Monday, 8 September 2014

Book Blogger Problems #1: The Never Ending TBR


I decided, quite a while back now, that I wanted to do a post on the problems with blogging and being a book blogger. As my fellow book bloggers will know, there are quite lot of them. Once I started to draft the post, I saw just how ridiculous it was to try to fit them all into just one. So I've decided to let each of the problems have it's own post. And so, today we are looking at the never ending TBR.

This is essentially what happened to my TBR:


Back in February, I counted up all of the physical books that I owned but had not read yet. I didn't include Kindle books, books from publishers or eARCs. I just counted books I had on my bookshelves. That was a grand total of 299 physical books that I own but have not read yet. 

Here's what that looks like:



How many of those have I read in the 5 months since I did that post: 5
That's right, I have only read 5 out of the 299 books. I have read way more than 5 books since then, I just haven't got to any of these. That's because there are just so many more books that you see that you want, books come out or you go crazy on Netgalley or Edelweiss and request for too many. It's terrible!

The important question though is how many books have I bought since I did the last count, and then proceeded not to read. After that first count up, I had told myself I would get my book buying under control because it was a little ridiculous now. Well... I lied. So here's the answer:

92

I DON'T KNOW!!!

I have bought 92 books since then and not read them. So that's not including the ones I bought and bothered to read. I feel like I might have a slight book buying problem. Just a little one. If I minus off the 5 I have bothered to read since February, then add on the 92 I have since bought. I now own 386 books that I have not even bothered to read. Which is disgusting. Some of them I don't even have an interest in any more.

But I can't stop adding to my TBR.
I see a book that I want and I can't stop myself:


Then you see so many amazing looking books that you want on Netgalley or Edelweiss. And it's just so easy to hit that request or download button. You don't have the book there on your shelf, seeming like it's staring at you and judging you for not having started it yet. That's probably how I have ended up with 74 unread eARCs as well. And please don't get me started on how many library books I have out at the moment. Yes, it's over 100, and that's ridiculously excessive. But I work there. I can't help myself. I HAVE A SERIOUS PROBLEM! I usually end up taking 90% of them back unread.

I think the main problem for us book bloggers is that we are constantly discovering new books that we want to read. We see someone's glowing review of a book and then suddenly want to read it ourselves. Or we see that same book about a million times and kind of want to see what all the fuss is about. We fall in love with series and need the next book... As. Soon. As. It's. Out. No matter how many books we read, there are always going to be more books. 


The problem with the never ending TBR is that you never feel like you're accomplishing anything. Or at least I don't. For every book I read, I probably add another 4 or 5 to the TBR. The sad truth of the matter is, I am never going to find the time to read all the books I want to read in my lifetime. Even if I get to live to reasonably decent old age, which is never guaranteed. And that's just depressing. 

So maybe I should buy less books. Or borrow less. Or request less. But I can't stop myself, I have an urge to read all the books. If I love a book or really want to read it, then I want to own a copy. I like to  be able to look up at my bookshelves and see all of these books I love or am dying to read. When it comes to my ever growing TBR, I have to admit:




I'm kind of hoping I am not the only person who buys way more books than she reads. My hope is that I will get to most of these... ONE DAY! So, anyone else with a never ending TBR that they keep adding to? (I assume all of you!) Anyone else completely fine with that? It would be a very sad day if I ever had an empty TBR list/pile. 





Red Rising by Pierce Brown: 4.5/5 Review
If I Stay by Gayle Forman: 5/5 Review
Films for Thoughts on Thursday: If I Stay Movie Review
Five Friday Favourites: Favourite Books I Was Recommended
My Weekly Book Haul: 06/09/14
Mini Reviews: Anatomy of a Misfit and Rites of Passage



78 comments:

  1. Ha, I am in the exact opposite boat. I have like maybe 10-15 physical books that I haven't read yet, but plan to. We actually just built a custom bookshelf (it's six feet long) and now I am working on filling it up a bit. But I am so picky about buying books! Sometimes I go in without a limit in mind and come out with two.

    Also, I can't really tell, but are those the Game of Thrones books in that first pile? That's a lot of unread words. :) Loved those books but did it eBook style because the books are ridiculously fat.

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    1. I am terrible when it comes to books. I have four bookshelves and I have pretty much filled them all, even with stacking the books on top of each other and doing seven whole piles of books per shelf.

