Managing the TBR pile – part 2

In January I wrote a post about my TBR and how I planned to get a handle on it.

On the plus side it’s been easier than I thought to keep the physical number of books on my ‘to read’ list from growing – mostly because I’ve received a lot less in the way of review copies. The converse of this is that my reading time was mostly during my commute and I stopped working in London in September and then our new puppy arrive in November. It seems a new puppy isn’t conducive to reading… So I do need to make an effort to find the time to read (and of course review).

My 2018 plan was to:

  1. stop the books on my ‘to read’ bookcase creeping onto the floor
  2. read books in the order they arrive
  3. review books as soon as I have finished it

I’ve pretty much managed #1. There are a couple of books propped against the bookcase and I have taken off the part-read books but I did some rearranging during the year and was able to take a few books out of boxed up ‘to read’ books.

It might have been a bit of a cheat but in October I cleared from the shelves a stack of 7 books that I’d started but put back as I’d abandoned them. They weren’t completely abandoned (yet), my intention being to either finish them or really give up on them and get rid. Giving these all another try, so far I’ve managed to get into one of them which I’ve got much further with than I did before. 6 more to go.

I’ve not managed #2. I did try at the beginning of the year but sometimes I don’t want to read a lot of historical crime or police procedurals in a row so will swap between genres rather than read the next arrival.

I’ve definitely not managed #3 because a book I had read last January and planned to review at the time of the earlier post is still waiting. In fact there are 21 physical books that I’ve read which are waiting to be reviewed and there must be a few on my Kindle too.  although I’ve posted a lot more review in 2018 than I did in 2017.

Something that I’ve added into the mix is that I’ve also borrowed a handful of books from the library. If I’ve been enjoying a series, especially if I’ve been reviewing it, this is the cost-effective way of keeping up. There is an extra discipline there, however, in having to write the review before returning the books.

Now for some other stats. That ‘To Read’ bookcase has 179 books squashed on it, there are 103 books to read packed in boxes and there are 39 still to read on my kindle. All ‘give and take’ any Goodreads updates I’ve missed. So I’m not going to run out of books in the near future (apparently this is about 6 year’s worth)!

According to Goodreads I’ve read 51 books, which is the same as 2016 and the last I’ve recorded in a year on Goodreads.

I’ve no specific plans for 2019, I do need to get some new routines first as life is different now to how it was 12 months ago. I also need to (take a deep breath) clear some of the shelves of books I’ve read and make some space for newer books. It seems having cleared the piles of ‘to read’ books I might have shifted the problem to elsewhere…

So how do you manage your arrivals and keeping on top of your ‘to read’ books? How has 2018 been for your TBR?


  1. I’d say: Don’t follow my example because I’ve been a complete failure in controlling my TBR pile. My big idea for 2019 is to read thematically and promptly get rid of any books I won’t reread.

  2. I don’t have a specific 2019 plan, either. I would like to get through at least some of my TBR pile; we’ll see how that goes. Wishing you the best for the new year!

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