I’ve run Booking in Heels for ten years. I can’t remember quite how large my TBR was to begin with, but it was probably around 20 books. I don’t have a frame of reference, but I’m imagine that’s relatively normal for a person who reads, but who isn’t part of this community.
Ten years later, I have 310 books on my TBR, plus a load more sitting in my Waterstones basket ready for when I get paid, plus the fifteen I’ll be reserving just as soon as the library opens. Whilst I quite like having a huge choice available from which to pick my next read… yeah, it’s a lot.
During my decade of blogging, I have gone up and down with regard to my TBR pile. I’ve engaged in multiple challenges and read-a-thons, had several clearouts… etc. I’ve also shrugged and decided I didn’t care a few times. See my Year of Reading Whatever the Hell I Want, which I then carried through for several years after that.
I still don’t care, really. I still want to read every single one of those books, just maybe not right now (keeping in mind that for some of those books, ‘not right now’ has meant ‘at no point over a good eight or so years’). It’s just that I now own a house, that I share with another human and a giant-ass puppy… and there simply is not space for me and every single one of my 1,350 book-strong library, not when 310 of those are unread.
This is what I’m working with. The top photo has my Cupboard of Goodness (where all my favourites are kept), my antique books, Vintage spines and Agatha Christies. In the right hand side cupboard of that photo, four shelves of that are solely copies of Pride and Prejudice (81 now, I think). The two shelves under that are TBR. These are in the living room because they’re pretty.
The bottom photo is entirely back-catalogue. Books I obviously liked well enough to keep, but aren’t favourites exactly, or special. The right hand cabinet has four shelves of TBR.
In short, I have an entire TBR cabinet, when you add the shelves together. I also have this little bookcase (although I sort of need to get rid of this) … and another four/five boxes of books to unpack. Oops.
I probably have enough room for one more glass cabinet, but obviously too many books to fill it, much less room to grow.
Book Buying Bans don’t work for me because, hey, I want new books. So this what I am going to do:
At the end of each month, my total incoming/outgoing must equal -5. I can buy as many books as I want, but the month has to end in my TBR going down by five. If this isn’t reached, I will simply have to donate however many is necessary.
THIS INCLUDES E-BOOKS, HANNA (note to self).
So for June, I read eleven books, although three were rereads and so don’t count. Eight books then.
Unfortunately I purchased eighteen books to add to my TBR. Wow, okay. That’s a bad month even for me.
18 – 8 + 5 = 15
This would mean I would have had to get rid of fifteen books at the end of June. It sounds harsh but I don’t usually buy quite this many, and it will encourage me to buy fewer books unless I really want them. And my total number really does need to go down.
I’m pleased with my plan. It gives me some flexibility instead of imposing Bans I’m definitely not going to stick to, and it’s sort of fun as well.
Wish me luck!