      Yes, that's every Game of Thrones book except the first. I really need to get through that series.

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  2. Wow...I thought I was bad...
    My excessiveness is generally limited to the library, simply because I cannot afford to buy more books. So I have to limit myself to only buying books that have just come out in series I'm already a fan of, and if it's a new series that I want to start, I have to borrow it from the library.
    Of course, I got a Netgalley account a couple of months ago...most of the books I request I've never even heard of before I request them, which makes the TBR pile even bigger!

    As for owning books and not reading them, I'm actually pretty good with this. It's called binge reading :)
    Usually, when I buy a new book, I don't sleep until I've finished it. I've had to stop that recently because of uni, but friday night is my official 'binge read' night, because it is the one night of the week where I don't have to get up before 8:30am.
    So, at the moment, I probably have around 20 books that I own that I haven't read, but most of those I've owned for over a year. I read the newer ones first (because they're the ones people are talking about, so if I want to continue to use social media and avoid spoilers, I have to read it).

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    1. Netgalley is very bad for growing the TBR! You find so many amazing books on there, ones I wouldn't have heard of if it weren't for Netgalley.

      I wish I had time for binge reads, but I can never find the time for it any more. I really need to find the time for some binge reads, especially since I am planning to have a week off soon.

      I am kind of jealous of your small TBR. I'd love it if mine was smaller. It's so daunting right now, it's hard to know where to start.

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  3. I go through this every release week, do I buy more or not. Honestly I do want to read them all but realistically, I probably never will. I have over 6000 books in my Amazon account, I mean come on, there is no way! *sigh* It still doesn't stop me from buying them sadly.

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    1. I stay away from Kindle... ONE CLICK IS DEADLY!!!

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  4. This is a great first problem to feature in your series! I like having a (manageable) TBR list because if I'm ever waiting on a new book to come out or for a book to come in on hold at the library, then I always have a selection waiting for me to choose from at my leisure. Although book blogging has made me MORE conscious of my TBR since I'm writing reviews, so I try to keep a rotation, so for every "new" book I check out or buy and read, the next book I read is one that is off my neglected TBR.

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    1. That's a brilliant idea, and probably one I need to start implementing myself. My TBR is very neglected right now, and just keeps getting added to.

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  5. Omg, this speaks to my soul. I cannot reign in my TBR. It is ridiculous.
    "We see someone's glowing review of a book and then suddenly want to read it ourselves." <-----Umm, I feel as though you've just described me in a sentence.

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    1. HAHA! YAY! I am so happy to find someone else who has a big a problem with their TBR as I do.

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  6. Ugh. You nailed this problem right on it's head. My physical TBR isn't quite as large as yours, though it's probably in the 100's and my Goodreads TBR is just out of control. It's actually a good thing that I'm only working casually at the moment, because I already buy too many books and I can only imagine how many more books I'd buy if I was getting a bigger paycheck.

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    1. I definitely need to reign in my spending. I should take more advantage of the library and stop buying so many books. I spend so much money on books, I could probably do with saving some instead - especially with Christmas coming up.

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  7. 5? 5..? 5?! I literally swore to myself, that is insane, what are you reading instead?! You're crazy! I'm not a mad book buyer, money stops that, and I will borrow books, but I think I've got around 40-50 unreads on my shelf at the moment and that will grow with Christmas and Birthday, but I do a clear out of books I won't read or read and disliked and give them away, as gifts, to the library, to people, I just don't see the point, I plan to do that in new year to, just, give some away that I won't read because there's no point in having them and not reading them. Could you do that? You could try the buy one book for every 'x number of books' you read, might kerb you a bit, same with requesting, can't request a book until you've read one you requested, it would slow you at least, but it is a serious problem and I'm glad I don't suffer it too much in comparison. Get reading those books girl, I'm looking at this and finding buddy reads ;)

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    1. I KNOW! I don't know what's wrong with me. I feel I should open my bookshelves up as a library and let others borrow them so that they actually get read. I did do a clear out recently, just before Christmas, and I got rid of 50 books. I think I am going to do it again very soon.

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  8. I cant bleieve the amount of books you have unread. It's not even like a TBR pile, I've got hundreds on my TBR but I don't own them all. I seriously think you might have a problem haha. I know that a lot of book were from YALC but god damn Charnell, slow down haha.

