Taming My To-Read Stacks


About five months ago I had a come-to-Jesus moment about my compulsive book buying and realized that my to-read stacks were out of control. For those of you who might be wondering if your to-read stacks are also out of control, here's an easy way to tell: if your to-read stacks are taller than your four-year-old niece, it's DEFINITELY a problem. Especially when those aren't your only to-read stacks.



So I've been sorting and having some honesty moments in which I assessed whether I'm really going to read all of those books. The results of my sorting were ever-so-slightly mortifying:

- 46 different books that I bought twice. This led to me installing the MyLibrary app on my phone so I can keep track of the books I actually own. I highly recommend this app. You can keep track of the books you own, the ones you've read, and the ones you've lent to other people. It took me over a week to catalog all my books, and it was ever so slightly horrifying to realize that I owned 848 books, most of which I hadn't even read yet, but I'm so glad I did. Now I never have to stand in a bookstore again and wonder if I already own a book. Or buy the same one twice. Or wrongly guess that I already own a book only to get home and discover that I actually don't own it.

- I somehow, at some point in my life, bought a book about a girl who finds out her Dad is a pirate. Why? WHY? WHY? I just can't even make sense of it.

- I only enjoy reading an Amish romance novel about once every 2 years. And yet I somehow own about 40 of them. Hey no big deal, right. I'll only have to live to be 119-years-old to be able to read them all.

I ended up getting rid of about 150 books that were obvious nos. And then I created a maybe pile and tried to read the first few chapters of those books to figure out if I had any interest in continuing to read them. I ended up reading through and discarding so many mediocre books that I started to think I should never be allowed to go in a bookstore again. Or if I do, maybe I should have a bookstore sponsor who can say, "Are you insane? You don't even enjoy driving to the store to buy your own soap. You're NEVER going to make your own soap. Step away from the book on soap making."

I finally finished sorting through all my books, and I've whittled it down to a nice respectable 475 books, 65 of which I've actually read. Okay, so 410 is still a really high number of books for my to-read stacks, but I'm truly excited about all of the books that remain. There are no longer books cluttering up my life that I was trying to talk myself into reading.

The result of sorting through all of my books and weeding out the mediocre books was that after months of reading 3 star books and feeling like the reading rut would never end:


I finally read two books that I loved. And I was almost as emotional about it as Susan Lucci. Join me next week and I'll tell you all about the books the helped me break through my reading rut!

Comments

  1. You are not alone! I am not a hoarder but it is apparently impossible for me to let go of a book once I own it as well as to stop buying books. I think of the buying as a way to support authors, who are for the most part ridiculously underpaid. Last year I read a book a month from old TBR lists. This year I am reading a book a month or more from my shelves! But as in coming to grips with any obsession, it is always beneficial to get organized. I salute you!

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    1. Good for you! It always feels good to tackle those books that we've been meaning to read for a long time!

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  2. Whew. I don't feel nearly so bad about my stack now! So thank you for this! And eager to hear about your reading rut!

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    1. I'm happy that my compulsive book buying was able to help you feel better!
      I blogged about my reading rut here: https://theheartlandchronicle.blogspot.com/2018/08/a-three-star-book-rut.html

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    1. Yes, it is. Even I was surprised by the number once I cataloged them all.

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  4. Good for you! There are times when the only thing to do is de-clutter. It's that or become a hoarder. :-)

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    1. I think I was definitely on the verge of being a book hoarder (or maybe more than on the verge!) But I felt really good to de-clutter.

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  5. That is quite a book list! Beats my pile by a long shot. :)
    I have a hard time letting go of certain books, but a few years ago I did some purging and it felt good.
    Thank you for your visitto my place ~

    Have a beautiful week ♡

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    1. You're welcome! And thanks for stopping by as well.

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  6. You're definitely not alone! I suppose we all can't resist buying books no matter how many we have or which books we haven't even read. Buying books is a joy, isn't it? Thanks for visiting my blog! :)

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    1. You're welcome. And thanks for stopping by my blog as well. And yes, you're right, buying books is a joy! I just wish I could read them as fast as I buy them.

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  7. Wow, that's a lot of books! But good for you for being proactive and actually going through it!

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  8. WOW! I'm impressed. I have thousands of books in my house and the thought of sorting through them all and purging the ones I don't need is just ... overwhelming. We'll be downsizing sometime in the next couple of years so I'll tackle it then :) Maybe. LOL

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    1. I was really overwhelmed as well. So I just started with one section at a time and worked on it slowly over the coarse of about six month. There's no way I could have gotten through them all if I tried to tackle it over the course of several says or even weeks.

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  9. I keep track of my books on Good Reads. I do have a nice at home library but I also visit my local library once a week. I do have some good friends who also share their books with me. ....or enable me to order from Thrift Books.lol

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    1. I joined Good Reads about a year and a half ago and I love it!

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  10. I have a wall of all books, that mocks me every morning, when I wake up. It's mostly from years of going to conventions and I keep most of them because they are signed and personalized. I am more of an ebook hoarder, so at least all those books don't take up too much physical space. You did an awesome job weeding through your books though. I struggle with just taking them off my virtual TBR. Glad you found some good books while you were culling your shelves.

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    1. I'm afraid to let myself get into e-books because I think I'll end up with thousands of them and I'll never get to read them all. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  11. wow that is a lot of books. I have a huge tbr list too but most of mine are on kindle. my shelf on Goodreads is over 4000. I have no idea how many are actually on my shelf. I have a ton of unread too. I think every reader has this issue... or at least most of us do. Its like the eyes are bigger than the stomach... but in our case our eyes are bigger than our reading time? something like that.

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