• gwen

How I Control my TBR & You Can Too


First things first. TBR or to be read means all of your unread books (physical books, electronic books and sometimes even books you're wanting to read). Today's post is focusing on unread books you already own.


Before I joined BookTube 6 years ago I honestly wasn't in the habit of collecting books or having unread books laying around. As I started watching other people talk about books and recommend books the amount of books I was buying outweighed the amount of books I was reading. Since I am a largely a mood reader this was great because I had books to fit my different moods. However, it also meant that my TBR grew way beyond what I was used to and I had to find a way to control it. So in case your TBR is out of control I thought I would share some tips on how I manage owning a bunch of unread books.


Tip #1: Don't be afraid to DNF (did not finish).

If you're not loving a book or just not vibing with it in the moment set is aside and read something else. In theory this sounds simple, but it took me awhile to not feel the guilt associated with not finishing a book. Once you change your mindset and allow yourself the flexibility of putting one book down and picking up another your TBR won't seem so daunting.


Tip #2: Get rid of books you're no longer interested in - UNHAUL.

Books can be pricey, and thinking about getting rid of them can be intimidating, but let me tell ya this is another tip that I promise is 100% liberating once you latch on to the idea. I also think it helps to find a good place to donate your books. Whether you offer them to friends, homeless shelters, libraries, second hand stores, etc. it's nice knowing the books will find another home.


Those tips are game changers. However, if you're still struggling follow these simple steps:

  1. take inventory of what you have

  2. decide what books actually belong on your TBR (return borrowed books to the library and friends/family + unhaul the ones you're no longer interested in)

  3. make mini tbr stacks. This is especially helpful if you are a mood reader like me.

  4. display your tbr books separate from your read books. If they're all mixed together it's harder to see what you have. If you have them separate it's easier to work on the unread books because they're basically staring at you đź‘€

  5. focus on reading the books you own rather than buying new ones

  6. if you're going to buy books do so mindfully. have a system or set of rules to help guide your book buying habits (I often unhaul books so I never feel bad about getting new books & I limit my book collection to 2 shelves.)

  7. read, read, read đź“–

Do you have tips or tricks to share? How do you control your TBR?