    I wouldn't mind but I can see a lot of books just from a small photo that I know you would love, you are serioulsy missing out missy

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    1. It's more like a TBR house or something. I could build a book fort with all of those. I definitely need to curb my book buying. No more purchasing such ridiculously large amounts.

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  9. I have over 300 unread books on my shelf and most months I am trying to read review books so I read more of them than off my shelf. I have cut down on my buying a ton though. I actually didn't buy anything for about 3 months which was crazy for me. I tend to check out a lot of books from the library and then not read them too. It's a bad habit. I've also been trying to get my requesting under control. I believe I have around 60 books that I need to read for review.

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    1. I need to curb my buying. I think I just might add any book I want onto a Christmas list that I can give to the boyfriend. Then I will be very excited at Christmas when they all arrive.

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  10. I am completely and utterly fine with having a never-ending TBR list. However, in my case, they're usually just lists. I do have about 45 ebooks I still need to read, but my number of to-read paperbacks is a mere 10. That is because I go nuts with paperbacks twice a year - around Christmas and around my birthday (July). Then I buy 10-15 books at once. When I notice I'm running out, I'll buy a couple more.

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    1. My actual TBR list is just embarrassing. But I am definitely ashamed of how many I have bought and then not read. I just keep telling myself I am going to get to them eventually. And hopefully I will ;)

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  11. Hahaha, this was hilarious because I kept thinking "oh my god that's me" the whole time. My TBR list is a mountain, I don't even use Goodreads to keep track of what I've read - it's for what I'm going to read (eventually). I also have waaaay to many unread books on my Kindle, not to mention my shelf! I'm not even going to count. I don't even regret it hahaha. I will get to them one day, there's just so many books - and okay, maybe I'm a bit teensy tiny bit greedy! XD

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    1. This is why I love blogging so much, I find so many other people who are like me. My family and my boyfriend think I am crazy because of how many books I buy. It's nice to know I am not alone. I avoid buying Kindle books now, that one click button is deadly.

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  12. Wow! And I thought I had a lot of books but you've got waaaay more than me!
    I have the problem of always buying books when I have loads left to read too :/
    I've gotten better at requesting only books that I really want to read. My NetGalley ratio was under 60% *winces* but now it's over 80% which I'm happy about. I still have lots to read though!

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    1. I have no clue what my ratio is, but I do believe it is over 60% but not close to 80 yet. I can't seem to stop myself, I always think I will find the time to get to these books eventually. But it never seems to happen.

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  13. Wow you have made me feel a million times better about my growing TBR lists. I tend to keep all the books I've read and also own on a spreadsheet to help eliminate buying the same thing twice, so I can tell at a glance I have around 330 unread books that I have paid for at the moment (only about 34 of those as physical books - the rest all on my kindle). This isnt necessarily counting some of the books I have won in competitions and just not added to the list.

    I tend to think of myself a a compulsive book collector, I know I can't help myself, but I tend to only buy books that are half rrp in paperback, or under £3 on Kindle. Does mean occasionally I tend to wait for some books, and also means I struggle if I want to buy something even a small bit more expensive, to try and justify it when I know it may not get read immediately.

    I definitely buy more books a week than I read in a week, and trying my hardest not to mind too much, because in the back of my mind I can tell myself I will get to any individual title eventually.

    My main problem is always deciding what to read next, and that I do struggle with!

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    1. I need to do a Goodreads shelf for books I own and then one for unread. so I can see how many I own but haven't read yet. That would take a long time though, I have a lot of books. I don't even bother with my Kindle books though, not sure why.

      I like that, I think that's what I am. I love the be surrounded by books, I love my bookshelves to be filled with them. I can't stop myself, especially when the books are really cheap.

      I try to stop myself, but it's so hard. I sometimes buy as many as I read, but I just don't read the ones I buy.

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  14. Haha. You're addicted to buying books more than I am.
    I agree we'll probably never make it to the end of our lists.
    Let's just hope "Fahrenheit 451" never happens!

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    1. I really hope it doesn't! I might one day read all the books I own, but I highly doubt it. Not with the rate I get new ones.

