Tangled Up In My Out of Control, TBR Piles

Being in publishing means I have a few books. Okay, a LOT of books. But sometimes my “to be read” (TBR) pile grows out of control. I promise it’s not for a lack of interest. I spend my day pursuing potential manuscripts, editing projects, and writing blog content. Add in kids and busy family life, you can imagine how quickly my free time to “read for fun” disappears.

What My TBR Looks Like

I have a bevy of books in the bedroom to cozy up with under the covers. Another heap of hot reads fills my home office shelves and winds around my desk like jungle vines. There are tendril climbing stacks on the bookshelf in the family room and a small mass in the corner where the kitchen desk meets a wall. And if you can hoard books on a digital reader, then yeah, I’ve got those too. I live in my tangled up TBR pile of unread, half-read, lightly scanned novels representing good intentions. All of them are fantastic reads (or so I’ve heard).

How my TBR is Arranged

My stacks have no purposeful rhyme or reason, but as I prep for this writing, I notice a subconscious pattern. Non-fiction and books by my favorite horror writer fill my E-reader. My kids’ school-assigned reading makes up part of the TBR in my bedroom—because of course, I’m going to read it and discuss it with them. Work related books litter my home office. The family room bookshelf overflows with a variety of fiction from classics by Brontë to new releases spanning every genre imaginable.

What to Do?

Some might say my TBR piles might be a sign of an undiagnosed psychological disorder. My expertise isn’t in the psyche, but since my unkempt pile of books doesn’t negatively affect me, I’d argue I’m simply an optimist. When I see my TBR books I see imagination, learning, and possibility. My reaction is one of joy, not despair. I absolutely love the smell of a new book, the texture of the pages, and the sound of a page turn. Alternatively, I like the portability of my E-reader for travel—lightweight and small but full of dozens of great reads.

While this post inspired me to dive into my TBR more often, I’m reminded that my love of books and bookish lifestyle is perfectly fine, so long as I’m not going broke every paycheck over them. If you find yourself needing tips on weeding out your own TBR piles, first remember that you don’t have to read it all, all at once. Make realistic short and long term goals to reduce versus eliminate. Face it, if you have TBR piles like mind, they won’t simply go away. They just become more manageable. There are tons of posts about reducing the book clutter, but this one was our fave and great first start. https://youtu.be/p5mJpqVYhno?si=cL0eEFg0CHQ07mVn

I’m tangled in my TBR and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Share your TBR wisdom below.

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