So I expect that most of you reading this have a big (or huge) pile of books yet to be read. I know that I do and that my TBR pile is actually way out of hand. On my Kindle I have 749 books, I’d estimate that about 70% of those have not yet been read. Eek. And yes I keep downloading more. So I definitely need to heed the advice of Lucy V Hay on how to lower your TBR pile. I hope that you find her post as useful as me!
The 1 Simple Habit Guaranteed To Lower
Your TBR Pile
I LOVE reading. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have a LOT of books in your ‘To Be Read’ (TBR) pile. As well as being on Goodreads, I am a member of lots of online book clubs (especially on Facebook). I also have severe ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO). As a result, every time I see a book I think looks good or others are raving about, I just can’t help myself!
Of course, Kindles are a big issue. I have friends who literally have TBR piles stretching into the hundreds, or even THOUSANDS. I am a Kindle Junkie, so I limit myself to just thirty downloads in my TBR pile after a fellow book-loving friend suggesting picking a number and sticking to it. Or so I say … I’m currently at 32. So really, that strategy doesn’t work!
Secondly, I love charity shopping. If you see me in real life I like long skirts and floaty tops, the kinds of things you don’t necessarily find in high fashion stores. So, though I try NOT to look at the books while I’m in there, I’m always shocked by how many RECENT titles are in charity shops! Really, it’s rude not to buy them – real paperbacks (and sometimes hardbacks) for as little as a pound or two?? BARGAIN!
Thirdly, because I am a book blogger and have lots of friends and followers online, publishers, small presses and individual authors offer me ARCs and review copies quite a lot. In addition, I always enter giveaways – online and IRL – for books, as I figure ‘you gotta be in it to win it’. Just recently I’ve won books from Twitter giveaways and an author’s book launch quiz in my local cafe. Yikes!
So, though I try to limit myself to 30 hard copies of books as well, I’ve actually got another 36 on my nightstand (well, at least 15 of them are on my husband’s. He’s not happy about it).
So, what DOES lower your TBR pile? After all:
Picking a number of downloads/hard copies and sticking to it clearly doesn’t work.
Getting over FOMO isn’t going to happen.
Staying out of charity shops?? (Yeah good luck).
Not entering book competitions, quizzes and giveaways? (No chance).
Refusing ARCs /review copies? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
This is the thing. We have to approach this LOGICALLY – difficult, I know … These are BOOKS we’re talking about and we LOVETHEMSOMUCHOMG.
So, let’s break it down. As Kindle readers, we know the average novel (downloaded or not) has between four and seven hours‘ reading in it if you read at ‘normal’ speed.
So, if you want to drastically IMPROVE your chances of lowering that towering TBR pile, you do this:
Set aside one hour PER DAY for reading. Block it out in your diary. Set an alarm on your phone if you have to. BUT DO IT.
Yeah, I was skeptical as well. But seriously, it works. My time for reading every day is between 9pm and 10pm every night. You can get one book read per week this way, at least.
That’s 4 books read per month! What’s not to like?
If you’re a very fast reader, or you have lots of travelling to do (a great time for reading, as long as you’re not the driver!), then you could read EVEN MORE. Just think … A month from now, you could have made some serious in-roads into that TBR pile. Even if you buy more books, you have less guilt because at least it’s more likely to balance, than topple over!
BIO: @LucyVHayAuthor is currently writing her first psychological thriller novel. She is also a script editor for movies and has written the nonfiction book, Writing & Selling Thriller Screenplays (Kamera Books). Join The Criminally Good Book Club to sign up for news, offers and giveaways.