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  15. While my TBR is not as big as yours I definitely buy more books than I read. Especially when I find really good deals on used book or outlet websites I just can't help myself. I have this problem ever since I started watching BookTube videos because you are just overflowed by books you never heard of and are just super hyped up. Goodreads doesn't really help either :D Back in the day, I would just go into a book store and randomly buy books that sounds good or I would get two or three books at a time from the library and I would just read the books as I got them. But I think there are worse objects to collect and just know that you are not the only person with a severe book buying problem :D

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    1. I know, if you find brilliant deals it's really hard to say no. I like getting mine on deals, I will basically never pay full price for a book. I have started watching a ton of BookTube videos and I LOVE THEM! It's made me wish I had chosen BookTube over blogging, mainly because I'd be able to express myself better.

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  16. I have close to 400 books. If I read 50 books every year for the next five years I will only have 150 left...As long as I don't buy any more... that's part of my problem..
    400−50×5=150. UGH. One day I will read them ALL!! :)

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    1. HAHA! I love how you try to do all of the maths. I read about 100 books a year, so I should be able to get through mine in 4 years. If I didn't do any ARCs or library books, which would never happen. So maybe 50 years ;)

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  17. You are not alone. We are here for you. Repeat after me, "My name is __, and I have a book buying problem" Haha, we should build a support group for this so we don't drown in our own TBR pile. Someday, someday we'll get through this :)

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    1. HAHA! YAY :) I think I need a support group, or people to just yell at me a lot.

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  18. OHHHHH. BOOKS. I understand. I understand completely. Although I don't ever buy books, but that's because I'm broke, lol, but the library is my weakness. Those books just look so lonely and abandoned in the library and of COURSE they'd be happier if they were on my bookshelf...even if it's just temporary. ^-^ I think I'm in love with the idea of creating stories, that's why I'm always borrowing and reading and requesting. I JUST WANT TO KNOW ALL THE STORIES! Sometimes I sort of wail in the library because I look at all the YA books and know I'll never read them all. :|

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    1. Me too! I can't stop borrowing books either, which is terrible when I think about how many I have waiting to be read at home. I just keep telling myself that I can read them all, but I never can. I think a week away from the blog, just to have a massive binge read would be good. I'd enjoy that.

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  19. You are not alone, however I am a bit envious of your 299 books!
    I am a purger, so if I own a book and decide "I won't reread this", "I don't know why I have this", "I am not attached to this" I donate them.

    What if you decide that at the beginning of every month you will read one book from that giant stack, maybe you'll start to feel accomplished slowly over time.

    Good Luck!
    Emily @ Follow the Yellow Book Road

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    1. I did do that last year, I boxed up 50 books that I had not read and gave them all to my nan. I am thinking of seeing how many I am willing to part with and boxing them up, will see if a local charity shop wants them and would be willing to collect them.

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  20. I so agree with you. I walked about of a used book store with six books, on my good day. I think the only reason I did not get more is my boyfriend gave me the stink eye. I also requested way to many books for ARC's haha.

    Kat @ The Realm of Books

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    1. Used book stores are the best and worst things, I come out of those with so many books. It's a little embarrassing at times, but I can't stop myself.

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  21. Wow, you have me beat numbers wise, but I'm just a guilty as you are in the book buying and failing to read category.

    Dreams @ Once Upon A Dream Books

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    1. This is why I love blogging, I discover so many people with a book buying problem as big as my own!

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  22. I can totally relate! I have an ever expanding pile of books that I haven't read but I think what I am really bad at is starting a book, then buying a new book and starting that one, then all of a sudden I am reading about five books at once and it takes me three times longer to finish them. Especially if two of them get really good and it becomes a battle of which one I read first!

    J.C Lemon
    jc-lemon@blogspot.com

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    1. I have to admit that I can only read one book at a time, I think I would get completely lost otherwise. Might help me get through more of them if I could read 6 at a time, haha.

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  23. I can definitely relate to your post Charnell, especially with all the goodies out on Netgalley, Edelweiss and review copies as well - and all the new releases that we want to read naturally! It's not often that I actually read a book on my shelves, even though I have an epic TBR as well. Lovely discussion topic :)

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    1. It's so easy for them to start piling up. Now it's just at a ridiculous and daunting level, don't even know where to start with them.

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  24. Ha, I can so relate.. I buy or get so many books but I rarely read them because something new and shiny comes along. I have more than a 100 physical books, and I dont even want to start counting the eARCs and kindle books. And I also regret nothing. I will read them someday.

