6 Steps to Trim Your To-Be-Read Pile

Too many books? Pare down your to-be-read pile with these six steps.

  1. TAKE AN INVENTORY of what you own. Find all the books you've hidden in every nook and cranny in your home so you can see what you're working with.
  2. BE REALISTIC ABOUT YOUR READING HABITS. How much do you read a week, a month or a year? If you only read 50 books a year, and your to-be-read pile has 100 books, that would be two years of only reading your TBR pile. Then ask yourself why you want to part with some of your books. Not enough time or space? Does not reading every book, especially the ones you bought, stress you out? Whatever the reason, know it and own it so you can start trimming down your collection. And don't forget to leave yourself some room (and some grace) to read new books. 
  3. START SORTING. Maybe you'll have a pile for still-want-to-read, probably-won't-read-this, great-for-gift-giving, a donate pile and so on. You might decide that you won't keep any hardcovers because they take up space. Perhaps only books you've bought in the last six months stay, or books that were given as gifts will stay. Your sorting method is up to you!
  4. DECIDE WHAT HAPPENS TO THE BOOKS YOU WON'T KEEP. Will you donate or sell your books? Give (or gift) them away to friends and family? Host a book swap? Start a little free library? Have a plan now so you aren't overwhelmed or discouraged later.
  5. KEEP TRACK OF WHAT YOU WANT TO READ. Don't want to lose track of all the books you own? You can create virtual bookshelves to keep track of your reading history and use tags to stay organized. If you don't want all your holds items to be ready for pick up all at the same time, pause your holds so you don't lose your place in line, then unpause when you're ready for more.
  6. USE YOUR LIBRARY. Don't want to let go of a book because you might want to read it later? That book, and thousands of others, are available at your local library, or available through Prospector and Interlibrary Loan. Once you've read the book, you can return it (and it's not cluttering up space!).

Happy reading!

BONUS BLOGS: Want to read more? and Want to read even more?