My ‘300 Before January 2015’ Challenge

I really need a snappier name for this, but hey ho.

For those of you that haven’t noticed, there’s been a box with my TBR statistics in the sidebar for about a year. Every month I have a little arrow that tells me how much my TBR pile has decreased (or, more likely, increased) during the previous weeks. I originally put it there to shame myself into having a downwards arrow at the end of the month… except it didn’t work. Not one tiny little bit.

It started to get ridiculous actually. I had 327 books waiting to be read and even if I didn’t buy a single book, it would take me three years to finish all those.


My aim is to get my TBR pile down to 300 books by January 1st 2015 by either actually reading the damn things or just getting rid of them. If I haven’t, then New Year’s Day will be spent throwing out enough books to force me to get to that number.

I actually began doing this halfway through September, but never took the time to explain it to anybody. I didn’t have high hopes as every other TBR-lessening scheme I’ve ever dreamt up as failed miserably. That arrow pointed up every single damn month… until September. It had a down arrow, can you believe it!?

It’s literally the first time ever that I’ve read more books than I’ve obtained. Now we’re in October and I’m ↓9 books! Alright, so that includes a read-a-thon but I also bought three books. If I finish another book before November, that leaves me with seven books to read per month before the end of the year. 

I can do this! Don’t you love when you finally find a strategy that works for you?

How do you keep your TBR pile under control?


  1. Tracey Tran says:

    Omg this task is actually so daunting! I don't even want to know how many I need to read to get through everything – it scares me. Good luck with everything though. Hopefully you can smash through most of them. That would be a serious accomplisment.

    You got this 😉

    Tracey @PrintedWordsAnd

    1. admin says:

      Haha, thanks for your faith in me!

      I feel kind of accomplished already – it feels like I'm actually doing something about my silly amount of books, for a change.

  2. Hey, this is really good! An achievable target by a specific deadline… us corporate types would say it's a SMART goal 🙂

    Seriously though – nice work on the work to date. I have about 800 books around the house TBR and even though I am definitely down ~50 over the last few months it has made NO DIFFERENCE AT ALL.

    1. admin says:

      Ohhhhhh, it almost makes me sad that I've been indoctrinated with SMART to the point where I use it unintentionally… :p

      800? Wow, that's impressive… although so is the -50 result!

  3. Jimjamjenny says:

    Good luck! I don't know how you manage having such a massive pile of books (although I am also envious at the same time) – I have about 30 waiting to be read and I find that stressful enough! Hehe.

    1. admin says:

      30!? You're joking!? I honestly can't imagine having that amount of willpower!

      Although I know people with 600+ books unread, so that makes me feel a bit better 🙂 I like having a huge amount of choice though, and it doesn't stress me out really. I just need more space!

    2. Jimjamjenny says:

      Nope! Although if I add in unread Japanese books its more like 50 or 60… (but they don't count in my head for some reason!)
      It's not really willpower, it's more being unwilling to spend money and living in a country where buying actual books is REALLY expensive. I mostly read digitally as if I didn't I would not be able to afford the amount of books I get through, and that means that I tend not to buy books unless they're ones I know I want to read that are really cheap.

      If I lived in the UK and had access to charity shops and a lot of bookshops, and had a good amount of storage space, I would almost definitely have a much bigger stack of books waiting for me!

  4. You can do it Hanna!

  5. Ellie says:

    Good luuuuuck! I have every faith that can you blast through enough books – or find a couple of duds come January if needs be – to hit that mythical 300. May your '300 before 2015' challenge be as motivational and satisfying as my 'Read 5, Buy 1' project. We can do this lass. 😀

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