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    1. Someday... that's always my answer whenever I buy a new one and the boyfriend moans! I WILL GET TO THEM SOMEDAY :) It will happen!

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  25. "The problem with the never ending TBR is that you never feel like you're accomplishing anything."

    OH THANK GOD, I'm not alone! That image of all the books you haven't read yet made my heart hurt =/ I really liked this post because I did one today on my book haul (I know you prefer commenters to leave a link when I comment, but I forget a lot! I remembered this time.) and I related a lot to the things you wrote. Comforting to know I'm not the only one going crazy by the thought of all those unread books. I kind of try not to think about them anymore...
    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. That's okay, I still always try and hunt down peoples blogs even if they don't leave links! It does help so much though, so thank you :) :) :) I try not to either, I just stare at them all on my shelves and pretend like I have read them.

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  26. I don't even know how many books I own. My TBR list is constantly growing, but I do not regret it either. My dream one day is that when I'm super old and have nothing to do with my life between hopefully future visits from grandchildren, I will read every book I own.

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    1. Haha, that's how I feel too! I really hope I get to live that long.

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  27. For every book I finish I seem to get 5 new ones from different places. I feel horrible about the fact that I don't care, hahaha. I love books too much to not-buy them. There are often new published books I've been waiting for, for such a long time, how could I not buy them? And in my defense, a lot of books on my TBR pile are from before I started to blog, so they don't really fit my interest anymore. That's probably why I buy so many YA books now, I need to make a whole new collection.

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    1. I don't care either, it feels wonderful to be surrounded by books when I am at home. Exactly! So many of my unread TBR are from before I started blogging, and I feel like I don't want to read them any more.

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  28. YES! YES! And YES!
    I counted my unread physical books when I moved back in the spring and it was around 350. It kind of shocked me. I knew I had a lot. But that amount didn't seem possible. So I went through them and got rid of about 50(which if I'm being honest, could have been a bunch more). 300 is a terrible TBR but I could work with it I said to myself. I read about 200 books a year, so if I cut down on my buying I could get these read in like a year and half. HAHA! That thinking lasted about a week. I know I have a terrible book buying problem. You've stated all the reasons to a tee. And as I continually tell myself every week(after I post my Showcase Sunday and hang my head in shame) I will cut back. 10 books a month max. HAHA again. I roughly buy anywhere from 20-30 books a month(that's only physical books I buy) and I read on average 21 books a month. So even if I break even my TBR is not getting any shorter. *sigh* I know things need to change. I'm not going to stop buying books because that's wholly unrealistic. But I do know there needs to be some cut backs. Yes, there's quite a few of those books that I have no interest in and should just get rid of, but there's also a whole bunch that I'm excited to get to and am mad at myself for letting them sit there for so long. Oh man, I'm just going to be talking in circles. So yes, you hit the nail on the head. I have a major uncontrollable book buying problem too. And in the end #sorrynotsorry #idontcare
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

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    1. I recently got of 50 too, none of which I had read. I couldn't even remember why I had bought half of them in the first place. I am going to go through my unread books again and see if I can get rid of 50 more. I am sure there are so many that I don't actually plan to read any more.


      I think the most I have read in 1 year is about 250, but it has been cut down since I started blogging. Time I would have spent reading now gets spent on writing blog posts and things.

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  29. Yes! I thought my TBR was epic before but I really had no idea. I'm impressed that you worked up the courage to count. I'm not sure I want to know. The bad thing is I find more and more books that I want but I end up reading more review books than anything else so the non-review books just pile up. Great post! Definitely most of us can relate too!

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    1. I'm the exact same, I read the review books and then barely get to any of my own. I really need to change that, it's just finding the time and requesting less review copies.

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  30. Firsty, I LOVE this post and secondly, I am exactly the same! I have around 600 physical books on my TBR pile, some of which I was excited for at the time, but don't hold interest in now. Then there's all the books on my Kindle which is a LOT (mostly e-arcs) and yet I still find myself going to the library and buying more books! *sigh* So many books, so little time!

    Kyra @ Blog of a Bookaholic

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    1. WOW! I don't have anywhere near that many, so that makes me feel a lot better! I don't care how big my TBR gets, I am never going to stop buying books.

