapeutic!

  3. I keep separate lists on Goodreads for my TBR books that I already own and ones that I want to read but haven’t acquired yet. Unfortunately, I messed up somewhere when I was keeping track of my books, so now my list doesn’t match my shelves. It’s a daunting task that I’m going to have to tackle over the holidays. Not looking forward to that project…

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