The TBR Pile That Threatened to Squish Me

Why my TBR pile both terrifies and excites me. And why it will never stop growing and changing.

My Source.

I’ve seen so many people posting “the books I’m going to read in the next couple of months” lists recently that I decided to make my own… except it became less of a manageable immediate TBR list, and more of a monster. I own hundreds of books, all are books that I want to read for various reasons. Some are for review, some were gifts, some I’ve been told are must reads, some really caught my eye, but they all have something in common: How the hell am I going to squeeze them all in?! Simple answer: I won’t.

It is terrifying looking at my books with “what do I read next?” in mind because I’m constantly changing my mind. I’ll tell myself that I’m going to read The Night Circus and then I’ll remember the pile of review books and feel guilty for even considering reading a non-review book. I’ve tried to not feel guilty, I know it’s silly, but I can’t help it.

On the other hand, however, my TBR pile is exciting because at any time I could delve into any number of different worlds and meet different characters and it doesn’t matter what my reading mood might be at that time, I have something to interest me. I love the joy of choice and being able to choose from a whole mountain of books makes me gleeful, especially knowing that I can then go forth and review whatever I choose and open the eyes of other readers.

My problem is that I can’t stop. I adore books so much and I really enjoy collecting them. I love to find places for them on my shelves and rearrange my books and I get excited about books I really want to read and it’s never ending! It isn’t just the physical books either, I’m forever checking for new Kindle freebies and special offers and I have to ban myself from NetGalley and Edelweiss most of the time.

I don’t think I can change though so I have had to come to terms with the terror of one day having to move them all. My book collection has become a living entity and it both terrifies and excites me. Some day I would like to go through it and really see what books I won’t be reading so that I can swap/sell/give them away but that in itself is such a daunting task that I have no idea when I’ll get around to it.

What are your TBR piles like? Do you choose to ignore it’s ever-increasing size? Or are you actually quite good at keeping it down one way or another?


  1. Once a year, usually in the winter when things are slow, I go through my books and trim it down. If I do this, then i don’t have guilt about acquiring books over the year. And my local library benefits.
    nrlymrtl’s most recent post ..Greatshadow by James Maxey

  2. My pile is more or less like yours..
    Never ending and still growing.. And I can`t stop collecting.. Coz as you I love re arranging them on my shelf. Looking at them.. And adoring them :D

    Good luck with your pile :)
    ~MoonStar~’s most recent post ..Moonlight season 1

  3. My TBR pile scares me too. I have an incredible number of books that I need to review and I feel bad for being so behind. I also feel guilty when I pick up a book that isn’t a book that needs reviewing. My TBR shelf on Goodreads is about 970 books and that bothers me a little, but it’s not as bad as all the books I must read and review. Edelweiss and Netgalley can be quite dangerous to me although I’ve tried to be good and have only requested a handful of books from each site.

  4. I am exactly the same as you and even though I worry when I’m going to get round to read this and that, I don’t worry too much as I love books and as long as there’s books to buy and time to read it I’m good! Unlike a few people who have commented I love…clutter. I love it. I’m not a hoarder but I love books. Having a room full of books, with every shelf full top to bottom with books makes me happy.

    I try to set aside a few books that may be read that month but its more likely that I’ll read one or two from that list and then substitute the rest for books bought/netgalleyed or had for review. I am in a bit of a pickle right now though. I had two amazing amazon vouchers for my birthday this month and I have a list longer than my arm of books that I want to buy, like really want to buy. But I already have so many books to read. But then again I waaaant these books so badly and a few more books won’t hurt…right? And my kindle. It is full of books waiting to be read….so many books, so little time!

    I love my books and I will continue to buy them (even if I am a poor student atm) as I love love reading.
    Becca @ Lost in Thought’s most recent post ..Wishlist Wednesday #17

    • Bahahaha!! It’s funny because you appear to be EXACTLY like me. I put a little “TBR” pile next to my reading chair, I’ll read one or two and then proceed to completely ignore it. And spend a while glancing at my shelves in bliss. I’m constantly picking out books and moving them around, and all that does is build clutter. I’m terrible, but it’s just the way I am!
      I’d buy the books without thinking twice. Ha. I tend to add the ones I most want to my basket then go through and remove what I least want from those until it’s affordable.

      Even when I can’t afford them I’ll spend time rearranging my shelves, Amazon wishlists and Goodreads shelves just because books make me happy. I was in my element in the charity book shop, seriously!
      Hannah’s most recent post ..The TBR Pile That Threatened to Squish Me

      • I have so many wishlist on amazon depending on genre so I have so many books on there! I might buy a few books tonight (technically free if its on a birthday voucher!) seeing as I’ve been buying christmas pressies lately so something for myself is needed!

        I just like looking at my books. I’m obsessed. I even bought a bag the other day because it looked like a book! I am lucky though that I have two rooms right now. One at home and one at uni. Most of my books are here in uni with me looking lovely on the built in shelves. I’m actually going to re-arrange my room back home so that I can put all my other books on the shelves. And dare I say it?…sort through some books and give them away! I’ve bought so many on impulse buys in charity shops I know that I’ll never ever read, so out with the old in with the new! (probably give like two out of a million though haha!)
        Becca @ Lost in Thought’s most recent post ..Wishlist Wednesday #17

  5. Whats helped me is that I physically can’t tolerate clutter! I started going to the library again and am on a book buying ban. I have about 200 arcs right now because of all the book events I went to last year and my goal is to attack those next!

    I really understand that book lust but I’m really working toward having less physical books :)

  6. I feel pretty good right now, Hannah, because I managed to reduce my TBR considerably in the last few months. I’m also determined to keep it that way, otherwise my OCD goes mental ;)
    So I’m just admiring you and Ellie, that you can get new books without freaking out, and I just can’t. Ideally I’d like to have no more than 20-30 unread books on me at one time, no more.
    kara-karina’s most recent post ..Gratitude Giveaway Hop (INT)

  7. It’s not buying books that’s a problem for me, they sneak their way in by their own means! I’m a bit like you, absolutely love having a large personal library to choose from but it can make that chocie a bit daunting when it comes to picking what to read next. They are about 50 books I must read now! That’s not going to happen.

    Still, I could be hoarding designer shoes.
    Ellie’s most recent post ..The Painted Bridge

  8. I’m pretty good at not buying books because I’m just too darn frugal, having lived as a student with a very small budget my whole life. I’m worried about when I realize that I don’t actually have to live that way anymore, but for now I’m keeping with it xD. I have a shelf of used books that I need to read and a shelf of borrowed and review books, but otherwise it’s all library books that I’m tempted by and they have handy expiration dates :D

    My biggest problem is deciding what I’m actually going to read immediately next, since I’m not very good at reading review books when I’m supposed to right now >.>
    Anya’s most recent post ..Four Stars: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

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