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  31. That is so many books! But, I feel like you can never have too many books. :) I only have about 15 psychical books I own and have yet to read and around 5 eARCS I own but haven't read, but that is because I use the library more than I buy books due to my current money situation. Now from the library, I always have a minimum of 10 books out at a time, usually more like 20, sometimes even more than that. Good luck with your TBR!

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    1. Thank you! I don't think I will ever get the situation under control, but I don't think I really mind! I love being surrounded by books, it's nice to know I won't run out of books to read.

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  32. I am definitely the same. It's so easy to just add and add and add to your TBR when there are so many books out there! I have a TON of e-arcs to read and I own a lot of books that I haven't read yet... I still keep adding though! Part of being a reader I guess :)

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    1. I HAVE SO MANY eARCs! Makes me feel pretty bad that I haven't got to them yet, but I am determined to find more time for them.

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  33. *sees first GIF*

    Yep, that's me. Especially with today's spree, something like 20+ books? OOOOOPS. You can see my TBR on my site -- books bought 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014... It's a bit ridiculous. And this while I'm not exactly in a slump, but struggling to read as much as I'd like.

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    1. I just struggle to find time to read, mainly because I spend a large amount of time blogging now.

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  34. Bwahaha yes pretty much. I've been doing way better this last year about bringing in new ones for review and buying new books (other than at book signings those I don't count since they're getting signed lol). But yeah the physical pile is over 1000. It's ridiculous. I like to think I'm just being prepared. You know. For some fall of society where books are no longer made. Or I can't buy them for whatever reason. I'm being...responsible. *nods* lol

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    1. HAHA! WOW!!! I am really glad I don't have that many physical books to read. Although, with financial troubles on the way, it will probably come in handy that I have so many books to read already.

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  35. Wow, and I thought I had way too many books to read. But I'm the same way. I have so many library books on my shelves and books on my Kindle, but I keep buying more books and checking out more books from the library without reading what I already have. I usually only buy the physical copy of a book after I've already read it or it's part of a series I love or a beloved author, so I don't have any physical books that I've bought and not read. But yeah, a lot of unread books. It's a good problem to have!! :) ~Pam

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    1. It definitely is a great problem to have. I am never going to run out of books to read, not with the amount I buy, request and borrow. I like that.

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  36. Aah, I know! I'm glad to know it's not just me. Over the summer I added a huge number of books to my TBR pile and I haven't read a single one since then. Not one. Which I occasionally feel guilty about and then I remember all the books I plan on buying next month and I decide I don't care :) Great post!

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    1. Haha, at least I am not alone! I really don't care any more either. It's nice to know that I am not going to be running out of books to read any time soon.

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  37. This sounds so much like me! The funny (or sad) part is before I found book blogs I only owned about a dozen books. I usually just checked out from the library whatever I found from browsing. Since reading blogs and starting my own I have over 300 books and overflowing shelves and I still browse the bookstore at least once a week and go crazy over the Nook and Kindle deal posts. Then I just feel anxious/guilty that I will never be able to read them all... I've been trying to do better but when I see some really awesome books on the bargain tables (like Fangirl last week!), I just can't help myself!

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    1. I owned a lot of books before I started blogging, but I definitely have started to buy more since I started. I just find so many more books then I would have usually known about. I have been trying to do better, and it has been working recently but I am still buying way more than I am reading.

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  38. Oh my. All of that would be way too stressful for me. I don't own any books and I don't have a TBR list anymore. My kindle doesn't have any unread books on it right now and I don't have any ARC books (I only do the Blogging for Books program and it's a one book/one review system). I keep things very simple-a library trip once a week to get a handful of books and that's it :) But, if you're ok with having all of those book around, then don't change anything! Do what works for you and don't feel bad about it :)

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    1. I love having all these books on my shelves, especially since I do plan to read them all one day. I probably never will, but the intent to is there.

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  39. I am so going to read all my TBR someday. I won't say I have as much as you because that would be a lie... but well, I have a lot xD Kindle TBRs were crazy, and when I first got Netgalley and Eldeweiss I pulled something you did and went request crazy xD And then on top of that I do buy a lot of my own books soo... you know the story xD

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    1. ME TOO! I really want to but it just grows and grows by an obscene amount every year. I know the story very well, it's the story of my life ;)

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