How to Manage Your TBR (ft. my Massive TBR)

My TBR is massive ok. Here is my journey in trying to get it to shrink. Hopefully this can help you too.

Let’s just take a look at my TBR for a second. Do you know how many books there are?

tbr 1.PNG

See that number? Is it just me or does that say 432?? No? Not just me? But wait, it doesn’t stop there… That’s only the books I am certainly reading.

tbr2.PNGI have another shelf for books I am considering. See that? 717 books??? Wottt?? Add those numbers together and you get 1149. 1149????? That’s not even including all the nonfiction books or novellas that I want to read because they have other lists. I get through like 100 books a year. And can you guess how many books I add to my goodreads list each year?? Neither can I considering I haven’t even had Goodreads for a year yet…. this is very bad.

I feel like I need to be on one of those TV shows where they make people who hoard stuff in their houses go through and explain why they need to keep every single object, however that would probably be a very long and boring post that contains the phrases “It sounds interesting” and “I want to read it” on repeat.

I think this calls for an intervention!

Pinterest Graphic

How to make it seem like you have less on your tbr:

(and if you’re able to look at a massive TBR pile and not feel guilty and overwhelmed then good on you but unfortunately I am not able to do that)


Go through and remove all the sequels of books you haven’t even read yet…

I know it doesn’t actually change things but it makes it seem like there is less. Plus what if you read the first book and decide you don’t want to read the series?? As if that would happen.

This feel like cheating. I am hating it.

Ok that’s it. I can’t do this.


Sort your goodreads list by average rating and delete all the ones below three stars

This is only like two books for me. I guess we could up it to 3.5 stars but do I trust other people’s judgement?? nooo.

That was a bad idea

Let’s move on


Sorting goodreads by the date I added the books…

Maybe some of the older books will no longer be ones I want to read??

Nope, even back then I had great taste in books. And I really don’t want to loose any of the books because you never know when I might want to read them


I guess my current system will have to be good enough


So what is my current system?

Let me tell you, because maybe it will work for you too


What lists to I have?

apart from the lists that goodreads automatically gives you (read. currently reading and to read) I have listed called:

considering – probably the most important one. These are books I’m not sure whether I want to read but I don’t want to remove from the list altogether. They might be from genres that I don’t read much of or am sick of at the moment, or books that were a bit lower rated and I want to see what other people think first

novellas to read – I like separating the novels from the novellas, because often they’re shorter to read

other – this is all my non fiction books, some are motivation or business or history. I’m not in the mood for these books all the time but there are some that I would like to read eventually

so all of those have been exclusive lists, the ones below are nonexclusive lists where these books can be on multiple lists at once

asap – this list is one that I make at the beginning of each year (or I plan to, I made it this January soo) but this list has around a hundred books on it at the beginning of the year and is my list of books that I plan to definitely read that year. These are the ones I have to get to (hence the name). These are the books I go to the library looking for and put on hold to make sure I get them.

reread – this list is a list of all the books that I want to reread. It might be ones I really enjoyed or ones I want to reread before I get to the newest book in the series.

school – a list of books that I have read for school, a good way to keep track of which ones I chose to read and which ones I was forced to read

to buy – books I really liked and want to buy or that I know I will like


Why does this work (for me)?

Because despite having over a thousand books on my TBR I know I only have to focus on those 100 books on my ASAP list. If I can get through them before the year is over then I can add more or find others that I want to read.

This way if there are books that have been on my list for years (if I get to that point) then I know I probably won’t get to them. But they’re still on there just in case.

And obviously I still go through the whole list and cut down on the books every so often.


The downsides of this system

You don’t get to find new books as much, to just wander through the library or book shop… which is nice… but still


What goodreads system do you use?

I’d really like to know. Maybe I can find a way to improve mine.


Sorry if you were expecting actual help. I’m in as much trouble as you are.


10 thoughts on “How to Manage Your TBR (ft. my Massive TBR)

  1. I looked at mine quite harshly under the microscope of a blogging challenge called Down the TBR Hole (Created by Lia over at Lost in a Story) and I ended up removing a lot of books that I no longer felt the desire to read. My tbr ended up being slashed by at least 200 books and it is now down to a more controllable state. I’ve also found that I’ve started sticking to monthly TBRs so that seems to be helping a lot.


    1. That’s awesome that you were able to cut so many books off. I think most of my troubles are caused by being indecisive. A monthly tbr is a great tool to help you choose which books you really want to (or need to) read. Glad your tbr is semi under control!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do have another tbr full of classics I plan on reading at one point so I need to have a look at that too. I think really it is just a case of looking at those books you added right at the beginning and figuring out if you still want to read them or not. That’s what did it for me because I found a lot of YA paranormal romances on there that I certainly would not touch nowadays.


      2. That’s true, often when I go through there are a few books that I only added because people were talking about them that have gotten not so good reviews since they were released or I never really wanted to read them in the first place which is a great way to cut down.


  2. My tbr is sadly almost 2,000 books and I have no idea wth to do with it! This could be a really great help, because I don’t even know how many books on there are even necessary! I am sad just thinking about going through any of it! It is also super time consuming!


    1. Ahh yes, there are just so many awesome books that I need to read. Going through your tbr will be time consuming but is great as an activity to do while watching tv or youtube videos as it doesn’t take much brain power. And it’s totally worth it in the end. Prioritization is the way to go!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is an amazing post! I just recently had to do a massive cull of my to-read Goodreads shelf, I went from 700 to 344, I only put books on this shelf that I actually WANT to read sometime in my life. Apart from that I also have a consideration shelf (162) and a TBR-unreleased shelf (73) where I add books that haven’t been released yet. Once they’ve been released I either mark them as to-read, consideration or just delete it from my shelves altogether depending on the reviews I’ve seen. I’m constantly adding new books that I find interesting, sometimes the amount of books on my Goodreads is overwhelming! 😅


    1. Wow! 700 to 344 is an amazing cut back, good job. A TBR unreleased list is one I have been considering adding but I’m kind of too lazy to move books of that list once they are published. Glad you enjoyed my post :)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice categories! Although I have to say I tried the ASAP one (called it next-up), but it never worked for me. I just never paid any attention to the shelf when I picked books xD

    That said, I HAVE cleaned up my lists this month! I actually registered all of my owned Kindle and paper books into Goodreads exclusive shelves (exclusive means it’s like to-read or currently-reading, can’t be in any other shelf – in case you didn’t know about this. I didn’t xD) and found out I actually own 503 books that I haven’t read o_o so… yeah. You still think you have a problem? :D

    But… at least I know now :D


    1. ahh yes, the same thing will never work for everyone. Congrats on registering all those books that you own. There are a lot of them wow. But good point, now that you know they’re there you can focus on reading them. (or not haha)

      Liked by 1 person

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