I am not an expert when it comes to blogging, I may be approaching my second blogoversary but that doesn’t mean I have any clue what I’m doing. I do like to impart any basic knowledge I do have. This is going to be a sporadic feature where I tell you how I do things and explain the thoughts I have whilst blogging. Is it the right way of doing things? Probably not, but it is the way which works for me and it’s always to get some helpful hints from others when you’re stuck, right?
How Do I Deal With My Ever-Growing TBR Pile?
As any regular reader of my blog will be aware, I am a terrible book buyer. I struggle not to indulge in book buying, especially if I find a good deal. Book deals are my kryptonite, give me a book on offer and I am there throwing my money down regardless of if I should or not. As such, I have a crazy TBR pile, both physical and digital, and I'm continually trying to think of ways to reduce it. It doesn't mean I am following these steps, these are just the things I keep reminding myself to do and hope one day will be partially ingrained into my subconscious.
1. Don’t Panic!
Look, we all go a bit crazy sometimes when it comes to buying books, it’s nice to indulge isn’t it? Sometimes, we all like to go mental and buy those twenty books we’ve been contemplating reading for the past year and then saw at a bargain price so how could we say no? When that happens, and you over indulge, and are daunted by the sheer number of books you have to read, relax. Just breathe. It will be okay, you’re towering pile of books (probably) won’t crush you in your sleep. You just need to read one book at a time and remember you’re supporting the publishing industry… maybe go read Cait’s blog post if you’re need more positive things to help you breathe easy.
2. You’ve Got To Get Serious
Look, it’s all well and good relaxing and breathing easy, but that means it’s too easy to justify buying more books. That is when you have to start getting serious about tackling your TBR pile. Then you have to come up with a plan of action before you are actually killed by that towering TBR pile you are contemplating creating a Jenga game with.
My plan was stolen from another blogger as detailed in my goals post for 2016, but it’s a plan a lot of people have. My aim is to have my bought books be less than my read books (for once) and so for the first few months of this year, I am (attempting) to implement a 5 to 1 book buying ban. I’ve found going cold turkey with book buying is impossible like any addiction it's hard to stop. Instead, I can only buy one new book for every five I read. As the year goes on I may change it to a 3 to 1 ratio, but we shall see how it goes.
3. And You’ve Got To Get Mean
You’ve gotten serious, you’re being strict with yourself and you are having to restrain from impulse buying, but that is not necessarily enough. You’ve also got to get mean with your books (no, you don’t need to get violent with them, they are precious things) and admit when you’re not going to read them. It sounds harsh, I hate nothing more than giving up on a book and admitting defeat, but sometimes you have, to be honest with yourself that this book just isn’t for you.
Shannon wrote a post about DNF-ing books and giving them second chances and I am a firm fan of giving books a second (or third, or fourth) chance because I am a mood reader and sometimes it takes a few attempts to be in the right mood for different books. The thing is, second chances are great for a book, but sometimes you have to just accept you and a book are not meant to be. You’ve got to start DNF-ing books and you’ve got to start getting real with yourself and admit that you don’t like this book, you will never like this book and it’s just not going to happen.
I know, it sucks giving up, but there are so man good books out there, and more being released every week, who has the time to waste on a book you’re not enjoying. Give it to a charity shop, your local library, sell it online, gift it to a friend who may appreciate it more, but let it go free to a home where it might be appreciated and enjoyed, no point clinging on to a book unnecessarily. If you’ve got it as an ebook edition? Well, that just sucks don’t it? But, you can comfort yourself with the fact you probably got it cheap and the money you spent on that you probably would have just bought an overpriced cup of coffee with it or something.
And there you have it, my three steps to tackling your TBR pile. It’s not rocket science, and it may not work for you, but this is my approach and I hope it helps you too.
Do you ever have to give yourself little pep talks when you need to get serious with yourself? And do you have a specific approach to tackling your TBR list or do you just take it as it comes?